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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI there folks,
I'm quite baffled on the phosphate issue in my aquarium.
Here are the list of stuff I tried:
- put in seachem phosguard (500 ml) in my canister filter
- decrease my feeding frequency from everyday to every other day (3 times a week)
-increase frequency of water change into once every week (used to be every 2 week)
-I forgot to add... syphon in every water change

water parameter is like this
sg 1024
ph 8.4
phosphate 0,25( with phosguard on worse if i took it out)
nitrate 10 ppm

my tank is 100 gallon tank with sand substrate (which i suspect the cause of issue). I'm using 2 JBL canister filter.
Currently diatoms and cyano and running quite rampant.

I was thinking about changing my filter media do you guys think? are there anything I need to do?
 

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Unless you change your filter media every couple days they are a source of nutrients. You don't really need your canister filter. All you need is live rock and a skimmer. You should be siphoning your substrate every water change and it probably needs to be replaced at the rate of one year per inch of depth. Good husbandry is the key and your algae problems are likely to resolve. Check the reefkeeping thread in my sig, it has a ton of good info.

:beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
pardon me.. I must have created some misunderstanding. I always change my filter media, but what i meant was should I change my bio-filter media. I'm currently using JBL micromec and apparently it said it should be changed in every 6 month which is already due.
 

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Captain Obvious
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+1 with photovet

a skimmer is the #1 choice in saltwater filtration.
canisters are the #1 choice in freshwater filtration.

the reason you should consider a skimmer over a canister in your saltwater setup is a skimmer does a much better job exporting waste by injecting micro-airbubbles. waste clings to these airbubbles and lift the waste up into a collection cup.

every wonder how the Oceans of the World keep themselves clean? waste is removed by large waves breaking into white-water foam. the waves are breaking white-water foam even a thousand miles out in the middle of nowhere.

a canister in contrast just traps the waste mechanically by using filters. you must constantly be cleaning your filters so the waste inside the canister doesnt start producing nitrates.

if you were to poll 100 reefers on TRT, 99 of them have a skimmer over the use of a canister.

not the answer you wanted to hear, but it is factual.
 

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The issue with canister filters is that dirt and detritus builds up quickly in the filter media. then fast running water through the media breaks down this accumulation even more quickly into the water column. Filter socks do the same.
 

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zacharY
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+1^ to the above responses. Really no media should be left in a canister filter for more than a day or 2 without getting cleaned; six months is just awful. Canister filters aren't worth the time needed to care for them IMO. A protein skimmer is the only filtration equipment that will actually remove dissolved organic compounds from the water column before they break down into nutrients. A canister filter only traps them in the water column, where they will break down into nutrients that we generally don't want in our tanks.
 

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But with filtersocks you can change them easily. I use socks because my sump is low and I dont have room for a settling tank. I change the socks every day more religiously than a nun says the Liturgy of the Hours.
 

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what it all boils down to is that ANYTHING that can trap detritus in an area of flow can lead to excess nutrients being released.

saltwater is different than freshwater in that we usually try to AVOID trapping detritus. when detritus is trapped in a filter, it breaks down quicker than it would than if it was just allowed to float around the tank and settle in an area of low flow.


how deep is the sand? how often are you cleaning the canisters?

imo, reef tank filtration is a simple thing. live rock, good circulation in the tank, and a good skimmer. that, couple with periodic water changes should allow you to keep great water conditions. all those other things are not needed and may be creating problems that wouldn't be there otherwise. then you get something to fix that problem, and that makes another problem, etc......

please don't deprive your fish of food. cutting feeding to every other day is really not a viable solution, imo. if a tank is set up well and reasonable maintenance is being performed, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to feed at least once a day.
 

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Forgive me, but I don't recall seeing you say what you use for makeup/water change water. Do you use tap or RO/DI?
 

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the problem with phosphate test kits is that they don't test down low enough to really be of any use to us. the lowest amount they can detect is generally .03 with a +/-.02(or something like that) error range. algae can use phosphate down to .001, so getting a 0 on a phosphate test kit is really meaningless. also, po4 test kits can only test for inorganic po4 and that only tells a small part of the story.


id suggest grabbing an ro/di unit. there are other things in tap to be concerned about, anyways. copper will kill any invertebrates and there could be other metals present.


I would still wager its your filtration contributing the most, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What test kit are you using for phosphate?
Im using the salifert po4 test kit.. its registering at 0.01 ppm so I rounded it down.. anyway my po4 in aquarium has been reduced to 0.03 ppm. It must have taken a couple of days for the phosguard to work.

But the cyano still around tho.
 

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phosphate test kits all have somewhat of an error to them. I thing the salifert is something like +/-.05 or something like that, so that basically makes it useless......lol. so even testing of your tap water may be misleading.

imo, the best indicator of po4 levels in a tank is algae. if you have algae/cyano, you have available phosphate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
phosphate test kits all have somewhat of an error to them. I thing the salifert is something like +/-.05 or something like that, so that basically makes it useless......lol. so even testing of your tap water may be misleading.

imo, the best indicator of po4 levels in a tank is algae. if you have algae/cyano, you have available phosphate.
I know i have available phosphate but where its from?. If its from filter I have been cleaning like crazy for every week. if its from food I have reduced it.

are there anyway sand bed store/produce phosphate?

as for the salifert test kit. Its the only one available around here. there are barely enough test kit available at the market right now.

isn't that if po4 around 0.0xx area should not promote algae growth?

anyway here's an update.

I did water change 2 days ago and I used ro/di water for the change.

4 days ago I digged up my old jebo 180 skimmer and hooked it up again (I decommissioned it because the microbubbles annoys the hell out of me).

I am thinking about lowering the wavemaker to the middle of the aquarium so the sand bed got stirred. what do you guys think?

also thinking about dosing vinegar (no vodka for my fish, vodka cost tons of money here)

I already turned on my UV filter for 2 weeks now.

anything else I should do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
there is not such thing as to much flow. :) i had 12000gph in my 125g tank. that was about right, but i could have used more, and would have if i Velocity made a bigger pump then the T3 to power my eductors.

of course this is dependent on the critters you are trying to keep. i had a SPS/clam system so there would be an extremely high limit on the flow tolerated by the corals and the fish. if you have softies or LPS then the flow will need to be less. of course using eductors and propeller pumps help a lot in getting good flow without the velocity. the fish will be able to handle anything.

what you are looking for is to get the detritus buildup on the LR off. you may not be able to have super flow, in which case you will need to manual wave your hand or turkey baste the LR regularly to get the detritus back up in suspension.

G~
this is a quote from geoff in the reefkeeping made easy.

So anyway it seems that I have been trying to slow down my wave maker. I turn it on every 2 hours for every hour.

so should I turn on the wavemaker for 24 hours?
 

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I know i have available phosphate but where its from?. If its from filter I have been cleaning like crazy for every week. if its from food I have reduced it.

are there anyway sand bed store/produce phosphate?

as for the salifert test kit. Its the only one available around here. there are barely enough test kit available at the market right now.

isn't that if po4 around 0.0xx area should not promote algae growth?

anyway here's an update.

I did water change 2 days ago and I used ro/di water for the change.

4 days ago I digged up my old jebo 180 skimmer and hooked it up again (I decommissioned it because the microbubbles annoys the hell out of me).

I am thinking about lowering the wavemaker to the middle of the aquarium so the sand bed got stirred. what do you guys think?

also thinking about dosing vinegar (no vodka for my fish, vodka cost tons of money here)

I already turned on my UV filter for 2 weeks now.

anything else I should do?

a sandbed, if not kept clean, can for sure be a source of excess phosphates. any place where detritus(uneaten food, fish poo) can rot will be a source of phosphates. it takes a bit longer to break down in the sand because of the lower flow, but it will happen.

ive read that po4 as low as .001ppm is able to contribute to algae growth, so even getting .00 on our test kits doesn't really tell us anything useful. po4 test kits in general are just not accurate enough to be of much use.

by "wavemaker", your talking about powerheads, right? if so, then they should be left running all the time. in the ocean, the waves never switch off.

I would not suggest dosing anything like vinegar or vodka. people that are doing that usually already have very low nutrients(like undetectable po4/no3) and are trying to take it to ULTRA low levels. its not something to go into lightly, as it takes commitment and a lot of tweaking.

do you have any pictures of your tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
a sandbed, if not kept clean, can for sure be a source of excess phosphates. any place where detritus(uneaten food, fish poo) can rot will be a source of phosphates. it takes a bit longer to break down in the sand because of the lower flow, but it will happen.

ive read that po4 as low as .001ppm is able to contribute to algae growth, so even getting .00 on our test kits doesn't really tell us anything useful. po4 test kits in general are just not accurate enough to be of much use.

by "wavemaker", your talking about powerheads, right? if so, then they should be left running all the time. in the ocean, the waves never switch off.

I would not suggest dosing anything like vinegar or vodka. people that are doing that usually already have very low nutrients(like undetectable po4/no3) and are trying to take it to ULTRA low levels. its not something to go into lightly, as it takes commitment and a lot of tweaking.

do you have any pictures of your tank?
Finally an answer thats logical.
the algae in my aquarium occurs only on top of my sand bed.

here's the "wavemaker" that i have



pardon for the misconception here. yeah I tried to turn it on for 24 hours apparently my LFS lied (not proven guilty yet tho).

He previously told me that phosphate is staying on the surface of the aquarium so I should put the power head on the surface. (which makes me barking at a wrong tree)

Finally he tried to sell me $700 worth of equipment and service.

and then I found geoff post, which contradict whatever my LFS says. And geoff post actually works!


So now the algae in sandbed starting to dies down as I turned up the current on top of the sandbed.

 
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