Iron and dosing - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Iron and dosing

I have been lurking for awhile having no advice to give and no questions to ask.

My question today is about my dosing schedule. Water parameters this weekend:

PH - 7.0
KH - 8
PO4 - .2-.3 (chart is hard to read)
NO3 - 10

Fish seem happy and plants are growing. The PO4 is a little high but it has taken me awhile to balance everything and seems to be falling very steadily. I have been dosing KN03 once a week in solution, to what amounts to 5PPM being added. I also does daily with 1ML of CSM+B and recently started adding 10 drops of Kent's Botanical 10% Chelated Iron. This is all in a 29Gal tank BTW

So my question is related to IRON. I know that the test kit sucks and the only thing good about it is I can never get it to work. So, what signs should I look for in the tank to know if I am dosing the right amount of Iron. I recently added the drops of Kent's because of lackluster plant growth. After I started adding it the plants seem to have taken off. Is it possible to OD on Iron?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 01:37 PM
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ODing iron can cause algae. I have a lot of red plants, and dose Iron to the point when algae starts to form. Then I dose a little less than that.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 02:00 PM
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I hate to disagree, but IIRC, adding more nutrients does not cause algae growth according to Tom Barr's research. It's when a nutrient is low and limiting plant growth, that algae gains an advantage. Though NewGuy seems to be adding more iron, as CSM+B already contains 7% chelated iron. It is possible to OD on micronutrients as they become toxic to fish at some point, but a few extra drops ain't gonna hurt. I would look into adding some potassium (even without a test kit) and in maintaining a 10:1 ratio of N to P.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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So I googled and Yahooed, Msn'ed and Aol'ed. I think I may have a case of too much information now. Some things I have discovered.

Iron is potentially harmful to fish in amounts approaching and over 1PPM. This is a big relief to me.

Iron may or may not cause algea growth but it has been linked to the growth of hair algea but not really any others.

Potassium and manganese appear related to Iron uptake.

It's appearantly very hard to overdose Potassium.

Planted aquarium keeping is really confusing! Why can't I be happy with neon pink plastic plants!

I will keep the iron at the same dosage for now and see if upping the potassium might help. I though that KNO3 doses would add enough but I now think I may be a little shy.

PS My phosphate does look high but it is slowly coming down through water changes and plant use. for awhile I though I had too much NO3 so I stopped dosing it only to see that the tank was really using up NO3 fast because the phosphates had risen too high and I normally don't test for PO4 regularly.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 06:06 PM
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Hey TNG,

One thing, Phosphate should be 1.0 not .1. You could be reading the test wrong. But the ratio is 10 NO3 to 1 PO4.

But in old school thinking, you shouldn't have an algae issue. Just your plants aren't growing as fast as they should.

Iím not sure about algae caused by overdosing Iron; I donít have a very reliable test kit to show my level of iron. I like to have the plants tell me if it's not enough. I start as a minimal and add till the plants are good.

Seachem recommends dosing only 1ml per 10 gal one a weekly. But I dose 1 ml/ gal 2 times a week and CSB+B plus extra iron. I know my UV kills some of iron and maybe my Phosphate takes some too. But my fishes and plants are happy.

Also, I think its calcium & magnesium that help/hamper iron uptake.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 06:33 PM
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Don't be overwhelmed, it takes time to digest this much information. Different people explain plant nutrition and dosing in different ways. Take your time, there's no hurry, just keep reading and asking questions at your own pace. Most everyone here are ready to help others understand the basics and the newest techniques in growing aquatic plants, which can't be found in any aquarium book, so you're in the right environment. Hang in there, 'cause this is so much better than plastic!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomE
Hey TNG,

One thing, Phosphate should be 1.0 not .1. You could be reading the test wrong. But the ratio is 10 NO3 to 1 PO4.
My recollection is wrong. I remember it being between 2 and 3 on the chart but was thinking it was .2 or .3 instead of 2 or 3. I remembered the reading but forgot the units.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomE
But in old school thinking, you shouldn't have an algae issue. Just your plants aren't growing as fast as they should.

Iím not sure about algae caused by overdosing Iron; I donít have a very reliable test kit to show my level of iron. I like to have the plants tell me if it's not enough. I start as a minimal and add till the plants are good.
Don't have an algea problem. I was just thinking that a bloom of hair algea would indicate when I crossed the threshold to having too much Iron. I was just grateful that trying to dose more wouldn't hurt the firsh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomE
Seachem recommends dosing only 1ml per 10 gal one a weekly. But I dose 1 ml/ gal 2 times a week and CSB+B plus extra iron. I know my UV kills some of iron and maybe my Phosphate takes some too. But my fishes and plants are happy.
I am dosing 10 drops a day which is about .5ml a dose seven times a week which is 3.5ml plus the iron in the CSM+B stuff. When they rate the amount of iron in percentage is it by volume or weight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomE
Also, I think its calcium & magnesium that help/hamper iron uptake.
That might be but I was referring to Potassium and Manganese being essential in iron uptake not detrimental. That would explain why my little bottle of flourish list manganese and a 0-0-3 (a little potassium)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2005, 07:48 PM
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Seachem Iron test kits work great.

http://www.seachem.com/products/prod...es/MTIron.html

Dose your iron, wait an hour, do the test. The next day, do the test again and see if any iron is left. If not, you know you can dose it daily.

This is what I did with Seachem Iron. Dosing at the recommended rate, I found that daily dosing was optimal.

Seachem in fact recommends daily dosing.
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