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Re: iron levels

I said in a recent post: "Well, I have a very good iron test kit and I was
consistently measuring
about 0.03 mg/L Fe in three 20 gallon tanks."

I should say that, although this test kit is of high quality, it measures
the total concentration of iron by converting any ferric iron present into
the ferrous state. So, it's impossible for me to measure the concentration
of (plant usable form) ferrous iron that is present in the tank at any time
with this test. I can only get the total iron concentration of the water
column and then guess at how much of it exists in the ferrous state. I
would need a ferrous iron test kit to properly measure the iron
concentration that we are concerned with, unless someone with a chemistry
background cares to comment on any conversion or derivation possibilities
to obtain a reasonable approximation. On the other hand, I understand I
could basically skip the testing all together, probably overdose it to a
certain extent, and rely on large scheduled water changes to correct any
severe imbalances to within workable/liveable parameters for the plants.   

--- Eric