Ever seen Phosphates this high? Woah!

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KrisReef

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Day 3 - 1.4ppm - slowly but surely heading down
With steady drops, the corals may take a week to react to the first change. You could be wacking on them for a week before you see they are unhappy and if you stop then the decline could continue for another week way behond what you feared? Going slow, change wait, change wait. These changes should be made a week apart perhaps? Who knows how fast or delayed the corals will react along the way.

Be careful. :)
Love Mom. (That's how my mom would have recommended I proceed, so there ya go.)
 
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With steady drops, the corals may take a week to react to the first change. You could be wacking on them for a week before you see they are unhappy and if you stop then the decline could continue for another week way behond what you feared? Going slow, change wait, change wait. These changes should be made a week apart perhaps? Who knows how fast or delayed the corals will react along the way.

Be careful. :)
Love Mom. (That's how my mom would have recommended I proceed, so there ya go.)
Thanks Mom! Haha yeah so far so good - I have enough in there for my 20gal - I imagine its pretty close to being exhausted and Ill need to change out for fresh phosguard soon but definitely a little nervous.
 
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With steady drops, the corals may take a week to react to the first change. You could be wacking on them for a week before you see they are unhappy and if you stop then the decline could continue for another week way behond what you feared? Going slow, change wait, change wait. These changes should be made a week apart perhaps? Who knows how fast or delayed the corals will react along the way.

Be careful. :)
Love Mom. (That's how my mom would have recommended I proceed, so there ya go.)
The more I’ve mulled on this the more I like it. I think a good strategy would be to put in a new bag every 2 weeks when I change the carbon and polyfilter - if I was fighting nuisance algae it’d be different but this is a good call for sure.
 

DanTheReefer

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Yeah this was the day I bought a Hannah phosphate checker. The WWC employee didn’t like anything about my water haha

B28BB884-F880-463D-8EE6-EC9AAF09763E.jpeg
 
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DanTheReefer

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Haha you win!!! 0 nitrates on top of that - did you have mutant algae?

What did you end up doing about it?
Also got GFO and a protein skimmer, changed to using more frozen food. Didn’t freak out, slowly brought it down over course of a couple weeks. Still tends to run high, usually .3 - .4 ppm, but have happy coral and no algae issues
 
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Also got GFO and a protein skimmer, changed to using more frozen food. Didn’t freak out, slowly brought it down over course of a couple weeks. Still tends to run high, usually .3 - .4 ppm, but have happy coral and no algae issues
Down to 1.3 today so seemingly losing about 0.1 per day. Should I shoot for .1 being my end goal or is that a pipedream? Im fine with phos being elevated provided there’s no algae. My biggest concern is messing up the ratio of nitrates <> phosphates. If my nitrates are in the 30’s I imagine its probably good to have it slightly higher on the phosphate side too for balance sake.
 

DanTheReefer

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Down to 1.3 today so seemingly losing about 0.1 per day. Should I shoot for .1 being my end goal or is that a pipedream? Im fine with phos being elevated provided there’s no algae. My biggest concern is messing up the ratio of nitrates <> phosphates. If my nitrates are in the 30’s I imagine its probably good to have it slightly higher on the phosphate side too for balance sake.
Yeah it depends on what you are keeping I guess. If it’s acros probably want to dial it in. I’m unfamiliar with an ideal nitrate phos ratio. I have montis / LPS for most part and pretty much stopped caring. I check about once a month and if phos is high I run a little GFO. I haven’t checked nitrates in a really long time - it’s always uneventful. Guess you just learn your system over the years and know what to pay attention to more often.
 
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Yeah it depends on what you are keeping I guess. If it’s acros probably want to dial it in. I’m unfamiliar with an ideal nitrate phos ratio. I have montis / LPS for most part and pretty much stopped caring. I check about once a month and if phos is high I run a little GFO. I haven’t checked nitrates in a really long time - it’s always uneventful. Guess you just learn your system over the years and know what to pay attention to more often.
Makes sense - I have mostly LPS (2 hammers, 3 torches, 2 anacroporas, blastomussa, 2 gorgonians, 2 birdsnest, a frogspawn, a duncan and a monti digitata. I personally like LPS better and will adapt my coral stock to suit my tank - more into it for the fishies but also love the coral.

On the fish side I have 2 mandarins, 2 bluestreak cardinals, 2 barnacle blennies, a citron goby, a pinkbar goby with pistol shrimp and a neon goby. 2 emeralds, 1 tuxedo urchin, bunch of nessarius, trochus and cerith snails, fighting conch, hermit crabs and 2 sea stars.

Lot of stock for a 20 gallon tank - definitely not overcrowded but for sure maxed out.

040AC609-6D2F-4E9E-B9F7-1B27345188A4.jpeg
 
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Did a big water change yesterday including pulling out the protein skimmer and cleaning all the detritus that had fallen to the bottom in my back chamber of my AIO (red sea max nano).

I suspect this was a huge culprit of my nitrates and phosphates - this morning my nitrates are already down 10ppm (28ppm) and the phosphates are now at 1.08. Huge improvements. I will be cleaning that chamber much more frequently moving forward.

I’m going to throw in one last bag of phosguard which I am hoping drops me to as close to 0.1ppm as I can get and I will be in the right direction on my nutrient levels.
 
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0.9ppm this morning - thinking it will be back to normal this week. Once phosguard gets it to 0.1 Ill start to work on figuring out what got me here food-wise and see whats elevating but I suspect it was a food I stopped feeding.
 

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Glad you got this worked out. In the past different carbon brands were responsible for my phosphate spikes. I ran tests using fresh mix water and a canister filter testing the phos before and after adding the carbon. I had to eliminate most brands of carbon as they almost all leached phosphate. 2 little fishes is the brand I landed on and have not had issues with phos since.
 
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Glad you got this worked out. In the past different carbon brands were responsible for my phosphate spikes. I ran tests using fresh mix water and a canister filter testing the phos before and after adding the carbon. I had to eliminate most brands of carbon as they almost all leached phosphate. 2 little fishes is the brand I landed on and have not had issues with phos since.
That’s interesting - I’ve been using BRS Rox 0.8 carbon which I’ve been using from the start. Months 0-9 my nutrients were under control and in fact I had undetectable phosphates up until I bought the mandarins and started feeding pellets.

The problem is around this time I also started feeding:
ReefFrenzy Nano
Reef Nutrition AB+
live phytoplankton every other day

So Im at a point now where I’ve stopped the ReefFrenzy and AB+ and moved to every 3-4 days on the live phytoplankton. I’ve got a long road ahead of me figuring out which of these variables was the primary culprit - or maybe it was the additive effect of doing all of it.
 
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Update - at 0.6 now bringing it down the rest of the way hopefully this week. Gonna pull the phosguard before leaving town and see where we’re at when I return.
Still at 0.6 today - seems like the last couple bags of Phosguard day 1 it pulls 0.1-0.2 phosphates and the remaining days it stays stagnant. Not quite sure why but either way 0.6 is far better than 2.1 so not sweating it too hard.
 
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Still at 0.3 but now experiencing issues. My alkalinity has somehow dropped to 7.9 - has consistently always been at 8.5-8.7. My torches and hammers are also ticked, and the torches have never historically had issues. Wondering if either the phosphate drop has thrown my chemistry out of whack or the phosguard is leaching some irritants.
 

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Still at 0.3 but now experiencing issues. My alkalinity has somehow dropped to 7.9 - has consistently always been at 8.5-8.7. My torches and hammers are also ticked, and the torches have never historically had issues. Wondering if either the phosphate drop has thrown my chemistry out of whack or the phosguard is leaching some irritants.
Lowering phosphates will also require a lower alkalinity level. When I keep Phosphates at .15, I need to run alk at 7.5 otherwise I get burnt tips on my SPS.
 
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Lowering phosphates will also require a lower alkalinity level. When I keep Phosphates at .15, I need to run alk at 7.5 otherwise I get burnt tips on my SPS.
Unfortunately Im not quite in the world of figuring out how to raise and lower my alk artificially. One of these days Im gonna need to figure it out though. Thus far out of the 20 corals I have only the torches and hammers seem bothered - Im eagerly awaiting my ICP results and giving the tank a break from water changes to try to restabilize the system.
 
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Yeah it depends on what you are keeping I guess. If it’s acros probably want to dial it in. I’m unfamiliar with an ideal nitrate phos ratio. I have montis / LPS for most part and pretty much stopped caring. I check about once a month and if phos is high I run a little GFO. I haven’t checked nitrates in a really long time - it’s always uneventful. Guess you just learn your system over the years and know what to pay attention to more often.
Unfortunate update to this thread - the drop in phos over a 60 day period from 2.1ppm to 0.3ppm was too much for the LPS to handle. Lost 3 torches, 2 hammers, 2 acans and we’ll see how the frogspawn fairs. Most other corals seem to be taking it in stride for now.

I wish I had better advice on how to handle if you catch your phosphates where I caught em. I think my only real advice is never let them creep up to those levels, otherwise I don’t see a way around killing your euphyllia in the process of bringing them back down.

“It’s times like these you learn to live again”
- Foo Fighters
 

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