Consequences/symptoms of too little phosphates? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Consequences/symptoms of too little phosphates?

I've searched and found oodles of threads on here about the symptoms and consequences of too much phosphate, but not a whole lot on what happens if you dont' have enough. I have been keeping my nitrates, potassium, and traces in order for quite some time, but my testings have shown that my phosphate levels are sorely lacking.

At the moment I have everything dialed in to the point that my tank is nearly 95% algae free with of course the exception of minor spot algae on the tank walls which I clean off every week. I'm otherwise happy with my tank as is, except for my subulata which has been very very slow in recovering/spreading after my horrible battle with BGA took a bunch of it out just over 2 months ago.

What exactly does phosphate do for plants? Someone told me it aids in root development. If that's true then I suppose it explains why my sublata has been so slow in spreading. At the moment I can't justify putting any in given the otherwise seemingly perfect balance I have achieved in my tank. Can anyone provide some insight into this? I find it odd that I bought a pound of the stuff from Greg Watson yet I've hardly touched it at all.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:48 PM
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dwarf sags LOVE root tabs. That's a proven fact.

I've proven to myself that having inadequate phosphates will result in GSA. I've recently almost doubled my KH2PO4 dosing and nearly eliminated GSA!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by esarkipato
dwarf sags LOVE root tabs. That's a proven fact.
This makes a ton of sense, I made an order from Big Al's a few weeks ago, not even a month ago, and i got some root tabs, now my dwarf sags have multiplied by the masses, and not just a few. I probably had 20 plants before and now I probably have 50-60 and all much larger in size. Where as before it was a sparse covering i now have a sag-forest as I call it
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 12:36 AM
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I recently made a sizable change in my tank and soon noted GSA starting to pop up. Taking out the RedSea PO4 kit, I found the PO4 at 0. So, as Ernie stated, to me the biggest consequence of no PO4 is green spot. Now, as to what I might observe in the plants, that I'm not sure...
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 02:39 AM
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Strange, my nitrate levels are at 10ppm but phosphates are between 3-4ppm and I am still experiancing GSA on my glass and some plants. Mianly the petite nana. I also have this weird black spot algae. Its not diatoms, same features as GPA. Dont know what it is.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 04:22 AM
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A long long time ago I did not add any phosphates to my tank and had some problems with Sword plants turning black on their bases. Adding P helped to overcome that (and caused the Swords to grow much bigger leaves -- not sure that was a good thing though )


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 02:42 PM
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I can specifically tell you that if you have pennywort (Hydrocotoyle leucocephala), phosphate deficiency will cause the leaves to get paler and paler, almost yellowing. The veining in the leaf will be less affected and will continue to stand out as pale green. You might think this was iron deficiency or something from just reading literature, but it is (also, at least) a clear sign of too little phosphate. For me (early days) this corresponded to a phophate reading (Red Seas kit) of 0.3 ppm or less over an extended period. Increasing the phosphate to 1.0 ppm rapidly restored an even green color to all the leaves and enhanced growth.
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