When Should I Dose Iron in My Planted Aquarium?
As people require certain nutrients for their bodies to function properly, aquatic plants need a specific mix of basic building blocks to survive and grow. Macronutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous are nutrients that plants consume large quantities of, while micronutrients such as iron and manganese are nutrients that are consumed in small amounts by plants. Easy Green, an all in one liquid fertilizer that contains iron (Fe), is there a need to supplement this iron in the tank?
Are my aquarium plants in need of more iron?
Plants use iron to make chlorophyll. This is a green pigment that absorbs light and makes energy. In general, plants that are fast-growing or need bright lighting use lots of energy. They often require extra iron to increase their ability to produce more chlorophyll. An increase in iron can help your plants grow stronger and produce more vibrant colors.
Does my aquarium plant have iron deficiencies? It is a fascinating fact that iron cannot freely move between different areas of the plant that lacks it. The result is that if the iron level in your aquarium is low, the plants’ newer leaves may turn yellow from lack of chlorophyll. But the old leaves retain their bright colors.
Plants lacking iron might show yellowing or pallor on their newest leaves, with veins that are darker in color.
Does red plants need iron? It is important to note that iron helps create green chlorophyll and not red pigment. Scarlet temple and Ammanniagracilis are red plants. They also consume more nutrients, so extra iron is possible. Red-leafed plants contain large amounts of red pigment and smaller amounts of green chlorophyll, and scientists are looking into the purpose of these red pigments and why red plants become more vibrant in bright sunlight. Under intense lighting, the red pigment may serve to protect leaves from excess light energy, and the amounts of green pigment may be decreased since not as much chlorophyll is needed to collect 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 highest leaves may turn pink, red or purple depending on where they are located. However, the lower leaves remain green in the shade.
Bottom line, if your fish tank is not suffering from nutrient deficiencies or you aren’t trying high-light plants to it, you won’t need additional iron. Supplemental iron is not required if you have iron-enriched substrate or well water. However, if your tank has greater iron demands than what is currently being provided, keep reading.
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. It contains a highly concentrated blend of iron derived from ferrous gluconate, iron DTPA, and iron EDTA. Iron is rapidly used in aquariums. As such, we recommend using 1 ml (or 1 ml) per 10 gallons water. This can be done 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.
Start with a low dose and increase gradually over the next two weeks if you are unsure. 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.
Why does Easy Green not contain more iron? Easy Green fertilizer is already a good choice for most planted aquariums. It contains trace amounts of iron. We created Easy Iron to be an additional product that can be used when needed.
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. You can have fun every day with your planted tank.