how are phosphates removed from the water? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
ER9
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how are phosphates removed from the water?

i was wondering? i know plants use phosphates for growth. does normal filtration with carbon/bacteria remove any or is it removed mainly through water changes? do we have to closely monitor phosphates for excess buildup? i know they can be a reason for some algae growth.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2008, 11:39 PM
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low phosphates can lead to some algae
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 12:11 AM
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Trace amounts of phosphate are used by bacteria, but not a measurable amount. There are some products that will adsorb phosphates which are referred to as phosphate sponges. Proline brand makes some. Plants and water changes are your only other reasonable options.

Phosphates aren't particularly toxic to fish unless the levels are really high, but your algae will go nuts with it.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 12:14 AM
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Filtration, unless it's PO4 removal specific will not remove it, typically we run low on PO4 in most all planted tanks.
Algae is not related to excess or PO4.

Algae is related to things like too much light(most common), not enough CO2, (also most common), a build up of PO4 is merely a correlation of poor plant growth due to others, that, poor plant growth, is the real reason for algae, not PO4 directly.

Lack of good test methods, lack of basic understanding about algae and how to test for it has long caused these myths to keep going and going.

Focus on the plants and make sure you add enough PO4.
I have no idea what too much PO4 is, it's not toxic and does not cause algae anymore at say 2ppm than it might at 20ppm. Both are non limiting conditions, thus adding more will no longer increase the rates of growth for algae (or plants).

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 01:00 AM
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If you follow a regular water change schedule such as with a typical EI regime (50% changes per week) I would not worry too much about it. I have a fairly heavy fish load and testing with API and Seachem test kits seems I had between 3-5ppm of phosphates. Yet before going EI I had lots of GSA and recurring BBA. I got a phosphate sponge for one of my eheims to ge it down: no help. The GSa and BBA continued.

I then decided to go EI full bore for my high tech 72 gal including adding 2-3ml of Fleet when I dose my macros. At the same time I really upped my plant load too. That was 3-4 weeks ago. My BBA is pretty much now gone and my GSA, while still on the glass on occasion (a quick razor blade scrap maybe once a week before I see too much) it is almost gone from most older leaves on my plants (anubias, crypts, sunset hygro, others) and much less than before.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Filtration, unless it's PO4 removal specific will not remove it, typically we run low on PO4 in most all planted tanks.
Algae is not related to excess or PO4.

Algae is related to things like too much light(most common), not enough CO2, (also most common), a build up of PO4 is merely a correlation of poor plant growth due to others, that, poor plant growth, is the real reason for algae, not PO4 directly.

Lack of good test methods, lack of basic understanding about algae and how to test for it has long caused these myths to keep going and going.

Focus on the plants and make sure you add enough PO4.
I have no idea what too much PO4 is, it's not toxic and does not cause algae anymore at say 2ppm than it might at 20ppm. Both are non limiting conditions, thus adding more will no longer increase the rates of growth for algae (or plants).

Regards,
Tom Barr

thank you Tom and everyone else for your responses. the thing i especially love about this site is the caliber of experience represented. it really helps guys like me get to that next level of the hobby alot of you alredy have eclipsed or currently enjoy.
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