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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #20

Subject: Jobes Plant Sticks

>Awhile ago someone mentioned
>occasionally using Jobes Plant
>Sticks with a 16-2-6 formulation
>to help fertilize specific plants
>(it might have been the oft
>misquoted Karen Randell).

Yup, it was me, and this time you didn't mis-quote me, you just spelled my
name wrong ;-) (sorry, I couldn't resist)

>I've found Jobes Houseplant Sticks
>with 13-4-5 and Jobes Large Houseplant
>Sticks with 14-3-7, but nothing with
>P as low as 2.  Does anyone know
>how Jobes labels the 16-2-6 variety? 

Yup.  "Jobe's Plant Food Spikes for Lush Ferns and Palms".

>Also, by way of an experiment, I
>buried 1/3 of a 13-4-5 stick 1.5"
>deep in gravel in a small 3" deep
>pot. I then put the lone pot in a
>bare 5 gallon kept at 80 degrees
>and stirred with a 160 g/hr powerhead.
>Initially PO4 was well under 
>.05mg/ltr. But, within 5 days, PO4
>had climbed to over .6mg/ltr. WOW!
>Anyone else found PO4 leakage to be a
>problem? Are there ways to minimize

Not being one to do a lot of measuring unless I'm having a problem, I
haven't done any actual measuring after using the Jobe's sticks.  After
having PO4 "leak" into the water column from DAI plant tablets, however, I
know this is a potential problem.  BUT, remember, you used quite a bit in a
very small tank with only one plant.  

I have never used more than a couple of sticks (cut into thirds or
quarters) at a time in my 55 and 70G tanks.  To reach the amount you put in
your 5 gallon tank, I'd have to use almost 4 sticks in the 55G.  Then, when
you consider that the type you used has twice the PO4 of the type I use,
it's easy to see why your levels went up so fast!

My advice is whenever you use _any_ phosphate bearing fertilizer, err on
the side of caution!  You were smart to try this experiment first in a
small, non-critical tank.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association