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Old 03-14-2006, 10:24 PM   #1
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PO4 question

I have been batteling algea for months now. I have done everything from change the lights to new RO filters, more and frequent water changes. I have done it all. Today I went to the LFS and had my RO water tested and my tank water. My RO water has a PO4 level of 5-10....yes thats 5-10 NOT .5 to .10!
So my question is should I put another DI cartridge on my RO unit OR just put a phosban reactor on my RO water which is a 40 gallon trash can? I would think the reactor would be the way to go since the phosban media lasts longer and the reactor would be cheaper. Any other ideas?
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:28 AM   #2
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I just put a 'Two Little Fishes' Phosban Reactor on my tank about a week and a half ago and it's working awesome. My algae has decreased to almost nothing and yeah the media will last about 2-3 months. My PO4 levels dropped from 4 - 6 to 0.

It's a no-brainer as far as installation and it's pretty small too. I hung mine ont he side of my sump, pumping water in from my sump and back out to it. You will want to get a powerhead that can produce about 100-150 gph. The Two Little Fishes reactor comes with a ball-valve that you can regulate the flow, so a Maxi-Jet 900 PH would be a good choice.

I think you'll find it a good investment.

I've edited this to explain myself a bit better:
The statement 'My algae has decreased to almost nothing' is true, but it's along with PWC's every week, cleaning sponges, filters, PH's, etc. and the addition of a Phosban Reactor that have contributed.

I didn't want people to think that just because I put a reactor on my tank that the algae went away.
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:18 AM   #3
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Ok guys let me clarify something. I DO have a phosban reactor on my tank. It has 0 PO4. However my RO unit has 5-10 PPM PO4 coming out of it. SO my top off water and my water that I use for water changes has a lot of PO4 in it. SO it goes into the tank and then the phosban reactor has to work to take the PO4 out that I just put in.
So Im thinking I might need to put an inline filter on my RO unit - last stage. What would keep me from running phosban in the inline filter?
OR would it be better to run DI resin?

Also I just changed my DI resin last week and still have 5-10 PPM coming out of the RO unit.
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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AH, Gotcha...sorry for the misread.....

It's up to you really. If you just changed your DI resin and you're still getting readings, then I would prob. just add one to your RO/DI water outflow. This could be a prob. though b/c I don't think the water pressure is enough to make the phosphate media move (as it does in the reactor) so I don't think it will work. Sounds like you may have to just hang the new reactor on the side of the barrel and use a pump that way; pump it from and to your RO/DI water in your barrel.
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Old 03-15-2006, 03:45 PM   #5
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Im still confused. So are you saying hang the PO4 reactor off the barrel? Problem is this. I keep all of my mixing SW in a garbage can as I described before. I keep all of the top off water in 5 gallon containers.
My biggest question is will another in line DI filter take out the remaining 5-10 PPM PO4 or do I need to DO the PO4 reactor? I still need to do something for the top off water though?
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Old 03-15-2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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Somethings I should have asked first... How big is your tank and are you using the correct amount of phosban media in the reactor for the size tank you have?

If yes to ? #2 then:
It sounds like you're having PO4 coming from your RO/DI unit, correct? If that is the case, regardless of where you store the water (top off 5g barrel or 40g SW barrel), you'll need to add a reactor to the water coming out of the RO/DI unit. I don't think adding another DI filter would work (someone else with more experience please chime in here if I am wrong).

Now how you go about that is the difficult part really. You can't put your RO water into ANOTHER container and have your reactor run against that, then pump water from that container to either the 5g top off or 40g SW, that would be too confusing and time consuming for you. Maybe just add another reactor to your main tank?? I don't like that idea, but if you have a tank larger than 150g then it maybe necessary.
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:57 PM   #7
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fishman, how old is the unit and are you the original owner? is this a 3 stage, 4 stage, etc unit? Whats the level of PO4 in your tap water *before* going through your RO/DI unit? If you know the filters are exhausted (They only last about 6 - 8 months if your making a lot of water) then *yes* replace them all. If the unit is a couple years old or more your also due for a new membrane if it is equipped. Until you get your unit repaired your basically supercharging the tank with food for your hair algae..I highly recommend you purchase water from your LFS and wc until PO4, and possibly nitrates are within acceptable ranges.

Peace.
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Old 03-16-2006, 11:34 AM   #8
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A couple of things.

1) I too have this problem. I have a RO system from coralife but it has a DI cartrige yet is not called a RO/DI system. I don't understand that but it is beyond the point. Like you I have P04 that is above the good level of aroun 0.3 coming out of my RO unit. This unit is brand new so I know it is not the cartrige.

What I do is put the phosphate remover loose in the 5 gallon bucket where I hold my PWC water and where I mix my salt. So basically I fill the 5 gallon bucket with RO water. I add salt. I add the P04 absorber and then I stirr it all up. Then I drop a airstone in and put a heater on the side and let it sit for abotu 2 days. Every now and then I give it a mix. At the end of the week I can then do a PWC with this water.

2) If yo ualready have a P04 Reactor then jsut use that to get your levels down. It shoudl work pretty quick especialy if you follow what I said in my 1st comment. I have a HOB filter that I fill with PO4 remover media and this alwo helps keep my levels near 0. You may jsut need to add some more media to your reactor. But tha shoudl take care of it.

3) If you don't have a turbo snail already get one. Cause after I got my PO4 levels down I still had hair algae all over my rocks. Took litteraly 2 weeks for a turbo to clear everyhitng away. Now my tanks looks totalyl different.
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Old 03-16-2006, 03:09 PM   #9
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Jasno999 gave some good advice on turbo snails.....I didn't think they would work in my tank either, but I ordered the 'Bubble Hair & Algae attack Pack' from eTropicals and within 1 week my 155g tank looked clean again. I still need a bigger clean-up crew, but this surely gave my tank the boost it needed to get rid of this crap.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:37 PM   #10
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Ok guys I will attempt to answer all of the questions. I have a 100 gallon tank with a 40 gallon sump - with about 25-30 of it filled. Im running a full container of 150 grams of Phosban in a phosban reactor on the tank.

Also I have about 5 turbo snails and NONE of them touch the algea.

The RO/DI system I have is a 4 stage. Its a sediment, carbon and DI with a high S on the top of the unit. I have just recently changed all of the filter with the exception of the High S. It was changed about 6 months ago.

I dont know what the PO4 level is coming out of the tap. My RO/DI water is 5-10 PPM. in my tank there are 0 PO4 - but then again this is due to the phosban reactor going. Also I have 0 nitrates in my tank and in my RO water as far as I know.

My delimma is this. I run the RO unit into a 40 gallon trash can for SW mixing. My top off water is run from my RO unit into 5 gallon buckets.
SO I think what I will do is this. Put a Phosban reactor on a seperate trash can. I will run a phosban reactor in that trash can. Once it runs in there I will pour that water into the 40 gallon mixing can. I will continue to run the phosban reactor on the small can and then once the PO4 has been removed I will dump that water into the 5 gallon buckets. Seems like a lot of work...any other ideas?

Or I could put another in line DI filter as the very last stage of my RO unit and see if this solves the remaining PO4 issue?
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