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I believe that I have seen iron chelated with NTA (nitrilotriacetic
acid) and DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid - say THAT fast five
times) in commercial mixes. The Red Sea Iron test kit (I think) claims
to be able to detect chelated iron, but a friend who has one hasn't had
much luck. We adjust our iron conc. by bringing an acidified sample
here to work, where we have a plasma sectrometer that's usually running.
One of the luxuries of being a chemist ...
...with respect to the ferrous/ferric question, I have seen some
references (on the Krib, or on Steve Pushak's page, maybe) to some
plants having an enzyme named ferric reductase. This enzyme reduces
ferric iron to ferrous iron that the plant can use.
skeslar at wvu_edu