High phosphate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Dealing with GSA and GDA. I decided to pick up a Phosphate test kit. To my surprise its's 10PPM+

I recently upped my KH2po4 to help with the GSA but I think it's way too much (1/4 3 times a week) didn't help the GSA but instead started Hair algae.

It should be 1-3PPM correct?

I tested the tap and it's between 0.5-1PPM.

I've read phosphate won't cause algae but I'm leaning towards BS. It's the only thing I've changed.

With the Tap being 0.5-1 do you take that into account when dosing or does it deplete quickly?

I dose a GH booster at W/C
3/8 - KNO3
1/4 - KH2PO4
3/16 - CSM B
1/16 - cleated iron.
C02 is 30PPM.
Substrate is 100% fluorite.


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-08-2017 at 02:27 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 02:50 PM
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Is this in the wrong section?


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This is the right section. I would comment but I don't feel I have adequate knowledge in this area to give you solid advice.

Just wanted to let you know its the right section.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 03:05 PM
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How big is your tank and how did you calculate the amounts?

For reference, in my 120G I dose 1 tsp KNO3 & 1/8 KH2PO4.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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High phosphate

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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
How big is your tank and how did you calculate the amounts?



For reference, in my 120G I dose 1 tsp KNO3 & 1/8 KH2PO4.


Tank is 40G

I dose 3/8 KNO3 so I needed to up the KH2PO4.

Originally it was 1/16 PO4 but I was starting to see GSA. So I upped it. Obviously it's way off. The 3/8 NO3 came from an online EI calculator.

Thanks


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Today I started

2/8 KNO3

2/16 KH2PO4


Bump;

Above is still yielding 10+ PO4.

Do you also get PO4 from - NO3, K2SO4 (I think this is for extra K), or MGSO4?

K2SO4 and MGSO4 is used in the GH Booster at the beginning of the week with water change.

I'm almost thinking with 1PPM in the tap and if the others supply PO4 also, and I'm dosing PO4, it's pushing it way way up.

Thoughts on not dosing PO4?

Last edited by 72hondo; 01-14-2017 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I know, no back to back posts but there's no other way to bump it.

I cut the PO4 in half and it's still testing 10+ppm after a weeks worth of dosing.

Is the fluorite holding excess PO4 and leaching back into the water Column?

I think it's time to try no PO4 for a week and see what happens. Would I need to cut back on the NO3 if not dosing PO4?


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 09:56 PM
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I think the desired ratio of phosphate to nitrate is about 1ppm phosphate to 10-20ppm nitrate(opinions vary). If your nitrate is 20, phosphate should be 2 etc. If you are testing 10ppm you probably need to do some water changes or put some type of phosphate reducer in the filter. I don't think just stopping the dosing is going to show you much of a reduction. You might not even need to dose po4, a lot of times fish food /waste will supply enough.

Here's some info on the ratio and algae control. It recommends a 16:1 ratio.
Free of algae with Redfield Ratio | Aquariumpagina's van Charles Buddendorf
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 10:05 PM
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I have a fish heavy, lightly planted 125 and found dosing any phosphate was too much.
As to the algae causes, there are more suspects than we can weed out but one point I do try to keep in mind is something I observed when living on a lake.
The lake was becoming murky with algae and it cleared when the regs were upped to add phosphate removal on the major water treatment that dumps into the lake. The local conservation folks in that area said phosphate causes the algae they were fighting?
Suggest one item to help is cutting back on feeding as most of us do tend to overfeed.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 10:10 PM
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I have a fish heavy, lightly planted 125 and found dosing any phosphate was too much.
As to the algae causes, there are more suspects than we can weed out but one point I do try to keep in mind is something I observed when living on a lake.
The lake was becoming murky with algae and it cleared when the regs were upped to add phosphate removal on the major water treatment that dumps into the lake. The local conservation folks in that area said phosphate causes the algae they were fighting?
Suggest one item to help is cutting back on feeding as most of us do tend to overfeed.
A lot of urban areas are banning phosphate in lawn fertilizers for that same reason. Phosphate run-off into lakes = algae.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 11:55 PM
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in case it is true in your case, I might mention the use of Osmocote + pellets. I find they shoot my phosphate way high as O+ is not actually designed for tank use. Some find it works well, some don't but it might is something to be aware of when looking at the options.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
in case it is true in your case, I might mention the use of Osmocote + pellets. I find they shoot my phosphate way high as O+ is not actually designed for tank use. Some find it works well, some don't but it might is something to be aware of when looking at the options.


No "o" tabs just plain seachem tabs.

I do a religious 50% water change every Sunday. It's the same amount of water ever Sunday. (Marked the tank). I'm very new to all this but I can't see that much PO4 in the water after a 50% water change. But I may be wrong.

I know a lot of people say this; but I don't over feed. They get fed once a day and I watch them finish everything. I also don't feed on Wednesday's. I have a menu per say;

Th, F, Sat - flakes
M- brine shrimp or blood worms
Su - blanched veggies
Tu - peas
W - no feed

Besides the veggies that I leave in for about 15 hrs, nothing hits the bottom.

Fauna;

8 - red tetras (exact name escapes me at the moment)

8- gold barbs

3 - SAE

1 - for the life of can't remember the name. Bigger fish I want to say bohemian Rhapsody but that's not it. (Sorry having a bottle of wine at dinner will do that)

3 - Aminos

3 - Otto cats but truthfully haven't seen them in a while.

Maybe the fauna are adding all the PO4 I already need?

I'm almost positive I need to cut the NO3 but I wanted to test a full EI NO3 dose. FWIW I tested NO3 today, it's between 40-80 PPM, way too high. But if the NO3 is lets say 80 and the PO4 is 10, it's still not balancing out.


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 02:22 PM
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Most do seem to find it takes some time to get close to what we need.
What nags me is that I'm not able to get really good readings on several things like nitrate and phosphate. The API liquid test is the widest and most recommended test for nitrate but it really is not much use in my tank. I get readings that are "okay" when at low levels but I have tanks that are often over 20PPM and the test becomes totally useless. It's a long term problem and I've not really found a good solution but I suspect there are several others who find the same.
I got down to do the "calibration" by mixing known levels of nitrate (5,10,25,50 PPM) to train my eyes/brain to know what colors match the test. I find that my test of the API will be usable but only up to the 25PPM. From there higher, I get into reading the 25 as nearer 40 and way off when going higher. Maybe worthwhile to run through that to cross check the colors you are getting?
I can get somewhat closer by adding distilled water to cut the levels but that throws some more doubt into the accuracy so I now run with the simple idea that my tanks will almost always have more nitrate than needed.
I look at it as part of learning what each of our tanks do, rather than learning what happens for other folks.
The only tank that tests good on nitrate is the one where I "store" unwanted fish until I swap them. Since they are on pretty slim rations as I may be shipping them, the plants can stay ahead of the buildup!
Meanwhile most of my tanks run without adding nitrate or phosphate. I use potassium sulfate to get the needed potassium.
I have to keep re- learning how to ride this "bicycle". Sometimes several times a day!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 07:12 PM
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I have to keep re- learning how to ride this "bicycle". Sometimes several times a day!
Is that a picture of you on the bike?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 12:08 AM
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Is that a picture of you on the bike?
I should be so lucky!!
I was speaking more as comparing tank keeping to learning to ride a bike. Just about the time I figure part of it out, I find it has changed.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 03:01 AM
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Well you are adding almost 5 ppm PO4 each dose, not sure what you expected? Did you measure your PO4 before you upped the dose to verify you had low PO4 levels? Doubt you will get issues with PO4 considering the amounts in your tap. Anyways increasing the dose x4 was pretty intense.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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High phosphate

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Well you are adding almost 5 ppm PO4 each dose, not sure what you expected? Did you measure your PO4 before you upped the dose to verify you had low PO4 levels? Doubt you will get issues with PO4 considering the amounts in your tap. Anyways increasing the dose x4 was pretty intense.


After I read that I took a hard look at what I was dosing.

I didn't dose any PO4 for 2 weeks and it settled down to 1-2ppm.

On the plus side, GDA is non-existent now. But somewhere along the line green hair algae started up again. And FYI SAE's do not eat it. Might be an issue of ever changing parameters, because I kept tweaking.

I think it's a matter of fine tuning the balance now.


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