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Re: Iron Levels

Steve Dixon wrote:

>My recent experience (say 6 months or so) has been that using
>enough PMDD (made according to the Sears/Conlin recipe) to
>achieve 0.1 ppm iron levels consistently results in hair algae and a
>darker brownish algae covering the leaves of many of my plants,
>especially swords, anubias and h. difformis.  Sometimes the algae
>has been quite severe, yet the iron levels remain below 0.1 ppm.
>When I back off the PMDD dose to as little as 0.5 ml/day in my
>125 gal. heavily planted tank and the iron readings settle in
>between 0.02 and 0.05 ppm, the algae situation is much improved
>and the plants continue to grow well.

I couldn't agree with you more.  Perhaps you saw my post the other
day in APD V2#736 concerning my tank parameters under the
heading Red Algae and Nutrients.  I am reposting a section of it

Iron was the big surprise.  Almost undetectable, although I see no
signs of iron defficiency in my plants.  The duckweed, which is
supposed to be an iron indicator plant  is green and multiplying like
crazy, so I'd be reluctant to boost my dosage.  I am currently only
adding 1.5 mLs. of Kent's trace elements with iron, along with 3 mLs
of Duplagan at water changes.  I am not using any fertilizer tablets
at all, but do have a laterite/gravel substrate.  I remeasured just a
couple of hours after the water change and found virtually no
difference in the iron level.  I even suspected a defective kit until I
checked it out with a solution that I made up.  I suppose the plants
must be stocking the iron as soon as it becomes available and
utilizing it during the course of the week or two that there is between
water changes.  Still, this makes me wonder if our target level of 0.1
mg/L isn't still too high.  Perhaps we are giving the wrong impression
that it should be *sustained* at that level.  I will continue to monitor
my iron levels without changing my current fertilizer regime.  I will
also look for signs of iron defficiency.

Jonathan in Maryland
Energetics, Inc
7164 Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
(410) 290-0370

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