too much phosphates
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
dski13
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too much phosphates


So what are sources of phosphate? I got an API phosphate test kit a few weeks ago. At first my phosphates were low 0.5 ppm so I was adding potassium phosphate as a dry fertilizer. Recently I have been having high phosphates 5-10 ppm and I have obviously not been adding any more dry phosphate. Where could these phosphates be coming from. I have 7 guppies in the tank and a lot of snails. I am dosing KNO3, Sechem Comprehensive, and a small amount of excel for spot treating black brush algae. I do water changes once a week which brings phosphates down some but then they come back up as the week progresses. I am feeding Hikari tropical fancy guppy food which says min 1% phosphorus. Am I over feeding? I should also add that this is a 20 gallon tall dirted low tech tank with 3 T5 NO lights. Should I worry about having phoshpates that high? If I recall I want them around 1ppm.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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Fish food is a good source of PO4 for low tech tanks.

Older posts here indicated that levels up to 10ppm are harmless to fauna. I suggest researching this yourself before allowing your levels to get this high.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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Perhaps there are lots of phosphates in the dirt and they are leaching out slowly? I don't think overfeeding would lead to levels that high. If you are sure your tap water isn't phosphate enriched, and you are not dosing anything, I would suspect the substrate.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
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Any chance that dissolved root tabs are being disturbed by water changes or osmocote nodules are disinterring themselves in a hidden area?
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #5
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I do not have any root tabs so it is not that. It could be the dirt but the tank has been set up for 3 months and this has only started in the past week or two. I will keep an eye on it and do water changes accordingly. Has anyone else used the API phosphate test? Any known sources of error?
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