How high should phosphates be? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2010, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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How high should phosphates be?

I just tested my water the other day and my phosphates were through the roof. I know plants need phosphates but what should the test read for a low tech tank? I did find a site that said the following for a low tech tank:

nitrates: 5-10ppm
phosphates: .5ppm


So my tank was reading about 5ppm in nitrates but phosphates read 10ppm. I popped in some Seachem Phosphate remover. Yesterday after 24 hours of being in the filter the test shows still very dark blue at 10ppm (so I'm guessing it was way higher than what the test kit could show). Today another test shows it's about 5ppm now. So is the above notation of .5ppm about right?
Thanks.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2010, 04:45 PM
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Range for phosphate is 0.5 to 1.0ppm. I do a water change if I see readings above 2ppm


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2010, 05:05 PM
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I dose 5ppm 3x a week to this and most all my tanks:





If you keep things above 2ppm, then along with good CO2, there's no glass algae, GSA etc.

There are no known upper toxic or algae inducing PO4 levels for plants or fish, perhaps salt stress once you get into the 500ppm or higher range, not likely

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2010, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I just did a water change a week ago so it's about due now... I usually do them weekly. I just reset the tank up. Did a 5 week no lights, but left my fish in. Cleaned all the rocks of algae and left them out for the full five weeks and left my fish with PVC pipe only. So I did a water change last weekend before adding rocks & wood back in with new plants and a bottle of Turbo start. So I'm just monitoring everything very, very closely to avoid that bad algae issue I had. I guess one or two more days of the Phosguard should bring it down to where it should be.

Tom,
Thanks... but I'm running low tech so no CO2, low light and low light plants. I'm also holding off on dosing any ferts. Substrate is Eco complete. There's lots of new growth on the plants I put in last week... and the bit of algae that still remains is still dissipating. No algae on glass after a week. But with 5 Amano shrimp, 1 SAE and 2 ottos, I'm adding extra algae tablets so might be where the phosphates are coming from.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 01:51 AM
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Do you dose Seachem Excel for CO2 needs? What size tank and what are you running for lighting. Mr. Barr is right-don't blame the phosphate. I can tell you from personal experience one way to NOT solve an algae problem is by trying to remove phosphate.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMc View Post
Do you dose Seachem Excel for CO2 needs? What size tank and what are you running for lighting. Mr. Barr is right-don't blame the phosphate. I can tell you from personal experience one way to NOT solve an algae problem is by trying to remove phosphate.
Thanks. I don't believe that the high phosphate was the whole problem but just part of a combination of things. The tank is 29g tall. Before I had 130W PC, used RedSea CO2 with only a few plants. Current lighting is 2x24W T5HO, no reflectors and raised about 26" above the substrate. I'm using Brightwell FlorinAxis for CO2 and FlorinMulti.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 12:15 PM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
I dose 5ppm 3x a week to this and most all my tanks:
Is that .5 ppm or 5 ppm?


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I don't need to dose phosphate since it's normally too high. But by everyone's input that they do need to dose regularly lets me know I need to also watch how much the plants use... probably as I add plants and they grow the amount of phosphate in my tank may not always be so high. I just needed a good numerical reference point to make sure things are in balance and I'll be using the .5 as that reference.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdac View Post
Is that .5 ppm or 5 ppm?
Mr. Barr balances higher levels then most. 5ppm 3x weekly is what he correctly posted.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debdp View Post
Thanks. I don't believe that the high phosphate was the whole problem but just part of a combination of things. The tank is 29g tall. Before I had 130W PC, used RedSea CO2 with only a few plants. Current lighting is 2x24W T5HO, no reflectors and raised about 26" above the substrate. I'm using Brightwell FlorinAxis for CO2 and FlorinMulti.
T5HO's are pretty bright. That is more like a CO2 set up. I'm running 108w T5HO 3 feet above the substrate on a 55g with CO2 cranking. Maybe if you had the fixture 26" above the top of the tank it would be a low light set up.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debdp View Post
Thanks. I just did a water change a week ago so it's about due now... I usually do them weekly. I just reset the tank up. Did a 5 week no lights, but left my fish in. Cleaned all the rocks of algae and left them out for the full five weeks and left my fish with PVC pipe only. So I did a water change last weekend before adding rocks & wood back in with new plants and a bottle of Turbo start. So I'm just monitoring everything very, very closely to avoid that bad algae issue I had. I guess one or two more days of the Phosguard should bring it down to where it should be.

Tom,
Thanks... but I'm running low tech so no CO2, low light and low light plants. I'm also holding off on dosing any ferts. Substrate is Eco complete. There's lots of new growth on the plants I put in last week... and the bit of algae that still remains is still dissipating. No algae on glass after a week. But with 5 Amano shrimp, 1 SAE and 2 ottos, I'm adding extra algae tablets so might be where the phosphates are coming from.
Then it still does not matter, it can be anywhere from 0.1ppm to 10ppm.

With higher growth rates, you'll need more nutrients.
With less, you have more wiggle room.

The sediment provides nothing that you have, consider a soil based sediment or go non CO2 method detailed on my web site for a water column approach to it.

"Low tech" could be many things, it's very general and means quite a few things to as many people.

I'd simply do a water change before adding any stuff to remove anything.
Still, it's(10ppm) non harmful in a non CO2 lower light tanks with good plant density. This assumes that the test kit, which.........you are basing everything here upon, is actually..........correct.

See how to calibrate a test kit using as standard solution reference.
If you do not want to do that, best not to bother testing at all.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defdac View Post
Is that .5 ppm or 5 ppm?
5ppm 3x a week or 15ppm a week total.

For a non CO2 tank, I'd likely do maybe .3 to .4ppm a week depending.

Need more details about this tank however.
Like a picture.


Regards,
Tom Barr




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