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RE: Tropica Master Grow - OOOPS!

In a posting yesterday concerning Tropica Master Grow, I made the following

> Keep in mind as well that plants need a balance of all of the essential
> nutrients. If even one of them is in short supply, growth won't
> be optimal.
> Tropical Matergrow, indeed no commercial fertilizer aimed at aquarium use,
> contains ALL of the essential elements needed by plants. Some are designed
> to come from other sources

What I _should_ have said (and thought I did, until I re-read the message
this morning), is that NO commercial fertilizer aimed at aquarium plants
contains all of the essential elements necessary for plant growth, not even
Mastergrow. This is not a flaw in the formulations, it is due to the fact
that certain nutrients are added to a typical aquarium via fish food and
regular water changes. As Karen has pointed out in an answering post to the
original query, certain tanks, especially those with high levels of growth,
are going to need supplementation with certain nutrients.

On a related note, and perhaps more to the point of the original query, I
re-discovered some infomation in an old copy of Today's Aquarium (4/88) by
Dr. Gerd Kassebeer. In an article on Iron in the Aquarium, he discusses the
use of Iron supplements, noting that fulvic acids (from mulm) help keep Iron
in bio-available form. He also notes that excessive levels of Iron
supplements can lead to precipitation of not only the Iron, but also of
other micronutrients - notably Phosphate (precipitated out as iron or
aluminium phosphate). Precipitating Iron also, acording to Dr. Kassebeer,
carries with it other heavy metals, especially manganese, copper, nickel and
cobalt. This can result in deficiencies of other micronutrients.

Ergo, too much Flourish Iron (or any other Iron supplement) can be just as
bad as too little. Back to that "balance" thingy. Kassebeer makes a very
good case for the need to ensure that you take care to dose with a complete
trace element supplement.

Kassebeer also discusses Iron deficiency symptoms (young leaves turn
yellow-green with green veins). Not every case of these symptoms is related
to a deficiency of Iron - high Phosphate or Hydrogen Carbonate concentration
can also cause the same symptoms. That is one reason I asked the original
poster to provide more information about his tank condition and water

James Purchase