Phosphorus Nigtmare!!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Post Phosphorus Nigtmare!!!

Ijust went from a 45gal to a65 gal tank Tank cycled for 3 weeks Added some cabomba & ludwiga Did a 20% water change Using DIY co2 & ferts.I am using a FLUVAL 304[hate it]but money is scarce & Iam fairly new to planted tank.
Everything is near normal except there is no iron & phosphorus level is off the chart.Put 2 phosphorus bags in filter. After 36 hrs no change .Cant figger out what is doing it Could it be driftwood from old tank or the mopenny used to soften water.
water very hard. using water softener pillow to get GH down to 5.6 ph is7.6. Would appreciate some help here THANKS'
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 01:49 PM
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how high is it?
it might just be your tap water.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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i checked it several times. Its 0.5
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Aquarim is 5>
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:13 PM
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You'll find more often than not that lots of those " problems" aren't really problems at all. Your plants will adapt to your local water conditions over a short period of time. Instead of adding things to the water to remove others, just leave them be for a while and see what happens.

Check out this link

I'd go ahead and browse over the whole site when you get the time. He's got some good info and is straightforward.

Hope this helps

ps. Do you have any rocks or any other decorative items in the tank? They may be at fault.


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I Will
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:15 PM
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Hi Willie,

The level of zero point five is pretty far away from what I'd consider a nightmare. Phosphorus is one of the major nutrients that plants need for growth, thus you need at least some in the water. I maintain a level of four times that much in my aquarium -- intentionally.

You may want to take a step back and reevaluate the chemical filtration you're using, there is very little need (none, in my opinion) to use phosphate absorbing resins or water softening ion exchange resins. You could put the money that you're spending on that sort of stuff toward your "Eheim fund" or whatever filter you'd prefer to have over your Fluval.

I don't know what your GH was before the softener pillows, but ~5-6 degrees isn't bad at all, plants need the minerals that make up a GH reading too.

What chart are you using that .5 would be considered "off" of it? My API test kit for PO4 starts at .5 after zero.

--
Actually I just saw where you said the Aquarium was at 5ppm, is that right? That second post wasn't there when I hit reply. If you don't have any fish in there, I'd recommend a 100% water change, if you have fish then a 50% water change. It'll at least "reset" your tank, in a sense.

What is mopenny? Mopani wood? The tannins released won't soften the water, they'll just lower the pH, your GH (General Hardness) won't be effected .
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Tap water is .5 aquarium water is 5.0> Using the NUTRAFIN test kit KH wasover 200 theGH was over 125mg/l
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Ill try the w/c again but I have the feeling its that piece of driftwood purchased at a small aqua store that i had other problems with .doesnt even carry complete filter media for fluval & he sells them I started going to BIG ALS 40 miles away
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:31 PM
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You didn't use any sort of "pH down" type product did you? They're usually filled with phosphate.

The GH reading of 125 mg/l ( ~ 7 degrees) is fine for most fish, I wouldn't really worry about changing that if I were you. Fish tend to adapt fairly well to your water conditions, provided you keep them stable. Also, in most cases if your LFS is local they'll be on the same water supply anyway.

I can't think of anything that might be leeching phosphate, usually it's more like leeching calcium and driving the GH up, from rocks, etc.

A good size water change will lower the phosphate reading, if it goes back up then you'll know there's something in the tank that is a problem.

I should say that I wouldn't consider 5ppm PO4 a nightmare either, sure it's higher than I'd prefer to have, but I've had that level before and it didn't cause any havoc.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie3 View Post
Tap water is .5 aquarium water is 5.0> Using the NUTRAFIN test kit KH wasover 200 theGH was over 125mg/l
As far as the hardness of your water, don't sweat it.
My tap is KH 8 degrees which is 143 & a GH of 18 degrees which is 322. Like indiboi asked have you used any pH up or down products? Have you done a lot of top offs? That can raise you levels (both hardness & phosphate)?

Walter

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 04:15 PM
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Hello All: I had this problem when I set up my 29 gallon and my 20 gallon. The Phosphates were off the charts and I could not get them to come down. I used the pads and some magic solution. Nothing worked! The solution that worked for me, was to just do water changes. I did 1-2 a week too about 50% or so and kept checking the phosphates. They would be good for a day or so and then go right back off the charts. After about 2 - 3 weeks of good water changes it started coming down and is now reading just above my tap water. Tap is (0.0) my tank is (0.5). I also noticed that the KH came down too. Not sure if this is related but I think it might me. Any comments on this? (KH and Phosphates)?

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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I did add acid buffer to bring down ph DIY co2 wasnt lowering it enough & flourish fert.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
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I did add acid buffer to bring down ph DIY co2 wasnt lowering it enough & flourish fert.
Willie, trust me, stop fighting your water. Most plants will grow just fine without all the sponges, and buffers.
Granted, you can't grow certain plants in very soft, or very hard water, but in general, don't fight it.
If you want to lower your pH (still not sure why, most fish will acclimate just fine unless you are talking about breeding certain species), use some RO water with your tap to cut down on your KH & as a result your pH.

Walter

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 05:34 PM
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I completely agree with Walter here, fighting your water will only serve to empty your wallet. I'll also suggest you put that pH test in a drawer and not be concerned with it unless you're calculating your CO2 using it and the KH test (even then you'd be better off to use a drop checker with 4dKH solution).

Was it "Acid Buffer" or "Acid Regulator?" ...the 'buffer' version is supposed to be phosphate-free, whereas the 'regulator' version is phosphate based. Either way, there's no legitimate reason to use that sort of stuff that I can think of, planted tank or not.
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