High phosphate low nitrates

SmallTimeShell

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I have a 55gal FOWLR tank stocked with one triggerfish and 3 domino damsel and various amounts of hermit crabs (if the triggerfish does 't eat them all). I've been doing weekly 10g water changes to keep nitrates in check, by the end of a week nitrates can be 40-70ppm. I have used 3 phosguard packs so far and no change in phosphates. I have been dealing with GHA, I have removed the rock, scrubbed it off and rinsed w/ RO water before putting back into the tank (done twice in 1mo so far). This has seemed to decrease the amount of GHA. What else can I do to lower the phosphates? Just did a water change- nitrates 0 phos 0.9. I use Hannah Checker.
I have a fluval 307 canister filter, aquamaxx HOB skimmer and 3 wave makers. The fish are fed 2x/day once w/ frozen cube then evening with either pellets or flakes. Triggerfish gets clam on a half shell once per week.
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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My first comment is to check your test result, .9 is the highest but may also mean test error. Watch several youtue videos to make sure you do the test properly, you have to follow the instructions super precisely or get error reading.

If your phosphate really is that high, then I would guess you have phosphate leaching from your rocks. How old is your tank? Did you start with dry rocks?

It kind of seems to me like your canister filter is causing your nitrate problems, it is the so-called "nitrate factory". You should be cleaning that thing out very often, every few days, or it collects and builds up nitrate. Consider removing it alltogether, see how your tank runs without it. In my opinion, canister is very unneccassary.
 

Seansea

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Algae scrubber bro. There are hob kind. Make the algae want to grow somewhere besides your tank.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I have a 55gal FOWLR tank stocked with one triggerfish and 3 domino damsel and various amounts of hermit crabs (if the triggerfish does 't eat them all). I've been doing weekly 10g water changes to keep nitrates in check, by the end of a week nitrates can be 40-70ppm. I have used 3 phosguard packs so far and no change in phosphates. I have been dealing with GHA, I have removed the rock, scrubbed it off and rinsed w/ RO water before putting back into the tank (done twice in 1mo so far). This has seemed to decrease the amount of GHA. What else can I do to lower the phosphates? Just did a water change- nitrates 0 phos 0.9. I use Hannah Checker.
I have a fluval 307 canister filter, aquamaxx HOB skimmer and 3 wave makers. The fish are fed 2x/day once w/ frozen cube then evening with either pellets or flakes. Triggerfish gets clam on a half shell once per week.

The phosphate may be coming from rocks. What type of rocks?

You might consider dosing nitrate.
 
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SmallTimeShell

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You always want NO3 higher

My first comment is to check your test result, .9 is the highest but may also mean test error. Watch several youtue videos to make sure you do the test properly, you have to follow the instructions super precisely or get error reading.

If your phosphate really is that high, then I would guess you have phosphate leaching from your rocks. How old is your tank? Did you start with dry rocks?

It kind of seems to me like your canister filter is causing your nitrate problems, it is the so-called "nitrate factory". You should be cleaning that thing out very often, every few days, or it collects and builds up nitrate. Consider removing it alltogether, see how your tank runs without it. In my opinion, canister is very unneccassary.
Tank is about 3 years old, I started with live rock. I have probably about 40-50lbs. I clean the canister every 2 weeks, every couple of months I change out a small amount of filter media. If I remove the canister, do I need to add more wave makers or another form of filtration? My tank is no drilled.
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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Tank is about 3 years old, I started with live rock. I have probably about 40-50lbs. I clean the canister every 2 weeks, every couple of months I change out a small amount of filter media. If I remove the canister, do I need to add more wave makers or another form of filtration? My tank is no drilled.
if cleaning only every 2 weeks, then to me, this is a possible reason for your nitrate buildup. People that use filter socks for example, are changing the filter socks every few of days, or else nitrate build up. Its the same with canister. Do some more research on that.

My 3 tanks don't have any mechanical filtration, I just do weekly water changes.
 
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SmallTimeShell

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if cleaning only every 2 weeks, then to me, this is a possible reason for your nitrate buildup. People that use filter socks for example, are changing the filter socks every few of days, or else nitrate build up. Its the same with canister. Do some more research on that.

My 3 tanks don't have any mechanical filtration, I just do weekly water changes.
I have to go out of town for a couple of weeks. When I return home I will turn off the canister and see how it goes. I always thought there needed to be another form of filtration besides just skimmer.
 

Seansea

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They will always act like they are starving but some people feed once a day. I feed twice a day and 2 sheets of nori twice a day. Keeps illness and ageession down. But i have algae scrubber and it chews up waste
 

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triggerfish
That might be part of your problem, trigger in 55gal might be too much for canister filtration.
You might need to do lot more canister maintenance, one thing I don’t miss from my fresh water tank days.
Some great suggestions have been made and here are few more to add to the list.
Maybe add external skimmer, not sure if there is one for 55 gal but skimmers are great tool at reducing NO3 and PO4 build up.

In order to reduce the GHA you can turn down the light or just have it on when viewing the tank. GHA does need light to grow so it seems the tank is getting too much. Alternatively maybe grow some easy corals like GSP, lot better to look vs. GHA.
Here is my GSP and if conditions are right it will take over the rocks and displace the algae:
1696821682877.jpeg



With feeding maybe consider to use foods that pollutes less and have less fillers. From my experience frozen will release lot of PO4.
Also all pellet foods are not created equal, some have lot of filler and some do not.
As an example the pellet food I use has very little fillers:
1696822087946.jpeg

Less fillers should lead to less pollution in the water.

Good luck,
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I have a 55gal FOWLR tank stocked with one triggerfish and 3 domino damsel and various amounts of hermit crabs (if the triggerfish does 't eat them all). I've been doing weekly 10g water changes to keep nitrates in check, by the end of a week nitrates can be 40-70ppm. I have used 3 phosguard packs so far and no change in phosphates. I have been dealing with GHA, I have removed the rock, scrubbed it off and rinsed w/ RO water before putting back into the tank (done twice in 1mo so far). This has seemed to decrease the amount of GHA. What else can I do to lower the phosphates? Just did a water change- nitrates 0 phos 0.9. I use Hannah Checker.
I have a fluval 307 canister filter, aquamaxx HOB skimmer and 3 wave makers. The fish are fed 2x/day once w/ frozen cube then evening with either pellets or flakes. Triggerfish gets clam on a half shell once per week.

I'm not certain your current levels are a problem for a fowlr tank. :)
 

jda

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I would feed those fish more than once a day. IME, food is the main difference between happy, non aggressive fish and mean fish that bully others. They should be growing at a clip that you can notice, which is hard for triggers since they require so much food.
 

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