AAAHHHH phosphate problems... help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-01-2006, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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AAAHHHH phosphate problems... help!

my tank:
30g + 10g DIY sump
3 bottles DIY CO2 bottles
2x65w PC 6500k @10hr/day
ecocomplete
aquarium pharmaceuticals, inc. phosphate test kit (6mos old)

about 2 weeks ago i noticed that my macandra, glandulosa, l.aromatica started to melt so i did some tests. found out my phosphate was at 10+ ppm!

my solution:
50% water change tap water
10g water changes 3 days tap water
10g water change 5 days RO-DI water
50% water change RO-DI water.

added phos-guard and carbon to the tank
stopped dosing altogether
pulled out all root tabs
cleaned out the filter pads
changed CO2 bottles...

after all this, the phosphates are still at 10 ppm. i've been testing daily and its been a lighter color of blue everyday but nonetheless blue (10 ppm).

all tank inhabitants seem to be fine. NO ALGAE. only sign is the stem plants that are melted/burned.

if anyone has any suggestions i would gladly appreciate it. as far as what as to do, i'm kind of stumped at this point. only other thing i would try is another phosphate test kit but that =$$$
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 12:37 AM
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What's your tapwater phosphate ppm? Is the phosphate coming from your EC?

I wouldn't assume that high phosphates will make your plants melt. Too little CO2 would be my first guess, without knowing what your tank levels are.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 01:44 AM
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I had too much phosphate about 4 weeks ago and this is what I did:
50% water change twice a week
add more ferts including NO3 and Fe
increase the intensity of the lights or add grow lights(home depot)
add fast growing plants .HORNWORTS are great for absorbing nutrients.
increase co2 injection.
My PO3/4 level dropped from off the charts to 2ppm.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 07:56 PM
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Excess phosphate hasn't been shown to cause any problems with plants. The melting is more likely to be from a shortage of one or more of the fertilizer elements needed. The "excess" is probably from "excess" reliance on the test kit.

Hoppy
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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my tap water phosphate ppm is kind of ambiguous. the test tube color was a milky gray color (there must've been other things in there to contaminate the test, maybe?) but it wasn't yellow (0 ppm) or blue (10 ppm). that worried me so i started using RO-DI.

i did get a bag of the contaminated EC (milky) but it's been over a year since we've had the EC. we washed it out many times but there still were some white pieces in it. would it still be a problem after a year?

after i get my CO2 adapter, i'll hook up the pressurized. but that won't be for another week or two. until then should i set up more CO2 bottles?

i know that green hygro, anacharis, hornwort are nutrient absorbing plants... any there any other plants that do the same?

your suggestions are very appreciated. my fish thank you too haha
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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well prior to testing for phosphates, i was dosing everyday K, flourish, flourish excel so thats why i stopped when i saw the results.

i also tested for nitrates and they were reasonable. i dont have the card so i'm guessing 10-20 ppm. so im confused as to which fertilizer element was missing of N,P,K. I can agree with CO2. but since i was dosing K everyday, that had to be available. N was available. P was in over abundance. *help* or was it that because the nutrient levels increased, light and CO2 needed to increase as well?

and for some reason when tested for P, the K2SO4 had little P in it. weird. it could very well be the test kit. you're probably right about the excess.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 09:00 PM
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Wisteria(hygrophila difformis) is also a nutrient-loving plant.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 09:12 PM
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Those of us who are pretty new to high light planted tanks can do a lot better with fertilizing if we use the EI method for fertilizing. That means dosing about 5 to 7 ppm of NO3, about a tenth of that of PO4, and whatever K comes with the first two, three times a week and dosing traces on the other days. Then changing at least 50% of the water once a week to make sure none of those elements build up too much in the water. No testing, unless it is to determine how much CO2 is in the water, whether the KH is high enough to avoid pH crash if dosing CO2, and GH to make sure our tap water has enough Ca and Mg in it. CO2 can be added in as great an amount as the fish are comfortable with, and should be to have an optimum amount, but must not be allowed to fluctuate much from day to day (night time doesn't matter.) When we try testing for nutrients we are always at the mercy of the accuracy of the test kits, which is very poor for hobby grade kits. Once we (I include myself) become more experienced, then might be a good time to try to fine tune fertilizing by doing testing and dosing.

Hoppy
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 09:18 PM
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i'd bet its the eco-complete.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 01:16 AM
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I doubt it's the eco-complete. I have contaminated stuff in a ten gallon. It stopped raising the phosphate after a couple months. I think it's the test kit. I had an AP phosphate test kit that gave horrible results, IME the hagen kit is pretty accurate. If I didn't read the results at exactly the right time, it would turn into that milky grey color decribed earlier. Where you adding any phosphate before you notice the elevated level?
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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nope, before i only dosed flourish, K2SO4, flourish excel. i dosed nitrates one time but that was a year ago. didn't need it since.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 02:15 AM
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Do you have a water report from your water company? That should give you a pretty good indication of your tap levels. If it's not listed you can call them up and ask to talk the water technician, I think that's what they call the guy that knows what is in the water.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
Those of us who are pretty new to high light planted tanks can do a lot better with fertilizing if we use the EI method for fertilizing. That means dosing about 5 to 7 ppm of NO3, about a tenth of that of PO4, and whatever K comes with the first two, three times a week and dosing traces on the other days. Then changing at least 50% of the water once a week to make sure none of those elements build up too much in the water. No testing, unless it is to determine how much CO2 is in the water, whether the KH is high enough to avoid pH crash if dosing CO2, and GH to make sure our tap water has enough Ca and Mg in it. CO2 can be added in as great an amount as the fish are comfortable with, and should be to have an optimum amount, but must not be allowed to fluctuate much from day to day (night time doesn't matter.) When we try testing for nutrients we are always at the mercy of the accuracy of the test kits, which is very poor for hobby grade kits. Once we (I include myself) become more experienced, then might be a good time to try to fine tune fertilizing by doing testing and dosing.
I am With HOPPY all the way on all the points here .In fact when I had a problem with Phosphate, it was he who put me at ease and recommended to increase ferts&light .
Well today after 4 weeks my Phsphate level is so low that I had to add a dose of KH2PO4 to bring it to an acceptable level.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2006, 09:46 PM
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IMO its your test kit, Give another brand a go. If its not try useing a better quality p04 remover. The kent stuffs good but if you can find Rowa Phos in the usa its even better(3x ish).
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2006, 04:22 AM
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You can easily get rid of phosphate by dosing more nitrates and traces. The plants will gorge themselves on it. (Assuming you have a high light intensity.) And, if that doesn't grab you, just do an 80% water change.

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