Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I have been told that if my leaves are yellow I need to add iron to my system. Does anyone know how to get proper iron that won't harm the fish. My fish are healthy and water is good but my leaves are yellow. My systems are after the Friendly Aquaponics people in Hawaii. I am going to tell them about your site, I took a 4 day class last year and am going back in April. I know though the more info I can get the more successful I will become. I already have people wanting to learn about it. I am glad I stumbled into you.

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Comment by Raychel A Watkins on March 22, 2010 at 7:59pm
thanks everyone for all the great advise. Shawn I went to BEI and got 25lbs of chelated iron and I hope to use it this week. I want to be around so I don't come home to a disaster if something goes wrong. I appreciate the tip about the video on utube. That explained how to put it in. You guys and girls are great. I am glad I joined the group.
Comment by Richard Wyman on March 22, 2010 at 1:41pm
Chelated iron has been processed to make it attach to an amino acid molecule, the plants allow the amino acid into its cell walls easier than just the iron molecule. I do remember the article about worms mentioning amino acids, so that must have been right.

The problem I am having now is finding some local Iron Chelate, 5 different locations so far, closest I have found has micronutrients including copper and zinc, so that stayed at the store.
I found this online it looks good being from an aqauarium retailer, but my poor radishes will hate the longer wait.
Comment by Nate Storey on March 22, 2010 at 11:49am
One other suggestion, if adding chelated iron isn't your style- plant a bed or whatever you're using with a ryegrass and see if your iron situation improves. we're using the phytochelatins produced by rygrass roots to chelate iron in alkaline soils. . . . i generally keep my pH low enough (right below 7) that it isn't a problem- but i also have rye and barley in my system!
Comment by David Hart on March 21, 2010 at 4:26pm
Hi Richard, I'm not sure how iron is 'chelated' either. That's interesting, what you said about worms. I know some well water around here has iron in it.
With what Sylvia brought up about the sounds like it's a balancing act...trying to find a happy middle for everything

Here's a clip from a DVD, it shows Murray Hallman adding chelated iron to an aquaponic system.
I think he 'may be' one of the guest speakers in an upcoming webinar. Very knowledgeable fellow.
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on March 21, 2010 at 3:09pm
Hi guys. I've used MaxiCrop a few times, mainly during cycling or if I have a problem with the fish and need to keep feeding the plants something. Plants really seem to like it. Haven't heard of the "with iron" version. The reason why we use the chelated form is that it remains in solution and is readily available to the plants even with pH shifts. This is especially important for iron, which has a very small pH range under which it is accessible to the plants, and it tends to be most accessible in ranges that are intolerable for fish (i.e. below 6.0). Found this cool graph to show what I mean -

And while I'm willing to believe that earthworms help to chelate iron (I believe earthworms can do a lot of cool things!) I'm certain that it isn't the only way to chelate iron.
Comment by Richard Wyman on March 21, 2010 at 1:21pm
Thanks David.

I have read that putting rusty iron in your system won't help. The plants can't take up the iron. I have also read that many nutrients are not usable by the plants until they become chelated by passing through the intestines of a worm. ( Can't find where I read this. Should have saved it). I don't know if iron would be included in this process, but it seems like it could. Or this this just wishful thinking?
Comment by David Hart on March 21, 2010 at 12:23pm

The one with iron comes in either liquid or powder.
Comment by Richard Wyman on March 21, 2010 at 9:29am
Hi all,

There seems to be two maxi crop fertilizers. One is from General Hydroponics, the other is supposed to be an organic tomato fertilizer, Maxi-crop, with the hyphen. I couldn't seem to find the details of ingredients on my search last night, which of these products are you guys using in your systems?
Comment by David Hart on March 17, 2010 at 8:16pm
Stucco uses Maxi Crop with iron. It's made from for the fish. I searched for hydroponic stores in my area, then checked their websites to see if they had it.
You can order directly from the manufacture.
Sylvia made a good point about the pH.
Comment by Raychel A Watkins on March 17, 2010 at 1:48am
thanks for the info. I logged into their site and got the info. Don't laugh at the nails I was actually considering putting a cast iron skillet into one of my small tanks with few fish. I think I will try that later.

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