Charles, can you break this down -- explain how iron works and how to use it for pond plants


Apr 28, 2011
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NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
United States
@crsublette Hey there, Charles! I was wondering if you would read this article on iron [in aquaponics] and sort of, well, translate it into more simple language -- you're so good at that! I want to understand the "why" everything happens, but I get sooooo lost when it comes to chemistry and how everything relates to something else to keep a balance. (I was also reading about other "plant nutrient" additives, and there is such a fine line there between how these all interact and what will help & what won't. And of course, it all has to be fish-safe without contributing to an algae problem. Geesh!)

I get the gist: that Fe has 2 forms, "ferrous" and "ferric." Ferrous state is usable by plants while ferric state is not. Throw in the pH factor which can change everything....... Chelated Fe has chemicals added to make the Fe available to the plants........


coyotes call me Charles
Oct 23, 2011
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Dalhart Texas
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Did a little write up in the thread... Water pH and Peat Moss... Hope this helps... but that really is the extent of my knowledge at the moment... if there is something you do not understand, then best to ask a more specific question... I am kind of at a loss here on what to write.

Yea, any type of fertilizer you add... in our pond environment... will always promote algae... even though I know some pond fertilizer products suggest they do not, which I do not believe... :)

For our context... if you are wanting to grow terrestrial plants such as vegetables or something else that requires additional fertilization... then I would build a wicking bed, which is best explained in my aquaponics thread (might have to skip the first half of the thread to get to what you want).

Wicking beds create a layer of protection between the pond water and the soil... this prevents fertilizer you add to the soil from readily entering the pond, unless there is a heavy rain possibly leaching the nutrients through the soil. Wicking beds function by gravity flowing water through water resevoir at the bottom of the wicking... There are many YouTube videos that might better help to visualize it. Takes some ingenuity to build them. An even safer way to do this.. is to simply use the water from your pond to irrigate your garden and do not allow the water to return back to the pond....

Not all plants nor vegetables need supplemental fertilization... certain leafy green plants only need just the nitrates from the pond and whatever small phosphates that are present in the water... and you can grow these in a DWC... floating in its own container where the pond water is allowed to flow through it.

Hope this helps... seems like I might have rambled on... :)

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