Dry Chelated Iron vs. Flourish Iron - what is the difference?
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Old 08-02-2005, 04:15 AM   #1
Spar
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Dry Chelated Iron vs. Flourish Iron - what is the difference?


At ACA this year the Seachem rep was explaining to me the difference between using Chelated Iron verse using Flourish Iron. Basically, if I remember correctly, he was saying that Chelated Iron must be absorbed by the roots of the plants, while regular un-chelated iron (i.e. Flourish Iron) can be absorbed through the plant itself (not just the roots), providing quicker and more efficient dosing responses.

Is this true? I hate to just take the word of a Rep and continue spending $$ on Seachem Flourish Iron (really isn't too much $$, but it is the principle of it that matters ), when I would be getting the same result from Dry Chelated Iron from Greg Watson.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spar
At ACA this year the Seachem rep was explaining to me the difference between using Chelated Iron verse using Flourish Iron. Basically, if I remember correctly, he was saying that Chelated Iron must be absorbed by the roots of the plants, while regular un-chelated iron (i.e. Flourish Iron) can be absorbed through the plant itself (not just the roots), providing quicker and more efficient dosing responses.

Is this true? I hate to just take the word of a Rep and continue spending $$ on Seachem Flourish Iron (really isn't too much $$, but it is the principle of it that matters ), when I would be getting the same result from Dry Chelated Iron from Greg Watson.

Any thoughts?
I am quite sure that what he said about the Flourish Iron being able to be absorbed quicker and more efficiently is quite true ... plants have to expend time and energy to break the bond of the chelator ...

The Flourish line of products are a fantastic line of products, definately in my opinion the Cadillac best of the best ... and something I often recommend to a lot of people ...

For years, I dosed Flourish Iron once our twice a month to provide supplemental Iron ... because I don't personally feel that Plantex CSM+B quite provides enough Iron (of course, it provides Iron in a chelated form which the plants use just fine <grin>)...

Greg
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Old 08-02-2005, 02:02 PM   #3
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This is the way I understand it. The explanation below is a culmination of some science and some speculation.


First off, they are different. Seachem's iron is an amino acid chelate which is more bio-available. The downside is that the chelate bond breaks down quickly and it needs to be dosed more frequently. It can be utilized more quickly as the chelate bond breaks.

Gregs iron has a stronger chelate bond which means that the chelated iron will remain chelated much longer. This is good if you don't want to dose every day but the downside is that you won't see immediate results.

Only free iron can be used by plants. What that essentially means is that the chelate bond has to first be broken. Seachems chelate breaks down quicker than greggs.

There's a small window of opportunity for free iron because it doesn't stay "free" for long. Once iron becomes free it's either snatched up by the plants or it precipitates out as it forms another bond with phosphate or oxides or various other molecules. When it precipitates out, it is not necessarily wasted, but it usually ends up in the substrate to be broken down by various chemical reactions in the anaerobic zone at some future date. Iron will go in and out of these various states over the course of its existence in your tank.

Which iron is better? I don't know. In the end they both do thier job. The important thing is that plants require iron. As long as theres some in the tank it'll eventually get to the plants. Some people actually put iron filings in the substrate to accomplish the same goal.

It really boils down to speed.

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Old 08-02-2005, 05:33 PM   #4
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Just curious, would UV light speed up the breaking down chelated iron?

I have concluded (maybe?) that UV light does have effects on the micro I added, namely Greg's CSM+B and Chelated Iron. When I keep UV off, plants react better. Maybe I'm just imagining, since now I know it takes sometime for the bond to break, I only have been dosing iron for a week or two now.

Khoi,
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:39 PM   #5
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Yes UV light will break down the chelate fairly quickly. I think the flourish iron breaks down quicker than the regular iron chelate but I don't have any proof of that.

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Old 08-03-2005, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lemay
First off, they are different. Seachem's iron is an amino acid chelate which is more bio-available. The downside is that the chelate bond breaks down quickly and it needs to be dosed more frequently. It can be utilized more quickly as the chelate bond breaks.
Flourish Iron is not a chelate. It's a complex.

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In order to be a chelate, the process of binding to the iron ion needs more than one coordination site per ligand.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for straightening me out.

Maybe you can point out the differences more accurately, it sounds like you have more of a grip on the chemistry.

Marcel
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Old 08-03-2005, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lemay
Yes UV light will break down the chelate fairly quickly. I think the flourish iron breaks down quicker than the regular iron chelate but I don't have any proof of that.

Marcel
So does this mean it is benefitial to use of UV while dosing chelated iron? since it helps break down the chelate iron quicker and therefore allowing the plants to consume the iron quicker?

Thanks.
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Old 08-03-2005, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
Flourish Iron is not a chelate. It's a complex.
This is a pretty fine hair to split. A combination of two or more atoms/molecules/ions through non-covalent interactions (usually involving lone pairs of electrons) is a complex or chelate. The only difference I could envision is how many non-covalent interactions are involved. EDTA makes SIX attachments to a metal ion. The complexing agent in Fluorish probably doesn't make as many, so it is a weaker complex. In the courses I teach (junior level analytical chemistry), I would call both substances complexes and the organic compounds chelators or ligands.

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Old 08-04-2005, 06:13 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Spar]At ACA this year the Seachem rep was explaining to me the difference between using Chelated Iron verse using Flourish Iron. Basically, if I remember correctly, he was saying that Chelated Iron must be absorbed by the roots of the plants, while regular un-chelated iron (i.e. Flourish Iron) can be absorbed through the plant itself (not just the roots), providing quicker and more efficient dosing responses.[quote]


No, that is simply not true.

Here's the deal, GW iron=> ETDA chelator
SeaChem Flourish Iron=> Gluconate chelator.
The difference? One is a strong chelator, the ETDA, and the other is a weaker chelator(Gluconate).


How does this help plants? They need less energy to unchelate the gluconate before taking it in the pl;ant's internal organs: leaves, roots etc.

But........iron is a trace lement, so not much energy is lost and the iorn is left in solution longer before preciptating out using ETDA, but it's still a trace so a small dose of Flourish Iron every 2-3 days will dop the same as a residual dose of ETDA iron.

The differences are extremely subtle at best.

All plants remove the Fe and leaves the chelator outside. In other words, they never taker the chelator internally into the plant.

Plants have their own set of chelators they use once inside the plant.

DTPH is another decent chelator, Tropica Master Grow uses this.

I'm a bit partical to TMG, but do use SeaChem Flourish often.

I do not use Flourish Iron, if you need etra iron, go ahead and add the other traces as well, stick with Flourish since it has everything.

Greg Morin I've known for many years.

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Tom Barr
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