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Iron Q's

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by DavidR, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. DavidR

    DavidR Prolific Poster

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    Should I be dosing additional iron in my tanks?

    I'm following the EI fert strategy and I will be switching to Flourish when it comes in. I have been using TMG. I've also got some Seachem Iron coming as well. My plants don't appear to have iron deficiencies, but I'm wondering what additional iron would do for my plants.

    My tanks are a 100g (rooted plants) w/ 60/40 Flourite/plain gravel substrate, and a 75g stem plant tank w/ 80/20 Flourite substrate.

    Any advice you could give? How much should I dose and how often? Thanks!
     
  2. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Iron Q's

    David ...

    I would suggest that you let your plants be your guide ... a symptom of an Iron deficiency is a yellowing of your plant leaves ...

    I've often dosed extra supplemental Iron about twice a month ...

    I dose it when my plants don't quite look as "bright" as they normally do ... I know that "bright" is a very subjective description; but after years of observations, it is my guide to "when" I need to dose extra Iron ...

    Greg
     
  3. DavidR

    DavidR Prolific Poster

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    Re: Iron Q's

    Thanks for the response! I've been dosing with Flourish & iron for the past week or so and I've noticed the plants seem to be doing a little better. The swords are a deeper green, my R. Indica is much more orange/pinkish, my Ludwigia acurata is more orange than green, my L. Repens is a little more colorful, and my A. reineckii is a much deeper red instead of a sickly pink.

    I'm not sure if it's the Flourish, Iron, or both, but I think I'll keep it up. I may have to cut back on the Iron though, as this could get expensive. How about that iron supplement you sell Greg? Would you recommend that as an alternative to Seachem's Iron that will last a lot longer? And can I keep a mixture in the clear plastic Tropica bottles with the doser on top? Thanks!
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Iron Q's

    I'd dose 2x a week at 20mls for the 100, 15 for the 75.

    See how that goes. As the tank improves, add 3x a week.

    That should cover things in the trace area.
    Add a touch more CO2 also.

    Now that you are adding traces, this allows the tank's plants to use more of the nitrogen, thus you get slightly redder plants due to lower NO3.

    It's not the Fe, it's the lower NO3 levels.

    The red color has nothing to do with Fe, anthocyanins have no Fe in them.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. DavidR

    DavidR Prolific Poster

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    Re: Iron Q's

    Hmm. That's strange. Before the last big water change, my NO3 read 30ppm & my PO4 was at 2.0-3.0ppm in the 75g, 40/3.0-5.0 for the 100g respectively. However, I had just started dosing the Flourish & Iron. I was using Tropica's Master Grow previously at your recommended doses.

    However, since the last water change, I've noticed some PO4 deficiencies (as evidenced by green spot algae). I boosted the dosing and they went away. I've got my CO2 as high as my fish can possibly tolerate, but since switching to Flourish, I've really noticed a difference in the growth of my plants.
     
  6. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Iron Q's

    I'm a firm believer in maintaining much higher Iron levels that are currently considered normal ... a decade ago, "current thought" was to set a target of 0.1 ppm of Iron ... a lot of us are quietly keeping Iron levels closer to 1.0 - 2.0 ppm ...

    I'm also a big fan of Flourish Iron ...

    A lot of that is probably due in the short term to the higher level of "traces" ...

    I've got a mixed "personal" answer for you here. The Flourish Iron if I understand it correctly is a gluconate form of iron ... and while I have absolutely no "technical" explanation, I am personally of the opinion that some plants do better with their gluconate form than the more common chelated versions of Iron (note there are several different forms of chelate) ...

    I personally switched to the dry iron chelate primarily for the same cost issues you raised ... at higher concentration levels, I'm happy ... but I suspect that at lower concentration levels, the gluconate form is better ... of course, that's just my personal impression ...

    Greg
     
  7. Bill

    Bill Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Iron Q's

    >>>I'd dose 2x a week at 20mls for the 100, 15 for the 75.

    See how that goes. As the tank improves, add 3x a week.

    That should cover things in the trace area.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Iron Q's

    Flourish.

    I don't use Flourish Iron, I did in the past.
    Adding a spike once, twice a week may help.
    Say 6mls and 10mls of Iron in addition to the advice for the Flourish for the 75 and 100 gal respectively 2x a week.

    I like TMG personally.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Iron Q's

    >>>I'd dose 2x a week at 20mls for the 100, 15 for the 75.

    See how that goes. As the tank improves, add 3x a week.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Iron Q's

    I doubt you have enough biomass to utilize it, basically you will be wasting it initinally and as the plant gtrowth picks up momentum, then adding more will help.

    You can add more now if you want, but most will be wasted.
    You are topping off with extra as it is.

    Tanks need to be doing pretty good before you'll get a significant positive effect from spiking with Fe only in addition to Flourish.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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