When Should I Dose Iron in My Planted Aquarium?
Just as people need certain nutrients to function correctly, aquatic plants require a unique mix of fundamental building blocks to live and grow. Macronutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous are nutrients that plants consume large amounts of, while micronutrients such as iron and manganese are nutrients that plants only consume in trace quantities. Easy Green and many other all-in-one fertilizers already contain iron (Fe), so why would you need to add iron to your tank?
Do My Aquarium Plants Need More Iron?
Iron is used by plants to make chlorophyll. It is a green pigment which helps plants absorb light and create energy. The plants that need bright lighting or are quick-growing will require a lot more energy. In order to get more energy, they often require supplemental iron to produce an abundance of chlorophyll. Adding more iron to your aquarium will result in a healthier plant growth and vibrant colors.
Do my aquarium plants have an iron deficiency? An interesting fact about iron is that it cannot freely move from one area of the plant to another area that lacks it. Consequently, if your aquarium is low in iron, the newest leaves on the plant look pale or yellow from insufficient chlorophyll, whereas the old leaves still retain their bright colors.
Plants that lack iron may display yellowing or paleness on their newest leaves with leaf veins that remain darker in color.
Are red plants dependent on iron? The primary function of iron is to create green pigments from chlorophyll, and not red pigment. Red plants such as scarlet temple and Ammannia gracis may need extra iron, since they are high-light plants that consume higher amounts of nutrients. Scientists are studying the function of red-leafed plant red pigments. These plants have higher levels of red chlorophyll than green chlorophyll. The red pigment can protect the leaves from excessive light energy. Also, less chlorophyll is required to capture light photons. To enhance the redness in your aquarium, we recommend high light, CO2 injection, and good nutrition dosing (including Iron).
With certain red plants, the topmost leaves closest to the light may turn pink, red, or even purple, whereas the lower leaves in the shade stay green.
Bottom line: if your planted aquarium isn’t displaying nutrient deficiencies and you aren’t trying to grow high light plants, you probably don’t need to add any extra iron beyond what comes in Easy Green fertilizer. You also don’t require supplemental iron If you are using well water or iron-enriched substrate that already contains excess iron. Keep reading if your tank requires more iron than is being supplied.
How often should I add iron to my aquarium?
Easy Iron is our iron supplement for enhanced plant growth that is completely safe for aquarium fish, shrimp, and snails. This highly concentrated iron blend is derived from iron DTPA, ferrous gluconate and iron EDTA. Iron is very efficient in aquariums. Therefore, we recommend that you use 1 ml (1 ml), of Easy Iron per 10 gallon of water approximately every 1-3 days as needed. Each pump contains 0.26 ppm iron and a whole bottle can treat up to 5,000 galallons of water.
If in doubt, begin with a low dosage for two weeks and gradually increase the dose over time. There have been reports of an increase in filamentous and hair algae due to excessive iron. Some articles about planted tanks recommend an aquarium water level between 0.1 to 0.5 ppm iron.
Why doesn’t Easy Green contain more iron? Easy Green fertilizer does already contain iron, but in trace amounts that are appropriate for most planted aquariums. Easy Iron is a separate product that can also be added to other nutrients and minerals.
If your aquatic plants are not suffering from a shortage of iron and you still have problems, we have a full article that will help you determine if the symptoms are related. Have fun with your tank and be sure to enjoy the outdoors every day.