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Old 09-07-2015, 02:33 PM   #1
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Q about phosphate and calcium

I have my first batch of coral coming on Wed and I'm trying to tackle to issues. First, I am having issues with green hair algae (I understand not an uncommon problem). I got a lawnmower blenny in an effort to help this problem but he's not earning his keep (at least not in the way I originally intended). What do you do to keep phosphates down? I hears that supposedly phosphate rx is effective, but not terribly cheap. Does phosban work just as well? I have no intention of buying a phosphate reactor so I'd be putting it in my canister philter. Also, I my live rock came with various forms of macro algae that I wouldn't mind keeping around. I don't suppose eliminating phosphate would be good for those? My phosphate level is only at .25 or .50 ppm but the hair algae is spreading.

On calcium: my calcium level is around 340. I bought "Kent Tech CB A and B" to try to bring the levels up. How quickly can you raise calcium levels? Is there harm in doing it too fast?
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:42 PM   #2
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First what test key are you using for both these readings? On the phosphate, you want somewhere in the range of .03-.07 ppm so your way to high there and that (along with a higher nitrate reading I'm guessing) is why your seeing the spread of gha. You shouldn't need to be dosing if your using a quality reef salt considering you don't have anything that is using them up. A couple large wcs should solve both problems, a50% change will drop your phosphate from .5 to .25 and so on, do enough of them to get yourself back into range, this along with manual removal should get a handle on your algae and ensure your trace elements are in the proper range. Also if your using an Api test kit to get these numbers, your going to want to upgrade to a quality kit (Red Sea, salefirt, or Hannah)


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Old 09-07-2015, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsharksfan View Post
I have my first batch of coral coming on Wed and I'm trying to tackle to issues. First, I am having issues with green hair algae (I understand not an uncommon problem). I got a lawnmower blenny in an effort to help this problem but he's not earning his keep (at least not in the way I originally intended). What do you do to keep phosphates down? I hears that supposedly phosphate rx is effective, but not terribly cheap. Does phosban work just as well? I have no intention of buying a phosphate reactor so I'd be putting it in my canister philter. Also, I my live rock came with various forms of macro algae that I wouldn't mind keeping around. I don't suppose eliminating phosphate would be good for those? My phosphate level is only at .25 or .50 ppm but the hair algae is spreading.

On calcium: my calcium level is around 340. I bought "Kent Tech CB A and B" to try to bring the levels up. How quickly can you raise calcium levels? Is there harm in doing it too fast?

My first question is this How old is this tank , Size ect
What is your stock and how do you feed
how often do you do water changes
what type of coral do you have
answer these few questions and Ill start my answer
"Do not dose anything until we get to your issues resolved"
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Old 09-07-2015, 03:43 PM   #4
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I have a 55 gal tank that is about two months old. I have no coral other than a few what appear to be zoas that survived on the live rock. I have one clown fish and an algae blenny (the blenny was added two days ago). Aside from fish I have two peppermint shrimp, 5 small snails the variety of which I don't recall, and five hermits. I feed the clown one flake about twice a day. I did add two frozen cubes of mysis shrimp - but stopped that practice because it's way too much food for what I have in there. I'm using an API liquid phosphate test. Lowest reading it registers aside from 0 is .25 ppm(mg/L). I have been doing 10 gal water changes each week. I tested nitrates just now. Maybe a little orange, so something between 0 and 5 ppm. 0 nitrite. 0 ammonia. Maybe I'm misreading the colors. Phosphate looks like .25.
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Old 09-07-2015, 04:37 PM   #5
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Phosphate should be kept between .05-.03, and you can still grow macro algae.
I use SeaKlear, a pool product, in my tank. Its industrial so it only takes a capful to take alot of PO4 out of the water. But you should run a canister filter to remove the bonded PO4 from the tank.
If you do a water change using Reef Crystals, you shouldn't have any trouble with Calcium, as that salt mixes out high on most of the elements. But If you don't have any corals in the tank, you can raise it pretty fast over a period of a few days without issues.
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:00 PM   #6
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2 cubes of frozen is to much for 10 fish yet alone 2
I use a straight blade razor to cut off small amounts
Both nitrates and phosphates aren't really to bad but closer to 0 is best
as long as your in the 0 to 10 range but more towards the lower range your fine
all the nutrients you need will be in the salt when you do water changes
adding in additives all its going to do is cause issues , as long as you don't have tons SPS corals simple water changes will do , once you get some experience with reading your corals that would be a ideal time to inquire about dosing , yes corals talk you just need to understand them they tell you they are happy when there not and so forth ,
if your not familiar with dosing or even testing for all you are dosing for stay away,
its not uncommon to overdose a tank and it crashes not a pretty thought ,
# 1 rule go slow learn how everything reacts see if you can read what your coral tell you , learn not to over feed learn to do water changes on a schedule be sure you keep a log of all your parameters water changes feeding and what ever else you may do
when adding something new ect , you may not think all this is important but once your six months in and look back you can see when things were acting up and when things were doing good , if I have a issue I go straight to my log I know what I did when thing gone bad and it helps to know all this so it can be fixed before permanent damage
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:07 PM   #7
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With all that algae you've got higher readings than your showing. Some large wcs with manual removal is your best option to get it back under control


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Old 10-23-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
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So, I've been on the fence in regards to buying a more reliable phosphate test (looking at the Red Sea Pro kit). I read in one thread that a phosphate test is not needed - if you have algae, you have phosphate. On the flip side, I would like a reliable test so I can confirm I'm not wasting money on GFO ... and to keep an eye on when it may need changing. Any thoughts? I looked at the Hanna Checker Phosphate test and it seems like a pain. Many complain about not being able to get all the reactive agent out of the pouch it comes in and getting different results on repeat tests (possibly from not getting all the reagent out?)
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:57 PM   #9
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I would recommend the Red Sea test kit range. Easy to use and clear results


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