safe iron levels

> From: "T. Misiak" <misiak at fsu_fsufay.edu>
> Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 17:03:12 -0400 (EDT)
> I have been using the 24 drops and the dupla tablets (at water
> changes) but have discontinued using them in attempt to lower the Fe
> level.  According to my LaMotte kit, the iron is about 0.3-0.35 ppm
> The fish, 2 cobalt discus, are breathing rather heavily (iron
> associated?).  In any case, what is a "safe"/"ideal" Fe concentrations
> in a fish/plant tank?  Is it the laterite that keeps the iron at this
> level?  

Is this a newly set up tank?  Laterite will cause elevated Fe levels
for awhile.  I consider this good since a new tank requires higher
iron levels as bacterial colonies are establishing nad new plants are

We shoot for Fe levels of around 0.1 mg/l long term.  The number of
drops you are using sounds excessive for a 55 g tank.  We use 4 drops
in 85-100g tanks and 7 drops in a 120 (requirements vary with type of
plants and other conditions).  I would be cautious about not adding
any drops since they do supposedly contain other required trace
elements besides iorn.  

Also note that the tablets come in 2 sizes: a smaller one for use with
20 liters of new water and one for 50 liters of new water.  Check your
container - it will say something like "50 tablets for 1000 liters"
(i.e., the smaller size).  Make sure you are dosing tablets properly. 

I don't think the iron levels are causing the discus to breath hard.