Measuring IRON - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Measuring IRON

Just a general question on dosing fertilizers. I am currently trying PMDDs purchased in bulk from www.gregwatson.com. (I have a large tank and regular store bought stuff got pretty expensive.) From what I have read the suggestion is to adjust the dose so that the iron stays at about .1 mg/l. Nitrates can also be adjuted by altering the KNO3.
My question is on the measuring of iron, should it be free iron or chelated iron. I have a test that allows both measurments.
Any ideas or is there a better way to figure the dosing of this stuff?
Thanks,
Stuart

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 03:23 AM
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i would use the fertilizer calculator. Im not sure of the exact link, but im sure you can find it with the search function.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 03:27 AM
 
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You wanna measure for chelated iron. Even though the plants use free iron, free iron doesn't last long in an aquarium. Chelated iron is what you want to measure so as to check to see wether there will be iron available to the plants. The chelated iron will lose it's chelate from reactions with O2 and light and other things which will free it up for plant usage, but free iron is usually only measurable in small quantities. A little confusing... I know.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 03:40 AM
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I am curious as to which Iron test you have.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Are you referring to "Chucks planted aquarium calculator"? or is there another one?

If I am measuring for chelated iron is .1 the right target level?

It is the Seachem test kit.

Thanks,
Stuart

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 04:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelsonly
Are you referring to "Chucks planted aquarium calculator"? or is there another one?

If I am measuring for chelated iron is .1 the right target level?

It is the Seachem test kit.

Thanks,
Stuart

For chelated iron I would shoot for .2 ppm.

With the seachem kit you'll have to wait 24 hrs for a good chelated iron reading. I like the Hagen kit for iron. With the Hagen you can get a good chelated iron reading after about an hour.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 05:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.lemay
With the seachem kit you'll have to wait 24 hrs for a good chelated iron reading.
24 Hours!!! The test says "30-45 mins or until the color no longer darkens" I didn't realize I had to wait that long. I thought it was junk when I wasn't getting any reading, even from the test solution.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 05:44 AM
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I'd suggest you not test for Fe at all.

Dose a known volume:

Eg

5mls 3x a week in a 80 liter tank full of plants with CO2 and good light.
That will be the same no matter what test you choose.

That you can change and vary to see the effects on plants.

Test kits?
Nope.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawallace
24 Hours!!! The test says "30-45 mins or until the color no longer darkens" I didn't realize I had to wait that long. I thought it was junk when I wasn't getting any reading, even from the test solution.
You don't have to wait 24 hours, I have no idea where he is getting that.

If you don't get a reading from the test solution, the kit is likely bad.

I also use the Seachem Iron Test kit and Flourish Iron. I did the test, waited an hour, got 0 iron. I added the recommended dose of Flourish Iron which is supposed to raise chelated iron to .2%. I did the test again, waited an hour, test read .2%. No problems here!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 05:42 PM
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yep, i was talking about chuck's calculator. I dont test for iron either, i dose 1 ml of Seachem's Iron every 3 days in my 37 gallon, and the plants are happy. You know you need to up the dosage/rate of dosing when your plants turn yellower, and you know you're dosing too much when you have algae.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
You don't have to wait 24 hours, I have no idea where he is getting that.

If you don't get a reading from the test solution, the kit is likely bad.

I also use the Seachem Iron Test kit and Flourish Iron. I did the test, waited an hour, got 0 iron. I added the recommended dose of Flourish Iron which is supposed to raise chelated iron to .2%. I did the test again, waited an hour, test read .2%. No problems here!
With flourish iron you'll get an iron reading sooner than an hour because flourish uses iron gluconate which is a weak chelate. I know this because I never had a problem measuring flourish iron.
Iron EDTA as in gregs iron chelate is a much stronger chelate which the seachem test has a hard time breaking down, hence the 24 hr reccomendation. This is why I use the Hagen test which has an acid step to break the chelate. IMO flourish iron has to be dosed daily or it vanishes quickly. I like greggs iron chelate because it breaks down slowly over time, negating the need for daily dosing. These are my personal observations, your mileage may vary.

Marcel
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2005, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanks
You know you need to up the dosage/rate of dosing when your plants turn yellower, and you know you're dosing too much when you have algae.
No, you don't get algae from excess Fe, that is simply and plainly wrong.
You have something else going on if you add traces and get algae.

I have been adding high amounts of all sorts of various trace brands at extremely high, certainly FAR beyond anything remotely limiting to my aquariums, as others have as well, for decades, I see no evidence whatsoever of algae being related to trace dosing or excesses.

I have no algae when I dose excess.

You might not have enough NO3, K, GH, CO2 etc.
Yellow/pale color is most often low NO3, not low Fe.

Test kits do not tell you what you need to know: are the plants getting enough Fe or any other traces.

I would suggest using a broad spectrum product with all the traces, not just Fe. Plants do use other traces beside Fe.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 05:03 PM
 
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In case some of you didn't know, plainbrain (Mr. Barr) is a pioneer in the planted tank keeping hobby. When he makes a statement, its backed by a lot of personal testing and experimentation done by him or a collegue of equal stature.

Like Tom, I don't bother testing iron. I dose some about 3 times a week, and assume I have enough. I use the plant's appearance to gauge iron deficiencies, not an unreliable test kit.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 08:55 PM
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If I try adding Flourish Iron to my tank, the water instantly becomes cloudy. Would Iron chelate from Gregwatson.com have the same effect?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 10:48 PM
 
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Maybe give it a try. Flourish iron is not chelated but ferrous gluconate (sp?). Don't know if that could be causing it...
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