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Re: adding iron

Tom's iron-rich blurb is very well taken; I recently posted to the sfbaaps 
list re: the usage of Fe in excess of that put forth by PMDD literature. 
It's reasonable to say that around the advent of PMDD, our knowledge of the 
tolerance of various macronutrients, and our effective management of said 
nutrients, wasn't quite as "advanced" as it is at present.

When a tank has achieved a point of consistent, continued stability in the 
way of macro/micronutrients & CO2, it's hard to resist the urge to play with 
varying proportions and ratios of nitrate, phosphate (as evidenced by 
discussion here), and Fe. Over the past few months I've been maintaining Fe 
very close to 1.5ppm, resulting in what I perceive to be much more vibrant 
growth in various plants. There is extremely little in the way of visible 

The difference in plant health is difficult to explicate, but after watching 
various species closely over time, even subtle differences can be marked. 
Deeper greens and faster growth seem to be the most significant differences 
thus far, with, to be admittedly vague, more "sparkle" in the setup as a 
whole. Tom mentioned richer traces as  being counterintuitive... I think I 
understand what he means, and I agree. Perhaps this is analagous to the 
dosing of phosphate and nitrate, also perceived as counterintuitive in the 
past. All things (nutrients, light, C02) accounted for and satisfied, the 
"extra" dosing of traces (with Fe as a proxy, beyond that .1 mark) might 
mean more ammunition for plants, resulting in the further minimizing of 
visible algae and a healthier system overall.


ERIK LEUNG 	San Francisco, CA

From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>:

[truncated] I have bad poor results when I run my iron down like many folks 
seem to here. Plants do not look as good in any tanks I've ever had running 
a tight low level of iron. It seems counter intuitive to many but adding 
more trace nutrients will help if you have high light, CO2 etc. Many of 
companies recommended levels are 2-3 x less since not everyone one has high 
light, CO2 etc. Hard water also needs more than softer water. I've run the 
iron pretty rich in my tanks (1.0ppm) over the years. It seems not to cause 
me algae grief for some reason.......but I have good CO2, light, and macro 
levels also.

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