Iron Chelate Dosing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Iron Chelate Dosing

My questions are, how should I dose Iron Chelate and how much, and how often, and can i just scoop it into the tank just like the others?

I ordered dry ferts

-1/2lb Iron Chelate 10%

-2lb KNO3

-1/2lb KH2PO4

-1/2lb K2SO4

-1/2lb CSM+B

and will be following this EI dosing chart;


My tank journal

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 01:50 PM
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I only dose separate iron in my high tech that has red plants, just scoop and dose dry straight into the water column.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 01:54 PM
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That depends... the CSM+B already contains iron, and might be sufficient for your tank... In theory it "should" be enough by itself.


The Iron chelate is usually used to:

1) perk up the red levels in red plants by increasing iron a bit above "normal" EI levels
2) deal with tanks that have high KH levels, which will tend to break down the EDTA iron in CSM+B. The chelate is usually DTPA, which handles high KH better.
3) deal with iron deficiencies in general.
4) keeping iron levels up if it is desirable to reduce other micronutrients, thus forcing lower CSM+B dosing. (not typical, this would be for very advanced folks or experiments.)

Regardless, the doses should be very small if needed. It has a higher concentration of iron than CSM+B does (10% vs 6.5%), and it is going to be additive.

I'd not do more than 1/8th your CSM+B dose to start, and only if you have reason to based on one of the above 4 conditions. That dose would raise your iron levels by 20%, after accounting for the concentration differences.

The Iron can be dry dosed just like CSM, assuming that the amounts don't become too small to measure.. if they do, making a liquid mix makes measuring out small amounts more plausible.


Disclaimer: I use the Iron chelate in my molly tanks, although do low-light weekly dosing. With my KH at 4, I use the DPTA mid-week to bring my iron levels back up, as a single CSM+B dose tends not to carry my iron needs for the whole week. This is less of an issue for every-other-day dosing.

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 02:00 PM
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I dose about 2:1 csmb:fe (11% dtpa) Tom Barr has recommended/does 3:2 if Im not mistaken (using a couple different chelates)
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Last edited by burr740; 08-26-2015 at 06:32 PM. Reason: .
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 02:07 PM
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Also depends on type of plants you have.
I have what was sold to me as Rotala Magenta. The leaves curled down on it and had
a yellow tint to the under side of them. I was dosing CSM+B @ 1/6 tsp per week which
is one EI level dose for my tank instead of three because I have neither high light nor injected CO2. I added 1/64 tsp of the DPTA @ 10% and the leaf curling stopped.
But as the plants started to grow better/w it I increased it to 1/32 tsp which is 50% of the CSM+B amount. I keep them separate, but dose them together the day after the macros and a second dose three days later of the micros(CSM+B and the DTPA 10%).
I was told by someone else on here that they didn't think the micros would last a whole week just/w one dose.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 07:39 PM
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I dose 1:1 CSM : DTPA. Sounds like I'm going a bit overboard? Haven't seen any issues, but if I can make the ferts last 2x as long, I'm cool with that...

Last edited by Ruxl; 08-20-2015 at 07:39 PM. Reason: edit to get rid of smiley
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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ok im going to do 2:1 csmb:fe and see how it goes, simple enough

My tank journal

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