question about PMDD, test kits (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 96 10:22:11 EST
Received: from aljem3 by alem1.cnet.att.com; Thu,  5 Dec 96 09:27 EST
Subject: qestion on PMDD, test kits
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com

I've mixed up some PMDD using 'Microplex' for the trace element mix which is 
supposed to contain 4%(?..don't have label here) FE and have some weird 
results when testing that I'm hoping someone can help on.  My iron levels are 
still below .1 in my heavily planted 125 gal (3 175W MH,CO2,canister and 
merlin fluidized bed bio filter) even with doubling the trace element in the 
solution and adding 20mL per day.

I tried testing a glass of water that I had added some of the Microplex to and
STILL got readings below .1 with my Aquarium Pharm. kit.  A similar test on 
Flourish showed a strong FE reading so the test kit is at least reacting. 
Anyone know anything about Microplex and why this would happen?  I also 
noticed in mixing the solution that I end up with some whitish precipitate on 
the bottom of the jar...am I precipitating out the iron somehow when I mix?
Is there a better way to add additional iron (thought I saw something in FAMA 
a year ago that a reader sent in where they used iron supplement tablets 
intended for human use by dissolving and then discarding the 'buffer' and 
adding directly to the tank via the filter).

I got the whole freshwater test kit from Aqua Pharm and I'm suspicious of the 
nitrate test...mine reads 0 and my friends (don't remember the brand) reads 
40ppm ..again tried adding Potassium Nitrate to a glass of water and still got
a 0 so maybe my (1 year old) kit is no good.  IS LAMOTTE THE BEST?  I'm adding
Nitrates via the PMDD and am now concerned that I'm adding way too much!

jim morehouse
jmorehouse at lucent_com