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Re: iron useage

Both Jeff and Caleb are wondering about Iron. Check the archives - there was
a big discussion about measuring Fe levels last year. As I recall, with the
Seachem Iron Test Kit, if you get _any_ pink color at all, you probably have
enough Iron in your water. Iron seems to be VERY difficult to measure
precisely, I have a LaMotte kit for it and even it isn't as easy as
measuring pH.

Jeff, your daily dosing seems about right, if you are using Seachen Iron.
The stuff precipitates out of the water column within about 24 hours so you
have to keep adding it. Seachem Excel is supposed to be able to help keep it
available for slightly longer. You aren't really adding more Iron than
macronutrients - the Seachem Iron is not that concentrated - what you are
doing is adding a little bit every day to compensate for the fact that it
precipitates out of solution far faster than any macronutrient.

(B.T.W. - any Iron fertilizer is going to precipitate out of the water after
about 24 hours, not just Seachem's product).

When using the Seachem plant products, I have found my eyes to be better
indicators than any test kits. I watch my plants closely and slowly scale
the additions of each based upon how my plants react - it doesn't take much
in the way of an overdose to cause an imbalance which can lead to algae, but
too little in a high light, CO2 injected tank can lead to problems too. The
amount required is going to be different for each tank and it will take a
while to figure it out for yours. Its only been 2 weeks so have
patience......you say everything is growing fine so far. If by microsword
you mean E. tenellus (or do you mean E. quadricostatus?), again...have
patience. They both like rich substrates and can take a while to "get
going". I have a couple (can't quite figure out which one so far) in my
largest tank and they have been there for about a year - haven't done much
of anything yet. Any day now, I'm expecting them to explode and take over
the tank.......(yea, sure...right....).

Caleb, chleated trace elements (Iron) can be very difficult to test
for......it sounds like you are running the risk of overdosing some of the
micronutrients by the way you are dosing. Add Iron ONLY and stick with the
PMDD guidelines regarding the other micronutrients.

James Purchase