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Rising phosphate levels

Discussion in 'Newbies Corner' started by 6check, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. 6check

    6check Copepod

    Would you please list all the things that cause p phosphates to rise? TiA Abundance All
  2. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Food is number one source. Dry rock also can give off phosphates
  3. 6check

    6check Copepod

    Ok, one follow up question.
    what would I need to do maintain the current feeding level and frequency to make the phosphates drop? I'm looking for options on how to attack this. I'm getting a better skimmer soon.
    oh and question #2. Does does fish poop add to the problem? I got a new wrasse and have been feeding more frozen than I had in the past. So the bioload has increased on the system. Would a very regular feeding schedule help matters?
  4. 6check

    6check Copepod

    including ceramic substrate? Like ceramic blocks or tubes?
  5. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Need something to remove phosphates. Skimmer will do it. Gfo will, refugium will.

    Yes and no to the fish poop answer. Fish poop does add phosphates but they get the phosphates from the food so its no more than what the food adds in fact it's less because fish use some phosphates to grow.

    I personally believe that a regular feeding schedule helps if you have proper means of removal set up.

    If it's brand new ceramic substrate then theoretically no. Dry rock releases what it absorbed when it was wet previously.
  6. halmus

    halmus Sardine Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    Two ways I've managed with phosphates in the past was to increase percentage of water change and using Granular Ferric Oxide (GFO).

    You can either change out larger percentage of water at a time or increase frequency of water changes which is probably preferred as it has less chance of a shock to the system. (You wouldn't risk changing out 90% of your water at a time unless something catastrophic was going on)

    I always used GFO in a reactor because I could closely monitor the flow rate and avoid excessive tumbling of the media which can disintegrate the media I used.

    Either way, you're managing the symptom not the cause. That's not a judgement on my part, I've always used GFO to manage the symptoms because it worked for me.
  7. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Haha how could I forget water changes. What I get for answering on little sleep early in the morning
  8. Fitz19d

    Fitz19d Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Most people overfeed adding to phosphate/nitrate issues. Keep in mind pellets/flake are fairly calorie/nutrient dense. Even I overfeed I suspect on my 300g with a small palm/pinches of pellet + 2-4 cubes equivalent of frozen.
  9. Tmwilson9

    Tmwilson9 Registered Users

    What are you running for filtration? I just have a HOB AquaClear 70 and throw Chemipure Blue as well as Seachem Phosguard in it with the sponge at the bottom. This drastically reduced my phosphates as I had a terrible problem with them. Every situation is different, but it works for me. Also, as previously stated, overfeeding is a killer and frequent water changes can keep it in check.
  10. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Water source can lead to the phosphate issue as well. How old are filters in the RODI water source.

    Food is the number 1 culprit IMHO. Fish should consume the food they are fed within 30 or so seconds with none landing on the floor of the aquarium. You can feed more than once a day but no more than the fish can immediately eat.

    Water changes, Fuge and GFO are all really good solutions to the problem as well. Some go to carbon dosing but that should be a last resort and very researched first.

    Keeping phosphate down is no problem with a property managed and established, over a year old with live rock, system. Fixing a problem is another story. I'd good you are developing a plan before a problem occurs.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Something else to consider is how you feed frozen in addition to the amount. There have been many studies showing that feeding frozen without rinsing off the juices is almost identical in rise of phosphates and nitrates compared to between 1.5 to 2 times the same feeding of rinsed food.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.
  12. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    To properly answer this question, we need to know how old your tank is and how it was set up. If it has dry rock, then we can attack that issue. If it is older and has been neglected, then that is a different solution. If there is no skimmer, fuge or other export mechanism, then that can be addressed. There are probably half a dozen common ways that phosphates rise and each needs a bit of a different solution to fix it.
  13. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    +1 There are a multitude of things that can raise your phosphates and each has a different solution. Best way to combat them is with knowledge. Knowledge of your tanks personality, and knowledge of the fully nitrogen/phosphate cycle, how your tank/rocks absorb and process these nutrients, are all keys to finding your specific solution(s)

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