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Re: Seachem Iron and Phosphate

Kevin Zippel wrote:
>      I am playing around with 2 new testing kits, Seachem's iron and
> phosphate (thanks to all who forwarded me instructions for the latter). 
> The phosphate indicates that the levels in my tapwater are about 1.5 ppm. 
> This seems ridiculously (dangerously?) high.  I have a City of Detroit Lab
> Analysis Report from '98 claiming tap water levels of phophorus to be
> 0.29-0.31 mg/L.  How do phosphorus concentrations relate to phophate, is
> this excessively high, and what can I do to remove it without using RO to
> strip out everything and then rebuild?  Water quality is otherwise
> exceptional.

The phosphate level of my tap water is 0.3 ppm. I don't think there's 
any danger to humans by consuming phosphate, and it certainly 
helps reduce lead levels in the old houses of this area. I use 
Seachem's PhosGuard to remove the phosphates from the tank, 
keep it in a bag in the canister filter. A cup or so lasts about 1.5 
months. This has made all the difference in controlling algae in my 

>      Regarding iron, is anyone else using the Seachem kit and Homegrown
> Hydroponics Trace Mix for iron?  This mix seems to tint the water/reagent
> mix  red, making it difficult to interpret the test scale, which works is
> in shades of purple.

I use this kit and Seachem Flourish. I have never been able to read 
any iron levels at all. I tend to rely on the amount of algae building 
up on the glass to determine whether there is sufficient/excess iron.

>      Finally, what is the proper dosage for PMDD?  I've seen conflicting
> numbers in the Krib and archives.  I know it will vary from application to
> application, but I need ballpark.  I've seen everything from a couple
> drops to a couple ml's per 10 gallons per day.  Thanks!! Kevin

I really don't think you can generalize. If you have fast-growing 
plants, more will be required than if you have a low-light tank of 
crypts. Start low and observe the plants and algae levels, slowly 
increasing the amount until you notice more algae than usual. Then 
cut it back a bit and use that as your maintenance dose. This won't 
help you, but here is what I do in my tanks - 30 gal tank with lots of 
stem plants and high light: 3-4 ml per day (nitrates always read 
zero in this tank - it could probably use more). 40 gal tank with 
more rooted plants and moderate light levels: half that dose. This is 
very loose, subject to change depending upon how the tank is 
doing at any given day. Also, I dose trace elements separately 
from the PMDD, using Flourish. 

Cathy Hartland
Middletown, MD