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Re: which Jobe's?

Just adding my two bits to what Chuck Gadd already wrote:
> The fern and palm is 16-2-6.
> The biggest reason the fern and palm spikes are often recommended is
> their lower phosphate (the middle number).   
> I use the Palm and Fern.

I've used the Palm and Fern and the "Beautiful Houseplants" (13-4-5)
formula. I get similar results from both, but I think I get slightly
better results from the houseplant formula.  Perhaps it just makes a
better combination with the nutrients supplied from the fish foods I use.
> > Also, how large a piece of the spike should I use per plant?
> I break the spikes in half.   I normally put one piece at the
> roots of a clump of plants.    For heavy root feeders like
> amazon swords, I put two or three pieces at it's roots.

I use them in much the same way, but I quarter the sticks for small plants
and only use the spikes for the heaviest feeders in the tank.  I expect
the rest of the plants to use the nutrients in the water column.

The houseplant formula uses urea to provide a part of it's total nitrogen
supply.  I suspect the Palm and Fern formula does too.  Urea breaks down
in water to produce ammonia and CO2, so you need to be particularly
careful to get the sticks buried in the substrate so the urea doesn't get
released into the water.

I don't use them on a regular schedule, only when a plant seems to need
it.  For those plants that get the spikes it probably works out to once
every 6-8 weeks.  I also sometimes put them under newly transplated

Roger Miller