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Of Iron, chelators, and test kits


I must have either too much time an overly inquisitive mind these days.

I have just got off the phone with Seachem technical support and been
informed that the Iron supplied in their Flourish line of products is non-
chelated, that it is ferrous  gluconate and that this makes it better than
other iron supplements which are chelated.

I was then reminded of the many posts on the APD which indicate that
neither the Lamotte or Hatch test kits test for chelated iron. Yet most of
us get measurable numbers from these test kits.

Could one of more chemically inclined APDers remove some of the
confusion surrounding the statements the test kit manufacturers are
making versus the results which we obtain in practice?  I have read that
it is possible the test kits can still be accurate, that the measurements
we get are as a result of the iron comming unchelated (is this a word?)
But if this is true, it raises the question, how fast and how completly
is the iron unchelated by the time we test it? (is it measuring all the

Additional questions regards iron I have:
  1)  in measurements I have made using Dupla in a
       bucket of tap water, the iron levels remain stable
       over a period of a week.  This seems to contradict
       what I have read that iron is unstable. Any insight?
 2)   Does anyone know if the Dupla products are
       chelated and by which chelate?
 3)   Is there really any benefit to non-chelated iron
       versus chelated ferrous iron?


Christopher Coleman
christopher.coleman at worldnet_att.net