How do I reduce High Phosphate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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How do I reduce High Phosphate

I have just completed my blackout, getting rid of BGA, most of it has gone but phosphate reading in tank at 5.0.

Cannot do water change because phosphate reading in tap is also 5.0

Whats the best media to reduce phosphate ?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 08:43 PM
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wow interesting. I have never heard of high phosphate being a problem. Are you under the assumption that the BGA was caused by the excess phosphate?


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 09:27 PM
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there are several types of filter media with phosphate reducers. I can't think of any off the top of my head though. I would just throw more plants in the mix and let them suck it up
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 09:50 PM
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Are you certain you can trust your phosphate test?

5ppm on tap and in the tank sounds suspicious.

here in NYC it's 2ppm on the tap, and I can never
get my phosphate under 5ppm without some help.

Magnavore PURA PhosLock are tiny brown beads
you put into a small 250-300 micron media bag,
and leave in your filter for a few days. you can
reuse it a few times, but you can't recharge it.

I was able to bring my run away >20ppm
down around 5ppm in just over a weekend.

5ppm is actually a very healthy level.
so if your test is accurate, and you
are truly at 5ppm, then leave it be,
and look for other mitigating factors
to your algae problems.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers, I want to start an EI regime because I thought it was my high Phosphate that caused BGA
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 10:12 PM
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I thought low nitrate caused BGA... maybe its just me.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 10:13 PM
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It certainly can be related, as BGA has the ability to fix nitrogen, thus can survive and thrive without it. It's not too difficult to see that in a situation where one has a lack of Nitrogen, but otherwise is okay nutrient wise that BGA could take hold, since the plants wouldn't be growing well without Nitrogen and the BGA would see that as quite a nice opportunity.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiboi View Post
It certainly can be related, as BGA has the ability to fix nitrogen, thus can survive and thrive without it. It's not too difficult to see that in a situation where one has a lack of Nitrogen, but otherwise is okay nutrient wise that BGA could take hold, since the plants wouldn't be growing well without Nitrogen and the BGA would see that as quite a nice opportunity.
Sounds nice, but it ain't true.
Even if you bottom out the NO3, you are still not limiting BGA, not by a veryt very very long shot.

And.........this species that infest our tanks does not form heterocyst, which are used to fix N2, so that is wrong, they need to be limited, if you feed/have fish, have plants etc they are not even remotely limited in terms of N.

So that's 2 main issues this does not apply, however, plenty of folks like to say this myth.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 10:58 PM
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Oh man, I stand corrected and thanks for correcting me. I've seen that repeated so often, so yes, plenty do say that; at least now I know better.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 03:42 AM
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"they need to be limited, if you feed/have fish, have plants etc they are not even remotely limited in terms of N."

Not sure what you mean Tom. BGA needs to be limited? By what? The rest of what you said indicates that if you have fish you will have an ample supply of N?

Would you say that excessive organics is a possible cause?


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 08:13 AM
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Ok... granted this convo took place 3 years ago BUT it took a turn TOTALLY left. LOL.

Ok.. so I just need to know HOW TO LOWER MY PHOSPHATE LEVEL! Any ideas? bEen using Seachem Phosguard. Had to go about 2 rounds with it I'm guess cause the levels were so high. Quick rundown, I have a 100 gal tank and green algae on the walls. Brown algae is EVERYWHERE (rocks and plants) and I want to get rid of it all. I have a UV sterilizer now and I dose macros and micros 3 x a week.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 01:07 PM
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Ok... granted this convo took place 3 years ago BUT it took a turn TOTALLY left. LOL.

Ok.. so I just need to know HOW TO LOWER MY PHOSPHATE LEVEL! Any ideas? bEen using Seachem Phosguard. Had to go about 2 rounds with it I'm guess cause the levels were so high. Quick rundown, I have a 100 gal tank and green algae on the walls. Brown algae is EVERYWHERE (rocks and plants) and I want to get rid of it all. I have a UV sterilizer now and I dose macros and micros 3 x a week.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
The general consensus among aquarist in the know is that phosphate is not a primary cause in algae outbreaks. In fact, if you really want to fubar your planted tank with algae reduce phosphate to zero. I know I did and it did not make algae go away-it only got worse because I did not address the cause (high light-not enough CO2)and I handicapped the plants with no phosphate.If you want to make it a level playing field for your plants against algae then you have to provide a constant un-limiting supply of carbon, nitrate,potassium,phosphate and trace AND a light source that will not overdrive the system depleting CO2 at any time (without killing your fish of course). Do a search here -you'll find many folks with more skill, experience and knowledge than me that will tell you the same thing.


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 11:17 PM
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Seachem has a good product I have used a long time ago "Phosorb" or something like that but it worked very well in a mesh bag and canister filter. I think I got the problem with a DE filter if I remember, after that was over I never used any mainstream aquarium products in my tanks, what a nightmare.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 02:25 AM
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I bought a phosphorus removing resin long ago and it did a good job removing the phosphorus. The algae remained. What I needed to do was provide the missing macronutrient so my plants could grow better. That time I guess it was nitrate. Check lighting, carbon, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and micros.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkMc View Post
The general consensus among aquarist in the know is that phosphate is not a primary cause in algae outbreaks. In fact, if you really want to fubar your planted tank with algae reduce phosphate to zero. ...........
I totally agree. I tried limiting nutrients when I first started too. BIG mistake. If I had raised the lights and got consistant Co2 I would have been in great shape. Instead, I fought algae and poor plant growth for way too long.
I would like to know what light is being used, distance from bulb to substrate, and how long it is on. What kind of Co2 set up? What is filter maintenance like?
I would guess the problem with the algae lies elsewhere.


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