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Dosing Fe & comment



Never did get around to posting the results of cloudy water problem.
Thought all along that it was a bacteria bloom due to its white nature,
however, turning the lights off and covering the tank for 4 days cleared
it up.  I learned something:-)

After things clearing up I have a very satisfactory scene in front of me
in spite of recently occurring algae.  I have been adding TMG to this 75
gal. at a rate of about 10 ml / week with additional Fe via Flourish
Iron as needed.  I have been measuring Iron with a Dave G. and Sera test
kit and generally do not get a reading within the 3 minute time period,
letting the test sit for several hours sometimes produces a faint
reading.  This in spite of adding what seems to be sufficient quantities
of Fe to get a reading.  My understanding was the 3 minute test
indicated chelated iron (most available to plants?) and the longer
period indicates total iron.  Chuck Gadd wrote, " Hair algae is long
green flowing strands, commonly associated with high iron levels."  This
is the type of algae that I have.  How reliable are the iron test kits?
I will need to order a new iron test kit soon.  Since Dave G. no longer
is in the business I was considering a LaMotte kit.  I find the octet
comparator very helpful in testing.  I think the LaMotte only measures
total iron - is this adequate?  Or should I consider another brand?  If
the LaMotte brand is suitable, any sources?  Pet Warehouse doesn't carry
it.

Also, Mark P. wrote - "I too am adjusting a planted 100 gal, and have
been trying to get my nitrates right (about three weeks into addition of
fertilizer on this tank).  Crazy thing is, I just keep dumping in
nitrates, and still get no reading.  Fish load is very low, but it's
still interesting that the plants require such a high dosing of
nitrogen."  I started adding KNO3 diluted as suggested in the PMDD
formula but was not able to get a nitrate reading.  Finally, after
finding Chuck's site & info,  resorted to adding about 1/8 teaspoon per
day (75 gal. tank) to get to 2ppm after a week.  Thanks Chuck - very
helpful!

I think I will order some FFF to work on the hair algae - is 3 enough
in a 75?  Dwight recomends 3 / 20 gal.  Not sure I want to put out that
much $ or have that many FFF.  Am comfortable with a longer period to
clean up tank if 3 - 6 would be enough.

Once again, thanks for all the help you folks provide -  this board and
the many sites that members maintain have made this planted tank
possible.  Your commitment of time and sharing knowledge  is
appreciated!

Jay Reeves
Minneapolis