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Jobes sticks

> Tom Wood wrote:
> The ones for ferns have a 16-2-6 N-P-K ratio.  The low P in relation to the
> other two is what makes these better since it makes it easier to run the tank
> into a P limited condition, thus helping to starve out the algae.  Using
> smaller amounts of a fertilizer with a higher P ratio doesn't achieve this
> because the tank may run short of the other nutrients before running out of P,
> giving algae an advantage.

Tom,  mostly I agree with you. However, here is a couple of more points.
One of the reasons that folks like to use Jobes sticks is that they are placed deep
the substrate. The idea being of course that the plants' roots gain access to those
but very little seeps into the water column. (whether this is actually true or not
is probably open to
debate)  I am currently experimenting with the houseplant sticks, which I believe
are a 13-4-5
formulation in a 20 g. So far, (it has been only about 6 weeks) I've had good
results. By that I
mean, good plant growth and no indication of increased algae growth.

I cut 1 stick into 5 or 6 smaller pieces. Of these, I add maybe 1 or 2 at  bi-weekly
water changes.
I am still more comfortable with the 16-2-6 formula, but I think that it's possible
to safely use
the 13-4-5. As always, go slowly with any changes you make, and be prepared to wait
2-3 weeks
before you see the results. (good or bad)

May your new year be lush and green, and algae free,
Pat Bowerman