[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: iron and TMG etc

Alex R wrote:
"Whoa, I can't believe people are still using that hoax that Red Sea
calls a test kit! Throw that junk away and get yourself any other test
kit. The Red Sea test kit has never worked for anyone (that I heard
of). It always shows 0.1 ppm regardless of the Fe concentration. I'm
guessing your Fe is more likely 0.0 ppm. I'm sorry you have to discard
18 months worth of Fe concentration data."

I quit using the red sea test over a year ago, not because it didn't
ever give readings other than 0.1 ppm, but because the readings it gave
did not prove useful for maintaining my tanks, avoiding algae, growing
healthy plants -- quite possibly the readings were all inaccurate or
totally irrelevant to iron levels.  However, I suspect that if I had no
iron (0.0ppm), this difficiency would show up in the plants.  This
doesn't appear to be the case unless iron deficiency causes plants to
grow large, fast, and green  :-)   .    Also, some iron is present from
the tap water and from the substrate.

I hadn't heard that others scoffed at red sea test kits -- that's good
to know.  Good test materials are much rarer than the number offered
for sale.

The red sea test came with a CO2 test that was pretty worthless -- it
never gave a reading that was consistent with the pH-KH calculation for
estimating CO2 levels or later with a much more expensive Hach test kit
for CO2.  Personally, I find the pH-KH method the easiest to read and
by far the least expensive, although the margin of error is rather

In this batch of posts, Tom Barr has an extensive response to my
comment about iron and algae, in which he says, in part:

"You can have decent growth and have a nice tank doing it at .1ppm but
if you have decent lighting(even low lighting set up did well) and most
importantly good CO2 levels then it's worth a try to add more traces if
your algae is well under control. "Power through it" is perhaps the
phase that I guess describes it. This works in both soft and hard
waters although harder waters seems to handle more traces. A number of
folks tried the "west coast lean" in the sfbaaps group. I was the only
"richy". But now many are trying it. Claus C.(VP of Tropica) had
mentioned most of the tanks he had seen where deficient and in need of
more.  "

If I understand the basic point that he is making, it is that algae
might show up when I change a regimen, such as adding traces with iron,
but the plants will keep getting better and the algae will subside.  I
presume the subsidence is do in part to the plants eventually (more
slowly than algae) get better at consuming the nutrients and in part to
appropriate anti-algae tacks (40% weekly water changes, shocking algae
with off-days before adding back nutrients after a water change, etc).

I believe in the view Tom states that "Bacterial, algal and plant
successions in newly stable ecosystems have a pattern."  But I suspect
that my big tank is at a cusp where more of anything (or anyway, more
iron) will bring lots more algae which will subside only if, among
other things, the balance of nutrients is kept rather precise.  In
other words, as you start adding more light, more CO2, more nutrients,
everything becomes a bit more finicky.  But maybe it's not a matter of
the balance being finicky,  maybe it's just that if I do add more
traces with iron, then if I "power through it" to the other side and
the bloom of algae will wither as the plants continue to excel.

ON the other hand, if might plants were growing any better, I would
have to prune at least twice a week.  I'm looking for more pruning. 
But if Barr's method will eventually reduce the total level of algae, 
I'll give it a try, adding some TMG with K and maybe a few other things
too after I get more test kits.  However, the algae levels are not bad
right now, but less algae is always better (at least visually).

Scott H.  [not really Hudson, but one of many Hs in the world :-)  ] 

Do You Yahoo!?
Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger