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to much iron

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typically some heavy metals... iron, potassium, magnesium, etc. will lead to some algae forming and it's usually not fun to try to get rid of.  A lot of keepers don't have test kits for that sort of thing.  It is the type of thing where you might not realize you are way over or have an issue.  You're dosing iron because a plant has a deficiency, algae in the tank as well harming the plant from thriving, then you run into further issues because of the dosing issues.

That being said. I think there is a lot of well written articles, guides, tips, notes, comments, and those sorts of things said in passing by some very talented plant keepers.  Especially someone doing EI dosing, they really have a grasp for what to add to their water, when, and how much.  I encourage you to look up some of the posts on iron in this section, there was a thread just recently diving into how hard it can be to get enough iron in the tank.  There's also been stories of back in the day using iron nails to add iron to planted tanks. 

Just keep an eye out.  My advice would be that whenever you're dosing any metals to a tank, have a kit to test for it. That's all. Some plants do need that added dosing.

From the ACO blog article.


When in doubt, start with a low dosage and slowly increase after two weeks. People have reported an increase in filamentous or hair algae when an excessive amount of iron is used. Some planted tank articles recommend aiming for a range of 0.1-0.5 ppm iron in your aquarium water.


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On 12/9/2022 at 7:58 AM, phish head said:

Is it possible to add to much iron to a planted tank?


Hi @phish head

When reading the various planted tank forums and reading the recommendations of those who have developed various nutrient dosing methods for planted tanks there is a very wide range of recommended levels of iron content ranging from 0.2 ppm to 5.00 ppm.  Personally I dose 0.64 ppm of iron once a week and do a weekly water change of 33% weekly.  If there was no uptake of iron by my plants my iron ppm would equalize over time at 1.9 ppm but because my local water (Seattle) has some (very little 0.02 ppm) ) iron in it my equilibrium theoretically is 1.95 ppm.

I have minimal issues with algae and no evidence of insufficient available iron when examining the new growth of my plants.  Could I do less?  Possibly but to what end?  My iron is my own DIY mix of CSM+B which contains EDTA chelated iron, DTPA chelated iron (11%), and ferrous gluconate (12.46%).  The mix consists of 4 parts CSM+B; 1 part DTPA iron; and 1 part ferrous gluconate (all measured by volume - not weight) and I dose 1/8 teaspoon per 10 gallons once a week.  -Roy

Bacopa colorata

Edited by Seattle_Aquarist
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