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Old 12-18-2004, 07:25 PM   #1
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Phosphate question

I am getting along in my cycle(ammonia down and nitrite up) but I am noticing a lot of algae growth. I am having brown algae on the substrate and glass( it started earlier and I got some red leg hermits and they stopped it quickly) but it seems the crabs cant keep up. I am also having a dark red algae on my rock. It is not red slime but seems to be like coralline algae just a lot deeper red than purple. My testing is showing phosphates at .5 and not sure if this could be the start of a problem. I tested the water I add to the tank tonight and it had 1.0 phosphates. Since my tank has a lower mg/l than the originating water should I just let it go or should I still be concerned. I purchased some phos-zorb but not sure if I should add it now or wait until cycling is complete. Just not sure where to go now. Sorry for the long post and please help.
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Old 12-18-2004, 07:47 PM   #2
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Your PO4 is a bit high, but I do not think I would treat it until your cycle is done. Use this time to identify the source of the PO4 so you can deal with it later. Most likely, it is coming from the source water you are using to mix your SW or doing top-offs. You can certainly start to treat the PO4 level by doing water changes with tested SW but it will prolong your cycle. Once your cycle is completed, it is a good idea to do a 20% water change. If it were me, I would dose some Chemi-clean after the cycle and about 24-48 hours before you do your first water change. this will take care of the exsisting Cyno. Just make sure all the water you add to your tank from then on is free of O4. Good luck...Lando
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Old 12-18-2004, 08:01 PM   #3
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I have been using tap water for changes/topoffs so I know the PO4 is coming from that as stated in the original post. I guess I will need a new source of water. If it is coming from my source water what in my tank is currently bringing it down from the 1.0 to .5 mg/l?

From your response I get the idea that the red algae is cyano. I was hoping not but could not find any pictures showing it so I was in a bit of denial. It is just starting to show as a few(3) spots. I know nitrites are just as bad as ammonia but is there anything I can add now (crabs, shrimp etc.)to stop it from spreading since ammonia is almost to 0?

Once again thanks for the help and sorry for all the questions. I figure best to go to those who know.
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Old 12-18-2004, 08:17 PM   #4
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While you are cycling I would not add anything in the form of livestock to your tank. It may look bad for now but let the cycle finsih. I would presume your PO4 in your tank is lower due to the fact that it is getting used up as nutrients by the algea. Start using RO/DI for your top-offs and changes. You can get this a most LFS or even the water vending machines in grocery stores or Wal-marts. Just test the water for PO4 before you add it. It should have none. I still suggest finishing hte cycle, using Chemi-Clean by Boyd Enterprises, INC and then doing a water change. Look at the bright side...at least you are getting rid of the cyno problem at the begining.
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Old 12-22-2004, 10:22 PM   #5
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I know this thread was started about phosphate but a topic evolved from within. In the original post I wrote about the red algea(not slime like but more coralline type). It was stated that this is cyano. Today I was at the LFS and we where talking and he said that if it is hard like coralline than that is what it probably is and cyano would be loose and break of easily. My question is, can this be coralline or red slime(cyano)? We also talked about the RO/DI water and he suggested distilled water from the food store. This is my second question, is distilled water OK for use and to reduce the phosphates?
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2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
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Old 12-23-2004, 11:50 AM   #6
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cyano is indeed very loose, more like a blanket of velvety algae.

distilled water is fine. It should have a neutral pH and little to no hardness, nitrates or phosphates. it'll be a little expensive though...does your grocery store have a large RO/DI water machine, where you pay per gallon (20-50 cents a gallon?)? If so this'll be cheaper than buying single gallons of distilled, which can run up to 90 cents a gallon around here.

if there's a wal-mart near you, they should have Culigan water for 33 cents a gallon. The only draw back to these big, bulk machines is that they sometimes don't get their filters changed frequently enough, so you don't get the 'perfect' water you are after. I ran into this, and have since switched to RO water from my LFS, which runs me 20 cents a gallon, as opposed to 10 cents from the grocery store.
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Old 12-23-2004, 12:02 PM   #7
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No machine at the Wal-mart but with my tank a 10% water change of 3 gal. will only cost $2 w/ tax so if that is my big expense I will take that anyday. Especially after my initial costs- that sure did hurt. Thanks for the info and the clarification on cyano. What I have is hard exactly like the coralline that came on the rock(only different color)
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4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
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