phosphates suck! Please help. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy phosphates suck! Please help.

I currently have 2 freshwater-planted tanks set up using tap water. The first year went by great but now I am having high phosphates. I have never used any chemicals or buffers in my aquariums. And very timid to do so. I have a huge black beard algae problem and I need to lower my phosphate levels quick.

I have searched High and low for true SAE to combat the BBA but no one has them - there seems to be a shortage in Georgia.

I did a quick mental check to see if I could think of a reason I was getting the algae bloom. PH 6.9 (and stable) 0 Ammonia 0 Nitrates .. Low Nitrites. I did increase my lighting by 1 hour and decreased my water changes from one week to two weeks to try and raise the Nitrate levels. But because I am using tap water I believe it increased the phosphate levels instead.

The BBA is killing all my plants ... what should I do?

I was told to get a R/O but its pricey and then I would have to start buffing my water to keep it from becoming acidic.

I was also told to get ROWAphos which is a phosphate remover (absorber).

My plan as of now is to go back to 7 hours of light a day and weekly water changes of 30%. Try to find some SAE and get a phosphate remover for a few days.

Please gave me some feed back, even if its "I agree" or “phosphate removers are not used in planted tanks” I just need to know where to head and if phosphate remover are bad and any other suggestions.

Thanks everyone
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 01:27 AM
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co2 injection is your best combat against BBA, or start dosing Seachem Excel.

I have 10ppm+ PO4 in my tank (can't seem to control it), but I do not get BBA, and I assume this is from co2 injection.

I don't think you need to go the RO route or PO4 sponge route to combat BBA.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 01:38 AM
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With nitrate levels at 0, you're asking for problems too. What is your lighting like? You will typically target different N, P and K levels based on the lighting. I'll also suggest the ever-popular for a good overview of lighting levels and dosing routines.

Oh, and while you're at it, what is your KH reading.

Keep the data and questions coming. We'll help you get on top of it!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 01:46 AM
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What part of Georgia are you...put a more specific location in your avatar and I may be able to help you with what is going on...

No nitrates is a major issue which can be easily fixed. As far as getting rid of the BBA...the only way is manual removal...then pressurized co2...or at least keeping CO2 at or above 30 ppm.

As far as finding SAEs...two stores...1. Optimum Aquarium in Marietta and 2. Petland in Dunwoody. I believe I posted the addresses in the "local fish store and clubs" forum. Please tell me you don't go to Atlanta Aquarium in Buckhead...they'll try to sell you anything for their commission. And they're not the brightest people in the world (IMO)

Read up on other people's problems and their solutions...Spar and BSS have made great suggestions...and we'll also need to know some more data...such as how big is your tank?

Patience my friend, and we'll get this thing fixed up.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2005, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate all the advice so far. My computer access has been a little limited because of cable work in the area. I just wanted to answer a few questions. My tank is a 36 gallon tank with a coral life 96w 6,500K pc (2.6wpg). I have an Eheim 2026 canister. I will test my kh and give you a number asap. I updated my user info and I live closer to Alpharetta GA. No I was not going to Atlanta Aquarium in Buckhead. I was over at Petland in Duluth. I have been to Aquarium Showcase - but I have found they provide services similar to what you mentioned so I stopped going.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2005, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by syndicate
decreased my water changes from one week to two weeks to try and raise the Nitrate levels.
The only way to raise the nitrates is to add nitrates.
Originally Posted by syndicate
But because I am using tap water I believe it increased the phosphate levels instead.
You did not mention testing the tap water for phosphates, have you ?
A couple contributing factors could also be dirty filters and excessive feeding. Most foods contain phosphates and mulm buildup or uneaten food can raise the levels.

With that light you need CO2, I dont care what the wpg add up too... 96w light is a pretty intense light. Cutting back on the lighting period will only help the algae. You really need to get back to the basics and get your plants fed properly and they will take care of the rest.
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