Phosphates not being used - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Paso Robles, Ca
Posts: 758
Phosphates not being used

Is there any reason why my plants are not suing up any phosphates? or What causes phosphate to be generated at the same rate as it is being consumed. I generally removed dead plant material when I see it.

I usually dose a modified EI schedule, being I dose around 1/64 tsp of Monophosphate, and the regular amount of everything else. Tank (37 gallons)

All last week I didn't add any phosphates and my test kit read 2ppm. I checked my tap and it was 0. I tested my known calibration solution and it was correct as well.

I just did a 50% water changed and tested again and got 1ppm of phosphate So I didn't add any again.

Flora- Frogbit, ricca, glosso, willow hygro, asian ambulia, amazon sword, wisteria, didiplis diandra, and a crypt I don't no what its called.

Fauna- ~22 cardinal tetras 14 harlaquin rasboras, 6 ottos.

Algae Looks like green bead algae?, very little amount. looks like the pic close to the bottom of this link

grows on 1 side of the tank right in the middle of the glass and on the spraybar.

Will I run into any problems from not adding phosphate? other then getting some green spot algae maybe? I'm not sure if the green beard algae has anything to do with the phosphates.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 03:12 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 19,673
Phosphate test kits should be assumed to be wrong. If you plan to change your fertilizing based on test kits you will very likely continue to run into problems. It is far better to dose so you know you have enough of each nutrient, so the plants never run short of any of them. Then, you can concentrate on the CO2 system, which can be very hard to get right. Or, you can calibrate your phosphate test kit, so you will know what the test results mean, if anything.

I have almost always dosed double the EI recommended dosage of KH2PO4, and have never seen a problem. In fact I rarely get green spot algae when I do this, knowing that GSA tends to show up when there is too little phosphate in the water. Phosphate is not going to cause algae unless there are other things wrong, but having too little phosphate can cause algae. And, phosphate is not harmful to the fish, in any concentration you will reasonably run into.

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