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EDTA vs. Gluconate
>If one is using EDTA-Iron on
>a weekly basis and getting the growth and response they desire, then that's
>great. I'm just saying that if a gluconate-iron supplement had been used
>instead of the EDTA-Iron (and depending on the foliar requirements of your
>plants) you would have seen an even better growth/response in your plants
I'm not sure that is true. If you add iron out of balance to other
nutrients, you are going to quickly push your plants into a deficiency of
what ever is in next least supply.
For my tanks personally, the limiting factor for growth at most times seems
to be either N or K. I have to really stay on top of those or growth is
rapidly affected. But of course, I run high light/strong growth systems.
In systems with slower growth and without adequate supplementation, I would
suspect iron deficiencies to show up before N and/or K deficiencies
>I guess the only real way for each individual
>to determine which is best for them is to set up two systems that are
>nearly identical and use only one product in each and after a certain
>period of time look at the results.
That's probably overkill.<g> And I doubt you'll have many people switch to
your product if they have to do that to decide if they like it.
I'd suggest that people do what I usually advocate anyway. Watch your
plants. If they look like they are suffering from an iron deficiency,
(which, BTW, won't show up as slower growth at first, but as chlorotic new
leaves. This will be apparent in fast growing plant species first) maybe
it's worth trying an iron gluconate supplement. Or for that matter, if you
just want to experiment with a new fertilizer, give it a try, but give it a
try for at least 6 months unless you see clear signs of a problem earlier.
Watch your plants and let _them_ tell you how they're doing.
One additional caveat would be that if you are using an iron-only
supplement as opposed to a balanced trace element + K supplement, keep an
eye out for signs of other nutritional deficiencies.
Aquatic Gardeners Association