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Terrestrial fertilizers

>Just like the comments on osmokote: as long as the sticks are buried in the
>substrate AND used in small quantities (e.g. less than one stick for 18" x
>48" bottom, they can be used to feed the vascular plants - both thru the
>roots and leaves (when small amounts leach out into the water column) -
>they won't contribute to excess algae.....until you uproot a large root
>plant and expose the fertilzer, that is!!

I've also noticed that there is a tremendous amount of variation between
various similar looking plant food sticks.  (not that I've had the guts to
put them in a tank yet...with my luck, I'd turn all my tanks green just in
time for Claus' visit!<g>)  The kind for flowering plants contain _much_
more phosphate than the "regular" plant food sticks.  One brand that I use
for my house plants, "New Era", the "regular" is 12-6-6, while the
"flowering" is 6-12-6.  The Jobe's non-flowering formula is 13-4-5.  I
deon't have any of their flowering formula sitting around, but I do
remember that the P number was higher.   Based on this, _IF_ I get brave,
I'd be more likely to try the Jobe's, since my tanks tend to be nitrogen
limited. (not enough to show growth "problems", and certainly not enough
that I have algae problems, but there is never any measurable nitrate in
most of the tanks.

Another interesting thing about the Jobe's, (considering the interest in
Osmocote and slow release formulas) is the following statement on the package:

"The nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium materials in this product provide
8.5% occluded slow release nitrogen (N), 3.7% occluded slow release
available phosphate (P2O5), and 1.1% occluded slow release soluble potash


Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association