View Full Version : Question on Iron (Fe)

06-15-2010, 02:35 PM
Just wondering - I add Fe to my aquarium to help my plants (use root ferts and some extra potassium (KCl) salt.) I dose to 0.1 ppm for Fe but water changes drop this as the week progresses (I change 15-20%/day and 70 %/weekends.)

Do the plants really need 0.1 ppm 24/7 or can I let the dose fall during the week with only small 'make up' amounts? Don't plants store some amount?

Since Fe is toxic above 0.2 ppm, erroring on the low side would seem to be the safe thing to do rather than trying to hold 0.1 ppm. My main concern are the fish, not the plants; that said, I do want the plants to grow ok and I want to avoid algae (hoping that with healthy plants to use phosphates between WC's algae will be less of a problem - so far, it seems to be working. My discus are young (3.5 - 4 inches) and need heavy feeding (5x - 6x/day) so phosphates are an issue (I entend to get a reactor in a week or so.)

06-15-2010, 02:44 PM
If you're dosing with liquid ferts, I wouldn't worry too much about iron levels. Liquids have chelated iron, the Fe is bound by molecules that prevent it from being toxic to other organisms (and unavailable to plants btw). The lighting on your aquarium breaks down the chelators and slowly releases the iron into the water for your plants to take up.

Long story short, you'd have to dose bucket loads of liquid iron ferts for them to be toxic. Also, you're plants should take it up pretty fast. I dose 0.25ppm per day in my planted 20g and by the end of the day, it's undetectable. So if you have a decent amount of plants and they're healthy, you shouldn't have iron problems.

If you can, dose when you replace the water change water, that way the plants have the whole day to take it up before to do another water change.

Hope it helps.

little hawaii
06-15-2010, 03:09 PM
Some people do love playing chemist but I know it is not nessesary. Most if not all water has iron in it but........ I have been through all these dillemas too.
When I set up a planted tank I pour in 3" 0f peatmoss and add Laterite. Laterite is a naturally ocureing clay and my plants love the stuff.
Anyway, after the peatmoss is in I cover it all up with a layer of Crinalin netting. Now I add my gravel, About 2 ". I do not start planting till next day. Fill the tank with tap water and let it settle overnight.Now drain it and plant it. Fill it up start the filters and let it cycle for 1 month and watch the plants take off. One of my tanks has been up and growing luxuriosly for many yrs now.
I have never added any other products, I ndo 60% water changes right out of the tap 1 x week. I run 4-40watt growlux bulbs on a 6ft. 135gal. End of story, except that I may need to hire a gardener to keep up with plant growth. I need to remove bucketfulls of plants monthly.

Now I have some theries as to why. I tried for years to have nice plants to no avail, mediocure at best until I moved here. I believe now that water chemistry is far more important than all the other things.
My tap water is basicaly like rain. No readable carbonates and a ph of 6.5. To me that is the golden key, a little old school perhaps but awesome results and now fussing with secret chemicals and formulas.
I know my spelling sucks. Brainsurgery will do that to a guy.
Good luck with the plants.:fish2: :fish:

06-15-2010, 07:31 PM
Thanks for the answers - the information clears up the issue a good bit. Also, hope your recoverly is going very, very well!thumbs2:

06-17-2010, 12:59 AM
what are grow lux bulbs? I'm running the 6 home depot 40watt 6500k daylight bulbs on mine, on a 125g, and am not getting that kind of growth.. and I run pressurized co2 and have planted subtrate :help: