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Easier than gel caps, adding osmocoat the existing aquariums

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  • #61
    Not Exact Just Plus In North America, From What I Can Tell.


    For whatever reasons Osmocote® Exact® and so forth are not available in North America, Osmocote Plus seems most closely to match Osmocote® Exact® Standard High K, which for North America would still be low-side K.

    I find most of this to be true for Osmocote® Plus® and Osmocote® for that matter.

    The variation I have observed is the “Temperature influences on the longevity” chart on page 16, I find the chart red “M” 3-4 to be exactly what I am seeing with Osmocote® Plus® in the water, at least for the 25-30°C range.

    What I am observing from Osmocote® Plus® in the substrate of a dozen tanks, used at the light container gardening rate, is closer to blue “M” 8-9 for 25-30°C.

    As to Osmocote® Plus® losing its humph after a few months, I have the Osmocote® Plus® I purchased a little over 3-months ago for this investigation sitting here on my desk. I have opened it several times and hand tightened the cap each time, the temperature in here has pretty much been between 23.9°C and 28°C. They look all right, a bit of dust settled in the bottom. I will test some. If they leaked, I assume I will find a heavy concentration in the bottom.

    The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.
    • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
    • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
    • When in doubt "don't."


    • #62
      The best part of all of this, is that when you add osmocote+ to your cart on and then amazon displays ->

      Items Frequently Bought With Scotts Company Osmocote Plus Multi Purpose...

      It lists '00' size gel caps as the first two recommendations!!! Lol If I wonder if Scotts has caught on to the wave of aquarium hobbyists buying up their product

      It also displays seachem and a pair of fluval 'planting' tongs further down haha


      • #63
        Question - How often do you guys add your ice cubes to the root areas of the plants?

        Do you plant them once, twice a year, three times? I've always been paranoid about that one. I use gel capsules as the ice thing seems to be tricky to keep it down...keeps trying to escape and float. Anyway, I have a small capsule maker so it's easy. My problem is that I right now mostly do the water column....I've been doing the floor only once a year.

        Oops. I forgot to ask, about how many of the little ball thingies do you guys put in your ice cubes.


        To plant more, or not to plant more, that is the question. Grin.


        • #64
          For me personally, they last a long time, well over a year. Find an existing/old one and pop it between your fingers.
          If it has a yellow snotty looking stuff in it, its still good. When expended, it will be a hollow shell.

          Maybe some traces or other element will run out before it gets hollow, but it doesn't seem so.

          I think Tom once said (maybe in this thread) that 5 ml of capsules per ice cube. If you had one capsule every 1/2 or 1 inch that would be good.

          I don't think you can over do it, but they are a pain if they get loose.


          • #65

            Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to mark my calendar the next time I do it and make sure I always do it once a year. I hadn't thought to try and find one and dig it up. I also didn't realize they were supposed to be that close to each other. I think I may have put too little. Hmm.

            To plant more, or not to plant more, that is the question. Grin.


            • #66
              I love the ice cube idea very clever but very simple

              Rotala Butterfly "Planted Tank Calculators"


              • #67
                This was originally a Kiwi's idea(I forgot his name), not mine, but he suggested using mud, frozen, to add new fresh soil to plants. Soil is far messier than any osmocoat etc. But it works just as well. Main thing is to add the ferts to the sediment without making a mess.

                But if you are all into dirt and soil instead of osmocoat etc, then the method works nicely for that.
                Folks also roll clay with osmocoat or use clay and dirt mixes to add below the sediment.

                So you have a few ways to do this.

                There's also a the turkey baster method.

                So 3-4 ways easily.


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Tom Barr View Post
                  In advice to someone recently:

                  Osmocoat seems like a wise idea for DIY root tab solutions that has seen some revisiting lately. Slow release, small etc, ice cubes filled with Osmocoat also would make adding it in spots very easy too.
                  This is similar to soil mud ice cubes that can be added then melt in place without making a mess trying to insert it deep into the sediment.

                  Some folks had thought to use gel caps for pills to do this, but ice cubes are even easier.

                  Tom Barr
                  Tom, that's a great idea, because for me sometimes the gelcap is hard to hold onto with my giant tweezers and poke it under the substrate. Someone had mentioned that ice cubes are too big, but you can just make a 1/4 sized cube or purchase one of those cocktail ice trays that have smaller cubes.

                  I have about 30 more gel caps left to use and I am considering dumping a few into ice trays, you know a test poke!

                  Great Idea!

                  David Meeks


                  • #69
                    The problem with ice cubes is the pellets sink, which means they will be frozen half exposed along the very bottom edge of the ice cube. If you dont get where you are going with it in hurry, especially after submersing the cube, the balls will start to fall out. Another problem, and this could just be my cheap plastic ice trays, it that the ice cubes like to crack into pieces when you pop them loose. So I wind up with broken chunks of ice with various amount of balls, instead of having one neat cube.

                    Ice cubes will get you by in a pinch, or for just a couple around a plant or two, but doing a lot of them I definitely prefer gel caps.


                    • #70
                      How often should the Osmocote capsules be used?

                      Will they cause algae?

                      Does the use of the Osmo capsules affect the ferts that I put in the water?


                      • #71
                        Generally life of osmocote is about 6 months, depending on temp. Or atleast that's what I have read.
                        Algae depends on if it leaches into water column and how fast. These are slow release, so generally no, but if you use too much it can.
                        Also depends on the substrate, high CEC substrates can hold the released nutrients and make it available roots. Non high CEC could put some back in the water.
                        I did find my Phosphates to be much higher when I was using it, not sure if that was the cause. Since I have taken it out, its still high but not as high as it used to be. could be just a co-incidence or old substrate causing it.
                        I think the better way to use it is as first thing when you set you tank before you put on the substrate. Allows it to spread out instead of clumps of it when you use capsules, also does not show up easily when you uproot. A constant issue with Oscomote is it coming out on top when you uproot.

                        In high tech tank, there is really no need for Oscomote. a high CEC substrate, together with water column dosing should be enough, even for root feeders. If you use Amazonia then there is really no need. At most you could put a couple of them (not capsules) below any swords if you really want.

                        This is just my take on it but there are others who love to use it.
                        Last edited by rajkm; 02-07-2017, 11:31 PM.


                        • #72
                          I just got some osmocote plus premium blend outdoor and indoor from home Depot!
                          2 pounds or 907grams

                          I don't have a scale, would 1/2 a teaspoon be equivalent to 5 grams?

                          5 grams per square foot is recommended?

                          Tom has said you can go richer, but not more than 2 grains deep... that would probably be 1/8 to 1/4 pound in my 29 gallon tall.. (30in x 12.5in)
                          I just don't want to put to much down and fail from the start....

                          I plan on starting the 29 gallon tall with osmocote+ and PFS on top. I just want to put plants in the 29.
                          a couple swords, crypts, extra stems, and some carpet plants. No filter, just some super bright LEDs, a gentle powerhead, excel, and
                          kno3, kh2po4, and flourish comp if needed.

                          Also I want to make some root tabs for the 40 breeder to help the swords, crypts, nymphaea zenkiri, and mostly the Eleocharis parvula!
                          there's nothing but flourite under PFS.
                          I have the gelatin capsules 0
                          This tank has 19 amano shrimp,
                          Malaysian trumpet snails,
                          4 otos,
                          23 tetras,
                          6 guppy/endler feeders
                          and a dwarf gourami.
                          I don't want to kill any of them.
                          The substrate is 2-3 inches deep, front to back.
                          I use kno3 kh2po4 excel and flourish comp.
                          This tank is planted HEAVY and will provide most of the plants for the 29.

                          Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

                          Last edited by Dale Hazey; 04-26-2017, 06:55 AM. Reason: OCD and new to the hobby


                          • #73
                            Hi Dale,

                            Originally posted by Dale Hazey View Post

                            I don't have a scale, would 1/2 a teaspoon be equivalent to 5 grams?
                            5 grams per square foot is recommended?
                            1/2 tsp of O+ is approx 3 grams.
                            5 grams of O+ in about 10" square inches of tank area, 12" square is OK too, a little leaner.

                            Originally posted by Dale Hazey View Post
                            I have the gelatin capsules 0
                            "00" gel caps hold about 3/16tsp or .7 gram. Not sure about "0" size caps.

                            When I use full recommended O+ rate, I will run leaner in the column(EI). I mostly just use caps where heavy root feeding plants are and not on plants I uproot constantly, some of the O+ will leach into water column anyway. Low tech tanks get 1/2 as much O+ as high tech and will go twice as long(12 months vs 6 months).
                            I use O+ with fish and shrimp, no issues to date. You can start lean if you have concerns.