How to increase phosphate levels - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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How to increase phosphate levels

I have a 40 breeder low tech dirted tank with various swords, crypts, anubias, and a few stems (dwarf Hygro, water wisteria). Dosing is with Thrive (8ml twice a week) and Excel (10ml every other day). Water changes are ~30% every 7 - 10 days with a mix of tap to DI.


Parameters are:

API kit:
pH 7.4
KH 8
GH 6

Salifert kit:
nitrate 10
phosphate 2


How can I increase my phosphate level so that I can stop the green spot algae that has started to show up on my anubias leaves? Increase my dosing of Thrive or use potassium phosphate dry ferts? Thanks,


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Last edited by Aframomum; 06-16-2018 at 02:19 PM. Reason: added picture
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 02:20 PM
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https://www.seachem.com/flourish-phosporus.php

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Why so frequent water changes on tank? Is it heavily stocked? I honestly haven't done a water change in my 30g in my living room in probably 6 months. Decently stocked. Heeeaaaavy planted. That one is still low tech with sand substrate. I'm building a project tank to replace it that's going to have scapers soil and co2, but it's just heavy planted sand. Water levels are right on point. System maintains itself with topping off water once a week to keep it full, using dechlorinated tap water. I only do water changes after medicating. Plants grow so fast with simple ferts (I use Flourish, and flourish trace. No Excel, I need SOME algae for my loaches to eat and Excel is too good at killing algae) they keep ammonia and nitrates in check. Ive found myself actually dosing nitrates recently and still not having issues with water quality. No carbon in filter. No biowheel bc they're garbage. My hob filter has ceramic rings in a mesh bag. Occasionally I'll put an empty carbon filter in just for the mechanical filtration, but i never used carbon unless after medication


How is your circulation/aeration?

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-17-2018 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 03:44 PM
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IMHO, your phosphate level is rather reasonable.
That said, to increase it I would dose Thrive 3 times per week first.

My personal oppinion is that those GSA on lower anubias leaves are due to inadequate circulation in that area first, with phosphates level being much lower on the list of possible causes.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 04:15 PM
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This is potassium phosphate with water. I wonder how many bottles you could make with a $5 pound of KH2PO4.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2018, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the suggestions. I really did not consider the lack of circulation possibility.


My filtration consists of a sunsun 303 filter but the spray bar directs flow across the tank with the affected anubias beneath it. So they really don't get much flow in their current position, ie more indirect flow then anything. I have been considering adding a second canister and have the spray bar on the opposite side so this would be a perfect time.


I suppose the frequency of WC's is just me being set on a schedule. I would probably be a perfect candidate for the EI method! I have noticed that both my fish and plants seem to 'perk up' after a change and the few times life has gotten in the way and I've had to push back my WC schedule to 2 or 3 weeks my tank just looks...off (both the fish and plants). I also have a small population of snails and have to keep up on siphoning their droppings otherwise the sand gets dirty looking.


I looked at the Seachems phos that was recommended and it's listed as potassium phosphate. Much of my dosing has relied on premixed solutions (excel, thrive, flourish comp, etc.) so I would like to try my hand at mixing my own. A 1lb bag of powder potassium phosphate from nilocg is $5 so not a bad start for a first time mixer. As with the Seachems I'll have to figure out the correct dosage through dosing and testing. But thank you for the suggestion!


A recommendation to increase Thrive to 3X a week was suggested. Would there be any drawback by increasing both the macro/micro nutrients it delivers? Up to this point I have not made too many changes to my dosing regimen, thus my slight hesitation. I guess my worry is an overrun of algae due to excessive nutrients - just me being a bit paranoid!


Thanks again for all the suggestions!

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 12:52 AM
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If you don't have the plants to use it, and the lights up grow them, algae will use em and grow.

Some ferts can be bad for critters at high high doses. So read your product warnings. Likely fine.

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Good luck with mixing! That's something I wanna try too

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-17-2018 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adkaquascaping View Post
If you don't have the plants to use it, and the lights up grow them, algae will use em and grow.

Some ferts can be bad for critters at high high doses. So read your product warnings. Likely fine.
Have you seen or heard of a planted tank with 0 nutrients?

https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 01:49 AM
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That's what mine was until about a month ago

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My community tank, my zero water change tank, is heavily planted in sand. No ferts. It only gets ferts now bc it's got plants in it I'm growing for use to get into tissue culture.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-17-2018 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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