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Old 08-10-2005, 08:34 PM   #1
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Testing results...please help!

We tested our levels today and phosphates are 10! isnt this bad? Our GH is 12 and out KH is 6, so that means our co2 levels are 11.2 correct? this means were going to have to add co2? any help is greatly appreciated
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:23 PM   #2
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Phosphate levels of 10 ppm would be very high and likely to cause algae problems. Sometimes very high test readings can be the result of bad test kits. Did your PO4 test kit come with a reference sample? If so, verify your test kit's accuracy by testing the reference sample. Seachem makes a pretty good affordable PO4 test kit that is easy to read if you need a new one.

If your PO4 results are correct then you should bring down your phosphates by performing a series of partial water changes (20-40%) over the course of a few days until the phosphate levels are down to manageable (<2.0 ppm) levels.

As to your CO2 levels, you need to cross reference your pH with your KH to determine your CO2 levels. Having a GH level (12 dGH) that is higher than your KH level (6 dKH) is unlikely and might indicate another faulty test kit. HTH
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:28 PM   #3
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well, we just bought the new test kits, theyre aquarium pharm. ill test the tap water, mayve that's the problem?
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:52 PM   #4
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AP test kits are usually pretty reliable. You may be onto something with the tap water. I've seen some people who have extremely high phosphates in their tap due to treatment of some sort.
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:31 AM   #5
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actually, its normal for Gh and Kh to be different. with 6 degrees difference, I'd say your water company is treating the water pretty heavily for something, and driving the Gh up a bit.
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:07 PM   #6
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well i tested the tap water and it came out .5ppm, retested the tank and it came our darker than the 10. ppm mark again. how do we reduce the level of phosphates, water changes? is this high phosphates bad for algae, bad for the plants, or both? i also retested for: kh is 6, ph is 7.0 so our co2 levels are 17.7? is this ok for temple narrow leaf and micro sword? Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:13 PM   #7
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The best/safest way to reduce phosphates is through water changes. It's a PITA but it works perfectly. High PO4 levels can lead to algal blooms and, at high enough levels (I'm not sure where this occurs but hopefully someone can comment), PO4 can become toxic to fish and even plants.

Are you supplementing with CO2? CO2 at 17.7 ppm would definitely be beneficial to plants but the best level to maintain, if you are supplementing it, is between 25-30 ppm. Your temple and micro sword should do well at 17.7 ppm CO2 as long as they have enough light (2+ wpg).
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:21 PM   #8
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thanks for the quick reply. we are not adding co2, but were thinking about seachems flourish, would we benefit from this? i forgot to mention that this is a 15g tall tank and we have 2wpg
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:28 PM   #9
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Your CO2 readings are likely erroneous if you aren't supplementing. CO2 concentrations in unsupplemented water columns equilibrate to somewhere around 2-3 ppm CO2 naturally. Measurements indicating higher levels are usually incorrect. Either your pH or your KH test kits are giving you false readings if your water was measured after more than 24 hours of sitting in your tank. Measurements directly from tap water may display high levels of CO2 (lower initial pH readings) but, after 24 hours of atmospheric exposure, CO2 levels will have dropped significantly.

Seachem's Flourish Excel is a decent substitute for CO2 supplementation in low light tanks. It provides photosynthesis precursors to the plants but is not nearly as effective as actual CO2 supplementation.
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