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Old 08-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2
HELP! Marine, Fowler. The skinny on Phosphates

Hey all, newbie here.

I registered because i just don't see the answers here or online. I tried to find a post to answer my question but skinnypetes thread started did not get too far into it.

I need help both with what to do, why its happening and basic personal growth in understanding more about my fav hobby.

So since i have yet to setup my profile with all my tid bits, and i think to save you having to refrence another link to get it here we go with my specs.

90 Gal tall show tank Glass, with a 10 gal sump over the back (no overflows )
I have vho 2 10k and 2 attintic with 4 moon lights and i run them about 9 hours (attintics longer for the glow and peace at night for more enjoyment)
I don't know the exact rate of flow for the in sump pump but would guess it is about 300-500gph at 4-5' of head.
I have 3 maxi jet current makers of varying speeds from 300gph on up. (models 600 900 and 1200 i think)

I also have an over the back marineland filter to help catch debri from the water column. It hangs a bit over half way down and is a new model i just replaced.

A protien skimmer just added in sump. It has yet to foam up enough to add anything into the collection cup and is only 2 days old. I am still tweaking, but ignore for purposes of past, just consider if it will impact my future.

I am mostly fowlr. I have all crushed coral substrate and live rock.
I have a yellow eye tang, blue hippo, flame angle, marine beta.
Also a Ritteri hosting 3 tomato clowns on the far left and a green bubble tip hosting a mated pair of maroon clowns.
Side note, both female clowns (maroon and larger cinnamon tomato) will attck me when my hand goes in. The tomato will come all the way over to the oppisite side to get me, and the marron will not travel so far but comes out to "intimidate me to keep my distance)
The bubble tip ann is abnormal as it attaches to the bottom of a live rock and hangs down. When i tried turning the rock to help it upright and get more light it walked to the other side to be under it again. It seem happy but i worry about it not getting the light.
I also have a SEA HARE, tiny brittle star, 10-15 crabs (blues reds and electrics) and about 8 snails such as elephant and nassari, and 4 mexican turbos.
And an electric scallop, cleaner shrimp, 4 convict blenny (aka engineer doby) and an horseshoe crab. Last a purple hatian annen. Somehow i think i am missing something.

Ok so if I missed some detail forgive me as i tried to be thorogh. Now for water quality and issues.

My ph is always at 8.2x. My amm is always at 0. My nitrates are always 0->5. My nitrites are always 0.

I used to do water changes with tap water and about 20-30%. Now i have a ro system and 2 containers to make and store ro and salted water ready to go. As of now i have done 2 water changes with ro of 50-60%. My temp is always 78-80 later in the day.

And the kicker. My phosphates were off the scale of 10ppm. After water changes i could see it lower and readable on the scal of say 5, but very short lived. I did my last water change of 60 gallons Sunday. My phosphates were back through the roof Monday.

Everyone seems healthy, happy and fine. Is this something to worry about? I read to rince foods before giving, and will start doing this. I feed a platter of frozens and some flake, some variety a day, switching it around. I don't see it all gone in 2 minutes, but watch the amm and nitrate and nitrite very close and never see a spike.

So i cannot figure out what is causing the high phos. Also note, since i have no refugium, i have a breeder net with several species of macro alges up at the top of the tank. Since aquireing the sea hare i have no hare alge and it takes a week to get a build up on the glass. (the snails do the glass, the sea hare will not).

So i have to becareful not to remove all phosphate as i do need a balance for some alge to grow for the sea hare. He does not always take to alge waviers nor nori sheets. And the macros (also recently added) will compete with the nucience alges.

So what are your thoughts for causes so i can play with the balance of minimizing them without chemicals to simply absorb them all and have no food for the grazers?

Let me know if i should worry about the green bubble tip annen liking to be upside down on the rocks?

Last do cinnamon tomato clowns naturally have a lighter color in the tail? she is the only cin, the other two are simple reg tomato clowns so i cant tell the norm and wonder about tail rot??

Thanks guys.

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Old 08-23-2011, 11:29 AM   #2
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An update for anyone who reads later.

I have since bought a canister filter so i can add phos down media. I opted this route as bottles only do so much, and i hate putting stuff like this in my tank and love adding more filtration for so many reasons.

I think i am going to have to get out a bunch of bowls and test all my food... My next plan of attack.

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Old 08-23-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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Sounds like a plan. Just make sure the phosphate media is getting good water flow in the canister, dont jam pack it full.....

Sounds like youre doing everything you can. as time goes on withyou using ro/di water it will aslo come down. i started with tap water and it took months to get mine to almost 0 from a high of about 5 ppm.
180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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