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RE:Root Feeding Question


I have a few concerns regarding the jobe's spikes.  Maybe my mistakes
will help you...I am no trying to scare you away from the spikes either.  

1.  If you decide to use them definately make sure they are the Jobe's
spikes for Lush Ferns and Palms (16-2-6).  Lowest Phosphorus (which is a
good thing from what I have read from others;)  I am learning to accept
algae as a good thing (in moderation of course) and quite honestly it is
really fascinating stuff!

2. Make sure not to over do it...I did in my 4 month old ten gallon
first planted tank.  It didn't help that I have a gravel only
substrate...I am battling lots of green spot and thread algae which I
feel is from too much nitrogen (and not enough plants).

3.  Push the pieces as deep into your substrate as possible...I only
went about half way down so I learned it is easier for the fertilizer to
leach into the substrate....some kind of bottom with a good CEC (cation
exchange capacity) would have helped me a lot I think.

I have no advice to give as to how many pieces to use...some one else
will I am sure, maybe try a few 'small' pieces under the plants in your
tank and see what happens. Definately break the spikes into pieces in my
humble opinion.  

I read the chemical breakdown for the nitrogen and see that is says...

2% Nitrate Nitrogen
10.5% water insoluble Nitrogen 
3.5% Urea Nitrogen

9.7% occluded slow release nitrogen.

I would be interested to know what the above means for plants.  I ASSUME
that the some of the nitrogen is available right away and the 9.7% needs
further bacterial processes to make it available to the roots.

Hope this helps....Sean in Missoula Montana where the forest fires are
still burning bright and the sun is not so bright!