Hey Everbody,

Just had a question that I'd like to answered. Now I've had my dirted tank for about a month and a half it's not very hi-tech by any means. I have clay in the dirt, dosing flourish excel and iron, and running a pink zoomed T5 and a super daylight zoomed T5 as well. But I've been wondering for a while now what is the best source of iron for the plants. If there are any further questions any one would like to know about the tank post a comment


Views: 101

Comment by LED on April 24, 2013 at 5:23pm

iron rich clay in the dirt should be enough iron supplementation.  if you over do iron, you will cause your plants to have toxic levels of iron.  if you have fish, that can also lead to iron toxicity in your fauna as well.

for high tech tanks micro ferts (like Plantex ) are a good source which can be measured out with known quantity.  iron rich clay in the substrate provides iron via roots mainly and some via leaching into the water column.  both are fine,  but only one has known measured iron content (to some degree of accuracy)

Comment by Dennis Williams on April 24, 2013 at 7:25pm
Thanks for the feedback. I've had a lot of questions about planted tanks and seeing as how when I go to the fish store the guy running it really has no advice for plants really he's just strictly a bare tank kind of guy, the help from others is really nice to have.
Comment by Dennis Williams on May 7, 2013 at 8:14am
Awesome thanks lee-Roy I've been wondering if I could put some rusty iron in the dirt since it would be a slower release. My next tank I'm going to have to try that we have plenty of left over rebar from where I work. One question for anyone how much ferric iron should be in the substrate before its considered too much?
Comment by LED on May 7, 2013 at 1:40pm

I understand the point of the question but first i must mention, if you're going to talk about ferric iron you need to talk about the source of iron.

If i say only have a thin layer of laterite as an iron source, I would state a different quantity for iron shavings.  One source is more pure than the other so one must be mindful of the quantity of iron in each source.

so now going back to your question

In the case of rusty nails like Lee suggested, I would only have a max of 2 nails per large plant or so.  this quantity isnt set it stone.  make sure not to use any stainless steel nails as they do not rust in water.

in the case of laterite, use only a thin layer then mix with a small amount of secondary layer then put the full amount of second layer then whatever else on top of that

in the case of iron ore, I dont have much information on this substance except that it is quite rich in rion like laterite so i would suggest also do a thin layer

if you have any other iron sources like rebar once again its a more pure source of iron and it depends on the surface area of the source.  i would only use about 3 bars to the length of the tank or less

the main thing here is to understand that iron uptake only occurs when the plants reduce the iron from an oxide state via their roots or the water column.  its best to have good rooting plants to uptake iron from the substrate.

Comment by Dennis Williams on May 10, 2013 at 8:09pm
I understand that a person does have to be mindful of how much is put in compared to everything else. I'm just a beginner with a lot of different out of order questions. Just trying to ask the right questions even if I happen to jump around from one end of the spectrum to the other. All of the info from everyone has helped me understand things more in depth than just me doing things on my own. Thanks for the comments though.


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