Originally Posted by livebearerlove
Phosphates everywhere in the water- they are generally not harmful- unless the water turns green, which can deplete oxygen. Phosphates come from an array of things- they are always present in water however decaying plant matter, fish poop, overfeeding, even aquarium salts and buffers can add to it. Ideal phosphate levels are 0.05-1 ppm (of course this is all relative to the style of tank and experience level and the plants).
The dafnia will live there happy.... once you get fish they will nom nomm. But first, you should know what phosphates are, and why they make algae blooms like green water possible. Generally I would look at your tank and determine why.....
Otherwise just purchasing fish will mean that you are scooting the main issue, and ultimately adding to the problem (fish food and feces).
Thanks. I know what phosphates are, and that they can cause algae blooms--hence the question. Likely the phosphates are from the emersed plants I unwittingly bought melting when I submersed them. Cleaned my filter and did 10-20% WC daily for a week because it was filling with gunk, but there may still be some debris the filters didn't get that is responsible for the increased phosphate load.
There's no fish food to add new phosphates, as I'm not feeding my 4 otos--they're just eating all the algae and love the pea soup.
Same for all the snails and couple of ghost shrimp. And it's doubtful my deep desert aquifer water has much phosphates in it like you'd get from groundwater sources. The local water report doesn't have phosphates, so it's unlikely they even measure it--but I'll ask & see. And no, I have no plans to buy any more fish until I get the algal bloom under control and my plants growing again.
So the dilemma is how to reduce the green water enough that I can a)see well enough to do a deep clean, and b)get my plants to grow enough to outcompete the algae. I've been doing 10-20% WC daily, but it's not helping. The tank water has much lower pH & alkalinity than my tap water--likely due to all the organic decomposition from the massive plant melt. So I'm leery of doing a massive water change and shocking my livestock & plants.
Gonna see if I can get some more ghost shrimp--they should help eat any debris I can't see, as well as algae. And will try to figure out how to safely ship some daphnia--hopefully they'll clear up the water enough that all the plants can get more light & nutrients and outcompete the algae. I've already reduced my lighting to 5-6 hrs/day, and turned off the blue actinics on my LED fixture, so it's just red/green/white.
FYI: I've described all this in my thread on the low tech forum--but not many people on this site seem to go to or comment on anything in the low tech forum. So apologies in advance if I'm hijacking this thread....