High Phosphates

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Nigel35

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I prefer to keep my phosphates at .20 which is where my tank has done best. As of late I switched over to using a Hanna Phosphate ULR checker to test instead of the Red Sea test kit. I tested it last night and got .61.... This is absolutely irresponsible of me but I can't imagine why the phosphates are so high. I feed maybe 3-4 times a week once a day, nori pellets and the like (occasionally frozen). Only thing I can think of is that I was gone for about 10 days and setup my time feeder, which was set to feed once daily with two rolls of the drum, loaded with standard pellets. It must have fed much more than necessary and as a result my phosphates are out of wack. I have been using Rowaphos in a media bag (I know a reactor would be better...) I believe I added 2 tablespoons of it about 2 months ago. I have a 45 mixed reef and I can tell that the LPS corals are not doing the best while the SPS are having field day?? I need to get the phosphates down but how much phosphate remover should I add to get the phosphates under control?

Nigel
 
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Timfish

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You should probably feed more also, at least everyday. Just FYI but corals will grow faster at .5 mg/l than at .2mg/l. Here's some more info oh phsophates if you want to dig into the subject more.

DIP DOP POP.jpg

BActeria and Sponges

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"

An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts


Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges
 
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Nigel35

Nigel35

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Coral strive in stability, and chasing numbers is often times not the best. Do you have the classical side effects of phosphate? Algae growth? How do the polyps look? And if it does not add up…recheck and move slowly.
That is the incredible thing... Some corals are doing incredible while others are dormant only one is really having trouble...
 

gentlefish

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Beautiful tank! Congrats! Visually does not look like high phosphate though. Can you Hanna check again? Make sure the vial is clean and rinsed with rodi water before use. Make sure no micro bubbles sit on the vial inside and the glass is clean on the outside, too.
 
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Nigel35

Nigel35

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Beautiful tank! Congrats! Visually does not look like high phosphate though. Can you Hanna check again? Make sure the vial is clean and rinsed with rodi water before use. Make sure no micro bubbles sit on the vial inside and the glass is clean on the outside, too.
Im quite worried about me testing incorrectly. I rinse the vial/ cuvette with saltwater from my tank many times then add the 10ml. I don't know if I am adding the packet of reagent correctly though. I cut a tip off the packet then add whatever comes out. I lastly cut the packet open and add whatever is left. Obviously I am not perfect at adding the reagent but I can't help but have some of the reagent not getting into the vial lol
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Im quite worried about me testing incorrectly. I rinse the vial/ cuvette with saltwater from my tank many times then add the 10ml. I don't know if I am adding the packet of reagent correctly though. I cut a tip off the packet then add whatever comes out. I lastly cut the packet open and add whatever is left. Obviously I am not perfect at adding the reagent but I can't help but have some of the reagent not getting into the vial lol

I had a similar experience to yours with testing. Hanna was way higher than Red Sea for me and as it turned out, my PO4 really was sky high (my ICP came back with 1.12 which was pretty close to Hanna). The only thing I've been able to come up with is the possibility that the Red Sea test doesn't handle higher levels of PO4 accurately and is more of a low range test but that's just a guess. Funny, like you I have mostly happy corals and little to no algae.
 

Bayareareefer18

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They have this cut line on the packet. You can snip the package with your fingers and cut along the line. Oven it wide and bend the foil like a funnel. It works surprisingly well.
+1. Make sure to shake the vial 2 minutes then hold down the button on the Hanna once the cuvette is inserted until you get the 3 min countdown.
 

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I think a little differently from many here.
Once you have the ability to change your phosphate levels because you have some tools that work and you know how to use them than you can keep your phosphate where you decide you want it.

In general I would use as much GFO as the calculator says at first. Do daily testing and learn how that changes your levels. Notice the calculator is to get from 0.6 to 0.2. Not to remove it all. I would use less as it approaches 0.2.
Again with testing you will have to decide how much to use to keep it there and how often to change it.

My phosphates are at 0.3 and I am wondering if I should do anything about it. Every time I get them down I get cyano and my nitrates start to go up. Biopellets and NoPox dont work for nitrates without phosphates too.

I was reading this today.
https://reefs.com/magazine/aquarium-chemistry-phosphate-and-math-yes-you-need-to-understand-both/

I have the phosphate remover I linked above. I can drop my phosphates 0.1 a day using it.
 
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Nigel35

Nigel35

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They have this cut line on the packet. You can snip the package with your fingers and cut along the line. Oven it wide and bend the foil like a funnel. It works surprisingly well.
that is what I have been trying to do, make a funnel with one end of the packet and then add whatever is left. I just wonder if I don't get every particle out of the reagent packet will the test come back erroneous?
 
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Nigel35

Nigel35

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I had a similar experience to yours with testing. Hanna was way higher than Red Sea for me and as it turned out, my PO4 really was sky high (my ICP came back with 1.12 which was pretty close to Hanna). The only thing I've been able to come up with is the possibility that the Red Sea test doesn't handle higher levels of PO4 accurately and is more of a low range test but that's just a guess. Funny, like you I have mostly happy corals and little to no algae.
It makes sense as their program is design for ultra low nutrient systems not that that style of testing is bad but it is design for a certain type of reef keeping
 
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