Help Seachem Flourish in a bottle vs Seachem Flourish Root tabs

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Rhan

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Hi there,

Push has finally come to shove, and I have decided to start using fertilisers for the plants in my 160litre tank. They are just dying, slowly but surely My amazon sword, oddly enough, is still growing the best compared to my wisteria and other unknowns. My wisteria keeps on rotting at the bottom of the main stem, so over time i have to chop it and plant it back otherwise it will break and decompose everywhere.

I can't really upgrade my lighting at this point, the tank is only about 4-5 months old and mum and dad would would think I'm stupid for buying new globes when the ones we have still work. And I bought a big bottle of flourish excel, which i've been dosing several times a week for over a month now. Haven't seen improvement, so I guess CO2 isn't really the issue.

So it has basically come down to what the title says. Are there any opinions out there on which is better? I'm leaning towards the root tabs at this point.

I figure its worth a shot, I really want my poor plants to survive and be tough enough to handle my baby platies picking at them from time to time.

Thanks in advance
 

Nate McFin

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I would go with the root tabs first myself, especially with the Wisteria which tends to be very root hungry.
I also wouldnt worry about the light too much, especially if swords are looking good.
 

Nutter

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I would also go with root tabs. Wisteria & Swords are both heavy feeders that will appreciate the tablets. Wisteria likes lots of pottasium & not too much phosphate. With the Wisteria make sure to remove young plantlets that form on the leaves to maximise the amount of light that is penetrating to the lower leaves.

Get your parents to read this link if you can so that they will understand why you need to replace the light tubes before they stop working:


Or google cathode decay & see if you can get them to read a couple of the articles about it.
 

ryanr

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For what it's worth, I'm now using a combination of both tabs and liquid.

I think tabs are a better choice for two reasons, 1st it keeps the nutrients in the substrate, and more available for your root plants, 2nd because you only need to dose every 3 months.
I use the liquid for my anubias on my driftwood, whereby the roots aren't in the substrate.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but plants will absorb more nutrients through their roots than their leaves, so having the nutrients around the roots is a better way to go IMO.

Note: I don't consider CO2 to be a 'nutrient' persay, but CO2 is absorbed through the leaves.

Another factor worth considering is the type of lights you have, and the spectrum they are producing and how long they are on. Successful growing of plants is a balance of lights/co2/nutrients.

I don't know my plants well enough, but if you get back to us with the type of lighting, Nutter in particular, will be able to advise if you have got your bases covered.

The info he'll be looking for
Tube brand : e.g. Glo/Sylvania
Tube type: e.g. T8, T5, T5HO (VHO), CFL
Tube k rating: e.g. 6700k, 10000k, 18000k
Hours they are on per day.

That info will greatly help Nutter to evaluate you lighting.
 

Rhan

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Thanks for the replies everyone I spotted some API brand root tabs on sale for $30, so I just grabbed them (I am a bit of an impulse buyer - not usually with fish though ). I will try the saechem brand next time though, as thats the brand I originally wanted.

Um, I can answer some of the lighting questions, I might have to surf around the net and edit with better answers, but the lighting came with the tank.
Atman Globes
3 globes, inches/watts as per my profile. the shorter one has a very slight bluish/almost UV hue, but its not a moonlight globe. I have no idea what its for ??? EDIT: according to Nutter's article, they seem like actinic, and I do remember being told my tank lights would be suitable for marine when we were buying....
Tube type: no idea whatsoever, I'll try and find out
Tube K rating: pretty sure its 8000K
They're on for approx. 12 hours per day, occasionally up to 14.

A question with the root tabs, I planted several today in the substrate as per the directions, and as soon as I put them in water, brown stuff started to come off them. I'm assuming its something to do with the iron content, but is that supposed to happen ??? I really hope the tabs aren't expired and all bad or anything.

EDIT: I read the interesting article Nutter provided (thanks! ) The trouble is, I don't think my globes are a standard length, from what the article was saying. When my parents bought the tank, thinking about one day needing to replace the bulbs didn't factor in at all. And we wouldn't have even known they weren't a standard size anyway.
 
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ryanr

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I doubt that the tabs would be bad.

I know my Seachem tabs leave a light black/grey 'trace' through the water as I put them into the substrate, but nothing major, and it's gone in about 5-10 seconds.

If the 'brown stuff' is still in the water that may be a concern, but I'm pretty sure Nutter uses the API tabs as well, so he may know.

[ps, Nutter, sorry for throwing all this at you, but you're the one I trust on this stuff ]
 

Rhan

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Phew, I was really concerned about the browness, I wasn't expecting it (especially since the tabs are green coloured ).

Now I'm going to be constantly looking at the plants for the next few weeks to try to judge if they look happier lol I wonder how long before I'll see any signs of improvement. I'm not the most patient person, you see
 

ryanr

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rhan said:
I'm not the most patient person, you see
You're in the wrong hobby aren't you lol [don't worry, I'm the same, I want it, and I want it now lol]

I would expect to see some signs within 48hrs with liquids, probably about a week with tabs.
 

Rhan

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'Don't care how, I want it now. don't care how, I want NOWWWWWW!!!!!' (ahhh the orginal Veruca Salt ) I'm not nearly as bad as her though lol

I will still obsessively check the tank multiple times a day, but having a ballpark as to when the tabs should start helping will hopefully help me retain what sanity I have left
 

Steve420

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but plants will absorb more nutrients through their roots than their leaves, so having the nutrients around the roots is a better way to go IMO.
Depends on the plant...some are feed from the roots, some feed from the column.

If you can determine all the different plants you have and their requirements, it'll be much simpler in the long run to care for them. Take the time to determine exactly what you need to do instead of just "grasping at straws." Adding the wrong stuff or the wrong amounts will just cause more headaches in the future and add new problems.

Root tabs are meant to release nutrients into the substrate slowly, so it'll probably take a week or so to see any noticable differences. I've always used them since day 1, so I can't really say for sure.

and Yikes!!! 30 bucks for API Root Tabs on sale?? Seachem ones are like 8.99 at my LFS. I've found them online for 4.99.
 

ryanr

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steve420 said:
and Yikes!!! 30 bucks for API Root Tabs on sale?? Seachem ones are like 8.99 at my LFS. I've found them online for 4.99.
Yep, the joys of living in Australia, fishkeeping can get expensive

I've found API tabs (pk 10) for $13.20AUD online, and Seachem pack of 10 $15.99AUD online.

But +1, it depends on the plants, but sometimes we need to generalise.
 

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I use API root tabs as well as the Flourish ones. API tabs really only contain NPK + Iron. Also present but in amounts so small it doesn't count as a nutrient or need to be declared by the company on the packaging: Zinc, molybdenum, nickel, cadmium, cobalt, mercury, lead, selenium & arsenic. They do not have an expiry date & should be good for several years if left in the sealed packet. I've noticed the brown stuff come off them when I've put them in the water but never enough to discolour the water. I don't think it is anything you need to worry about. It should take about a week for you to see a difference in the plants if they are helping. I don't use them as per packet instructions, I much prefer to just put one or two tabs directy into the root zone of each plant I'm using them for. Wisteria would get 1 tab per month, Swords would get two. Really large swords would get 3. A pack of 10 API tabs should cost no more than $20 through a LFS. If you paid $30 for a 25pack though you got them at a good price.

I can't find any information about the brand of tube you say you have. If the tubes are actinic they will be very blue to look at. Actinic tubes are completely useless for plant growth. If they are rated at 8,000k though, they are not actinic & are probably suitable for plant growth. If possible, pop the tubes out & write down the numbers that appear on one end of the tube. It will be something like : F30T8 or something along those lines.
In any case I think it would be a good idea to replace the tubes that you have. If this set up was bought secondhand you definitely need to replace the tubes. They could have been in there for 2yrs & you have no way of telling. The 23 1/2" tube is a standard length & they are available from most LFS or even hardware stores. The 30" tube is not as common & might be a bit harder to find. You may need to get your LFS to order them specifically for you or you may need to get your parents to buy them off the net for you. If you can find out the diameter of the tubes I can help find types of tubes for you that will be suitable for a planted tank. Then you would just need to try & find somewhere you can order them from. The diameter of a fluorescent tube is written as a number with the letter "T" in front of it, eg: T5, T8, T12.

EDIT: I'm sorry if some of what I'm saying is a bit jumbled up or doesn't make any sense. I'm on day 1 of quitting smoking & my mind isn't as focused as it normally would be.
 
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Rhan

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Thanks again for the replies

It's a 40 pack. I think they were trying to clear them. The box was quite dusty, but the packet was completely sealed inside. I haven't really seen 10 packs around, only larger packs. I might look into buying online for next time.

I put 2 tabs around my sword, and 1 for my wisteria and 3 around my two unknown plants. I don't have the whole tank planted, only sections, so I figured its silly to plant them in places where I don't have any plants at all One of the unknowns was labelled 'Blue Striata' and the other plant I can't find on the net. The other unknown is almost dead, plus its been picked to pieces by bored platy babies, so I'm gonna give up on that one.

Only the 23.5inch tube is actinic, I think. Its definetly blue, but not a deep blue like moonlights. The others are very white.

And only one of the tubes says Atman 8000K 25w 'Super Light', but I'm assuming it's the same as the other non-blue one. I can't see any other writing on them at all, I got the info in my aquarium profile off the manufacturers website. I've just tried to undo the screws for the covering, but they're done up so tight I can't get them. I'll have to wait til my boyfriend comes over in the next few days I think to give me a hand.

We bought the tank new on a bit of a whim just before christmas. It was a very nice looking unit and I think my occasional impulse buying may be genetic, if you know what I mean

I'll hopefully have the info for you in a few days Nutter, your help is very much appreciated. Do you mind if I PM with the info, so you don't feel obliged to check this thread? Oh, and congratulations on quitting smoking
 

Nutter

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It's fine if you wan to PM me. Can you estimate the diameter of the tubes? Do they look like the standard diameter fluoros you see everyday in houses or do they look like they are half the thickness of those? I would definitley replace the shorter tube. Probably with a Sylvania Gro-Lux. The Gro-Lux tubes are readily available in the 1" diameter tube & are pretty cheap here in Aus, (about $13). If the other two tubes look like they are the same I would probably replace on e in about a month & the other a couple of months after that. Try not to replace all of the tubes at one. It is better to replace tube every 2-3 months so that the light levels stay more even. Most LFs carry the Hagen range of fluoro tubes. I believe they have 30" tubes in thier range. If they do then the Power-Glo or Aqua-Glotubes, (both 18,000k) are good when combined with a Life-Glo tube, (6,700k).

Once you know the details for certain PM me or post them here & I'll see what alternatives I can find for you.

I'm only trying to quit smoking. I've got 3 patches on & am chewing gum like it's going out of style. I was smoking 2 x 50gram packets of White Ox every week. That's a big habit & I'm going cold turkey so I'll just see how I go.
 
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