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Old 09-09-2005, 09:21 PM   #1
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Phosphate & Nitrate problems!!

Hi ppl,

I've got a major problem with my phosphate (>3ppm) & nitrate (80ppm) levels.

I'm going to do a major water change (30%), clean all the gravel, scrub off all the algae, clean the filters and change the sponges.

I'm also going to put in more live rocks as I've read that it should reduce the nitrate!

Is there anything else I would need to do, other than using any resins?
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Old 09-09-2005, 09:48 PM   #2
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find out where the phosphate is coming from. Food? source water?

I got a phosphate reactor for $30 plus $15 for the stuff (will last 9 mo in my tank) and a $14 powerhead. haven't had it long enough to report results, but it was easy to set up.
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:23 PM   #3
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gravel? That sounds like a likely candidate. Gravel is not really appropriate for a saltwater tank because of its ability to hold detritus.

How often do you change the sponges and clean the filters?

The algae is not creating ditrate and phosphate, it is a result of it.

Live rocks will not reduce the nitrates if it is competing with some kind of filter like hob, cannister or wet/dry trickle systems.
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:26 PM   #4
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I agree, where are the phosphates coming from? What is your source water? Test the freshwater that you use for topoffs and water changes, test your freshly mixed SW. If either shows any phosphates or nitrates then I would look for a better water source or consider some filtration. Otherwise, phosphates/nitrates can be introduced by some fish foods, overfeeding and/or some cheap GAC 's may have phosphates or even leach them back into the aquarium. What type of filtration do you use? Your method of filtration can greatly impact nitrate levels. If you can not effectively eliminate or reduce the introduction of nutrients then you should look into a refugium with macroalgaes for nutrient export. HTH
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden
find out where the phosphate is coming from. Food? source water?
How do I find the source?
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdp
I agree, where are the phosphates coming from? What is your source water? Test the freshwater that you use for topoffs and water changes, test your freshly mixed SW. If either shows any phosphates or nitrates then I would look for a better water source or consider some filtration. Otherwise, phosphates/nitrates can be introduced by some fish foods, overfeeding and/or some cheap GAC 's may have phosphates or even leach them back into the aquarium. What type of filtration do you use? Your method of filtration can greatly impact nitrate levels. If you can not effectively eliminate or reduce the introduction of nutrients then you should look into a refugium with macroalgaes for nutrient export. HTH
I buy the from my LFS which is directly imported from the ocean... I have a canister filter and a mini reef.

Where can I get these macroalgaes?
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Old 09-09-2005, 11:16 PM   #7
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I bet the canister and the gravel are what's cuasing the nitrates.

Put some of whatever you're feeding into an ounce of water, let it sit a while, then test that water for phosphates.

Also, test the water you get from the LFS. Phosphates are common in fertilizer, so if there is any agriculture near where they're getting it from, it's possible that it's coming from there. Not likely, if they go out far enough, but you never know until you test
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Old 09-10-2005, 11:56 AM   #8
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sponge filters on a SW tank (well, reef tank mainly) should be rinsed about every other day to prevent them from becoming nitrate factories.

more live rock...1-2lbs per gallon of tank size...I find 1.5lbs/gal is optimal for the 'average tank' in terms of nitrate reduction, and visual aesthetics.

Also, a good skimmer will help remove the organic compounds that are converting into nitrate and phosphate.
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Old 09-27-2005, 06:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden
I bet the canister and the gravel are what's cuasing the nitrates.

Put some of whatever you're feeding into an ounce of water, let it sit a while, then test that water for phosphates.

Also, test the water you get from the LFS. Phosphates are common in fertilizer, so if there is any agriculture near where they're getting it from, it's possible that it's coming from there. Not likely, if they go out far enough, but you never know until you test
What am I suppose to do with Canister?? I've cleaned it thoroughly and also cleaned 80% of the gravel (I actually meant sand - sorry for the confusion)..

I've tested the water and phosphate is also nil???!!
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