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re: iron gluconate

dave >> How is ferrous gluconate "targeted" to the leaves and stems?

greg > By keeping the iron solubilized the leaves and stems have a greater
> opportunity to absorb the iron than do the roots. This "opportunity" is
> based on two factors: (1) The leaves and stems represent a much higher
> percentage of the plant's surface area than do the roots and (2) over a
> given unit of time a greater volume of water passes by the leaves and stem
> (unless an UGF is employed, in which case the water flow discrepancy is
> as great).

Two comments:

1. Let's step back and ask "Why would we want to target iron at the leaves?"
In one of the older TAG issues, Diana Walstad (sp?) outlined an approach of
eliminating available iron (whatever flavour) in the water column as an
effective algae control. I believe much of Steve Pushak's substrate
experiments (sequestering the iron into the substrate) has the same effect -
targeting plants and starving algae of a critical nutrient.
Wouldn't an easily available iron source in the water feed algae -
especially hair algae?

2. Would it not make sense that the chelating agent with the STRONGEST bond
would be more beneficial to a planted aquarium (notice I didn't say
"plants") - precisely because of the ADDITIONAL energy required to break
these bonds?
I am assuming that plants have more energy resources than algae and,
therefore, are better equipped to extract the iron.
Again, the goal is to target the plants and not algae.

Just pondering ...

Michael Eckardt
"As if you could kill time without injuring eternity." Unknown