Oh My Phostphates - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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So I have high phosphates, around 5-6. I have no clue how they got there. My tanks have been fine until recently. The only things I use in my tanks are below.

1) Kent - Marine: Fresh Water Elements
2) Kent - Marine: Freshwater plant.
3) Tetra: Flake food
4) Some kind of bottom feeding pellets, do not know the brand of them off hand.


I am currently using Phos-Zorb to lower them to safer levels. I want to find the source for these outrageous phosphates, so I can stop them. My only guess is they have been building up over time. I am not going to lie this is the first time I have tested for them in 6 months.

Does anyone have any clue where these came from?
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to remove them other then the Phos-Zorb I am currently using.

Any help would be great.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 08:13 PM
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Check your tap water.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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I use RO water.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 01:26 AM
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Check your test kit then.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 02:08 AM
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It is definitely possible for phosphates to accumulate to very high levels over a matter of 6 months. Yours seem especially high, particularly since you use pure RO water for water changes. How often do you change water?
What are your Nitrate levels and are plants growing?

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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I change water once every other week. I clean the filter once a month. My plants were growing great until about a week ago. Which makes me think that something happened to the tank that suddenly raised the phosphates. I guess the only way I will know is when I get them back down to normal levels, I will have to go about my usual routine and just monitor them. I just did not know if anyone had any clue or experience with it.

I have checked both my water and my test kit, both check out fine.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 08:56 AM
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Do you use carbon in the filter? Have you changed it or changed brands recently? Some carbon contains a significant amount of phosphate - even if the container says is doesn't.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 02:17 PM
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Lanstar mentioned a good possibility, but another is depleted Nitrates. If your system is depositing a certain amount of phosphates into the water stream continually, but the plants are using them, then you wouldn't notice, for a long time. If the plants stopped growing because they used up their source of Nitrogen, and not enough is being replaced by fish wastes, decay, etc. then the plants will stop growing and the phosphate can accumulate.

Do you have a fresh Nitrate test kit?

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, my Nitrates are fine.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 07:20 PM
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[quote="mattrmiller"]So I have high phosphates, around 5-6. I have no clue how they got there. My tanks have been fine until recently. The only things I use in my tanks are below.

1) Kent - Marine: Fresh Water Elements
2) Kent - Marine: Freshwater plant.
3) Tetra: Flake food
4) Some kind of bottom feeding pellets, do not know the brand of them off hand.[/quote[

Those last two are your most likely source of high phosphates, especially the pellets. Check carefully the amount of phosphates listed on the label of your food containers. I know the Tetra Flakes have only listed that they contain a minimum of 1.3% phosphorus...it's likely considerably more. And the pellet food can have outrageous amounts of phosphorus. Use the Phos-Zorb, make more frequent water changes, and change your food to low phosphorus high quality foods and your phosphate levels should return to normal.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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The only thing I see it reads "2-polyphosphate" is this a culprit? What are other good bottom feeding foods that do not contain phosphates? What about flake food, any suggestions? Thank you.

P.S. My tank is back to normal, thanks to phos-zorb. I am monitoring it closely so I can find what went wrong.
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