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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just grab a bottle of flourish iron at my LFS, along with some plants of course. I've read that many people add this daily. Is this correct? Ant side effects to adding too much? I was thinking of adding 1ml daily to my high tech 90 gallon in addition to the ferts(kent pro and fresh plant) i add every water change which i do 2 times a week. Just looking to upgrade my ferts and dosage. I am not interested in dry ferts quit yet.
 

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If by high-tech you mean ample lighting and pressurized CO2 you aren't adding nearly enough fertilizer.

On high-tech tanks I add 1 ml / 10 gallons daily of both trace and iron fertilizers. You'll also want to be adding nitrate, phosphate and potassium on a daily basis. Add the iron in the morning before the lights come on. It's readily absorbed by the plants and won't be present in the water column once the lights click on.
 

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If by high-tech you mean ample lighting and pressurized CO2 you aren't adding nearly enough fertilizer.

On high-tech tanks I add 1 ml / 10 gallons daily of both trace and iron fertilizers. You'll also want to be adding nitrate, phosphate and potassium on a daily basis. Add the iron in the morning before the lights come on. It's readily absorbed by the plants and won't be present in the water column once the lights click on.
Aaron, would you please define hi-tech? Just curious, as when I've tried to go higher on iron on my tanks, it seems to increase gsa.
 

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Aaron, would you please define hi-tech? Just curious, as when I've tried to go higher on iron on my tanks, it seems to increase gsa.
High-tech to me involves 3 wpg or more of light and pressurized CO2 supplementation.

It does depend on plant mass and type as well. If it's a tank full of Anubias you won't need as much of everything. If it's packed full of stems you'll need lots of nutrients.
 

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High-tech to me involves 3 wpg or more of light and pressurized CO2 supplementation.

It does depend on plant mass and type as well. If it's a tank full of Anubias you won't need as much of everything. If it's packed full of stems you'll need lots of nutrients.
I've often wondered as well whether I should be adding iron to my tanks. On my 55g I have 2 X 54W T5HO (with pressurized CO2).
So by your definition, this isn't high-tech and I don't need to add iron, am I right? (I'm using Edward's PPS-Pro dosing strategy BTW)

Thx.
 

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I've often wondered as well whether I should be adding iron to my tanks. On my 55g I have 2 X 54W T5HO (with pressurized CO2).
So by your definition, this isn't high-tech and I don't need to add iron, am I right? (I'm using Edward's PPS-Pro dosing strategy BTW)

Thx.
Well, not exactly. What I was saying is that the OP isn't adding enough iron. You should always add some iron. If your lighting is also using parabolic reflectors that's still a good amount of light in a 55 gallon tank. You'd definitely benefit from adding some iron. Seachem's Flourish Iron is good stuff. It's all ferrous gluconate so it's easily absorbed by the plants very quickly.
 

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If by high-tech you mean ample lighting and pressurized CO2 you aren't adding nearly enough fertilizer.

On high-tech tanks I add 1 ml / 10 gallons daily of both trace and iron fertilizers. You'll also want to be adding nitrate, phosphate and potassium on a daily basis. Add the iron in the morning before the lights come on. It's readily absorbed by the plants and won't be present in the water column once the lights click on.
Oh, I don't think I've been dosing iron incorrectly. I dose iron when lights are on :(
Plants really absorb iron that fast?!
Can anyone elaborate on this process [plant uptake of iron before lights go on] please?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
curious as to how much ferts i should add. Like i said i am happy to use kent or seachem liquid ferts. I have been dosing at the minimium dosage. I add 25 ml of kent freshwater plant and 25 ml kent pro plant. I looked at what makes up the dosage and noticed the neither product has Phosphate in it and the amount of iron is minimal. I recently got a bottle of iron and plan on adding one 500ml capful a day. I am thinking of switching to the specific NPK along with trace and iron to top off. Going with Pres. CO2 and 324 watt tek light HO over my 90 gallon which is jam packed with mostly stem sword and crypts.
 

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How about this question relating to iron; I have well water that is very high in iron. Is any of this iron available to my plants? The only iron my plants get from supplementing is from the micros (Tropica Plant Nutrition though soon to be Flourish comp. due to TPN price increases)
 

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The issue with Iron is it oxidizes from its easily uptake-able ferrous state (Fe+2) to its unavailable ferric state (Fe+3) very quickly when exposed to oxygen and light. Its a good thing we're only putting them into... oh... dammit.

We can avoid this in our aquariums with different chelators, and, as mentioned by Aaron, Seachem uses good stuff. The good thing is any Fe+2 our plants miss before it becomes Fe+3 will eventually fall out of solution and then fall and get churned up by the stuff in your substrate and become Fe+2 again. This takes a while though.

I would not assume that any iron present in tap is available. I daily dose relatively high (0.5 ppm or more) with faith that whatever I'm dosing will not be there tomorrow. This is just the method that worked for my tanks and made sense to me, though.

When considering times to dose Iron, also remember it forms a percipitate with PO4. Like Aaron I dose in the am, but in my case its because its better than after coming from work in the pm. When home I dose in the middle of my photoperiod and move that junk around, yo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have read that a lot of people are adding iron in the am prior to lights coming on. I understand that light and O2 effect the iron but can I add it at night? If i add it in the am them it will have almost 5 hrs before the lights come on, whereas at night i could add it 15 min after my lights go off. Is there a difference to when the iron is added?
 

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If you understand that the Iron will oxidize and that some (if not all) may be unavailable by the time your plants start uptaking, and are willing to adjust should you see trace deficiency (new growth), I think you should do whatever is easiest for your tank/schedule/life. You may very well be fine (a few folks in our club dosed at night, for example.) While its chemistry, all tanks are at least a little different. :)
 

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Also, if you start your photoperiod a little later to enjoy the tank while home, and the plants are still uptaking (if you're a stickler, I suppose this is measureable if the leaves are still open, you can measure, say, some N drop from then until lights go out, or you see pearling, etc), it would be a great time to dose.
 

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For further clarification on daily iron supplement dosing. That only applies in non-Estimative Index (EI) dosing right? Combining iron with KH2PO4 would result in a precipitate from what I've read in the past.
 

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Combining iron with KH2PO4 would result in a precipitate from what I've read in the past.
Let's see! :)

These first two are a couple pics where we did dilution on another forum.

Some notes:
Doses are for ~2ppm PO4 and ~0 .5ppm Fe (and ~15ppm NO3) when diluted in my tank's volume.

CSM+B+Fe is Greg Watson's old (2004?) mix -- as I understand, he added Boron to CSM using the standard ratio (7% Fe by mass) and then added chelated Iron to bring the mix to 10% Fe by mass. Its been in a ziplock bag in a drawer for most of those years, and I'm not really sure what that does with chelated Fe.

"DPTA" should be "DTPA."

Macronutrients pic is maybe 10 minutes after dosing and doing a couple quick swirls with my tweasers. The KH2PO4 is fully diluted by this point. Micronutrient pic is less than that (30 seconds?).

I'm sorry for the cell pics. My camera is broken. Also, my tank is the best light I've got. :)





And here's our question tonight.

Notes:

In each case I dosed Fe first.

Same doses as above (~2ppm PO4, ~0.5ppm Fe).

This pic is maybe 5 minutes after the mix.



And this a little later.





Notice that there is some percipitate (FePO4) even in the 30 minute sample. Happy to take them an hour or so apart but, you know, it's water :)

(There should be no advantage to dosing K, P, or N at a particular time, assuming all are available, since all just float around anyway.)

For further clarification on daily iron supplement dosing. That only applies in non-Estimative Index (EI) dosing right?
No! I'm not sure Tom would agree (but I'm pretty sure he would), but it is important to understand that the concept of EI is to dose more than plants uptake, then use water changes to limit max concentrations. (If I put 20ppm NO3 into a tank with zero uptake and then do a 50% water change before the next 20ppm dose, I am only going to slowly approach 40ppm NO3.) That's it. Dosing macros and micros on alternating days and the commonly circulated dosing schedules are more a matter of convenience, and this is why the doses work for a range of tanks; You could dose once a week with EI if that dose is more than plant uptake before the next dose. or you could dose a bagillion times a day: your goal is no limiting nutrients, then water change because you can only estimate what's in the tank and a flush is effectively (estimatively? ;) ) back to 0. If plants can use it, EI says we should add it, within reason, of course. :)
 
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