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Re: My tank can't get enough iron!

James Purchase pondered one of my posts and wrote:

"While many texts and sources might quote averages for the various elements
present in typical plant tissue, I have yet to see any claims (other than
this one) that there is ONE particular ratio or set of ratios that is
correct for ALL plants, or even all AQUATIC plants."

I wasn't suggesting that there is one definitive ratio, but there must be
some reason why the manufacturers of trace element mixes choose the relative
amounts of the ingredients they include. I'd speculate that someone on their
staff looks at the relevant research and picks a number for each element
that averages the data available at the time. Given the tiny amounts
involved (it's why they are called trace elements) variations on the order
of 100% or more probably don't have much practical effect anyway. The point
is, that iron is used as the proxy to measure all the other trace elements,
and if you dose and measure just iron, then you are left without a rational
means to dose the other trace elements.

"Your desire for a simple solution is understandable, a lot of us might wish
that there was a "paint by numbers" approach which could work for all
situations, but unfortunately such an approach isn't likely to be found by
anyone any time soon."

Hey, am I being condescended upon here!?!? LOL By that rationale, Einstein
was trying to paint by numbers when he tried to devise his unified field
theory to explain the workings of the universe. ;)

"All the test kits in the world aren't going to ever replace the visual
feedback you get from actually looking at how your plants are growing."

Agreed. Test kits are just another indicator of where things stand. I don't
really care about the actual values of a given test result. For me, readings
of "some", "enough" and "too much" are precise enough for my use. That and
the trendline are all the information I need. When it comes to the trace
elements, I've always assumed that any reading of the presence of iron
indicated both some and enough of all the trace elements, hence my interest
in this thread. Looking at the tank is fine (that's the real point of all
this, after all) but a high-input tank is a little like a high performance
car. When it runs well, it's great, but when it goes wrong, it can go wrong
in a hurry, and measurements of water parameters are the first course of

'Don't panic........Don't panic.........Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!' - Chicken Run