Iron.

riverbum

New member
I have read about people adding iron to encourage red algae growth. I have some live rock that had some beautiful red algae which has mostly died off. Any chance that I might save it with a liittle iron suplenentation? Is that a bad idea? Was sort of ways does one add iron to a tank?

Thanks,
 

greenighs

New member
Re: Iron.

riverbum said:
I have read about people adding iron to encourage red algae growth. I have some live rock that had some beautiful red algae which has mostly died off. Any chance that I might save it with a liittle iron suplenentation? Is that a bad idea? Was sort of ways does one add iron to a tank?

Thanks,
I started a thread about supplements right before you posted this! Look at the thread "What Supplements do you use ...." below.
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
Iron additions do seem benificial to most Macro's. There are several commercial iron suppments made for aquaria. I like to start with low dosages and gradually ramp up the dosage according to how the tank reacts to it.
 

chem_fun

New member
ok...

yeah, I've read the tap water threads.

I'm wondering what quantities of iron are good, and how much is dangerous.

I'm still fighting with the ro/tap question.

Currently my water is as follows

NO3 = 0
P = 0
I = 0
Ca = 500 ppm
pH is naturally low, but I can add baking soda

I know I've got iron, and I'm looking for the procedure for a test.
Ditto for arsenic, but I doubt it's down that far, I've got a 300 foot well.
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
There's not much data on iron toxicity. Though I did find a reference in one of Thiel's old books saying that over 5ppm was a problem. Testing I gather is too complecated for any hobbyist grade test kit to actually provide realistic results. However, iron is rapidly used up in our tanks. My basic rule of thumb for adding iron is to go slow. Add little doses and watch the tanks reaction. Gradually ramp it up till you hit the point that any increases only cause an increase in undesirable algae growth and no notacable benifits for the desirable macro's. So far I find that you'll get some particularly heave micro algae growth long before any signs of toxicity. So if the micro growth isn't too bad, I wouldn't worry too much about the iron content of your well. However, arsenic and other contimants are another story and might warrant a proffesional water test being done for your own sake.
 

chem_fun

New member
I'm a chemistry teacher with a modestly stocked lab. Are there any chemists on the forum that might know how I could test for iron, arsenic or any other nasty that might be in my well water.
 

riverbum

New member
chem_fun said:
I'm a chemistry teacher with a modestly stocked lab. Are there any chemists on the forum that might know how I could test for iron, arsenic or any other nasty that might be in my well water.

Probably best asked in the RC Chemistry forum. I bet somebody there would know. Good luck!

Edit: Link
 

duec22

New member
You might be able to do a few qualitative tests, but more than likely in order to get a reliable quanitaive result you will need to turn to something like ICP or ICPMS, wich can run you anywhere from $50 on up by the prices my company charges...
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
The chem forum is definately the best place for that info ;) Though I have a feeling that if there was a simple reliable titration for iron, Habib (Salifert) would have come up with it and made a test kit.
 

Plantbrain

New member
Bill, I've tried testing iron for many years with FW systems and have a better solution than testing.

Using a set volume to tank ratio is much better.
Say 3mls per 20 gallon of tank 2x a week etc.

I really would strongly argue against any type of Fe test kit that you can relate consistent results to consistent growth in any plant or algae.
I have used Lamott and Hach kits that run about 65-90$. Other kits are pretty much worthless.
The lab has autoanalyzers but iron is funny and requires other methods.

Basically, the test kits do not tell you what it is you need to know.

Fe is very funny, it forms some 12-20 inorganic comlexes in water, I will say there are more organic complexes and these vary in their bioavailabilty which is the key question here. Totla Fe is not the same as bioavialable.

You advice is good about starting low and slowly adding more till you get a negative response.

This is what most suggest but rather than testing with kits, I would suggest trying the tank volume, mls per unit time as a better method.

I have had trouble with adding KNO3 + KH2PO4 + traces all at one time or within 2-3 days of eachother but if I add just KNO3 and traces etc things are fine or if I add just KH2PO4 and traces things seem fine also.
I cannot add all three without problems.

Hope this helps,
Reghards,
Tom Barr
 
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