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Help Needed on Seachem Iron Dosing

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by Asmack Arabia, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Asmack Arabia

    Asmack Arabia Banned

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    Hello,

    I received a couple of days ago my iron colorimeter and I am testing it now pretty heavily. In the morning before I do my dosing, I do an iron test and I get a 0 value. Using Wet's calculator, I dose the amount needed to have 0.2 ppm concentration in my tank water. After around 30 minutes, I test the water again, and amazingly, the colorimeter reads a 0.2+ value. The colorimeter seems pretty accurate. Around 6pm, I do a test again and I will get a 0 value. I am doing this for a couple of days already and gets pretty much the same values everytime.

    Now my question is, should I be dosing more iron in the morning so that I could maintain a 0.2 ppm value even in the evening or my dosing is just fine.

    Any advice on this is much appreciated.

    Thank you all.
     
  2. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    Your dose may be a little light. I would aim for around .5 Fe. I try to dose a little while after my lights come on. From what I understand, you may only be able to detect the iron for an hour or two if your plants are using it up. If they are not using it then it will last longer. I think kH and ph have some effect on how long it lasts as well as the chelator. Maybe one of the guru's can explain it better.
     
  3. Asmack Arabia

    Asmack Arabia Banned

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    thank you gasman! i am afraid to make it to 0.5 because maybe my thread algae problem would become worse. right now, i have many kinds of algae infesting my tank. i have bba, thread algae and green spot. but the most annoying is the bba!

    why do you dose after the lights come on? is there any scientific reason behind it?

    and i could not believe that my plants are able to use up all the iron during the day. could it be that some iron get degraded and become no longer detectable by the meter?
     
  4. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    I also had a bit of thread algae when I first set up my tank. I put in two SAE's and some Amano shrimp. The problem was gone in two days. BBA is usually a sign of low CO2. Seachem Excel dosed at higher than normal is reported to work on BBA. You can also use the Excel to spot treat BBA. You can find info on how to do it here and all over the web. Amano shrimp also help with BBA. Green spot is said to be from to low a phosphate level. I have a little on my glass and have increased my PO4 levels over the last couple of weeks. I have a little less, but it's not all gone yet. Lower light seems to help also.

    Can you provide more info on your equipment, tank size etc... Also water parameters may help.

    I dose after the lights come on since I think that the plants are actively growing and using the nutrients at that time. I have no scientific data to prove this so I could be wrong about this.

    From what I understand, iron can react with phosphate and precipitate out of the water column and end up on the substrate where it will then be slowly released. This is why most folks will dose iron and phosphates on different days. This may be part of why your test results are what they are. The iron may be there, but not detectable with your test kit.
     
    #4 thegasman, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2013
  5. Asmack Arabia

    Asmack Arabia Banned

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    thanks a lot gasman for helping me out.

    i read about the connection between low phosphate and gsa here in this site and i actually started to dose more of seachem phospate a few days ago. my phosphate readings has always been 0, perhaps that would explain the gsa. but i also doubt the accuracy of my test kit. anyhow, my order for photometer will soon arrive so i will have more accurate results.

    what surprises me is that my nitrate readings are always in the range of 20-25 ppm while my phosphate is always 0. i thought those 2 nutrients are somewhat congruent (if that is the right term) to each other. if you have good nitrate level, you should have good phosphate level. hmmm...:confused:

    i am now trying to maintain a level of 1 ppm phosphate in my tank.

    since i am using exclusively all seachem products right now, i am following their dosing chart. in their chart, iron is dosed everyday. i would be tweaking the NPK and Fe dose once my meter arrives but I am still planning to follow the seachem schedule.

    here are my water parameters:

    KH 6 degrees
    GH i don't know
    ph 6.5 when co2 is on, around 7 when co2 is off
    iron 0.2ppm
    nitrate 20-25 ppm
    phosphate 0 ppm
    potassium i don't know

    temp 24-25 C
    i do 50% pwc
    light is 3 x 25w CFL and 1 of 15w blue actinic CFL
     
  6. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    Looks like you have plenty of CO2. I was using the Seachem phosphate, but had to add way more than the recommended dose to get even 1ppm. I switched to dry ferts and can now get 2ppm with very little product being used. The Seachem is very weak. Some folks try to maintain a 10 to 1 nitrate/ phosphate ratio- 20ppm nitrate/ 2ppm phosphate. They are not congruent. Besides the ferts that we add, nitrate is usually a byproduct of fish and plant waste and phosphate can come from fish food. Your tap water could also be a source for either one or both.

    Do you have a population of algae eaters?
     
  7. Asmack Arabia

    Asmack Arabia Banned

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    my tap water has a kh of 6 and if i have a ph of 6.5, my co2 is 56.92 ppm. is that too much?

    sadly, my algae eaters are only 3 janitor plecos. i feed them very very little so they will go after the algae.
    cant find any shrimps or nerite snails in my area. cant buy them also online, no one is shipping them up to here. i will soon go for vacation in the philippines, i will bring some nerites back with me. just wish customs doesn't catch me. :eek:

    i am a little apprehensive about using dry ferts, probably because of the chemical symbols used. ;) but am seriously considering that after my seachem stock runs out.

    how about you, what are your tank water parameters?
     
  8. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    I think you are good with your co2. The co2 charts represent co2 levels at a higher level than what is most likely in your tank. I use the charts and a drop checker, but more importantly, I watch my fish and plants.


    I don't test a whole lot, but here is what I do know-
    ph before co2 is 7.4 and after one hour of co2 my ph is 6.4
    My kh runs about 4 to 5. I have very hard tap water so I mix 20% tap with 80% RO to get a kh of 4 to 5
    The GH runs about 8
    Nitrate is around 15 to 20
    Phosphate is around 1.5 to 2

    Enjoy your trip and good lluck on getting some more algae eaters!
     
  9. Asmack Arabia

    Asmack Arabia Banned

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    thank you gasman for all your help!
     
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