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Root tablets

If you're going to use dry fert mix anyway why bother with root tabs? Just dose the water column and get on with it.
Mr T said:
...you mix it with clay but am not keen on adding clay to my tank
Clay substrates are among the best substrates available. The combination of clay substrate and water column fertilization is pretty much all you need.

Well, that told me. Suppose your right. It's just that I have Eco complete as a substrate and I'm all to aware that it is a very low source of nutrients. One advantage to when you work offshore you have a lot of time at home to come up with hair brained ideas! Some are obviously better than others! (I recently started playing the stock market to while away some time, This time next year Rodney......)
Yes, this is true. EcoComplete is essentially an inert sediment, but it is a clay substrate with a high CEC so it has the ability to transfer nutrients to the plant roots.

In any case, regular addition of nutrients to the water column is a simple solution. The EC will do the rest as far as the roots go. A neat trick for adding nutrients to the sediment is to add a slow release garden fertilizer such as Osmocote granules to water and place in a an ice tray. After the cubes are frozen insert the cubes deep into the sediment.

If you spend a lot of time away from the tank then bolstering the substrate is essential. The slow release action of the Osmocote will help prevent nutrient shortfall over a long duration.

I have a few cherry and amano shirimps in the tank. As I understand it osmocote derives its nitrogen content from amonium nitrate. Is the amonia cause for concern or are the levels low enough to not be an issue or will the EcoComplete safely lock up any nasties?
Ammonia is always being produced in the sediment, regardless, simply from food and organic waste that settles into the sediment. This is not really an issue as long as the substrate is not being kicked up without a water change. The job of the sediment bacteria is to convert ammonia to nitrate, the same as what the filter bacteria do. These are actually the same bacteria. In any case the concentration levels are more an algae threat than toxicity threat. There shouldn't be any worries unless one goes completely over the top with the amount of the fertilizer.