Plant root tabs

  • #1
All my tanks have been converted to minimal substrate...all my live plants are placed in....basically...pots...can anyone here recommend a good plant root tab that I can place into each of the pots to fertilize...looking for one that won't affect water quality or fish health....thanks.
  • #2

Just take them out of the pots, and plant them in the substrate.

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I have reduced the substrate to a single layer or so of medium sized pea-gravel (had a little over 2.5 inches in there before)'s barely an inch deep...this makes keeping the tank clean much easier...and none of the fish that I have require a deep substrate...the only draw back is that there is no longer enough to hold the plants...I came up with an idea to hold the fake plants...and that was to remove the existing anchors and replace them with suction cups which I hot-glues for the real plants...I cut the bottom off of some water bottles...about 3.5 inches worth...and put the plants in them with some of the existing gravel that was in the all worked out great and cleaning is a breeze now...and the plants look great in the nearly invisible pots.....this is the reason for wanting to know more about the Plant root tabs.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Any advice ?
  • #5
I'm not really sure, but a quick look on the forum of plant geek would solve this
  • #6
Plant Tabs start to slow disintegrate as they are supposed to and spread around the area. So, they might come out of pot, mix with tank water which is not desired though safe. Break the tabs into small pieces, put a piece in the bottom of pot and push it into gravel.
  • #7

I think it's not advised to keep plants in just a pot and let the pot float about. I'm a newbie at aquatic plants though...

  • #8
There's nothing wrong with leaving the plants potted, as long as the roots have some space to expand.
The only experience I've had is with API's root tabs, and I've only been using them for a week or so. However, I haven't seen any negative effects on my tank yet.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

I think it's not advised to keep plants in just a pot and let the pot float about. I'm a newbie at aquatic plants though...

As I said...I have them in a pot that was made from the bottom 3.5 inches or so of a drinking water bottle...and filled to the top with existing gravel from the tank...they are quit heavy and don't move at all...I pretty sure there is plenty of room for root developement...thanks for the answers you far the plants seem to be doing very good...I think I'll leave well enough alone.
  • #10
you can alwayse use a aquarium plant food. I use API's leafe zone its just a liquid that I add once a week I saw results the next day after I added it so there are other options besides tabs.
  • #11
Just wanted to add that long rooted plants like Swords don't do well in Pots. Others should be fine (though planting them is always better).
  • #12
Not sure where to put this?

No store in town sells plant root tabs for aquariums so I bought (like 2 bucks so w/e) some for house plants but before I put them in the tank I want to know if they won't hurt the fish. I have 4 balloon mollies, 2 otos, two upside down catfish, and a mystery snail.

Nitrogen (N) 6%
3.08% water soluble
0.75% Urea
2.17% water insoluble
Phosphate (P2O5) 12%
Soluble potash (K2O) 6%
Water soluble Magnesium (Mg) 0.5%
Boron (B) 0.02%
Chelated Copper (Cu) 0.05%
Water soluble Manganese (Mn) 0.05%
Chelated Zinc (Zn) 0.05%


Urea, methyleneurea, triple superphosphate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, boric acid, copper edta, iron edta, manganese sulfate, and zinc edta

I got one stick soaking in a jar to see how long it takes to dissolve
  • #13
Looks like a healthy plant diet to me, nothing in there that I can see will harm fish but just to be safe, I would wait for a few more replies to back me up (or shoot me down!) lol
The only thing I can see missing from there is Iron but that might be normal.
EDIT: Seachem FlourishTabs:

Nitrogen 0.28%
Phosphate 0.17
potash 0.16
calcium 14.9
magnesium 0.06
sulfur 12.2
boron 0.029
chlorine 0.55
cobalt 0.001
copper 0.001
iron 2.2
manganese 0.23
molybdenum 0.0009
sodium 0.14
zinc 0.0024

Hrm, yours has similar components but in larger quantities, best test the water before adding them in.
  • #14
The stick I put in the jar has turned the water a little blue so it is dissolving already.
  • #15
I think I wouldn't. it seems to have too much nitrogen in it, and since it is blue, I just wouldn't.

what about ordering online? I get most of my plant stuff that way
  • #16
I think I wouldn't. it seems to have too much nitrogen in it, and since it is blue, I just wouldn't.

what about ordering online? I get most of my plant stuff that way

ya, its just getting more and more blue... I looked on ebay and they are like 10 bucks for the cheapest so I guess ill think about it.
  • #17
on foster and smith the seachem root tabs are $7 something + shipping....which is around 8 I think? but if you get another thing or two, then it wouldn't be so bad I don't know what kind of shipping ebay was offering though.....
  • #18
I'd avoid those terrestrial tabs, they seem too strong and blue water doesn't sound good at all. The Flourish ones have done well for me.
  • #19
yeah the blue water is def not a good sign for your tank, it is a chemical aditive to the normal plant tabs that aquarium ones do not get.
  • #20
I have heard of others using Osmocote and placing the pellets into capsules to make it easier to place into the substrate. But I never have used non-aquatic ferts.

You might try searching the forum for this to get more details.

I would not use what you have.
  • #21
Good morning,

When you use items that are not listed as "aquarium safe", I would not advise using the item. Your fish would be at risk.


I have moved your thread from Freshwater Beginners to Aquarium Plants section of the forum.
  • #22
I can never tell where to put my posts
  • #23
Good morning,

Matthew, just try to select a category that matches the topic of your post.

If I (or any of the Moderators) feel another category would be better suited other than the one you've chosen or if we feel it will get you more responses then we will move the thread for you.

We try to keep all of the information on the same topic in the same category. This helps members when they go to do a Search Fish Lore. Having all the information on the same topic in one place makes it a bit easier, not having to navigate all over the forum.

Golden Magikarp
  • #24
Good Morning,

I am trying to grow Vallisneria Spiralis right now. The 3 original mother plants all had runners and they grew to a medium size, and those runners sent out their own runners, and they have budded, but for some reason have halted. They're not growing as fast as the day I brought them home anymore. I tried chopping off the medium-sized plants (1st set of runners) from the mother plants and replanting them elsewhere in the tank and have seen continuous yet slow growth in them, but the small buds (still attached to the medium-sized plants) at the end of the newest runners refuse to grow! Tiny leaves are visible at the end of the runner, but the growth rate is SUPER slow; it wasn't as fast as before. I suspect that this is an issue related to nutrition deficiency.

So could someone direct me towards a cheap or reasonably priced product that is good for Vallisneria Spiralis?
(I'm a cheap - *** college student trying to save money XD). Would I also have to make any changes in my partial water changing schedule if I utilize root tabs in my tank?

I have also seen others making their own DIY root tabs by filling empty capsules with their own preferred fertilizer. If possible, can I also get some tips for that? I am running a 20 gallon high with 1 Red Cap Oranda and an Aqueon QuietFlow 30. I do 25% water changes every other day to keep ammonia levels down and the tank clean because my oranda is fat and poops a lot :3 (I just ordered a bottle of Seachem Prime and it's coming home tomorrow, so hopefully I don't have to do frequent water changes anymore).

Thank you for taking the time to read my message. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Your Fish in Fins,
Golden Magikarp
  • #25
Welcome to Fishlore hope our plant keepers can help you today.
  • #26
If Prime is just coming tomorrow, what dechlorinator have you used in the past?
What substrate are you using?
For DIY root tabs you need "Osmocote plus" fertilizer (Home Depot, Lowe's) and empty Gelatin capsules. Look on Ebay. You may find already made for really cheap ($10/100 capsules) shipped.
Vallisneria is a plant that thrives in hard, high pH water. If your water is soft, consider using Seachem Equilibrium. Or just try a different plant.....

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