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RE: Iron and Test kits

Darin Simmons wrote:

>	I am sure many threads could be started about using iron supplementation,
>the amounts, chealation, etc.... But I have a question about iron test
< snip>
>	How about using an alternative test kit or no kit at all for?

There is no reason to get anal about test kits, but neither is there any
good reason to avoid them either. I know that the Sears-Conlin paper
suggests that 0.1 ppm is a good target figure for Iron, and lots of people
seem to have success in following that suggestion.

However, a lot depends upon all the other factors which contribute to the
growth (or lack of same) of your plants. If you have more (or less) light
than Sears-Conlin did, or a different substrate, or use a commercial (as
opposed to PMDD) fertilizer, or have a different mix of plants, then you
might need a different target figure for Iron in your particular tank.

For all of it's supposed glory, the Sears-Conlin paper is not to be taken as
gospel (at least not in _my_ opinion). The Sears-Conlin paper is reporting
two case studies, not controlled experiments. Only two aquarium were
considered, and both had widely differing set-ups. The results of their
observations can in no way be extrapolated as being valid in _all_

That being said, (and I'll just bet I'll be flame bait for the next month -
heck, the list was getting boring anyway, a lot of people must be gearing up
for the Amazon trip), I have one tank which, if I maintain 0.1 ppm Iron in
it would turn pea soup green. It is my experience, in _that_ tank, that if I
can produce even a hint of a color change on a Seachem Iron test (much below
the measured range of the test kit), there is enough Iron in the water.
Another tank, which uses micronized Iron in the substrate, has NEVER shown
any detectable Iron on a LaMotte low range Iron kit, however the plants show
no signs of being Iron deficient.

So, as the saying goes, your mileage may vary. Learn what a healthy, growing
plant looks like, and guage your dosing on how your plants are responding.
But if you ARE adding supplemental nutrients, then you SHOULD have a range
of accurate test kits to monitor what you add.

James Purchase