Phosphate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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I just got a test kit for phosphate (po4) and my aquarium water tested 5 ppm. That seemed really high considering that I never added anything to increase it and another odd thing is that I have read that there is a good chance of an algae outbreak of tanks with po4 over 1 ppm, but I have not had any algae problems in the last 6 months. I just have a few questions about it:

1) Is there a chance that something is wrong with my test kit?

2) What could be keeping the levels so high?

3) Is too much bad for plants?

4) Should I decrease it/how should I decrease it?

5) Should I expect to see a lot of algae with high po4?

6) What harm could the high levels do?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 07:39 PM
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How much and how often do you feed your fish, and with what do you feed them?


Have you tested your tap water too?

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AQUATIC GAZETTE FEATURE

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fosty

1) Is there a chance that something is wrong with my test kit?
2) What could be keeping the levels so high?
3) Is too much bad for plants?
4) Should I decrease it/how should I decrease it?
5) Should I expect to see a lot of algae with high po4?
6) What harm could the high levels do?
1) I usually get false-neg errors from my kit, not false-pos. What kind of kit do you own?
2) Excessive feeding or overuse of dechlorinators (ie Novaqua).
3) There must be a critical amount.....although I don't know if 5ppm is too much.
4) First be sure your test is not errored. To decrease, I always simply do water changes. "Pillows" and chemicals may be available - I don't know.
5) I've never had 5ppm PO4. From what I've read, if you have high light and/or limiting NO3, you should most definitely expect GW.

Ted


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 07:48 PM
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You live in the middle of farm land. Is there any chance you did a water change and your tap water is now loaded with PO4 due to the spring run off?

Sean

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 08:05 PM
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Yeah with me too, when my test kit was bad, it just showed 0 all the time. Never higher than it actually was.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2004, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
How much and how often do you feed your fish, and with what do you feed them?
I feed them Hikari Tropical Flake food and Hikari Freeze Dried Blood Worms. I just started feeding these 5 days ago. Before that I had been feeding them Tetra's "Pro Crisps". I don't overfeed, but I have recently changed to feeding them 2-3 times a day for 1-2 mins. Before I was feeding them about once or sometimes twice a day for 1-2 minutes.

Quote:
Have you tested your tap water too?
Should have mentioned that. My tap water is between .25 and .5 ppm, so I don't think that that is the problem.

Quote:
What kind of kit do you own?
I use a Nutrafin Fresh/Saltwater test kit.

Quote:
Excessive feeding or overuse of dechlorinators (ie Novaqua).
I only use the spesified amount of declor for the weekly 15% water change.


Quote:
You live in the middle of farm land. Is there any chance you did a water change and your tap water is now loaded with PO4 due to the spring run off?
We don't get well water so I sure hope they don't have runoff from the fields in my tap water. (Mental note to self: Drink bottled water :lol: )

Quote:
From what I've read, if you have high light and/or limiting NO3, you should most definitely expect GW.
I have 100 watts over 38 gallons, so medium light and I just started adding Flourish Nitrogen, Flourish Potassium, and Flourish Trace. I really don't have time to deal with algae right now.

Thanks for all the help,
Fosty
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2004, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Excessive feeding or overuse of dechlorinators (ie Novaqua).
How do dechlorinators affect phosphate?

Is it only Novaqua in particular? Because of something added for the heavy metal binding or the "slime coat stress relief" part?

I use Amquel and don't see anything that sounds like phosphate on the ingredients. I don't really measure it when I dose it so want to make sure I am not giving the tank an extra dose of phosphate.

Tony
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2004, 04:49 PM
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I do suspect the test kit. I have a Hagen nitrate kit (Hagen=NutraFin), and it always reads inaccurately, giving me colors not on the results chart.

I highly recommend a SeaChem phosphate test kit. It comes with a sample of water guaranteed to be 0.00ppm of phosphate, so you can ensure the test kit is good.

Hagen/nutrafin has recalled test kits in the past...and at 5ppm of phosphate, I don't see how you could not have a major algae problem.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2004, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I do suspect the test kit. I have a Hagen nitrate kit (Hagen=NutraFin), and it always reads inaccurately, giving me colors not on the results chart.

I highly recommend a SeaChem phosphate test kit. It comes with a sample of water guaranteed to be 0.00ppm of phosphate, so you can ensure the test kit is good.

Hagen/nutrafin has recalled test kits in the past...and at 5ppm of phosphate, I don't see how you could not have a major algae problem.
I was started to figure that the kit was inaccurate. I tried to get SeaChems's test kit at That Fish Place's sale, but they were sold out. I was even talking to the SeaChem's sales rep. at the sale about how much more accurate SeaChems test kit were compared to others. I was too impatient. Oh well.

Thanks for the Help
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2004, 10:54 PM
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I would recommend redsea over seachem. IME redsea is more accurate, but seachem is still pretty good. But the readibilty of seachem is very hard; redsea is almost fail-proof.

Do you have activated carbon in this tank?
What brand dechlor do you use?
Any other additives?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 12:44 AM
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I've been using the Nutrifin kit for quite a while and it works well for me.
When I add PO4 it shows it and when it's being used up it shows the decline in quantity of PO4 in the water table.
My concern isn't total accuracy, but the ability to show shades of decline so that I can restore to the desired level. I don't really care if I'm restoring to .75 or 1.0ppm. I know what shade works in my tank and dose for that. It's worked for me.

Len

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Len

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 12:50 AM
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I tried the Red Sea phosphate test kit. The resulting color from the test bore little resemblance to the color chart that was included in the package.

I complained and they sent another kit which produced the same result.

I think you can do better than with a Red Sea kit.

Bill
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 12:54 AM
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I have had great luck with the Seachem kit....


Jason

120g, Flourite & Sand. DIY Stand and Canopy. CF lighting 3wpg, Pressurized C02, DIY reactor. 2-XP3's, 500watt heater.
Heavily planted
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I will try to get either the Red Sea or Seachems phosphate kit a.s.a.p. Where is the best place to order test kits from?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2004, 04:49 PM
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Cheapest is Big Als. I saw them at petsmart ONCE but they were about the same as Big Als with shipping.
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