NO3/PO4 relationship to battle GW? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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NO3/PO4 relationship to battle GW?

I read that to combat green water, there is a relationship between N03 and PO4 that when balance will eliminate GW. I think it was something like 10 to 1 ratio. Anyway if my N03 is .20 and my P04 is .25 what do I need to do for a 55g tank to get this balanced. Here are all the parms: and I've had slightly green water for 3 weeks, with once weekly water changes:

Phosphates PO4 = 0.25
Ph = 8.3
Kh = 9 (German)
Gh = 6
N02 = <.3
Nh3/Nh4 = 0.5
c02 = 2.0
N03 = 20ppm

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 06:31 PM
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I would just add PO4 in this case. Are you adding CO2? Your PH would tell me no. The 1 to 10 rule is what I am working on with my 55g.

As for GW a UV serilizer would help kill it fast. Otherwise get your ferts in order and try a Water Change and Black of the tank to kill the GW.

I like the UVS since it will help the fish as well in the long run.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzr750r1
I would just add PO4 in this case. Are you adding CO2? Your PH would tell me no. .
I have DIY c02, 4 bottles. My ph is 8.6 out of the tap and gets down to 7.8 with diy co2 and distilled water addition during change. I try to keep it under 8. My Greg Watson order won't be filled til March, I heard Fleet is a good substitute for PO4. I need to verify that.

I'm trying to follow several others advice and wait this out naturally without resorting to diatom an UV filters so the tank becomes immune etc. I want to learn how to get my parms right to allow the algae to burn itself out. Thanks.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 07:01 PM
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Upping the Phosphates to about 1 ppm would be a good start, along with trying to get the Nitrates down to around 10 ppm (larger water changes? more fast growing plants?)

You can use Fleet Enema for this purpose, do a search on the board for dosing instructions.


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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Upping the Phosphates to about 1 ppm would be a good start, along with trying to get the Nitrates down to around 10 ppm (larger water changes? more fast growing plants?)

You can use Fleet Enema for this purpose, do a search on the board for dosing instructions.
Thank you! That's exactly what I needed. Originally I had no Nitrates at all and was told to increased them, so I need to decrease them now a little, and increase P04. I thought my problem was reversed high phosphate low nitrates til I bought a PO4 test kit. Now I know where it needs to be. Thanks.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 08:08 PM
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Why is your NH3/NH4 still greater than zero? As long as you have ammonium, it is tough to beat green water because that is the source of gw. Any ratio is secondary to that.


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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shalu
Why is your NH3/NH4 still greater than zero? As long as you have ammonium, it is tough to beat green water because that is the source of gw. Any ratio is secondary to that.
Good question, sometimes its 0 and sometimes it get's up to 0.5. Maybe I added some new fish that day, or cleaned my filter pads or something. I am going to retest tonight before I add anything. I use water treatment (dechlorinator/ammonia remover) each time I change my water too. Thanks.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 10:50 PM
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I've tried numerous PO4/NO3 combo's to induce GW. Never was able to.
Went from 1.8ppm PO4 to 75ppm of NO3 to zero ppm.

CO2 encourages algae as well, GW in particular...............
They prefer CO2 also..........

I'd suggest a UV, micron filtratiuon also works, a 5 micron 9 3/4" cartiage and filter are cheap and locally available.

Then you can sell the UV later.

But more to the point.........NH4 is very bad and there's something wrong if you ever measure any in a planted tank.

That's what you add to induce GW FYI.

You will not beat GW by adjusting the NO3/PO4.
You are totally welcomed, even encouraged to try

But when you realize it does not work, perhaops you will try a UV or micron filtration.

Some have water changed the GW out, some have torn theiur tank down and set the plants in a bag and bombed the tank with H2O2, then refilled it, then added the plants back.

But you still have NH4 and you need good cycling so add mulm from an established tank to the gravel and to the filter afterwatrds or on any new tank.

Another method to get rid of GW, add lots more plants, floaters etc.
Then remove and return other plants back.

This is hiow I deal with GW in ponds, no need for a UV there either.




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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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No n03/4 today when I tested. I think I tested the day after added 4 large fish and had a spike. Haven't had any since. I have seen many posts where people used a diatom or uv just to get green water again. I have also seen many posts that say there is supposed to be a balance. Now I am confused. I have more than 40 plants, it hasn't made a difference.

My parms today are totally different than last week and I still have green water.

p04= 0.3
ph = 7.5
kh =9
n3/4 = 0
n03 = 20ppm

So now what do I do, I was trying not to buy more equipment.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-03-2005, 11:56 PM
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If you have the patience, like I said, add a little PO4 (which has actually worked for some) and sit back and wait a couple of days. Sure UVS and Diatoms work, but I found that GW more often than not burns out in a few days and disappears all by itself.


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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
If you have the patience, like I said, add a little PO4 (which has actually worked for some) and sit back and wait a couple of days. Sure UVS and Diatoms work, but I found that GW more often than not burns out in a few days and disappears all by itself.
Ya know, your approach just suits me! I remember way back when I had 6 tanks, the ones that were always the clearest, were the oldest and went through an algae phase, then got clear on their own. I'm thinking 15 or 20 years ago, before the net it worked. I like your approach and I will make it work, I just need to completely understand the nutrient balance. Thanks wasserpest!

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
But more to the point.........NH4 is very bad and there's something wrong if you ever measure any in a planted tank.

That's what you add to induce GW FYI.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain
....But you still have NH4...

Another method to get rid of GW, add lots more plants, floaters etc.
Then remove and return other plants back.

This is hiow I deal with GW in ponds, no need for a UV there either.


Regards,
Tom Barr
Thanks Tom, the NH4 is gone, and I'll be adding more plants this week. All assistance is appreciated. : )

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetgreenthumb
I read that to combat green water, there is a relationship between N03 and PO4 that when balance will eliminate GW. I think it was something like 10 to 1 ratio. Anyway if my N03 is .20 and my P04 is .25 what do I need to do for a 55g tank to get this balanced. Here are all the parms: and I've had slightly green water for 3 weeks, with once weekly water changes:

Phosphates PO4 = 0.25
Ph = 8.3
Kh = 9 (German)
Gh = 6
N02 = <.3
Nh3/Nh4 = 0.5
c02 = 2.0
N03 = 20ppm

I dont get this if you are supposed to have NO3:PO4 @ 10:1, wouldnt you add more nitrate?

I have a nil reading for NO3 in my aquarium (or its just very low more likley), but PO4 is about 0.5...so shouldnt i just does KNO3 to reduce the PO4 in the aquarium???

Hmmm


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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 06:10 PM
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Adding NO3 wont cause the PO4. Effect is once the plants react to higher NO3 levels the PO4 will be used more by the plants. It also depends a little about what your growing for what % to use... You could keep your PO4 at .5 but raise the NO3 to 5ppm you's be ok. I'm still trying to maintain 10 to 1 to see how my tank reacts.

I've been only adding PO4 lately since my NO3 is above 20ppm. Trying to get down to 10ppm, PO4 target then will be 1ppm it is at 1.5+ppm for now.

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