What are root tabs? Question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by PufferSnail, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. PufferSnailNew MemberMember

    Im thinking of getting real plants in my tank (because plastic ones look tacky) and i have gravel and brackish water. ive read about root tabs on here, but i dont exactly understand what they are or what they do? also is there any plants that i should avoid? oh and how much light do the plants need? does it have to be sunlight? or can it be artificial light? thank you :) is there anything special i have to do with plants as well? :)
  2. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Root tabs are nutrients that plants need combined in a tablet form that goes in your substrate. They allow plants with roots to get nutrients as they cannot get from the water. Some plants get nutrients from water, others from roots.
    I'm not sure what plants do well in brackish water so wait for others to answer.
  3. clinton1621Well Known MemberMember

    Slight correction on this, all plants get nutrients from water.... some absorb them more through their roots and some more through their 'leaves' .... root tabs simply place the nutrients closer to the roots so that when they dissolve they are readily absorbed through the roots.
  4. PufferSnailNew MemberMember

    thats great thank you :D so plants are ok in gravel? but you have to put root tabs in it for nutrients for the plant?
  5. clinton1621Well Known MemberMember

    You dont have to use root tabs, they will absorb the nutrients from the water... you can use lliquid fertilizer or root tabs, both will work as the plants absorb DISSOLVED nutrients
  6. PufferSnailNew MemberMember

    ok i understand now, thank you so much :D
  7. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    I respectfully disagree. There are plants that are root feeders and cannot get all their nutrients in water. For example sword plants. This is why there are so many nutrient rich substrates on the market like Eco Complete. Plants are usually grown in nutrient rich soils in nature so they need nutrients. You can dose w/ water nutrtients, but root feeders won't be able to absorb those through the water.
  8. clinton1621Well Known MemberMember

    They are still absorbing the nutrients through the roots out of the water... its a matter of nutrient placement, the higher the concentration level near the roots the more they absorb. They are still absorbing it through the water as they dont have mouths to eat it. Its absorbed though water uptake / exchange, placing the nutrients near the roots (as in rich soil) makes the water near the roots nutrient rich. Thats part of the reason why all plants require water, even terrestrial ones.
  9. clinton1621Well Known MemberMember

    Think hydroponics.... no soil, nutrient rich water... and it works on rooted plants, same concept.
  10. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    That's true. The difference being the roots are not buried, but exposed. I have root feeders floating and don't need root tabs as the roots are exposed. So it really depends if you bury the roots or not.:happy0034:
  11. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    I think one of the most important things about root tabs is that they have some sort of binder that keep the nutrients concentrated in the area that you place them. That's why many of them have a clay base. Maintaining macro nutrient rich water isn't the easiest thing ever especially for someone dealing with a low light tank with livestock, especially when the general consensus is that nitrates = bad.