Re: high pH & Iron in water

> From: Ken Wilson <wils0153 at maroon_tc.umn.edu>
> Subject: Please Help Me (I am in trouble)
> Now the PH constantly increases to 8.2 or more.  Even when I 
> adjust the PH down, it raises again.  

Something is dissolving in the water to increase the pH. I think
the best way to deal with this is to use peat in your filtration.
The peat will help remove dissolved Ca, Mg and other metal ions.
It will also release some organic acids which can be of benefit
in the tank. Peat is a slow and natural way to reduce the pH
and produce soft water. The Ca & Mg minerals found in your
substrate are useful for the plants so it's not all bad.

Are you using CO2? If not and you have strong 
lighting, the plants may be resorting to biogenic decalcification
(removing carbon dioxide from carbonate ions) which can cause
your pH to rise very high.

> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 96 07:59:08 PDT
> Subject: Iron in water
> I've never gotten this answered so I'll ask it again. How about feeding
> beets to out fish? Extremely rich in iron, it'll eventuall come back
> out as poop and then the plants can get to it. What do you think?

Not too effective I think. You need iron oxide to be in a reducing
environment (i.e. buried in the substrate) before it can be
effectively dissolved for the plants. Most people add a chelated
Fe supplement as it's cheap and easy to use. Iron rich clays used
in the lower layer of a substrate are also very helpful but may
not be sufficient alone and require occasional supplementation
of chelated iron.