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Old 05-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
chandlerr2scott
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High phosphates? why?


Okay so in my 14 gallon bio-cube i decided to stop using a skimmer ( several months ago). My tank has been perfect. except for phosphates..... they never seem to go down! Why is it just my phosphates!? I feel like other nutrients should be out of whack but they arent. I used to have cyano bad but I finally got rid of it. It stayed gone so i hoped my phosphates were normal but they aren't. What causes phosphates and does phosban filter media work? Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:58 AM   #2
The_!
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C2s
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:01 AM   #3
The_!
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c2s,

Why did you stop using a skimmer?
Did you have any phosphate issue before stopping the skimmer?
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:22 AM   #4
bongarone
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Use GFO.

How are your nitrates?
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #5
Devinator
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In order of effectiveness: make sure source water doesn't contain phosphates, have a good skimmer, dont overstock tank, regularly remove detritus, employ GFO in a reactor
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
Geoff
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phosphates come from food initially, that is unless you are not using RO/DI water, in that case then there are probable phosphates from the water itself.

the food is either eaten or rots in the system. the critters poo the food and the rotting food all becomes detritus. this is where your phosphates are. to get rid of phosphates you need to get rid of the detritus.

using GFO and the like is just going after the phosphates after the fact. don't waste your money on them yet. work on your maintenance first. start getting the detritus out of the system regularly (preferably weekly) and see how things come around.

remember, if you have a substrate, then there is going to be detritus hiding in there. siphon the substrate clean during water changes.

G~
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
chandlerr2scott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
phosphates come from food initially, that is unless you are not using RO/DI water, in that case then there are probable phosphates from the water itself.

the food is either eaten or rots in the system. the critters poo the food and the rotting food all becomes detritus. this is where your phosphates are. to get rid of phosphates you need to get rid of the detritus.

using GFO and the like is just going after the phosphates after the fact. don't waste your money on them yet. work on your maintenance first. start getting the detritus out of the system regularly (preferably weekly) and see how things come around.

remember, if you have a substrate, then there is going to be detritus hiding in there. siphon the substrate clean during water changes.

G~
I have tried siphoning my sand but it is so fine that it just sucks upp all the sand. I cleaned the whole tank the best i could about 2 days ago so we will see. Thanks for the great description though!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:45 PM   #8
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My thinking is this; the aquarist should do everything in their power to keep a clean (not sterile) environment in their aquarium, a phosphate reactor is a "helping hand" in that effort. Like two people moving a couch instead of one dragging and straining.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:22 PM   #9
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When you siphon have you tried to pinch the hose a little to reduce the flow?
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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+1 on pinching the hose to control flow. How old is the sand and the LR? What kind of sand is it? How often do you blow out the nooks and crannies in the LR? If the LR and sand are saturated, they may be leaching phosphates to the rest of the tank.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:22 PM   #11
kevin32
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The most common problem of phosphate is.....

1. Water source ( Are you using RODI water? Make sure TDS test @ 0)

2. Food choice (What food are you feeding your fish. If it's frozen do you rinse the food in rodi to remove the phosphate buildup? If flakes how much are you feeding?)



To reduce phosphate there is a few things you can do

1. Run a Granular Ferric Oxide (GFO) reactor to remove the phosphate level in your tank.

2. Pay attention to the food you are using. If using frozen food make sure you thaw it and rinse it in RODI to remove all the phosphate that is in the food. Dont over feed on flakes those has phosphates too.

3. Make sure you do water change to remove excess nutrients along with good maintenance.


I currently have a phosphate problem as well. I'm currently using a GFO reactor made my "Two Little Fish" which I got on Drfosterandsmith.com for a good price. I think it's $30 right now.

I feed only twice a day and rinse all my frozen food in RO or RODI water. Good luck..
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:36 PM   #12
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Maintenance always comes first. But I also believe in helping to get it down initially until proper maintenance has been caught up on. (I believe this because once algae starts to grow, now you have a bigger problem and mess. So in my opinion, get the phosphate down asap, while you're working on the cause.) So, along with water changes, add a bag of chemi pure elite (got to get the elite.) Once your regimen is nailed down and things are looking good, take out the chemipure and test test test.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:53 AM   #13
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GFO is only going to remove phosphates that it can see. algae/cyano in the display will have first dibs on the phosphates. they are in the water column itself where the phosphates are produced. in other words the GFO is a day late and a dollar short to the phosphate party.

to lower phosphates is easy. just siphon out all of the detritus. nothing more needs to be done. get to the source of the phosphates instead of trying to cover up the problem with a bunch of band-aids.

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:05 PM   #14
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I'd suggest manually removing what algae you can. Geoff is right, in my opinion, in removing the detrius. As the available nutrients from the detrius are removed, there is less to keep algae growing. Combine this with manual removal of algae you can reach, and the phosphates and nitrates begin to go down slowly on their own. GFO can help remove phosphates, as mentioned, but isn't needed to remove phosphates. Good maintenance is all that is needed.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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Many an aquarist has been meticulous to a fault and still get unwanted algae and phosphates, the reactor is an appreciated adjunct as is the skimmer.
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