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Iron gluconate

> I'm not a chemist, so I won't get into the possible benefits of one chelate
> over another.  I _can_ tell you that at least some plants can certainly use
> EDTA chelated iron through leves and stems.  Two that I am sure about are
> Riccia and Salvinia.  Neither have any roots at all.

That actually falls in nicely with what I said earlier... the plants you 
described lack roots, therefore the leaves and stems have taken on the 
critical characteristics of roots (i.e. iron chelate adsorbption). Of 
course there are always going to be exceptions... I'm sure there probably 
are plants out there that can utilize EDTA-Iron through a foliar route... 
and probably just as many that cannot... so the trick is, figuring out 
which of your plants can and cannot do this. As stated elsewhere the best 
way really is going to be trying both types of products (EDTA vs gluconate) 
and see which one performs best in your system.

>  It sounds, form what you're
> saying, that if dosed daily, your product might be more efficient in
> supplying iron to the plants.  OTOH, it has been demonstrated by many of us
> over a period of time that at least some EDTA chelated iron products
> provide sufficient levels of iron for excellent growth (even to non-rooted
> plants) even when dosed on a weekly basis.  Perhaps the dosing regimen that
> is prefered by a particular aquarist also would dictate which kind of
> product would work better for them.

Yes, it really comes to a question of degree. If one is using EDTA-Iron on 
a weekly basis and getting the growth and response they desire, then that's 
great. I'm just saying that if a gluconate-iron supplement had been used 
instead of the EDTA-Iron (and depending on the foliar requirements of your 
plants) you would have seen an even better growth/response in your plants 
(although one may not want that much growth as you are then constantly 
pruning the overgrowth :-). I guess the only real way for each individual 
to determine which is best for them is to set up two systems that are 
nearly identical and use only one product in each and after a certain 
period of time look at the results.

-Greg Morin
Gregory Morin, Ph.D.  ~Research Director~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Seachem Laboratories, Inc.      www.seachem.com     888-SEACHEM