Root tabs - does it get easier?

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TheChinski

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Hellos! I got my plants for my 33ish g last week, and spent ages delicately pushing each stem into the perfect place. My osmocote root tabs finally arrived today, and much to my horror every time I tried to delicately slide one deep enough into the sand every plant within a 10cm radius slid out the sand and floated away! Fortunately they're all pretty thin, and are still quite bunched as stems from when I put them in, so it didn't take too long to replant practically everything.
I was just wondering, as I'm new to plants, if adding root tabs gets any easier further down the line? I can't imagine how messy it would be with thicker/bushier plants based on today's experience! Are there any tools you use to help pushing them in without disturbing the surrounding sand too much, or do I just see it as an opportunity to redo my planting every time my tabs are due a replacement

Thanks!!


 

Bluestreakfl

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It gets much easier. The plants will take some time to root well first before they get out of that bad floating behavior. Once they are well established and rooted you shouldnt have any propblems. I use really long tweezers to push my root tabs in. Trust me when I say I feel your frustration, that's the one thing I dread starting a new tank, is when I'm planting and the plants decide they want to swim around.
 

oOBlueOo

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I'm probably doing this the wrong way, but I let new plants float for the first week. It seems to develop roots faster and they're easier to plant.
 

Bluestreakfl

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I don't think there's a right or wrong way per se, its all about finding what works best for you. I know ive heard alot of folks talk about doing a "dry" start where you will water in the tank to just the substrate, and plant your plants, they grow much faster as they have access to CO2 from the air, and get better established. This is especially good for carpet type plants. I may try it out one day.
 

junebug

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Letting stem plants float to encourage root growth is probably the best way to get them to grow root systems.

To the OP, just give the plants some time to develop roots. Once they do, they won't float away so easily when you're working in the tank.
 
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TheChinski

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Good to know I'm not the only one then! A single stem had dislodged this morning when I went to check, and within 5 minutes half my plants were afloat as I fumbled round trying to get them back in

Thanks for the replies everyone!


 
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