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Re: spot feeding pellet formula for Amazon Swords
Bill Terburg <terburg at familychest_com> wrote:
> Karen, you are correct in your assertion that I'm making spot feeding
> pellets with Phosphorus. Actually the pellets that I'm using for spot
> feeding the swords I make using on part Blackleaf brand trace mix and
> one part Osmocot tablet. The Osmocot tablet as it comes from the garden
> center does contain phoshoric acid, P2O3. However, because I'm
> inserting the pellets that I make directly into the substrate relatively
> little of the phosphorus makes it into the water column and algal blooms
> are not a big problem. Because algal growth is not a great concern your
> observation that I'm over fertilizing the swords may well be correct.
> Before I started substrate "spot feeding" the main way that I knew that
> I was over fertilizing was a "algal bloom", now it's more difficult to
> know. In fact the only way I can really tell now is by observing
> deficiencies. For example, my plants show no signs of iron deficiency
> but yet I never show any iron when testing the free water. It would be
> interesting to know if anyone has found a way to determine nutrient
> levels in substrates?
> - --
> Bill Terburg
> Email: terburg at familychest_com
> Web: http://www.familychest.com/plantguild/
I don't think its as important to precisely control iron in the
substrate as it is when adding it in the water. Excess iron fertilizer
in the water can create real algae problems but this is not a problem in
the substrate at all. For the newcomers to the list, I recommend that
you browse the articles on my website, http://home.infinet.net/teban/ to
learn about substrates. You do NOT need to use the plant fertilizer
products sold in aquarium stores at all.
Use the clay fertilizer pellets (or balls) mainly on slow growing plants
like Crypts and Anubias. I've had HUGE Aponogetons and Sword plants when
using clay balls. For most of the other plants, just use plain clay
pellets/balls or use soil or clay to ensure adequate iron and trace
minerals right in the substrate.
If you are starting with small plants and want to grow them up to large
sizes to sell them, then clay pellets or balls are an excellent
advantage. Instead of waiting a year or two for a small Amazon Sword
plant to reach the monster size, HUGE plants can be grown in a matter of
a few months. Of course, one has to provide the other growth factors
such as: strong water circulation, strong lighting, adequate minerals
like calcium, potassium and magnesium in the water and probably a small
amount of CO2. Good circulation is very important as this is the NUMBER
ONE factor in allowing your plants to access the CO2 dissolved in the
water. It also helps to prevent blue green algae (cyanobacteria) as more
than one aquarist has noted!
Steve Pushak Vancouver, BC, CANADA
Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page" http://home.infinet.net/teban/
for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!