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Iron, Copper, K2SO4, Chlorine, GH
1) A few weeks ago a string was held on Iron levels, iron types and iron
tests. I have a related follow-up question:
The rule-of-thumb has seemed to be: test/monitor Iron as an indicator for
overall trace nutrient levels. Since iron dissipates quickly, comes in
several forms (fe2, fe3, chelated, etc), and can be difficult to test, it
would seem that it should be monitored and added by itself - not as an
overall indicator. Therefore, there may be a better (or additional) guide
for the OTHER trace nutrients. One example may be to test/dose for Copper,
and keep it BELOW a certain level. Does this make sense when dosing a trace
mix? What is a good not-to-exceed level for copper? Does the answer change
for those keeping shrimp, etc?
In 1997 Karen Randall wrote in this forum: "I like to keep water going into
the tank no higher than .25 ppm copper."
In 1996 Cynthia Powers Wrote: "According to the latest printing of 'The
optimum aqarium' many elements have
different levels of toxicity according to whether they are organic or
an-organic. For this reason Duplaplant 24 contains a certain amount of free
chelating agents (EDTA) to bind to copper, etc, reducing their toxic
As an example they quote on page 112 that chelated copper has fatal effects
around 10 mg/l as opposed to 0.1 mg/l for un-chelated copper. Keep adding
2) I dose PMBB mixed separately, but at the prescribed concentrations
(1-part chelated trace, 1-part MgSO4 + 7H2O, 2-part K2SO4, 1-part KNO3). I
find I need to add 3 times as much KNO3 as everything else (5-10ml/10g/week
KNO3 to keeping Nitrates at 5-10ppm). I also find I do not need any K2SO4
to keep Potassium at 20-30ppm. If I add it, I get to 40ppm. Is there any
reason to add K2SO4 if the KN03 seems to provide sufficient Potassium? My
plant growth is fairly high, plants are quite green, and no algae (yea!).
3) In a 29g heavily planted CO2, etc tank, at what quantity should tap
water be de-chlorinated (I use Amquel), e.g. if I top-off evaporation, by
adding a gallon or two of tap water, should I be concerned? A related
question is: at what level does Chlorine/Chloramines become dangerous to
fish, shrimp or plants? Also should I focus in levels of "Free Available
Chlorine", "Total Residual Chlorine", or Combined Chlorine"?
4) I have a Lamotte GH test kit, which tests for Calcium Hardness,
Magnesium Hardness and Total Hardness. What is the significance of Ca2+ vs
Mg2+? My tank reads Total=95ppm (just under 6dGH), Ca2+=60, Mg2+=35.