Can high phosphates kill fish? What the heck is going on with my tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-09-2016, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Can high phosphates kill fish? What the heck is going on with my tank.

Hi all... I have a question on phosphates.

About a week ago I purchased a product from Seachem called Neutral Regulator. I have 4 planted tanks and wanted to soften the water and adjust the PH in two of them so I thought I would try it out. I have always been pleased with Seachem products so why not this one? To my dismay after dosing both tanks I realized it is phosphate based and not recommended for planted tanks. (I should have done more research. Lesson learned). I tested the phosphate levels with an API test kit and it was dark green! At least a 10 or possibly higher as the chart only went to a ten. That being said I decided to do a water change of about 30% right then, and every 4-5 days since to lower the phosphate levels and not shock the fish too much. I have been doing this over the past 2 weeks. What is weird is when I measure the phosphate levels after each water change the phosphates don't seem to be dropping. It's not like I over dosed... I read the instructions and dosed to the directions.... On top of that my PH really didn't move after all of that! To make matters worse the fish in one of the two tanks have started dying off. Literally every morning starting about a week ago I wake up to one dead fish. It's weird because usually you can see when a fish is not doing well. These fish are literally swimming happily all day long and everything seems fine until I wake up in the morning and find one dead. I have checked every parameter I can think of (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, PH, GH, KH, etc...) and they have checked out. The only thing that I have changed in the past weeks is the Neutral Regulator. No new fish or anything that I think would introduce something harmful to the tank. Why is it only happening in one tank and not the other when I did the same thing? The tank that seems fine does have bigger fish in it.. Maybe they are just dealing with the stress better. The fish that have been dying in the affected tank are rummy nose tetras, Ember Tetras and 1 female better fish. It is not a C02 tank. Sorry for writing a book I just can't figure this one out! Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-09-2016, 05:10 AM
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Phosphates can come from fish food's, fish poop,fertilizer's,tap water,some buffer's.
Number's for ammonia,nitrites,nitrates,pH,GH,Kh are more telling than opinion's (ie) good,same,normal,within ranges,etc.
If neutral regulator did not budge pH,GH, then perhaps water is not suited (Too hard/alkaline) for rummy nose tetra's if these are only fishes affected.??
Stupid high phosphates and or excess of near anything might have negative effect on fauna if how it affect's their environment is sudden or persistent.
Don't believe phosphates alone at level's suggested in near any nutrient dosing scheme have been associated with many fish death's.
Would in my view need zero uptake by plant's,and way overdosing to see such number's as mentioned.
Too much of lot's of stuff can have negative affect on fishes along with long list of other variables often not considered (ie) maint.age of fishes,new fishes,chemical's added,poor maint,poor nutrition,etc,etc,.
Would be thankful if death's occur with only a few fish in one tank as opposed to pathogen suddenly introduced ,take more fishes.
If tank/fishes was running fine before the attempt to adjust the parameter's,I think the every couple day's water changes will restore thing's to original chemistry and be closer to stable with that source water used minus the neutral regulator.
I'm not too keen on messing with my water but just keep fishes that can thrive with the water I have readily available from the tap. (tap and tank's close to same,same)
Opinion's vary.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-09-2016, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
I'm not too keen on messing with my water but just keep fishes that can thrive with the water I have readily available from the tap. (tap and tank's close to same,same)
Opinion's vary.
I believe that if you want to change water parameters the only reliable way is to get RO unit, dose right minerals and get your ideal water (or using RO with tap in right proportion). Or just get fish that are suitable for your tap. Trying to change tap water with some chemicals always ends bad, cause you can't get stable parameters. It may be that the phosphates are not guilty of fish deaths, but sudden change of parameters is. It's better to try get your fish used to tap water than altering it. Do some water changes with clean tap (with some prime of course) and wait. I would go with 50% every other day.


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