Randy's DIY Fe (Iron) supplement - Ingredient substitutes/sources

FragIt Dan

Marine Biologist
I am trying to make my own Fe supplement using Randy's guide found here:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/8/chemistry

Where Randy says:
"I selected a dose of about 0.1 to 0.3 mL of a solution containing 5 g of iron (as 25 g of ferrous sulfate heptahydrate) in 250 mL of water containing 50.7 g of sodium citrate dihydrate. This liquid is dosed 2-3 times per week to my system with a total water volume of about 250 gallons."

1) Can I use Ferric Chloride instead of Ferric Sulfate? I can see no reason why not, but wanted to double check.
2) Can I use magnesium citrate instead of sodium citrate (this substitute I am a bit more suspicious of)? If not, are there other readily available substitutes or does anyone know an easy source of Sodium Citrate? I found found some DIY recipes so can make sodium citrate if need be.
 

FragIt Dan

Marine Biologist
A more recent and easier DIY of mine uses Fergon tablets from the drug store:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1807946

Thanks Randy,
I noticed on the other thread a person noted they had to order the Fergon (I too am not able to find it locally) and it ended up being more difficult than buying a commercial aquarium supplement. It would be nice if we could develop a DIY recipe from a list of readily available ingredients for greater flexibility.

Ironically, I have sourced the other constituents listed in my earlier post. Would you know if they would work? We use Ferric Chloride at work instead of Ferrous Sulfate, but it is a source of Fe(III), not Fe(II) and we combine it with EDTA, not sodium citrate. The solution is specifically used for dosing Iron in closed marine systems, but I always like to double check to see if there would be significant benefit to use one ingredient over the other.

I have also found out that Eno might be a suitable source of sodium citrate at 2.68g of sodium citrate/5g packet. Can you think of any reason why we couldn't use Eno?

Dan
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
You might look at your local pharmacy and see what iron supplements are available. Perhaps a local brand will work.

I would use Ferrous salts, preferably, and EDTA may be too strong of a chelator, but it does work as a supplement. It has to break down under UV to be bioavailable.

I'm not familiar with Eno. What is it?
 

JustinGr

Clown Pimp
Randy

I work at a hospital and I called a PharmD and asked about Fergon tablets, I was told we had "Nature's Blend" Ferrous Gluconate (325mg of Ferrous Gluconate). For 5$, I rand down to pick one up. The ingredients are:

Ferrous Gluconate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Croscamellose Sodium, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide, Triacetin, Polydextrose, Titanium Dioxide, Riboflavin, Blue #1 Lake, Red #40 Lake

The Fergon Tables:

Ferrous Gluconate, Sucrose, Corn Starch, Hypromellose, Talc, Maltodextrin, Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide, Titanium Dioxide, Polyethylene Glycol, FD&C Yellow #5 (tartrazine) Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake, Polysorbate 80, Carnauba Wax.

The only chemistry I perform is the burning of Ch3No2, so I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the "Nature's Blend" being a good replacement?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
It looks fine to me. Treat it the same way: dissolve the tablet in RO/DI water by letting it soak for a while and then shake, let the solid settle out, and dose the clear colored liquid. :)
 

FragIt Dan

Marine Biologist
You might look at your local pharmacy and see what iron supplements are available. Perhaps a local brand will work.

I would use Ferrous salts, preferably, and EDTA may be too strong of a chelator, but it does work as a supplement. It has to break down under UV to be bioavailable.

I'm not familiar with Eno. What is it?

Here is a pretty good description:
http://www.drugs.com/uk/eno-spc-8800.html

It is sodium citrate in a bottle :). My concern is the resultant pH of the solution and the possible consequences on the precipitation of Fe. This is getting beyond my knowledge.

I have looked at my local pharmacies for other Fe supplements. My other question is specifically regarding Ferric Chloride and the difference between it (Fe III) vs Ferrous sulfate (Fe II) and the bio-availability of the Fe (III)... IYO would you say Ferric Chloride with sodium Citrate will be sufficiently effective? Thanks Randy, I appreciate the help.
Dan
 

freddie40

New member
Does anyone know if the Walgreens brand is a safe substitute for Fergon?

Fergon ingredients

Ferrous Gluconate , Sucrose (Sugar) , Cornstarch , Hypromellose , Talc , Maltodextrin , Magnesium Stearate , Silicon Dioxide , Titanium Dioxide , Polyethylene Glycol , FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Laketartrazine , FD&C Blue 1 (CI 42090) , Polysorbate 80 , Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera) Wax

Walgreens 27mg

Ferrous Gluconate , Microcrystalline Cellulose , Dicalcium Phosphate , Croscarmellose Sodium , Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose , Polyvinyl Alcohol , Silicon Dioxide , Magnesium Stearate , Polyethylene Glycol , Titanium Dioxide , Polydextrose , Talc , FD&C Yellow No. 5 Lake (Tartrazine) , FD&C Blue No. 1 Lake
 

green1181

New member
Im in Australia and we don't have Fergon pills here, Do you know if the ingredients in this brand are safe to use?

Microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, stearic acid, hypromellose, magnesium silicate, titanium dioxide, triacetin, mineral oil, fd&c blue #1 lake, riboflavin and fd&c.

thanks!!
 

Pondweed

New member
Im in Australia and we don't have Fergon pills here, Do you know if the ingredients in this brand are safe to use?

Green, did you end up dosing anything? I'm also in Aus and a bit lost on what to buy

I have a few options from the chemist
#1 Thompsons organic iron
Active Ingredients: Each tablet contains: Iron (as Amino Acid Chelate) 24mg
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 30mg
Folic Acid 100mcg
Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12) 2mcg

#2 Swisse ultiboost
Iron (from iron amino acid chelate) 20 mg
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid from calcium ascorbate dihydrate) 16.52 mg
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine from pyridoxine hydrochloride) 8.22 mg
Betacarotene 1 mg
Certified Organic Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis cell powder) 200 mg

I'm also looking for an Australian option for manganese, the chaeto growth supplements here are so expensive
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Those products should be safe to use in small quantities. There's enough organics there that I would worry about accidental overdoses a bit, but not all that much.
 
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