Does anyone have experience in using Miracle-Gro plant food spikes instead of lilytabs to feed hardy waterlilies? Also I am wondering if plain cat litter (ground clay)is not the same thing as Fuller's Earth which is sold as an aquatic planting medium and much more expensive.
The cat litter will have de-oderizers that would probably kill the plants.
Not all cat litter contains deordorants. The litter I have purchased only lists natural ground clay as it's ingredients. If some type of fertilizer is used with this litter it may be just as good as the expensive aquaplant medium. Iam going to give it a try.
I tried to do a little research about the Miracle Gro plant food spikes and lily tabs.* You didn't specify a particular brand of lily tabs so I just went with what I could find.* It appears that the fertilizer tabs and spikes manufactured for ponds differ from the Miracle Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes in a couple of ways.* The spikes formulated for pond plants apparently are coated to release food slowly over time and not disintergrate all at once.* I don't know if the Miracle Gro contains free nitrates and free phosphates, but if they do, that could cause algae bloom in your pond.* The algae removes oxygen from the water and puts the animal and plant life at risk.* If you've ever seen the white foam on rivers and streams, that is phosphate and is a form of pollution.* Here's some info on phosphorus.
The Miracle Gro plant spikes contain copper which could be harmful to snails and other aquatic life.* Here's Miracle Gro's plant label and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
One note I thought was improtant:
"CONDITIONS TO AVOID: Excessive heat, contact with strong alkalis, fuels, other combustible materials, strong oxidizing agents (permanganate, dichromate, chlorine, etc.), strong acids (e.g. sulfuric acid), strong bases (e.g. sodium hydroxide) reducing agents, methanamine, and many chlorine compounds (e.g. sodium hypochlorite, sodium chlorate, pool chemicals, household bleach and other cleaning products). Active metals such as aluminum and magnesium."
"HAZARDOUS DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS: Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOČ, NOx, HCN gas), potassium and potassium containing compounds, chlorine and chlorine containing compounds (e.g. HCl gas, phosgene), ammonia, cyanuric acid, cyanic acid, and phophorus and phosphorus containing compounds (e.g. phosphine)."
Just for fun I looked up 'phosphine' at dictionary.com
"1. A colorless, spontaneously flammable poisonous gas, PH3, having a fishy odor and used as a doping agent for solid-state components.
2. Any of several organic compounds having the structure of an amine but with phosphorus in place of nitrogen."
I would NOT want to use this in my pond.
Here's info comparing what is in AgriTab aquatic plant food spikes to other aquatic plant food spikes.
Here's an interesting conversation about using kitty litter that you should find helpful.
Thanks, Newt! You went to a lot of trouble looking up information and i appretiate it. Since I am using WebTv and not a computer I was not able to access the Miracle-Gro info but I get the point and I will go with lilytabs. The discussion about using cat litter was very informative and I am convinced it is a good idea. Thanks again.
Lida, you are very welcome.* I don't know what WebTV is, but it sounds like you can't look at the pdf format.* Still, I'm glad that was helpful.