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TMG and Iron

A few days ago, I posted a query about TMG and Iron.  Having received no
responses, I sent the same message, off-list, to Tom Barr, who has kindly
responded as follows (my questions are indented; his responses are not):

> "The directions for TMG call for dosing at 0.1 ml/l per week.  For my 30
> gal.
> tank, that means about 11 ml TMG.  The label states that TMG has 0.07% Fe,
> so the standard dose should provide 0.07 mg/l of iron.  But, when I try to
> measure it with the Seachem test kit (using the low level cuvettes
> provided), I can wait 45 minutes to an hour and not get even a hint of
> color.
> "So my question is: should I now add, say, Flourish Iron to bring the Fe
> concentration up to 0.1 mg/l?  Or does the invisible iron reading indicate
> that *all* of the traces are too low and, therefore, that I should add
> TMG?  Or does it mean that the correct iron level is immeasurable and I
> should leave well enough alone?  Thanks."

My iron levels are initially around 1.0ppm after 1 hours of dosing.
0.1 or 0.2 is quite frankly too low. Claus said that everyone's tank he
looked at had nutrient deficiency when he was in SF. My tanks were spared
the comment. He said the recommendation is a conservative range. Well run
tanks will use 2-3x this amount.
> I should probably have added that all other parameters are, I believe,
> within the recommended ranges.
> pH = 6.6 - 6.8
> KH = 4.0
> From table, CO2 = 19 - 30 ppm
> NO3 = 13.2 ppm (had just added 1/8 tsp KNO3)
> K+ = 40 ppm
> GH = 100 ppm
> Ca++ = 24 ppm
> Mg++ = 9.6 ppm
> Fe (chelated) = 0 ppm (Seachem kit)
> PO4--- = 0.08
> Would appreciate some advice.  Thanks.

PO4 and TMG. You need more of it. Add every 3 days or so. Your seriously PO4
limited. NO3 uptake is slowed way down by this. Adding more trace will help
but you have to take off the PO4 limitation. That's holding things back.
Add some PO4 then add 25mls+ a week of TMG. Add PO4/TMG 2-3 x a week. Try
for PO4= .5ppm and let drop to zero. See how long this takes. Test daily.
You'll be suprised. Feel free to post on the APD.
Tom Barr

John T. Fitch
E-mail: jtfitch at spamcop_net
Web Site: www.fitchfamily.com/aquarium.html