PO4 still high... tried to cut it back! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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PO4 still high... tried to cut it back!

My PO4 was >4ppm last month, so I decided to start trying to cut it back.

I added a Phosphate Sponge, continued doing 2 30% water changes a week, and Cut way back on TetraMin Flakefood. My Tap water shows a reading of pretty much 0ppm.

Any other ideas?

>>>Edit, forgot to add... The PO4 reading is still >4.0ppm

Cliff
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 02:37 AM
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Hate to answer questions with more questions - Do you have carbon? What substrate do you have? What ferts and water additives go into the tank?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 04:40 AM
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Spar I had the same problem. My phosphates were 4.5 like yours and it took me almost 2 months to finally get them down to .25. It was a pain for me. I checked everything to try an figure out what the cause was. I just fed less and did a whole lot of water changes and they finally came down. I would just keep working on it. Maybe you need to change your phosphate media more often or change the sponge. Maybe you have to many fish. I did 3-4 water changes a week for about 3 or 4 weeks. total pain. The water was nice an clear though. They will come down.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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I do have Carbon in the filter. I put it in there about 3-4 weeks ago.

I use Flourish as the Fert/Additives. 1 capful of Comprehensive, Excel, Potassium, and Iron after each 30% water change (2x weekly).

Substrate is a mix of Gravel and Flourite, probably 70% gravel and 30% Flourite.

And just in case, my pH is 7.0, and KH is 5.5. Co2 is 17-18ppm. GH is 6. I have Crushed Coral as my GH increaser.

It is "possible" that I have too many fish. I have 5 Corys, 4 Botia, 4 algea eaters, 2 Killies, 1 Ram, 1 Rasbora, 1 Neon, 1 Z Danio, 4 Gouramis, and probably 1 or 2 others... the 1's weren't intentional, they are just the only survivors from the initial cycling of the tank &/or my wild pH swings when trying to perfect the art of DIY co2... now I have pressurized and nothing is dieing, go figure!

What affect do the fish numbers have on PO4? Does waste cause it? Could cleaning out the filter more often have a positive effect?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 02:42 PM
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"I do have Carbon in the filter. I put it in there about 3-4 weeks ago."

Carbon should be replaced at least every 7 days. It's really only effective/active for 5-7 days tops. And honestly, I've never seen a need for constant use of carbon in a planted tank.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
I use Flourish as the Fert/Additives. 1 capful of Comprehensive, Excel, Potassium, and Iron after each 30% water change (2x weekly).
A cap full of Seachem Potassium? That's not much.

Try switching foods. Some foods are a lot higher in potassium than others.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 02:47 PM
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Old carbon has the tendency to leach back phosphates. Right now that's a likely source.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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I leave for 2 weeks Sunday, should I just put in new Carbon, or take out the old? My Fluval looks like it is going to break down at any time when taking it apart, so I would rather not mess with it until I get back. Is old carbon bad for the water, other than the possibility of leaking phosphates?

As for the potassium, the Flourish bottle says to put in 1 capful per 50g's 2x per week. It would be too expensive to keep buying Flourish for that. Is there a cheaper brand out there with Bulk? Or can you reccommend a type of flake food (for Cardinals and Discus) that will be much higher in Potassium?

I will take some pictures of the plants when I get back and see if we can figure out the deficiency. My original view of them was the lack of Potasium, but could have been wrong.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 09:24 PM
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Well I know what the Flourish Potassium bottle says. But that's not enough potassium. Each ml of Flourish Potassium will give you 1 ppm in 10 gallons of water. So by using a cap full you are dosing 50 gallons to 1 ppm. You would need to add 100 ml of the product to get to the recommended 20 ppm range.

And yes there is a cheaper way to dose potassium. It's called K2SO4. And you can buy it from www.gregwatson.com

Depending on your light level you might want to pick up some KNO3 also for dosing nitrates if they are low. And Plantex CSM+B works very well for traces.

I feed my fish a pretty steady diet of New Life Spectrum food. They love it and everyone is doing quite well on it.
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