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Old 11-29-2007, 03:52 PM   #1
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reducing phosphates

I have struggled with my phosphate levels for months now. Other than being totally frustrated......I've continued to do my 20% pwc each week-lights on for 6-7 hrs daily-feed every other day. I've called my water company for testing results (but they don't test phosphates) and I didn't really get any help from them....so I'm trying to pick YOUR brains now.

I don't have any problems with algae.....but I can't help to think that this high of a phosphate level can't be good for the tank residents. I tested my water yesterday (2 days after the pwc) and had the following results:

nitrate-0
nitrite-0
phosphates-.8 mg/l
cal 350 (low)
1.025
8.0 ph

Should I go with a phosphate reactor? If so, I'd like to hear from someone who has one (and hear what super-dooper luck they've had with theirs). I've used misc products that I've put in the filter sock and let the water run over it...but that doesn't seem to put a good enough dent in it.

I use reef crystals as my salt. I'm thinking perhaps another 20% pwc this weekend? Changing salt? Grinding up chicken bones and dancing in a circle? Something....Anything??

Anything you could suggest would be helpful at this point.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:09 PM   #2
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Do you use an RO/DI filter for your water?
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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Personally... I like the chicken bone thing and dancing. Make sure you have someone take pictures so we can all know how to do it ourselves.

But seriously, I use Reef Crystals with DI water and have never had any detectable phosphates using the Salifert test kit. So... I don't think your salt mix is the problem.

I'm thinking your water district is primarily using well water and you're not running it through an RO/DI? Just guessing, but maybe with the increased rains now that we're knee deep into fall, you're seeing increased runoff from fields and roads that may boost up the phosphate levels? You might try another person at the water district, as I thought phosphates were something they had to test per Federal requirements. Maybe Melosu can chime in on that.

When I first started my tank, and did have some phosphates (from the "previously frozen" cocktail shrimp, I'm sure), I got rid of them using RowaPhos pads and they worked great. Not sure what all you've tried already, but if you haven't tried the Rowa product yet, you might give it a go. Pricey little buggers, but they seem to work well, and fast.

And don't forget the pictures of the chicken dance.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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I'm thinking if your phosphates are only at .8ppm and you aren't having algae issues, you shouldn't really worry about it. If it really bothers you, go with a RO/DI unit.
You should be able to check your phosphate levels of your tap water.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcmarc
Do you use an RO/DI filter for your water?
Yes, I do and I'm very good about keeping up with the filters and resin changes.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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Have you checked the readings from the RO/DI?
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:35 PM   #7
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The recommended limit for phosphate is 0.03ppm. If you are really 0.8ppm, that is quite high.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-11/rhf/index.php

I recently started running PhosPure from Drs. F&S.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...3&pcatid=13963
It is 1/2 the cost of Phosban or RowaPhos and it is the exact same thing. You can also get GFO from www.twopartsolution.com.

I don't have an algea problem, but I think the colors of some of my SPS can improve and I heard phosphate can brown out some coral. I originally only used it in a mesh bag in my sump, but I don't think that did much. I bought a ViaAqua Poly reactor and have been running that for about 3 weeks. I definitely see an improvement in colors, plus I did have some very small patches of that red, almost cotton like algea and that is all dieing off now.

Save the bones and make some soup.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roka64
Have you checked the readings from the RO/DI?
No, when I tore down my f/w tank I didn't keep any of the f/w testing kits....I'm assuming that I test before I add the salt?? Should I test it after I do the salt mix and before I do the pwc??
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccapt
The recommended limit for phosphate is 0.03ppm. If you are really 0.8ppm, that is quite high.
Good catch, I missed not reading the 0, sorry for the wrong info.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:43 PM   #10
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I agree .8 is high. You can use your regular SW test kit in your RO/DI water. I also suggest getting a test kit from a different company to verify your results.

The two most common causes of PO4 in a tank are source water and food. IMHO, food is a major contributor to PO4, especially if you use frozen food. Can you explain what you feed, how often and how you prepare it?
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