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Seattle Aquarist Iron post


JoeQ
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I wanted to question a post @Seattle_Aquaristmade in another thread but without thread stealing. I'm looking at you@PerceptivePesce! ūü§£

In that post you mentioned Nilocg; is the different iron the reason for the smell? 

Most fertilizers don't have a distinctive odor. But with Nilocgs micro bottle (EI Macro/Micro) it has that distinctive "rusty nail" scent. 

The post is copied below for anyone interested.

"Insufficient available iron is not dependent upon the use of CO2 or not. Granted in tanks with CO2 plants grow more quickly and the need for all nutrients (including iron) goes up but even 'low tech' non-CO2 tanks can have insufficient available iron. In fact, low tech tanks are more likely to need supplemental iron than 'high tech' tanks with CO2. Why? Because the iron used in most aquatic plant fertilizers is EDTA chelated iron which is unavailable to plants as the pH of the tank increases dropping off to about 10% availability at a pH of 7.0 and less than 5% availability at pH 7.5 (see chart). 

 

1322791111_FloridaIronChelatesLg.jpg.d69f25d128f4bd66342adf94ca81dd65.jpg

 

Iron insufficiency is relative easy to spot. It shows up on the newest leaves of a plant. The leaves will look relatively normal in shape but exhibit normal green leaf veins with much lighter green to yellowish coloration between the leaf veins. In extreme cases new leaves will be almost white in color (due to a lack of chlorophyll).

 

Ideally an all-in-one fertilizer would use either a DTPA chlated iron or EDDHA chelated iron however most do not with the exception of Nilocg.com Thrive-C which uses DTPA chelated iron and has a carbon supplement built in to the formula. Another iron type that works well with a high pH tank is ferrous gluconate such as is found in Seachem (Flourish) Iron. Remember it is not how much iron is in a fertilizer it is how much iron in the fertilizer that is available to the plants based upon the pH of the tank. Hope this helps! -Roy"

Edited by JoeQ
I cant grammer, or spell!
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Iron can be a really crucial need. Last year, I checked out a small aquaponics farm in PA where they were using Bluegill and growing lettuce. The owner explained that the missing element in the system that they constantly needed to fortify plants with was iron. I note here this can be common in these systems.

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On 12/3/2022 at 8:09 AM, Fish Folk said:

Iron can be a really crucial need. Last year, I checked out a small aquaponics farm in PA where they were using Bluegill and growing lettuce. The owner explained that the missing element in the system that they constantly needed to fortify plants with was iron. I note here this can be common in these systems.

Good read!

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On 12/3/2022 at 4:43 AM, JoeQ said:

I wanted to question a post @Seattle_Aquaristmade in another thread but without thread stealing. I'm looking at you@PerceptivePesce! ūü§£

In that post you mentioned Nilocg; is the different iron the reason for the smell? 

Most fertilizers don't have a distinctive odor. But with Nilocgs micro bottle (EI Macro/Micro) it has that distinctive "rusty nail" scent. 

The post is copied below for anyone interested.

"Insufficient available iron is not dependent upon the use of CO2 or not. Granted in tanks with CO2 plants grow more quickly and the need for all nutrients (including iron) goes up but even 'low tech' non-CO2 tanks can have insufficient available iron. In fact, low tech tanks are more likely to need supplemental iron than 'high tech' tanks with CO2. Why? Because the iron used in most aquatic plant fertilizers is EDTA chelated iron which is unavailable to plants as the pH of the tank increases dropping off to about 10% availability at a pH of 7.0 and less than 5% availability at pH 7.5 (see chart). 

 

1322791111_FloridaIronChelatesLg.jpg.d69f25d128f4bd66342adf94ca81dd65.jpg

 

Iron insufficiency is relative easy to spot. It shows up on the newest leaves of a plant. The leaves will look relatively normal in shape but exhibit normal green leaf veins with much lighter green to yellowish coloration between the leaf veins. In extreme cases new leaves will be almost white in color (due to a lack of chlorophyll).

 

Ideally an all-in-one fertilizer would use either a DTPA chlated iron or EDDHA chelated iron however most do not with the exception of Nilocg.com Thrive-C which uses DTPA chelated iron and has a carbon supplement built in to the formula. Another iron type that works well with a high pH tank is ferrous gluconate such as is found in Seachem (Flourish) Iron. Remember it is not how much iron is in a fertilizer it is how much iron in the fertilizer that is available to the plants based upon the pH of the tank. Hope this helps! -Roy"

Hi @JoeQ

So I pulled out the three (3) types of iron I use for my DIY iron mix:  Plantex CSM+B which contains EDTA chelated iron; ferrous gluconate 12.46%; and DPTA chelated iron 11%.  I sniffed all three and they all had the distinctive 'metallic' iron smell.  Interestingly the one with the least aroma (to me) was the DPTA iron.

I think the reason that the Easy Green has less of the 'rusty nail' smell deals more with the iron concentration in the the two fertilizers.  The Easy Green contains 0.13% iron (EDTA) and the Nilocg.com liquid 'Micros' contains 0.50% iron or about 4 times the amount of iron as Easy Green.  The iron chelate type in the Macro & Micro Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer is unspecified however EI dosing is typically EDTA chelated iron (I contacted nilocg.com for confirmation). 

The Thrive-C contains 0.32% iron (DPTA) or about 2.5 times as much iron as Easy Green.   -Roy

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On 12/3/2022 at 2:27 PM, Seattle_Aquarist said:

Hi @JoeQ

So I pulled out the three (3) types of iron I use for my DIY iron mix:  Plantex CSM+B which contains EDTA chelated iron; ferrous gluconate 12.46%; and DPTA chelated iron 11%.  I sniffed all three and they all had the distinctive 'metallic' iron smell.  Interestingly the one with the least aroma (to me) was the DPTA iron.

I think the reason that the Easy Green has less of the 'rusty nail' smell deals more with the iron concentration in the the two fertilizers.  The Easy Green contains 0.13% iron (EDTA) and the Nilocg.com liquid 'Micros' contains 0.50% iron or about 4 times the amount of iron as Easy Green.  The iron chelate type in the Macro & Micro Liquid Aquarium Plant Fertilizer is unspecified however EI dosing is typically EDTA chelated iron (I contacted nilocg.com for confirmation). 

The Thrive-C contains 0.32% iron (DPTA) or about 2.5 times as much iron as Easy Green.   -Roy

Thanks for giving it the sniff test for me! ūü§£ I'm not sure what micro blend of Nilocg you are using, but mine is .95%

 

 

 

20221203_143459.jpg

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So far I'm fairly happy with Nilocg, except for the fact that the Micro clouds my water for half the day. But to be honest I'd rather that than under dose fertilizer(s) and keeping an eagle eye out for deficiencies (which im not the best on diagnosing and fixing)....... Anywho, let me know what you find, Thanks!!!

Edited by JoeQ
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Hi @JoeQ

I heard back from Colin, the owner of Nilocg.com, and he indicated the following:
"HI Roy, the micro bottle from the Liquid NPK+M set is not based on CSM+B(though originally it was, but not in the past 4-5 years).  It contains ferrous gluconate.  BTW, I know i need to get that label updated with ingredients and a proper analysis.  Its on my list of things to do, unfortunately that list is quite long, haha.
Thanks
Colin"

So the micro nutrients of the NPK+M package contains ferrous gluconate as the iron source, one of the best sources of iron for the full range of pH values we would typically find in our planted tanks.  -Roy

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On 12/5/2022 at 1:54 PM, Seattle_Aquarist said:

Hi @JoeQ

I heard back from Colin, the owner of Nilocg.com, and he indicated the following:
"HI Roy, the micro bottle from the Liquid NPK+M set is not based on CSM+B(though originally it was, but not in the past 4-5 years).  It contains ferrous gluconate.  BTW, I know i need to get that label updated with ingredients and a proper analysis.  Its on my list of things to do, unfortunately that list is quite long, haha.
Thanks
Colin"

So the micro nutrients of the NPK+M package contains ferrous gluconate as the iron source, one of the best sources of iron for the full range of pH values we would typically find in our planted tanks.  -Roy

 

Cool thanks, IMO they also need to update the website as to what's in the diffrent blend of salts. Which I would have bought but they didn't differentiate between NPK & CSM+B, NPK & Microplex or the Millers Micros versus the plantex CSM + B micro.....  Its still all very confusing for this dumdumb!

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