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Old 10-19-2009, 07:47 AM   #1
Hoosier53
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Methods for Bringing Down High Phosphates


Ive done alot of reading on this subject and cant decide the right approach. I know that doing frequent water changes will over time lower my phosphates, but because mine are at such a high level ~10-11 ppm.
Ive looked into different ways to directly remove phosphate. Seachem seems to make a decent phophate binding agent. I know that aluminum and iron products can be used, has anybody seen the adverse afects of these products in their tanks? Does anyone have any suggestions on a good product?
Is it not even worth it to buy a phosphate binding product, instead should I just increase water changes to once a week until my phosphate are under control?
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:06 AM   #2
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GFO if you have stony corals. I get mine in bulk from BulkReefSupply
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:17 AM   #3
Seaweed88
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I have used a product called PO4 minus. It works with your protein skimmer.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #4
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I run a phosphate reactor with Seachem and it seems to do a good job controlling my phosphate levels. I have noticed in the past my soft corals tend not to open up when there is too much flow going through the reactor.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:53 AM   #5
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Are you seeing issues with algae or encrusting corals peeling from rock? I'm always concerned when I see readings that high since po4 is usually consumed rapidly by algae and hobby kits are usually pretty inaccurate at reading po4 through the water column. So a reading that high on a running tank could be misleading.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:11 AM   #6
Hoosier53
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I have the API reef test kit and I dont have a algae problem yet. I have a small amount of algae. However I would like to deal with this before it become a problem. I tested my water change water before I added it to my reef to attain a baseline and I can say that I am sure I have a very high lvl. I may not have an accurate reading but I am confident that I have higher phosphates then I want.

I also just introduced a Duncan into my tank and I am concerned that because my phosphate lvls are so high the this will inhibts its calcification process
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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Well you may get by simply by running gfo in a filter sock... How did you test the water before putting it in your tank? There should be zero po4 if your using RO/DI or distilled water. There is a possibility your getting a false po4 reading on newly mixed SW since API tests for inorganic, rather than organic phosphates.

Just food for thought, but I'm a firm believer in listening to what the tank is saying. And so far I havn't heard anything that is saying you have a 10ppm problem
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:27 AM   #8
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I used the API test kit to test the water before I placed it in the tank. The water I am getting is from a LFS and it is RO/DI water, I was just confirming that I wasnt getting ripped off by the LFS when I tested that water.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:58 AM   #9
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Well if your truly having po4 in the water you are buying you are gettnig ripped off But I have got false positive tests from mixed salt water. Aerating it for 1-2 days will bring it back on track. Honestly I doubt you really have a major po4 problem, cause if you did you wouldn't be able to see your rock through the algae I would let it ride a month and see where things are at rather than put a band-aid on a wound that may not be there.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:53 PM   #10
cthulhuspawn
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It's alot!


10-11 ppm is alot of phosphates! My tank averages around .25 ppm. I do minimal feedings every other day and run a phosphate reactor. I have a few problems with cyano on my substrate that I have to vacuum every week or so, but little green algae problems.

I can't imagine that with 10-11 ppm you wouldn't have significant troubles. I'll bet your test is off or you're heading into a hurricane!

I would test your LFS R/O water for phosphates just in case they need to change their filter or resin. Your phosphates can be high if you've just stirred up your substrate too.

Controlling: I have a sump with healthy chaeto growth, and a phosphate reactor which has its media changed every two months. That seems to work for me, but your tank might be different.

Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:28 PM   #11
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I use ROWAPhos. IT is expensive, but I have much more success with this over GFO. No negative reactions to any Coral (I have SPS,LPS and some softies)
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
Hoosier53
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As an update on this my tank had begun to grown orange coraline very nice around the tank, but today I have noticed a very small patch of brown/orange growth that appears to have hair like extensions off it. This has happened 2 days after my first real coral addition. I assume this is hairy algae that hitch hiked with the coral. Hopefully I do not get an explosion of hairy algae. I will keep people updated
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:26 PM   #13
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If you have any calcification in the tank what so ever you don't have 10ppm PO4 in your water.

If you have a calcium carbonate substrate and calcium carbonate rocks in your tank and you have that high of a reading in your water, your rock and sand bed would be full of PO4 along with any stony coral. The entire tank would be full of algae even under NO flourecents. Your only hope would be to dismantle the system, then cook the rock for 4 months, then replace the sand and start over.

I can't imagine that any stony corals would be alive in that system.


My bet is a faulty test, a testing error or mis interpretation of the results.

I would definatly get a second opinion. I had a tank with 1/4ppm in the water and had a very very bad algae issue.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:33 AM   #14
drew1092
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I have a newer tank, now only going about 2 1/2 months. I have a about 35 mixed snails and they do a pretty good job keeping it clean. I have noticed a problem area. One side of the tank started to develop red hair algae but every few days something would eat it all. It would come back though in a couple days. Now, in the same area I am getting cyano, and its starting to spread out! I also have pleanty of coraline so I figure thats a good sign. I have never tested Po4 as I heard if you have algae, you have Po4, also heard the tests are highly inaccurate. Any suggestions? Tomorrow I was going to clean out the cyano, vacuum the gravel and do a 10 gallon water change(BTW, its a 30 gallon tank). Also, I ran out and bought an emergency API phos-zorb to throw in the sump (no reef stores near by with GFO!). Any other thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:35 AM   #15
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i used phosban one time, just netted it thew it in the return frum the skimmer helped alot, just be weary of leeching
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