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Re: Clay balls

"Thomas Vickers" <redroach at sprynet_com> wrote:

> During my visit to the local hardware store I discovered some pond plant
> tabs for fertilizing pond plants.  Upon buying some, I discoverd that they
> were too crumbly to break into smaller chunks to insert into the substrate.
> So, instead, I am going to crumble one and use it to make clay balls to
> insert into the substrate.
> Just wondering if anyone has tried this approach?

Not precisely this approach however I think Jim Kelly used pond
fertilizer tablets in the past. I don't see any problems.

> The element breakdown of the plant tabs seemed pretty good.
> I figure one tab (instructions call for one tab per  gallon of
> soil/substrate) should make enough small clay balls to work on at least half
> my underplanted 55 gallon.

How many grams in a tablet? I don't think you should use a full tablet
all at once. That's a pretty large dose. Start with one or two clay
balls or make small balls. Don't use too many. You can always add more

> Does this breakdown look dangerous? I know the Nitrogen looks high.
> Total Nitrogen               10.0%
>     5.5% Ammonical Nitrogen
>     2.4% Nitrate Nitrogen
>     1.5% Water Insoluble Nitrogen
>       .6% Urea Nitrogen
> Phosphoric Acid       14.0%
> Soluble Potash            8.0 %
> Soluble Manganese     .12%
> Soluble Iron                   .11%
> Soluble Zince                .07%
> Soluble Copper             .05%
> Boron                            .02%
> moybdenum                 .006%

The N is probably ammonium nitrate which is fine so long as you don't
use a large piece of it. Its a strong fertilizer but putting it into
clay should help prevent root damage. Pond plants are able to use
extremely concentrated fertilizer without damage to the root systems
because they are adapted to such environments.

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!!!