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Re: Kevin's substrate

Kevin Reavis wrote:
> what puzzles me about this is if we are putting the iron and trace
> in. in the bottom layer
> what has the peat layer got to do with not adding any iron or 
> trace in in the water column?
> If the other stuff is in the bottom it seems that we could 
> experiment with leaving it out of the
> water column with or without a peat layer???

The iron has to be dissolved in order to be available to most plants. It
won't dissolve unless its chemically reduced to Fe++ (ferrous ion). That
requires the absence of oxygen caused by anaerobic bacteria acting upon
organic material (i.e. peat). Specialized anaerobic bacteria are also
responsible for the reduction of the iron. The humic acids of peat also
prevent the Fe++ from being oxidized and precipitating (going out of
solution) by attaching to the dissolved iron ion (a process called

For more information start by reading about redox in the technical
article on my web page titled "Substrates for Aquatic Plants". Someday I
should add the references to scientific papers in that article.

Steve P