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Old 01-31-2010, 05:36 PM   #1
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Best way to reduce phosphates ( & nitrates) ?

need some help from you expert reef keepers I've been having problems with macro algae and about the only thing left I can think of that may be causing this issue is excessive phosphate. Of course already having algae in my system my phosphate is showing a tace ( between 0 and 0.1 ppm - yellow being 0 and green being 0.1 - the test comes up as a light yellowish green tint).

My nitrates seem to hang about 10ppm or so. Ph normally about 8.2 but I've had issues with this lately - added kent marine buffer this morning when I found the PH had somehow went down to 7.8 roughly. SG is 1.024-1.025, temp 78, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate approx 10-20 ( somewhere in between) calcium 400-410, carbonate hardness I need to test.

What I want to know is what is the best way to further reduce my phosphates / nitrates? I've tried a lot of things, read a lot of websites ( even those linked here) and nothing seems to help.

heres my stats / what i've tried:
55 gallon. livestock: 1 small yellow tang, 2 common clowns, 1 coral beauty 1 royal gramma. I also have about 5 snals, about 5 hermits ( they keep dying off, Ive tried to add more) a sally lightfoot, an orange linkia, a smal ltiger serpant star, small frag of green star polyps, mushrooms, and small zoo frag. about 80 lbs of live rock, 15lbs of sand.

I use a coralife skimmer 65. Replaced my PC ( 2 x 96 watt) 4 months ago. I have two koralia 3's.. one I just pointed up at the surface to aggitate it today. ( I recently read more aeration may help reduce phosphate?)

I do about 10-20% PWC every two weeks with RO/DI water and reef crystals. I top off with a gallon of ro/di fresh water every other day. I scrub the heck out of the live rock to get the hiar algae off as well. I vacuum the sand

I've added a HOB roughly 3 gallon fuge with a small amt of chaeto ( though it seems to be thinning out / dying off) I use a reverse lighting cycle with this.

I feed once a day - macro algae for the tang, small pinch or saltwater pellet food. I stopped using regular flake food a while back.. no big change.

I'm at a loss. Where do I go from here? Get a phospate reactor? Buy more soft corals? ( Iwas told they use up phosphate) I've tried about every trick on the internet I could find about controlling macro.. but to no avail. Your Help has always been and always will be appreciated.. thanks in advance!
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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Two things I would do different. One is I would feed every other day and feed the dried seaweed on the off days. Tangs need greens and really need to forage every day but the other fish will be ok.
Secondly I would consider using grape calerpa in the fuge. It comes with a little risk but if you keep it prunned(the tang will love the prunnings) and lighted 24/7 it will take care of your excessive nutrients. If you dont do this it will go sexual on you and cause the water to go milky white and cause problems. I`ve been using it for 8 yrs now with good success.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Existing phosphates : GFO, macro
New Phosphate : Quality and quantity of your food
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:48 PM   #4
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Just to add I would recommend a Phosphate Reactor.... BRS sells them for a pretty good price that will also keep your Phos down.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank2379 View Post
Just to add I would recommend a Phosphate Reactor.... BRS sells them for a pretty good price that will also keep your Phos down.
I'm seriously thinking of trying one since the price isnt too outragous. Have you / others had good luck with these?
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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It's not the reactor (though they do help increase contact time thus increasing efficiency). It's the media that you run inside them..... GFO (or some re-brand of the same thing). You can accomplish the same result by running a canister with GFO or a HOB filter (hang it off your sump) with GFO. I run a canister that has nothing but high capacity carbon, Purigen and GFO in 3 successive chambers)
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I'm seriously thinking of trying one since the price isnt too outragous. Have you / others had good luck with these?
I have had very good luck with the Reactor. Especially having Carbon in it keeps my water nice and clear.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:45 PM   #8
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I have a thread here maybe you could read thru and maybe it will help I had very high nitrates and dont anymore(knock on wood) here is the link to the thread. High Nitrtrates!
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
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What's your water source? If tap, have you tested it for phosphates?
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:27 PM   #10
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I am using a tap water purifier but getting ready to buy a RO/DI
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