I can't believe I added PHOSPHATE to my tank! HELP!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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I can't believe I added PHOSPHATE to my tank! HELP!!

Hi Guys and Gals!!

I need help about how to remove phosphate! I was just doing routine tests on my new tank I just setup to see how it was going. As I was going through it all... I noticed the PH was a little Alk so I thought to add some PH Up. Next test was phosphate... and its 3.0!! OH MY @#$!!!!!

I heard that ph adjusters can cause phosphate to enter the tank? Curious to see if the ph adjuster I just used had anything to do with it... I put some tap water in the test tube to test it for phos (it was 0.1) then added a tiny amount of this ph up I had just used in the tank... (my heart landed in my mouth at this point!) it turned immediatly to 3.0.

I have to act fast as this is a new tank and I don't want to encourage more algea as it is. What do I do to remove it asap??

I've been looking on the net for phoshate removers. What about Seachem PhosGuard?

Thanks for any suggestions,
Chrystal
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 07:37 AM
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Just do a couple of water changes. And don't use any ph adjuster chemicals anymore, they don't do any good. If you need your ph up then use crushed coral if you need to lower your ph then use peat moss.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by toofazt
Just do a couple of water changes. And don't use any ph adjuster chemicals anymore, they don't do any good. If you need your ph up then use crushed coral if you need to lower your ph then use peat moss.
Thanks heaps toofazt for your quick and helpful response! I thank my lucky stars I know this forum with wonderful people that support it!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 12:50 PM
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Read the water chemistry section of my Guide. Normally things that raise pH don't contain phosphate. Things that lower pH do.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 12:53 PM
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A PO4 level of 3ppm is no problem, if all else is in order. I typically maintain mine in the 2-4 range.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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I just did a 70% water change. And hasn't really changed! I'm starting to think this is a problem, and starting to worry. Thanks Bert H and Rex for your reply. Rex, well this pH raiser had phosphate in it. I really wish I could kick myself up the a*se for putting in there! I just read and printed out http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html page. Really good and heaps of info about gH, kH, and pH. I've kept that page for future reading.

Thanks for all your help... besides doing water changes... I'm still not really sure how to get rid of it.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackAngel
I just did a 70% water change. And hasn't really changed! I'm starting to think this is a problem, and starting to worry. Thanks Bert H and Rex for your reply. Rex, well this pH raiser had phosphate in it. I really wish I could kick myself up the a*se for putting in there! I just read and printed out http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html page. Really good and heaps of info about gH, kH, and pH. I've kept that page for future reading.

Thanks for all your help... besides doing water changes... I'm still not really sure how to get rid of it.
Did you get a baseline check of your tap water? Some already has loads in, so water changes won't make that much of a difference. It won't hurt anything having the PO4, so stay calm. It dos not cause algae, despite what you have heard. Keep doing the water changes, and don't use that pH raiser anymore.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackAngel
I just did a 70% water change. And hasn't really changed! I'm starting to think this is a problem, and starting to worry. Thanks Bert H and Rex for your reply. Rex, well this pH raiser had phosphate in it. I really wish I could kick myself up the a*se for putting in there! I just read and printed out http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html page. Really good and heaps of info about gH, kH, and pH. I've kept that page for future reading.

Thanks for all your help... besides doing water changes... I'm still not really sure how to get rid of it.
Please! Read Rex's guide and delete that website you printed out. There is a heap of misinformation in it. For example, small changes in pH do not harm the fish - they live with changing pH as a normal part of their lives in nature. The site apparently is aimed exclusively at people with non-planted tanks, making most of the advice incorrect.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 03:55 PM
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I used pH Neutral from Seachem for months before I started to keep a planted tank. By the time I tested for phosphate, I got a dark blue reading right away when I added the indicators. My phosphate was very well over 10! O did water changes almost every days for a few weeks and I didn't get a reduction. AFter reading, I found people suggesting doing deep gravel vacs to get the phosphate out of the substrate. I did this also, but finally got some PhosGuard and changed it religiously every few days. This got my phosphate levels back to normal.
I'd echo what everyone here says as far as not using chemicals when you don't have to. Try the gravel vacs a few times and if nothing changes, it's probably in your substrate and leaching out as it can. You may need to use the PhosGuard if other methods don't work.

30g planted with cories, white clouds, Harlequin Rasboras ,ottos.
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Outdoor pond with one common goldfish and comets.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New 2 fish
I used pH Neutral from Seachem for months before I started to keep a planted tank. By the time I tested for phosphate, I got a dark blue reading right away when I added the indicators. My phosphate was very well over 10! O did water changes almost every days for a few weeks and I didn't get a reduction. AFter reading, I found people suggesting doing deep gravel vacs to get the phosphate out of the substrate. I did this also, but finally got some PhosGuard and changed it religiously every few days. This got my phosphate levels back to normal.
I'd echo what everyone here says as far as not using chemicals when you don't have to. Try the gravel vacs a few times and if nothing changes, it's probably in your substrate and leaching out as it can. You may need to use the PhosGuard if other methods don't work.
New 2 Fish... I'll try doing that.... thanks! Actually talking about Seachem Neutral, I read Seachem.com that it has phosphate in it =( but the other buffers like alk and acid buffer from Seachem are phoshate free.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
Please! Read Rex's guide and delete that website you printed out. There is a heap of misinformation in it. For example, small changes in pH do not harm the fish - they live with changing pH as a normal part of their lives in nature. The site apparently is aimed exclusively at people with non-planted tanks, making most of the advice incorrect.
Thanks Hoppy. I've gotten rid of it now =)
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fresh_newby
Did you get a baseline check of your tap water? Some already has loads in, so water changes won't make that much of a difference. It won't hurt anything having the PO4, so stay calm. It dos not cause algae, despite what you have heard. Keep doing the water changes, and don't use that pH raiser anymore.
Thanks Fresh... I've checked the PO4 straight from the tap myself... it reads 0.1.

That's what I was worried about, ALGEA =( I threw that raiser out last night, straight into the bin where it belongs! They shouldn't sell stuff like that!

Thanks heaps for help, its made me feel a lot better. I couldn't hardly sleep last night because of what I did. I won't worry so much now coz of you wonderful guys (and gals )
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-13-2006, 03:30 AM
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I get Green Spot Algae if my PO4 is LOWER than 2.0. I normally keep it at about 3. I DO NOT get algae when my PO4 is high...

Sergio C.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-13-2006, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SuRje1976
I get Green Spot Algae if my PO4 is LOWER than 2.0. I normally keep it at about 3. I DO NOT get algae when my PO4 is high...
Wow, really? Geez... things are sounding better then =) I got the impression that PO4 does cause algea, and alot of it! Thanks SuRje1976, nice to know that.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-15-2006, 03:00 AM
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Plants are good at removing Phosphate. Nitrate and potassium too! Think of itall as food for them. Without it they starve and die.
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