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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've never had this problem in the past. the only difference this time around is that i utilized a good amount of akadama mixed in with old florabase, which is pretty much fine clay, and am using lava/lace rock for the hardscape. i know that lava rock is supposed to not alter the pH of water, but is it possible that it is a phosphate sucker? same thing with the akadama--could it potentially suck out all the nutrients in the water column and lock down on the availability of phosphates?
 

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Purely theoretically . . . If you use iron rich rocks and substrates, then these could react with phosphates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@greystroke: thanks for answering my question. let's act on the presumption that the phosphates are being bound; is there a way to cause them to be released?
 

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As far as I can remember . . . only by soaking in concentrated sulphuric acid, which - I don't think - is a good plan.

I have in the past used agricultural bone meal from the nurseries which I used as an additive to the substrate (a few spoonful's in a bucket). The bone meal contains calcium phosphates which is almost insoluble in water, thereby providing a long term (slow release) supply for your plants.

You could also find suitable root tabs to do that work.
 
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