Pencil Fish and Iron Storage

Subject: pencil fish
> I recently had an aquarium fish retailer suggest pencil fish to 
> Has anyone out there heard of this? I decided to get three of th
> posted on my experience.

I keep 3 species of Pencils in 2 tanks.  They're very attractive 
little fish, but I've never seen them eat much algae.  

Subject: Iron Storage in Plant Tissues

> >I have found that if I can measure _any_ iron in the water, I s
> >to have enough.  Remember that iron is one of the substances
> >plants can store.  So your plants will suck all of it out of th
> >water until the fill their reserves.
>          Iron in plants can be stored  because it is locked by c
> bonds in complex molecules such as cytochromes (pigments) and en
> deficiencies (pale and fragile growth) are observed in new growt
> because it is not translocable to the developing tissues. What t
> down to, is that the availability of Iron has to be constant to 
> adequate growth and is the actual concentration (not what was ad
> week) what is going to determine the proper maturation of the ti
> developing at that particular moment.

I would still think that if you maintain measureable levels, that 
the plants are getting all they need.  I have seen that in a tank 
that has been deficient in iron, you can introduce _a lot_ of iron 
before you get measureable levels.  I have presumed (and have 
read) that this was because the iron starved plants were sucking 
it up quickly.  After a while, a much lower dose will keep the 
iron level stable.  Is this not so?

>         I hope that after lurking for a few months I can make a 
> contribution (my first!) at a time when we need to support this 
> most to keep it going.

Thanks for posting!

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA