Do stem plants need to have root tabs?

CindiL

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Or will their aerial roots pull from the water column for enough nutrients?

I have quite a few crypts but picked up some new Bacopa after killing mine with peroxide (another story), and also some Hygrophilia Compacta and am wondering if Flourish in the water column will be enough for them? (I have a sand substrate).
 
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CindiL

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The Hygro Compacta will benefit from root tabs. If not enough potassium it will get pin holes. I used to have one, loved it but had to prune all the time.
I have to admit I'm shocked how much its grown. I a couple of the plants in the containers at petsmart only about a week ago and its already doubled in size I swear. Its says its a compacta so I hope it doesn't get too tall or anything. I think I read they get bushy.
 

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Even stem plants will use their roots to some extent (for example some hygrophila species are quite hungry root feeders for stem plants) so it's always best to cover both angles by adding root tabs, specially where sand is concerned as this is the least nutritious substrate you could use for a planted tank.

Regards
Dan
 

BDpups

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Even stem plants will use their roots to some extent (for example some hygrophila species are quite hungry root feeders for stem plants) so it's always best to cover both angles by adding root tabs, specially where sand is concerned as this is the least nutritious substrate you could use for a planted tank.

Regards
Dan
I've never liked root tabs for any plants. I have found that you have much more control by using dry ferts. You can give exactly what is needed and if you notice deficiencies, it's easy to fix. Root tabs make it easy to over dose, or not have enough fertilizer.
 

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If you believe algae is a cause of nutrients then that makes sense, but I much prefer to give the plants more than they'll ever need so they never go without and you never need to treat deficiencies, it takes a very large overdose to a point where flora and fauna are affected. Dry ferts don't control the substrate although I'll never use anything other than dry ferts for the water column.

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CindiL

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Even stem plants will use their roots to some extent (for example some hygrophila species are quite hungry root feeders for stem plants) so it's always best to cover both angles by adding root tabs, specially where sand is concerned as this is the least nutritious substrate you could use for a planted tank.

Regards
Dan
Hi, welcome to fishlore Dan

I have a couple of root tabs left so if need be I'll place them in the sand.
 

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Did I mention algae?

And I think you mean, nutrients are a cause of algae...

Root tabs are not a necessity in any tank. Dry ferts will take care of any plants needs.
Saying nutrients are a cause of algae is like saying nutrients are a cause of plants.... Nutrients do not physically cause algae, just make their blooms more prolific. If you didn't mean algae then there's no reason to mention an overdose because it does no harm unless you stupidly overdo to a point of toxic levels. That's the whole premise of the estimative index, providing more than the plants need so they never go without.

I'm guessing you don't keep heavy root feeders in a high tech tank. A nutritious substrate is an important factor, specially when the tank is of a mature age. Otherwise there would be no such thing as acidification of the substrate, and you would not get deficiencies when water column nutrients are more than optimal. Very common for crypts and several other species, including some hygrophila stems, to display nutrient deficiencies with an enriched water column.

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CindiL

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Thank you so much.
I have added them in the past for my crypts and bacopa. I probably still have some in the substrate but can always add in more for the hygro.
 
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