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What makes red plants red? Anthocyanins contain no iron

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Solcielo lawrencia, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Anthocyanins, molecular formula C[SUB]15[/SUB]H[SUB]11[/SUB]O[SUP]+[/SUP], doesn't contain any iron. So why do we dose iron to get plants red?

    According to Gould et al (2008), "iron... enhances anthocyanin production, perhaps through the greater availability of iron in a high light environment or through iron's ability to inhibit anthocyanin degradation." (140) So iron plays an indirect role in making plants red.

    Phosphorus deficiency can cause sugars to accumulate and cause anthocyanin pigments to develop.[sup]2[/sup] So depriving plants of phosphorus, by not dosing it in the form of phosphates, can also cause plants to become red. However, with the addition of iron, iron and phosphates form a precipitate which makes neither available to plants.

    So here's a question: if iron and phosphate added into an aquarium makes both unavailable to plants, is it actually phosphate limitation that is causing the increased anthocyanin production? And does adding even more iron make up for it?

    Further, "elevated levels of CuSO[sub]4[/sub] [copper sulfate] were also able to improve anthocyanin production." (140) So adding extra copper could help make plants even redder, though copper toxicity could result and kill your shrimp.


    Cautionary note:
    Adding too much iron can cause iron toxicity which can kill fish.[sup]3[/sup] It does this by increasing the amount of free radicals in the body to the point where the body cannot remove enough of it. I think I may have killed one of my Otos after abruptly dosing 1.5ppm of iron. As a matter of observation, each time I dose iron (Fe[sup]2+[/sup]), my Otos become somewhat lethargic.


    [sup]1[/sup]Gould, Kevin, et al. Anthocyanins: Biosynthesis, Functions, and Applications. Springer, 2008.
    [sup]2[/sup]http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=1130447043&topicorder=2&maxto=15
    [SUP]3[/SUP]http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/iron.html
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Internal endogenous and external exogenous Fe and Cu and PO4 are different. Plants are able to regulate vast concentrational differences in their internal vs external environments.
    Enzymes that regulate AC production use Iron, as many enzymes that reduce carbon do.
    Too much= kill the patient, too little= no effect, just right= Goldilocks.

    I seem to have good color without limiting PO4, but I may make up for it with more dosing of Fe.
    But we see the same thing where they do not add PO4 also and also add more Traces.
    I'd say the Fe and PO4 in the water column is not much issue.

    I dose about 0.8 ppm FE at most, but that was along time ago, I also dosed about 200 mls of Fe gluconate as SeaChem Flourish to a 20 Gallon tank. No deaths of fish or Amano shrimp.
    That was a lot of Fe.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Internal endogenous and external exogenous Fe and Cu and PO4 are different. Plants are able to regulate vast concentrational differences in their internal vs external environments.
    Enzymes that regulate AC production use Iron, as many enzymes that reduce carbon do.
    Too much= kill the patient, too little= no effect, just right= Goldilocks.

    I seem to have good color without limiting PO4, but I may make up for it with more dosing of Fe.
    But we see the same thing where they do not add PO4 also and also add more Traces.
    I'd say the Fe and PO4 in the water column is not much issue.

    I dose about 0.8 ppm FE at most, but that was along time ago, I also dosed about 200 mls of Fe gluconate as SeaChem Flourish to a 20 Gallon tank. No deaths of fish or Amano shrimp.
    That was a lot of Fe.
     
  4. Solcielo lawrencia

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    I added ferrous iron and ~1/40tsp of KH2PO4 to get this:
    [attachment=1587:name]
    The tan brownish crud should be iron phosphate. I don't know what the yellow on top is. But the brownish crud wouldn't be available for plants until bacteria can break the bond between them.

    I was also able to find this article, Effects of iron, aluminium, dissolved humic material and acidity on grayling (Thymallus thymallus) in laboratory exposures, and a comparison of sensitivity with brown trout (Salmo trutta).
    http://www.borenv.net/BER/pdfs/ber3/ber3-405-419.pdf

    It mentions the 48hour .4mg/L Fe concentrations were lethal to certain fish. My 1.5ppm clearly exceeded this and the fact that I added it so abruptly probably wasn't a good thing. I think I should do a water change now.:(

    iron phosphate.jpg
     
  5. Petex

    Petex Member

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    I personally dose not much Iron and have good looking red plants, because I never saw any great differences on red plants (if having lower or higher Iron levels).
    Well, dosing some extra copper will usually result in stronger leaf structures and mostly better colours.
    It can also help curing cryptocoryne rot.
     
  6. Solcielo lawrencia

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    That yellow stuff, whatever it is, is in my water. As well, the brownish tan stuff is now floating around after doing a 70% WC so what happened in the 5mL test vial also occurs in the aquarium. So the alternating macro micro fertilizing regimen could result in that precipitate. And yellowish water.
     
  7. Solcielo lawrencia

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    To correct what I indicated earlier, I was actually dosing 3ppm of iron, not 1.5ppm.
     
  8. Petex

    Petex Member

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    Hmm, is this a weekly or daily dosing? :rolleyes:
     
  9. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Daily, but I stopped only after one day when I found the Oto floating belly up.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might try dosing DTPA Fe instead of Fe gluconate, that's a fairly weak ligand bond.

    What is the tank/tap water's alkalinity?

    Stay a long long way away from trout and Grayling studies, they are hyper sensitive to just about every water quality issue.
    Warm water tropical fish are several orders of magnitude more tolerant to just about everything.

    Trout and graylings taste good though.

    As far as plants go, the max uptake was at 8 ppm, the max growth rate was at 6 ppm for Hydrilla, this is the only study that I'm aware up where chelated(ETDA) iron fertilizers where studied with a submersed aquatic plant(Haller 1976).

    Fish studies and searches: Zebra fish, guppies, might prove more useful.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might try dosing DTPA Fe instead of Fe gluconate, that's a fairly weak ligand bond.

    What is the tank/tap water's alkalinity?

    Stay a long long way away from trout and Grayling studies, they are hyper sensitive to just about every water quality issue.
    Warm water tropical fish are several orders of magnitude more tolerant to just about everything.

    Trout and graylings taste good though.

    As far as plants go, the max uptake was at 8 ppm, the max growth rate was at 6 ppm for Hydrilla, this is the only study that I'm aware up where chelated(ETDA) iron fertilizers where studied with a submersed aquatic plant(Haller 1976).

    Fish studies and searches: Zebra fish, guppies, might prove more useful.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Holy buckets.

    I've seen little evidence that the plants do much better beyond 0.4ppm a day and only with some metal tolerant species, Crypts mostly had an interesting sheen and coloration.
    This is for aquariums. I've not really done really high Fe dosing for fish livestock, but have with shrimp at lower ranges, like the 0.2-0.4ppm a day ranges.

    No issues I can note.
    I suppose 10X this amount might start to cause issues over time, a one time slug dose may not.
    Plants will be more tolerant than Fish/shrimp to metals.

    I'd say that the shrimp will more likely have issues with Copper, not sure about Fe.
    Chelated vs free Fe is another matter also, as well as the type of chelator etc.
     
  13. Solcielo lawrencia

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    8.4 out of the tap with kH=1-2. With CO2, down to 6.4-6.6 after adding baking soda, kH=4.

    That's good to know. Thanks.
     
  14. Solcielo lawrencia

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    The RCS don't seem fazed at all by the Fe nor the T. heteromorpha Rasboras, but the Otos are still acting a bit strange, easily startled. Their eyes also have a zombie look to them, and it seems like it's bulging out of their sockets like pressure is in their skulls.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Otto cats are weird to begin with, unless you have had them for many months etc, never trust their health.
    I'd not mess with your KH(I'd not add any baking soda). Just leave it be.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Otto cats are weird to begin with, unless you have had them for many months etc, never trust their health.
    I'd not mess with your KH(I'd not add any baking soda). Just leave it be.
     
  17. paludarium

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  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I really have never found any consistency with various claims about red color other than red colored lighting.
    And the plants are not red per se, they are red because the lighting is red. Otherwise, just good basic growing conditions, regardless of green or red colored plants.
    And traces are needed for that.

    I think if you give the plants good basic building blocks(carbon, N, P, trace metal etc) for the various compounds, then the plants do a fine job on their own.
    You can stress plants to get less Chl a/b, but that sort of goes against good growth, but with less Chl a/b, you see the AC better.
    But the plants are pale, grow smaller and other signs of nitrogen limitation. Go too far and things stunt. I've done plenty of this, many of us have, it's called not dosing and neglecting the tank, perhaps you have a lot of fish so you can maintain and low residual and not stunt to the point of a problem.
    I'd rather manage the tank through trimming and good gardening than stunting plants. Color, well, I've seen enough bad photoshopping in my day. I know the limits of colors in plants in person.
    You see enough tanks around the world traveling and doing talks, you get a pretty good feel for it.
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I really have never found any consistency with various claims about red color other than red colored lighting.
    And the plants are not red per se, they are red because the lighting is red. Otherwise, just good basic growing conditions, regardless of green or red colored plants.
    And traces are needed for that.

    I think if you give the plants good basic building blocks(carbon, N, P, trace metal etc) for the various compounds, then the plants do a fine job on their own.
    You can stress plants to get less Chl a/b, but that sort of goes against good growth, but with less Chl a/b, you see the AC better.
    But the plants are pale, grow smaller and other signs of nitrogen limitation. Go too far and things stunt. I've done plenty of this, many of us have, it's called not dosing and neglecting the tank, perhaps you have a lot of fish so you can maintain and low residual and not stunt to the point of a problem.
    I'd rather manage the tank through trimming and good gardening than stunting plants. Color, well, I've seen enough bad photoshopping in my day. I know the limits of colors in plants in person.
    You see enough tanks around the world traveling and doing talks, you get a pretty good feel for it.
     
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