The addition of chelated iron to marine aquariums is beneficial to both plants and photosynthetic invertebrates. Only solutions made from ferric citrate or chelated with EDTA remain stable at the pH of seawater (Spotte, 1979).
Additions of iron to reef aquariums achieve a number of qualitative and quantitative effects. For the corals, anemones and other photosynthetic animals, it appears to benefit their photosynthetic partners primarily, and the result is improved colouring, growth and expansion in the host animal. The free-living algae and seaweeds also benefit, and their growth is enhanced through the addition of iron. For this reason we caution the aquarist that the addition of iron or trace element solutions containing iron should be done slowly, to achieve the benefits without the risk of encouraging excessive growth of undesirable algae. Please see Synergistic effect of Phosphate and Trace Elements in chapter 9 for additional information.
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