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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been researching this and it seem that there are 2 economical solutions to possible having a good iron supplement to the aquarium.

One of them is a commercial product from Seachem that is 1% iron in a larger bottle design for aquariums.

The other ones is a slow release iron fish design to add iron to the diet in 3rd world countries in which they cook soup and various food with the iron fish while the fish release small amount of bioavailable iron into the soup or other food. The idea is that if its safe for human use, then it would also be safe for aquarium use.

What do you guys think?

Seachem
Flourish Iron - 67.6 oz
67.6 oz. treats up to 400 gallons for 4-6 months.
Iron (Fe) 1.0%

Flourish Iron - 67.6 oz. | That Fish Place


VS

Lucky Iron Fish

"The Lucky Iron Fish is made from natural ferrous iron, which is easily absorbed by the body and is safe."

...." A Lucky Iron Fish releases low levels of easily absorbed (bioavailable) iron per use. On average it releases 70 µg/g. To put that in perspective iron supplement pills can provide between 60mg-300mg of iron. Because our Lucky Iron Fish releases such a small amount of iron in each use users do not experience negative side effects."
 

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Iron is more readily absorbed in pH of 5 -6.5. Our tanks are probably not going to be at that level so I wonder how well any iron fert is absorbed by plants with this in mind. So, the lower your pH, the greater the iron absorption? My thoughts are, higher pH tanks may have issues because of this requirement unless the iron is specifically made to work in the higher pH aquaculture. I wonder if Flourish takes this acidity into account, and if there is a difference in the type of iron in Flourish, and the type available from cooking? I have never really thought about it.
Another interesting tidbit I copied:
'Acidic foods that have a higher moisture content, such as applesauce and spaghetti sauce, absorb the most iron. For example, one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that the iron content in 100 grams of spaghetti sauce jumped from 0.6 mg to 5.7 mg after being cooked in a cast iron pot. Other factors that boost the iron content of foods include longer cooking time, frequent stirring, and using a newer iron skillet.'

Good stuff.
 

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Plants need a lot of iron. The newest and most effective way to add iron is cast iron pan. They can be purchased for less than $20. What you want to do is break up the iron pan and put the smaller peices into your filter.

Flourish Iron is 99.5% water. A cast iron pan is 99.5% iron. It's cheaper in the long run.

Also you can hire an Iron Man.

Up to you though.

Welcome to the forum though. You'll find tons of knowledgeable members. They will be able to make guesses and assumptions about many things.
 

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Another Interesting blurb:
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss555

In certain soil situations, carbonate or sulfide compounds may form with Fe. Commonly in waterlogged situations, ferric iron is reduced to the ferrous state. If sulfates also are abundant in the soil, these become oxygen sources for bacteria and black-colored ferrous sulfide is formed
Where organic matter is present in soils, Fe may be present in its reduced state as Fe++ in the soil solution or adsorbed onto soil particle surfaces. Organic matter in soils plays a major role in the availability of Fe to plants. Biochemical compounds or organic acids (aliphatic acids or amino acids) and complex polymers (humic and fulvic acids) can form soluble complexes with Fe, or act as chelating agents and thereby increase Fe availability to plants (chelating agents are organic compounds that complex with Fe and help hold Fe in more soluble forms).
 

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My point is, that unless your tank is 6.5 pH or lower, it will be very difficult to get much iron to your plants. The same is true with terrestrial plants. Acidic soils = more iron uptake. Alkaline soils are tough on plants that require more iron. They die.:crying:

The use of RO water, co2, and higher temperatures are all helpful in keeping your tank water the lowest pH possible for the health of the plants.
 

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Children Boogie
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The iron fish is no different than a cast iron pan.

If I'm not mistaken, you need to cook with the iron fish, the heat and water will create some free floating iron ions. That's not going to work in your tank. As others have mentioned, acidic water will help in this process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Plants need a lot of iron. The newest and most effective way to add iron is cast iron pan. They can be purchased for less than $20. What you want to do is break up the iron pan and put the smaller peices into your filter.

Flourish Iron is 99.5% water. A cast iron pan is 99.5% iron. It's cheaper in the long run.

Also you can hire an Iron Man.

Up to you though.

Welcome to the forum though. You'll find tons of knowledgeable members. They will be able to make guesses and assumptions about many things.
I like the idea in theory but there is another post about adding cast iron to an aquarium and I though the conclusion is that is was not " bioavailable" and could only provide iron if the roots happen to tap into the iron but if the iron was mixed into the water, the leaves would not be able to absorb the iron?

Is that not the case?

I like the idea of adding some iron to the tank and forgetting about it for a year rather then buying all this chemicals and lab equipment. That is going to get you flagged as the next unabomber or something. I read a story of a guy buying some fertilizer at the home depot for his farm and having the men in black showing up at his front door.

Have you personally tried this cast iron cut up into pieces and places in the filter technique ?

Thanks.

P.S. You should only do this with Chinese cast iron not the American made cast iron pans which I think are considered collector items and probably have a rich history.
 

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I like the idea of adding some iron to the tank and forgetting about it for a year rather then buying all this chemicals and lab equipment. That is going to get you flagged as the next unabomber or something. I read a story of a guy buying some fertilizer at the home depot for his farm and having the men in black showing up at his front door.
I dose chelated iron to supplement that in the Microplex that I also dose. My "lab equipment" consists of a set of measuring spoons, from the kitchen drawer, a dosing bottle, which measures out one ounce portions for me, Fertilizer Dispenser | 500 mL (16 oz) | Green Leaf Aquariums and a cardboard funnel I made to make it easy to dump powder into the dosing bottle.
 

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If cast iron worked for our purposes, there wouldn't be any debate now. I'd rather buy a pound of chelated iron and make a solution or dry dose directly than rely on an iron fish made to supplement malnourished 3rd world societies. It might be fun as an experiment but I don't see any benefits of putting cookwear in our tanks for the sake of plant/iron uptake. Also, IMO using cast iron would just add unnecessary weight and water volume decrease.
 

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cut and past a cut an past.................... ;)
Now, this relationship between oxygen and iron isn’t a full time thing. In reality iron is flitting between ferrous and ferric states, but the dominant state in high pH and oxidized environments is ferric- and this means that your plants cannot take it up.
These details important because they dictate how we examine the solutions.
Many practitioners throw rusty iron items into their systems falsely assuming that this will supplement system iron.

In a sense it does add to the reservoir of system iron, but not in a constructive or meaningful way. All this does is introduce more ferric iron to the system- a form of iron that was most likely already in plentiful supply.

Other practitioners intentionally develop dedicated anaerobic zones, where ferric iron will be reduced by the oxygen free, anaerobic environment to produce ferrous (corrected) iron. This is a more compelling approach, especially in low pH systems, but still does not entirely address the problem of getting the reduced iron ion (Fe++) through the oxygenated aerobic zone surrounding the plant roots (especially in high pH systems where hydroxyl ions are plentiful!)............... ect..............
Understanding Iron in Aquaponics

 
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Children Boogie
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Look for substrate with iron in it or I guess little bits of iron ore in your substrate. Plant roots can access this because it's usually more acidic in the substrate due to bacterial activities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The iron fish is no different than a cast iron pan.

If I'm not mistaken, you need to cook with the iron fish, the heat and water will create some free floating iron ions. That's not going to work in your tank. As others have mentioned, acidic water will help in this process.

1. I think its different than cast iron because "The Lucky Iron Fish is made from natural ferrous iron, which is easily absorbed by the body and is safe" where as the cast iron is perhaps made from a different iron I think?( can anyone confirm this?)

2. The website does say that it works better in acid environments and suggest adding lemon to the water but does that mean it does not work at all in normal situation? I think they suggest that because they are trying to give a high dose of iron with looking for like 10 minutes. If the fish releases less iron in a fish tank environment but is in 24/7, perhaps that will be enough to add a constantly supply for the plants that you would otherwise not have. I'm not sure. Perhaps I could ask the iron fish people.

3. I have eco-complete and I believe the lava rocks are suppose to absorb minerals from the water and make them available to the roots of the plants. I wonder if this would hold true for Iron as well?

Thanks.


P.S. ON the fish website FAQ , it said "Why not use cast iron plan" answer: Cooking in iron pots releases iron but it is difficult to quantify the amount of iron that is released and whether or not that iron is bioavailable (can be absorbed by the body). Iron skillets tend to rust and rust is ferric iron which cannot be absorbed by the body. To prevent the iron skillet from rusting you usually “seal” the pan by heating it at high temperatures with oil. In “sealing” the pan, you actually block the release of iron during cooking.
The fish is made from a particular type of iron and its shape, size and weight are calculated to release about 70 micrograms of iron per gram after boiling for 10 minutes in a litre of acidified water (or about half that in soup). However, if you put leafy greens in soups like spinach then the efficacy of the fish will be reduced. For optimal results we suggest boiling drinking water with the fish and lemon, or citric acid."

Sound like it will work but not as well if there is not enough acid and I don't really understand the cast iron answer. Its seem to imply its made out of a different type of iron which may or may not be bioavailable?
 

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I found the most useful tip in the thread was @AWolf with the cooking spaghetti in CI. We eat quite a bit of it, due to how easy it is to make and how lazy I can be. My wife and daughter bot need iron supplements, they are both a little low on iron. You know those white people who are white even after they get in the sun.... that's them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Why is it that Iron Man of Marvel fame is so popular but Ferro Lad from DC is virtually unknown?

Does Iron Man have a more magnetic personality?

Mike
I know that generally marvel comic books have much more popular characters than DC with the exception of a few core DC characters( Batman, Superman,etc... basically the justice league)

Marvel comic book followed more of a structure and common universe whereas some of those DC comic books are really strange and random.

I have actually never heard of Ferro Lad but the fact that it has the word "LAD" in it is kind of an immediately turn off. I kind of think of a shoe shine boy that you throw a shiny nickel to and say " here you go lad, top of the morning to ya" as you tip your hat.

If you want to go into comparison between Iron man and closely related superheros, why is Iron man more popular than War Machine who is just a different color version of Iron man(Gray vs Red) with a mini gun on the shoulder. Why does he not have has own comic book and movies?
 
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