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Old 11-04-2003, 06:57 PM   #11
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Wow, nice posts everyone. I was thinking about whether the RO water was tested with a saltwater test kit. Great info, MantisFreak, on the phosphate content of foods. Kudos your way!!
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Old 11-05-2003, 12:06 AM   #12
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Thank you everyone for your help!

I can now supply some more information, but to me it is still confusing.

Quote:
What is your Alk? With that high of Ca it should be taking off.
Currently my alk is about 8.5 dKH. My pH is about 8.0. I have been using vinegar to kill off Aiptasia and it has lowered my pH a little in the last week.

Also, I replaced the RO membrane about 6 months ago and I checked both my RO makeup water and my freshly prepared saltwater and both tested negative for phosphate. I have been thinking about getting a DI filter, but since I don't detect any phosphate with my kit I have hesitated in spending the money. I use Instant Ocean salt which has always tested as having 0 phosphate for me.

I only have two fish, so I don't think I feed that much - on average it is probably about every third day. Actually, my fish look like they are a little overweight. I use flakes called Aquadine. I went to their webpage to find out how much phosphate they have in them, but they didn't have this information posted. I don't use Kalk currently because it didn't seem to be effective for me. I read that you really need to have a certain level of CO2 in your aquarium for this to be effective and since I only have two fish I am assuming that my level is too low.

Quote:
Phosphates inhibit coralline growth plus it also takes a tank some time to age.
Maybe this is why I haven't been successful yet in getting corraline algae to grow. Also, I only have an RO system right now, but it seems to be effective according to my testkit results. My Salifert testkit is rated for use for salt or fresh water.

Quote:
Calcium and alkalinity need to be in balance. If they are in balance and you have the proper amount of magnesium, then you won't end up with any snowstorms.
I wonder if this isn't the heart of my problem. I don't have a magnesium test kit, but maybe I need to get one. Could the algae have used up all my magnesium and Iodine? I added a little of both these recently, but I am scared to add too much since I can't test for them right now. Should a magnesium and Iodine test kit be a standard part of my repertoire?

Well since almost all foods contain phosphates it looks like this is just going to be an ongoing problem that must be contained through judicious use of food and water changes. Is this what everyone does to manage their phosphate levels?

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Old 11-05-2003, 12:32 AM   #13
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What type of substrate do you have. Sand or crushed coral?
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Old 11-05-2003, 05:31 AM   #14
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What type of substrate do you have. Sand or crushed coral?
Funny you should ask that. I am not really sure what I have since I was given a used set up by a friend. I think some of it is ocean grunge from Garf and some of it is sand. I have started trying to syphon some and I find that I remove quite a lot of it. It is less than an inch deep throughout my aquarium and it is off white and black in color. It is mostly of the size of sand.

I have been contemplating adding some more of something, but I hadn't figured out what or how to go about it yet.

Are you thinking that my substrate could somehow be the cause of my high phosphate no corraline algae problem?

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Old 11-05-2003, 08:03 AM   #15
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Boy,

Test kit makers are going to LOVE me for this post. I think that everyone should own test kits for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, Calcium, Alkalinity, PH, Magnesium, and Phosphates. If you dose Iron, have an iron test kit. If you dose iodine, have an iodine test kit. If you dose strontium, have a strontium test kit, etc., etc., and so on.

Here's an interesting article about magnesium. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/oct2003/chem.htm

If you have excess phosphates for a period of time, it can become bound in numerous ways. I've already mentioned algae. However, even LR and aragonite sand can all bind with phosphates if you have low ph. I could type for 15 minutes or I can cheat. I'm going to cheat. Read this article http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issu...t2002/chem.htm It will also give you a number of phosphate export methods.
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Old 11-05-2003, 08:11 AM   #16
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If the substrate is to coarse than it can trap debris. That would lead to high phosphates if you do not have enough critters to consume it. Vaccuming helps to but can become a pain. I would remove the substrate and install a Deep Sand Bed. Use southdown tropical playsand from homedepot if you can. Otherwise Carib Sea aragamx is the same thing. Or go get your own from the gulf! This is what i would do if it were my tank. If you had a picture that would help to!
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Old 11-05-2003, 08:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
I think that everyone should own test kits for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, Calcium, Alkalinity, PH, Magnesium, and Phosphates.
I have all of those except magnesium which I guess I will purchase soon. I have thought about getting an Iodine test kit as well, but since I don't have any corals yet I haven't bothered.

Quote:
Here's an interesting article about magnesium. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/oct2003/chem.htm
Thank you for the article references! I will definitely check those out. One of the most fun things about this hobby is the constant learning.


Quote:
Use southdown tropical playsand from homedepot if you can. Otherwise Carib Sea aragamx is the same thing. Or go get your own from the gulf!
Can I add a new substrate directly to my tank, slowly of course, without taking out the liverock, fish and inverts? As you mentioned I can easily go to the beach here and pick up some sand.

Thanks again for all the help!

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Old 11-05-2003, 08:52 AM   #18
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IMO, taking sand from the beach isn't such a good idea. You really don't know what is in it (i.e. pollutants).
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Old 11-05-2003, 11:16 AM   #19
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Thank you! I hadn't thought of that. It seems, however, that there could be some beneficial bacteria or organisms that could come from the beach as well.?

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Old 11-05-2003, 02:24 PM   #20
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If you take it from the water it should be okay. There are lots of companys selling florida live sand which is the same thing!
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