Spot Dosing Iron (Red Plants) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Spot Dosing Iron (Red Plants)

The title is exactly how it sounds, I used to "spot treat" algae with Excel, and I am wondering if I can "spot dose" Seachem Iron onto red stem plants. I remember having a small 5 gallon tank, one of my first, and I had some Ludwigia I was able to get to turn quite red. I would turn the filter off so the water was still, and using a syringe I would shoot iron down onto the stem plants hoping it would absorb as much as possible, and I did this every week on maintenance day. I do not use root tabs, I rely on a shallow substrate and all liquid ferts.

Would I be wasting my time bringing back this method or does this help? I am currently trying to get some Rotala to turn red as possible, which is where this question came from. Thanks!


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 11:00 PM
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It isn't necessary to use a syringe for iron. I used Seachem then switched to iron by Brightwell Aquatics but same results. With good flow, I pour a cap of iron every other day in front of my outtake to push and mix the nutrient throughout the tank. I attached a photo of my one of my tanks where I have ludiwigia red, rotala red, and rotala wallichii.

I use to test for iron to help better understand aquatic plant consumption rates. Because you are using Seachem iron, it gets absorbed very quickly and unless you test for it within a couple of hours from your dosing time, by the end of the day it will pretty much be back down to 0ppm. You could dose Iron daily if you really wanted to but I do not see the need. Every other day should be fine and without a syringe . I have shrimp in the tank and tend to be careful to dose iron around 0.25-0.50ppm.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 11:23 PM
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i use sea chem iron also and it usually clouds the tank for some reason everything else is fine


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 02:15 AM
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Agreed. I dose straight into the tank.

My tanks:

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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I use the blunt ended syringe to dose right in front of my return jet...slowly. If I dump a cap there (not a precise way of measuring) it blasts my fish with a cloud, so I would rather take the 15-20 seconds to slowly add each nutrient. However I never had a clouding problem with Seachem Iron. I did not realize iron was consumed so fast, I literally only dose it once a week, I dose all my ferts on the same day once a week. I may consider dosing more iron, but if I have to do anything to my tank more than once a week it becomes a stress load on my schedule.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orichid123 View Post
i use sea chem iron also and it usually clouds the tank for some reason everything else is fine
What other ferts are you dosing at the same time as the iron? I get some cloudiness if I dose my Seachem Iron at the same time as my macros but not with my micros.

My algae is the only plant that pearls.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 04:02 PM
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just the iron and takes seveal hours to clear so don't know


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 04:30 PM
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You may want to try restricting NO3 instead of adding Fe. I dose micros daily, each dose adds 0.2 ppm DTPA Fe. My R. rotundifolia doesn't get a nice pink color until it's nearing the surface, despite having 120 PAR at the substrate(4 bulb T5HO fixture, good bulbs, full spectrum). It's been well documented that the red pigment in Rotala's isn't directly correspondent to how much Fe is available, but people do have good success restricting NO3. Not to the point of a deficiency, but just far lower amounts than what many of us keep. I keep my NO3 in the 30+ ppm range throughout the week, so my rotundifolia generally stays very green.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
You may want to try restricting NO3 instead of adding Fe. I dose micros daily, each dose adds 0.2 ppm DTPA Fe. My R. rotundifolia doesn't get a nice pink color until it's nearing the surface, despite having 120 PAR at the substrate(4 bulb T5HO fixture, good bulbs, full spectrum). It's been well documented that the red pigment in Rotala's isn't directly correspondent to how much Fe is available, but people do have good success restricting NO3. Not to the point of a deficiency, but just far lower amounts than what many of us keep. I keep my NO3 in the 30+ ppm range throughout the week, so my rotundifolia generally stays very green.
Interesting, let me start by saying I do not know my substrate PAR rating but my lights are very bright, 3 individual LED PAR 15/20 bulbs...I believe 15W or 16W each. Sounds like in your theory dosing iron once a week as I do should be fine, however I have always restricted my NO3, it never gets above 20ppm max but typically floats around between 5-10ppm. My dwarf BB tears is doing just fine though.


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