Which Root Tabs and Ferts

StickyRice

Which root tabs should I get? I've seen the mainstream brands but I think they're too expensive. They usually cost around 10 dollars for ten root tabs. Even aquarium co-op's root tabs are a little too expensive for my taste. I've seen osmocote root tabs, which are supposedly more risky (never used them before) but are a lot cheaper. Then there are the sort of less known brands like NilocG and Planted aquarium concepts which seem okay and are sort of the median in terms of price. So my question is which brand of root tabs should I buy. I'm going to be using heavy root feeders and I want something that can last a long time without having to worry about water parameters.

Also, on a side note, I'm also not sure which liquid fertilizer to use. I'll be growing around 30-40 stems of low-medium light beginner plants and I was planning on getting the easy green as it's my first time using liquid ferts. I've also seen fertilizers from API, Seachem, and aqueon. Was wondering if other people could give me their input for which liquid fertilizer to use.

Edit: In terms of liquid fertilizers, it's probably going to be either API, aqueon, or aquarium co op, but I want some advice from other people. I'm really curious about the aqueon one. Apparently it's easy to use and cheap but clouds water. Don't really care about water clarity. Just want a brand that is easy, cheap, and don't have to worry about water parameter fluctuations.
 

strobukm

I buy the Seachem root tabs on Amazon, a 40 pack is usually around $25, and an 80 pack is usually around $38. They hold up well in my aquariums, which have sand substrate and don't cause parameter fluctuations. I've never used the capsule type root tabs, but have heard that some people have issues keeping them submerged due to the air caught in the capsules, especially if you have gravel substrate.
 

Mudminnow

Osmocote is a good, inexpensive, substrate fertilizer.

I've tried a few of the all-in-one fertilizers. They've all worked. For me, I like Thrive and APT the best, as they have formulations that have worked well for my tanks.
 

Cody

I have been happy with Thrive C for all in one. I have not ever regularly used root tabs.

Biggest at advice with any fertilizer is to check the make up and make sure your getting a go supply of macros and micro nutrients. Some cheaper products are cheap because they do not contain a full range of nutrients. And secondly when it comes to liquid fertilizers, check dosing instructions to see how concentrated they are. Both thrive and AC are fairly concentrated. But some brands you will need triple the amount to dose and use it up way faster. I found this true with Dustins Fishtanks All in one. I was very pleased with my tank while using it but it was not very concentrated and for larger tanks you would easily go through a bottle a month. So it’s hard to justify when AC product could last a large tank a year.

Lastly, dry ferts are the way to go for biggest cost savings, but a little more research and time in learning the process. This is something I have not chose to bite off yet. But many go this route.
 

StickyRice

I have been happy with Thrive C and Aquarium co-op for all in one. I have not ever regularly used root tabs.

Biggest at advice with any fertilizer is to check the make up and make sure your getting a go supply of macros and micro nutrients. Some cheaper products are cheap because they do not contain a full range of nutrients. And secondly when it comes to liquid fertilizers, check dosing instructions to see how concentrated they are. Both thrive and AC are fairly concentrated. But some brands you will need triple the amount to dose and use it up way faster. I found this true with Dustins Fishtanks All in one. I was very pleased with my tank while using it but it was not very concentrated and for larger tanks you would easily go through a bottle a month. So it’s hard to justify when AC product could last a large tank a year.

Lastly, dry ferts are the way to go for biggest cost savings, but a little more research and time in learning the process. This is something I have not chose to bite off yet. But many go this route.
Thanks for your input, but I have a few questions. Would you say that dry ferts are equally as good or better than liquid ferts? Also, which type of liquid ferts would you recommend to a beginner such as myself. Factors such as cost, ease of use, water parameters, and amount of doses per week/month/day(s) should be considered.
Osmocote is a good, inexpensive, substrate fertilizer.

I've tried a few of the all-in-one fertilizers. They've all worked. For me, I like Thrive and APT the best, as they have formulations that have worked well for my tanks.
Did you notice any changes in your water parameters after adding osmocote. Apparently, it contains ammonia and can cause it to spike.
 

Cody

Thanks for your input, but I have a few questions. Would you say that dry ferts are equally as good or better than liquid ferts? Also, which type of liquid ferts would you recommend to a beginner such as myself. Factors such as cost, ease of use, water parameters, and amount of doses per week/month/day(s) should be considered.

Did you notice any changes in your water parameters after adding osmocote. Apparently, it contains ammonia and can cause it to spike.

You could argue that dry ferts are better only from the point that you can fully control the dose if you notice issues in your tank. So if you see signs of a deficiency in your tank you can tweak the dosing to try to address that issue. Where with a liquid Fert you are getting the ratio determined by the company. Now that being said, for the average joe. A Liquid All in one should be more then adequate and it is more simple since you’re just squirting it into your tank based on dosing instructions. With a dry fertilizer you have to measure out several different dry powders. And to find the proper mix there are different calculators online to give you good guidance but it does require some understanding of what your doing. So it’s not what I could call beginner friendly But the cost of this is much less. Something to consider as you learn more.

I think Thrive C by Nilocg, Easy Green by AC are both good products that are also very concentrated and will last a while. APT is another great brand used by many people but I know this is a little less concentrated and you will use more in the long run.

Some my recommendation would be to try either Easy Green or Thrive c. As you gain experience and have more time to research maybe consider dry ferts. But this also depends on your tank size. I believe a bottle of easy green is supposed to be enough to dose a 55 gallon tank for a year. So we aren’t talking spending 100s a year even for big tanks.

Nilocg and Green Leaf Aquatics are two sites that a good to look at for resources in dry fertilizers if you want to consider that route. But as I said, you will have the same affect no matter what you use, but going dry gives YOU complete control and does save money in time.
 

Mudminnow

Did you notice any changes in your water parameters after adding osmocote. Apparently, it contains ammonia and can cause it to spike.
I have not noticed any changes in water parameters. My substrate is at least a couple of inches deep, and I push the little spheres all the way to the bottom. My guess is that placing the osmocote deep enough in my substrate, which has a high CEC, is what keeps it from noticeably affecting my water.
 

RedOnion

Try Jobes House Plant Fertilizer spikes for root tabs, extremely cheap and work just fine. I use them now over osmocote because the osmocote would keep popping up from the sand.
 

StickyRice

Try Jobes House Plant Fertilizer spikes for root tabs, extremely cheap and work just fine. I use them now over osmocote because the osmocote would keep popping up from the sand.
So I searched online for Jobes House Plant Fertilizer but I'm not sure that it's aquarium safe. It is meant for indoor houseplants after all. I might just go with the osmocote root tabs. I'll have around 1 to 1.5 inches of plant substrate with a 3 inch pool sand cap so I think I'll be fine as long as I put it in deep.
 

RedOnion

So I searched online for Jobes House Plant Fertilizer but I'm not sure that it's aquarium safe. It is meant for indoor houseplants after all. I might just go with the osmocote root tabs. I'll have around 1 to 1.5 inches of plant substrate with a 3 inch pool sand cap so I think I'll be fine as long as I put it in deep.
Osmocote roottab is also not meant for aquariums either. As long as you shove it in the sand you'll be fine
 

Linda1234

I'm personally paranoid about using stronger fertlizers like Osmocote roottab due to concern it is bad for the long term health of the fishes. A lot of people report success using it but i doubt many of these reports are for five or ten year periods or they have biopsy perform on their fishes when they die to determine if there had been issues. I certainly don't want to damage the organs of my clown loaches when i expect them to live 20 or 30 years. Having said this i'm not claiming the stuff is bad for the fishes I'm saying I don't know so i'm exercising paranoid until someone points me to long term studies indicating otherwise.
 

Stoner1993

I have not used thrive c but easy green has to much nitrate in it for my plant load. My fish where providing enough nitrate so something to consider. Easy green root tabs are definitely worth the money I add new ones once a month but you could get aways with longer. If you to purchase capsule root tabs it helps to poke a hole in one ends so air can escape. Makes keeping them down easier.
 

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