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Old 09-03-2013, 05:56 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
@ happi

That would be great, how would the test be set up?

How did you contribute the AquaSoil to absorbing the P and not the plants?
i have said they both absorb the po4, but am not sure which one absorb more or less, plant will grab whatever they can first and then aqua soil will take care of the rest, my API test kit showed 1ppm of PO4 once i added into the tank and tested it by end of the day and it was showing 0.2ppm, keep in mind plant will be fine without adding any po4 for few days before they show any issue, simply because they can store it and use it and algae cannot store it. this explain why ADA tanks are so successful, fish and fish food provide enough PO4 for the plant growth in their case, but in my case i would still add some po4, i add it enough so plant can store it and not leave it into the water for long period of time for algae.

the test would be to not dose any po4 at all for the first 2 weeks and then dose it in excess amount for the next 2 weeks, so i will need one month to complete the test. i will measure the po4, plant growth, algae growth.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:51 AM   #32
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What about the fact that phosphate is always measured as PO4 but when it's dissolved in water as dihydrogen phosphate H2PO4 1- and as as hydrogen phosphate HPO 4 2 -. The equilibrium is completely pH dependent. For example a pH of 7.2 it would be 1:1 but at a pH of 6.2 it's 10:1.

What one person might think is a acceptable level of phosphate might be a excessive amount in another tank with different pH levels.

Reading through some of this stuff makes my brain hurt but I try the best that I can to understand without feeling like I'm back in school.

As far as I can tell most hobby grade PO4 test kits use an adaptation of the ascorbic acid method. This tests for orthophosphate/SRP, which I believe is going to include the dissociated forms as well.

Unless you have the means to measure total P (which is going to be unavailable to plants/algae anyways without any form of digestion) then I don't see why any other method is needed for our understanding...trust me, it isn't exactly fun running time consuming calibration curves either
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #33
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So is this the new one two punch? Excel and then Phosgard. Who would've thunk it!

At least it shouldn't kill your fish.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #34
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What about the fact that phosphate is always measured as PO4 but when it's dissolved in water as dihydrogen phosphate H2PO4 1- and as as hydrogen phosphate HPO 4 2 -. The equilibrium is completely pH dependent. For example a pH of 7.2 it would be 1:1 but at a pH of 6.2 it's 10:1.

What one person might think is a acceptable level of phosphate might be a excessive amount in another tank with different pH levels.

Reading through some of this stuff makes my brain hurt but I try the best that I can to understand without feeling like I'm back in school.
While it is well understood that orthophosphate exists in an equilibrium of several different species that is pH dependent, as far as i can tell, there is no way for the average person to actually quantify the different phosphate species in solution. Furthermore, i'd go so far as to say it's not necessary because most, if not all common analytical methods for the determination of phosphates or anions are not done at the actual pH of the aquarium, but rather adjust the pH of the solution for the analytical method.

In the ascorbic acid method (which is what most test kits are based upon), orthophosphate will react with Mo & Sb in an ACIDIC medium to form a phosphomolybdic acid species. When that species is reduced by ascorbic acid, an intense blue color is formed. The reagents used are acidic to begin with...

In either of the most common chromatography methods (ion chromatography or capillary ion electrophoresis), the samples are injected onto a column and eluted with buffered solutions. In either of these two chromatography techniques, a BASIC buffer solution is used to separate the components in solution...

In both of these cases, the pH of the sample is changed to suit the analytical methods.

That said... Does the pH of the solution (i.e. aquarium water) affect the actual species of phosphate in solution? Yes...

Does the pH of the solution (i.e. aquarium water) affect how the plants utilize the phosphate species? Maybe, but without solid analytical data on what actual phosphate species are present, it's anyone's guess and unanswerable as far as i can tell...

Does the pH of the solution (i.e. aquarium water) affect the amount of phosphate we dose? No.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:03 PM   #35
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While it is well understood that orthophosphate exists in an equilibrium of several different species that is pH dependent, as far as i can tell, there is no way for the average person to actually quantify the different phosphate species in solution. Furthermore, i'd go so far as to say it's not necessary because most, if not all common analytical methods for the determination of phosphates or anions are not done at the actual pH of the aquarium, but rather adjust the pH of the solution for the analytical method.

In the ascorbic acid method (which is what most test kits are based upon), orthophosphate will react with Mo & Sb in an ACIDIC medium to form a phosphomolybdic acid species. When that species is reduced by ascorbic acid, an intense blue color is formed. The reagents used are acidic to begin with...

In either of the most common chromatography methods (ion chromatography or capillary ion electrophoresis), the samples are injected onto a column and eluted with buffered solutions. In either of these two chromatography techniques, a BASIC buffer solution is used to separate the components in solution...

In both of these cases, the pH of the sample is changed to suit the analytical methods.

That said... Does the pH of the solution (i.e. aquarium water) affect the actual species of phosphate in solution? Yes...

Does the pH of the solution (i.e. aquarium water) affect how the plants utilize the phosphate species? Maybe, but without solid analytical data on what actual phosphate species are present, it's anyone's guess and unanswerable as far as i can tell...

Does the pH of the solution (i.e. aquarium water) affect the amount of phosphate we dose? No.

While most of your response is completely over my head I do appreciate you trying to explain it. So what I gather is it doesn't make a difference how much phosphate we dose regardless of the pH of our water but the pH of our water might affect how the plants utilize the different forms of phosphate?
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #36
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While most of your response is completely over my head I do appreciate you trying to explain it. So what I gather is it doesn't make a difference how much phosphate we dose regardless of the pH of our water but the pH of our water might affect how the plants utilize the different forms of phosphate?
I think it's best to really emphasize the word "MIGHT" because, as far as i can tell, there is no general method available to determine the exact phosphate species in the water as a function of pH. If you can't determine the exact phosphate species, how can you say one species vs another makes a difference to how plants grow?

Not trying to pick on you exactly, but to me, this is just one of those examples of bad chemistry hand waving that people do in order to raise alarm about something (in this case, that pH will affect your phosphate dosing. pH will affect the equilibrium of the phosphate species in solution, but it will **NOT** effect how much you dose).

The more important point is to match your phosphate dosing to how much phosphate your plants are actually using... and check your CO2!
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:33 PM   #37
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I think it's best to really emphasize the word "MIGHT" because, as far as i can tell, there is no general method available to determine the exact phosphate species in the water as a function of pH. If you can't determine the exact phosphate species, how can you say one species vs another makes a difference to how plants grow?

Not trying to pick on you exactly, but to me, this is just one of those examples of bad chemistry hand waving that people do in order to raise alarm about something (in this case, that pH will affect your phosphate dosing. pH will affect the equilibrium of the phosphate species in solution, but it will **NOT** effect how much you dose).

The more important point is to match your phosphate dosing to how much phosphate your plants are actually using... and check your CO2!
I wasn't meaning for my post to come across as trying to alarm people that their pH would affect your phosphate dosing it was meant more as a question in order to learn more about a subject I admit I know very little about. The only way to learn is to ask questions so maybe I should have worded my post a little differently. I have always dosed my phosphates according to EI and never really put much thought into it which is the way I like it. I don't want my hobby to turn into a science experiment where I have to test every little variable but at the same time I would like to understand a little of the science behind it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:53 PM   #38
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So is this the new one two punch? Excel and then Phosgard. Who would've thunk it!

At least it shouldn't kill your fish.
( no disrespect intended to the originator of the original one two punch )
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:54 PM   #39
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Happi, I am also interested. bba have been running rampant in my tank for far too long. I am tired of killing them off only to find them growing all over again.
I'm definitely subscribing to this thread.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:00 PM   #40
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Happi, I am also interested. bba have been running rampant in my tank for far too long. I am tired of killing them off only to find them growing all over again.
I'm definitely subscribing to this thread.
As am I. Loving this topic!
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:28 PM   #41
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one more thing i would like to share, when i was using hard water i was dosing 1/4 tsp of po4 3x week in 50g, now this is more than what EI suggested and there was no sign BBA. maybe PH does have an effect on po4, but at the same time we should consider po4 being reacted in hard water quite easily than it would in soft water.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:30 PM   #42
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Happi, I am also interested. bba have been running rampant in my tank for far too long. I am tired of killing them off only to find them growing all over again.
I'm definitely subscribing to this thread.
if anyone is interested then i will need someone who have hard water to carry the test, i can only test on soft water.

what are your water parameter??
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:56 PM   #43
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While most of your response is completely over my head I do appreciate you trying to explain it. So what I gather is it doesn't make a difference how much phosphate we dose regardless of the pH of our water but the pH of our water might affect how the plants utilize the different forms of phosphate?
Plants use H2PO4 and HPO4 in solution. At the pH we experience in aquariums these two ions are going to make up the majority of the total orthophosphate anyways. No issues there.

Not sure if the translation was off from the German site or what but just seemed like the correct chemistry applied in a poor manner.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:25 PM   #44
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What about the fact that phosphate is always measured as PO4 but when it's dissolved in water as dihydrogen phosphate H2PO4 1- and as as hydrogen phosphate HPO 4 2 -. The equilibrium is completely pH dependent. For example a pH of 7.2 it would be 1:1 but at a pH of 6.2 it's 10:1.

What one person might think is a acceptable level of phosphate might be a excessive amount in another tank with different pH levels?

Reading through some of this stuff makes my brain hurt but I try the best that I can to understand without feeling like I'm back in school.
irrelevant due to Le Chatlier's Principle. meaning that a system in dynamic equilibrium will reestablish equilibrium as change occurs.
so lets say a test measure phosphate by binding to ONLY PO4--, and lets say that at a given time 25% of the phosphate is PO4--, 25% is H2PO4, and 50% is HPO4-.
so you add your indicator to the test tube and all the PO4-- is bound up. now since the ions are in equilibrium, some HPO4- dissociates into PO4--, and some H2PO4 dissociates into HPO4-. the newly made PO4-- is bound. some HPO4- dissociates... until all the phosphate is bound.
it works the same way if you replace "test indicator" with plant/algae enzyme.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:01 PM   #45
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Plants use H2PO4 and HPO4 in solution. At the pH we experience in aquariums these two ions are going to make up the majority of the total orthophosphate anyways. No issues there.

Not sure if the translation was off from the German site or what but just seemed like the correct chemistry applied in a poor manner.
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irrelevant due to Le Chatlier's Principle. meaning that a system in dynamic equilibrium will reestablish equilibrium as change occurs.
so lets say a test measure phosphate by binding to ONLY PO4--, and lets say that at a given time 25% of the phosphate is PO4--, 25% is H2PO4, and 50% is HPO4-.
so you add your indicator to the test tube and all the PO4-- is bound up. now since the ions are in equilibrium, some HPO4- dissociates into PO4--, and some H2PO4 dissociates into HPO4-. the newly made PO4-- is bound. some HPO4- dissociates... until all the phosphate is bound.
it works the same way if you replace "test indicator" with plant/algae enzyme.
I guess your guys experience way surpasses mine as I ended up getting a chemistry lesson from your responses. Maybe just me over thinking and over analyzing something as simple as dosing some phosphate into my big box of water with weeds in it.
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