Phosphate levels not dropping with Lanthanum Chloride dosing

Matt Carden

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I restarted my SCA 150 on August 10, 2021 with RODI and 35ppt Instant Ocean. I have not added anything for cycling. All rock was dry before startup. 50 lbs is previously used and 100lbs new dry rock. I have some very fine pure silica sand used from previous build rinsed very well for a DSB. I also have 80 lbs of Carib sea dry aragonite well rinsed.

I knew I would need to dose Lanthanum Chloride to pull the Phosphate locked in the used rock. My initial PO4 level was 0.31 on Hanna H1774. I am running a 10 micron sock to attempt to filter out the LaPO4. I have by no means kept a consistent schedule of dosing or amount. Neither have I kept track of any testing. I tried to dose into my overflow so the LaCl would react before hitting the sock but this proved too tedious. I figured my dose to be 5ml. I tried dosing 25 ML which would turn the water cloudy white which would clear up within 10 minutes. I tried dosing 25ml immediately after the water cleared up and the water wouldn't turn cloudy. To me this said that I removed all PO4 from the water with the initial dose. I switched to using Orenda PR-10,000. It claims to remove 5 times as much PO4. I have used 2 full quarts and have started dosing the 3rd quart.

I just checked today and my Phosphate level was 0.26. The last week has been between 0.08-0.13. I am so confused why my levels have not dropped!
 
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mrlavalamp

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Dosing LaCl all at once is very inefficient. It quickly exhausts the phosphate in the immediate area and then proceeds to react with the carbonate.

Also, dumping too much in too quickly is known to create cloudyness/precipitate that cause breathing issues in tangs and some other fish.

BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER: EXTREME CAUTION WITH THE ORENDA PRODUCT.

Another user reported it not being LaCl per the manufacturer. Instead it is Cerium Chloride and turns out its very toxic to sealife.

Lanthanum Chloride is best used slowly and diluted. Brightwells Phosphate E has a good set of instructions with it (BRS link because they include the instructions on the page): https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/phosphat-e-liquid-phosphate-remover-brightwell-aquatics.html

10 micron filtration may not be adequate, if memory serves you need 5 micron or less).

@Dennis Cartier is super knowledgable on the subject of phosphate removal and he has a really cool reactor to remove it as well:
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/lacl-dosing-reactor-no-socks.638448/post-9117297
 

Pistondog

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Likely still leaching out of the rocks, and will for months.
I use phosphate e, diluted 50:1 with rodi and dripped into a 5 micron sock over 6 hours.
You should run a skimmer too.
The cloudy water means you are getting too much precipitate before it gets filtered and can be dangerous to fish if they swim thru it.
Dosing slowly allows filtration to keep up with the precipitate.
 
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Matt Carden

Matt Carden

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I don't have any living organisms in the tank yet so no worries about hurting anything.

It is good to know the excess LaCl will react with carbonate.

Also I will be going back to the SeaKlear.
 

mrlavalamp

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I don't have any living organisms in the tank yet so no worries about hurting anything.

It is good to know the excess LaCl will react with carbonate.

Also I will be going back to the SeaKlear.

Thank god, you had me worried there for a minute when I saw you had put quarts of it in.

I like seaklear, just make sure you get the right one (some have algaecidal additives too). I use it my display, but VERY diluted after I made a mistake and dosed too much too quick and lost a yellow tang overnight.

At the levels you are seeing (.3ppm) I would expect that if you figure out your dose to knock it down to 0 (and dose it with a slow drip into a skimmer/sock over 8 hrs or so) you would need to wait an entire day or so for it leach back up to the same level.

I have a 200 gal system and have about 150lbs of used dry rock that leach phosphates at about .2 or .3 ppm per 24 period. Unfortunately for me, I didnt realize my used dry rock would leach phosphates this bad until it was way too late so now I am trying to treat it with livestock in.
 
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Matt Carden

Matt Carden

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Thank god, you had me worried there for a minute when I saw you had put quarts of it in.

I like seaklear, just make sure you get the right one (some have algaecidal additives too). I use it my display, but VERY diluted after I made a mistake and dosed too much too quick and lost a yellow tang overnight.

At the levels you are seeing (.3ppm) I would expect that if you figure out your dose to knock it down to 0 (and dose it with a slow drip into a skimmer/sock over 8 hrs or so) you would need to wait an entire day or so for it leach back up to the same level.

I have a 200 gal system and have about 150lbs of used dry rock that leach phosphates at about .2 or .3 ppm per 24 period. Unfortunately for me, I didnt realize my used dry rock would leach phosphates this bad until it was way too late so now I am trying to treat it with livestock in.
We learn from our mistakes.

Most important trait in reefing is patience!
 

Pistondog

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I don't have any living organisms in the tank yet so no worries about hurting anything.

It is good to know the excess LaCl will react with carbonate.

Also I will be going back to the SeaKlear.
I use this to drip
Denshine 1200ML Enteral Delivery Gravity Bag Set, Disposable Enteral Nutrition Bag, Gravity Feeding Bag - Large Bore
 

Ocelaris

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When the lacl precipitates out, it's everywhere, to be stirred up at a later point. I'd stir up any detritus in the tank and keep cleaning out those 10 micron socks. I started doing that to get my phosphates down and I think it really helps getting rid of nutrients that stick in crevices etc...

Like others mentioned, it will eventually take down your alkalinity when it goes too fast and phosphate levels drop. I struggled with high phosphorus for the longest time. Once below 0.1 phosphorus, the lacl was not helping. It would drop my alkalinity and not touch the phosphorus. So likely what happened is it pulled out everything and then leeched out. Keep on it, it just takes time. Once you get below 0.1 gfo and a refugium will keep it manageable. I spent a fortune on gfo getting it below 0.1, but it seems to be stable for me. I blow out the small sand patch and the rock work with the 10 micron socks every other week and my phosphate has been steady for months now. The point is that it takes awhile to get the levels down, but eventually they'll stay down.
 
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Matt Carden

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I stopped dosing the Orenda around 11/15/21. I performed a 99% water change and cleaning of all surfaces inside the tank that weekend. What a mess that stuff makes when allowed to enter tank uncontrolled. The return nozzles have a permanent haze to them now.

I had the freshly mixed IO with RODI in the tank complete on 11/22/21. I checked my PO4 yesterday with Hanna checker 0.09 PPM. It's not as low to start as I would have liked.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I stopped dosing the Orenda around 11/15/21. I performed a 99% water change and cleaning of all surfaces inside the tank that weekend. What a mess that stuff makes when allowed to enter tank uncontrolled. The return nozzles have a permanent haze to them now.

I had the freshly mixed IO with RODI in the tank complete on 11/22/21. I checked my PO4 yesterday with Hanna checker 0.09 PPM. It's not as low to start as I would have liked.

100% water changes will not drop phosphate to zero (unlike nitrate) due to the phosphate bound to rock and sand. it may rise even further as more desorbs and reaches a new equilibrium.
 
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Matt Carden

Matt Carden

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100% water changes will not drop phosphate to zero (unlike nitrate) due to the phosphate bound to rock and sand. it may rise even further as more desorbs and reaches a new equilibrium.
I changed the water to reset for inhabitants. I'm sure it was poison to live creatures before water change.

I allowed 2 weeks for levels to stabilize before I checked PO4. I am hoping that's as high as it will go from the dry rock.
 

Ocelaris

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I was using 2 cups of GFO for months to get my phosphates below .1. Like I went through gallons of GFO and it seemed like I was stuck at > 0.2 forever. I thought I was going to go broke buying GFO! I was also blowing out the small amount of sand I had and using the 10 micron filters to get as much gunk out every week. Lanthanum helped some, but at 0.1 or below it's useless, it drops alkalinity which was worse for my corals than elevated Phosphates. However after a few months I'm at 0.03 to 0.1 with a cup of GFO and that will drop it to ~0.05 and when it rises to 0.1 I change it out. It's pretty stable at this point, so you will eventually find that stability point, but it can take a while, like months...
 

xabo

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I stopped dosing the Orenda around 11/15/21. I performed a 99% water change and cleaning of all surfaces inside the tank that weekend. What a mess that stuff makes when allowed to enter tank uncontrolled. The return nozzles have a permanent haze to them now.

I had the freshly mixed IO with RODI in the tank complete on 11/22/21. I checked my PO4 yesterday with Hanna checker 0.09 PPM. It's not as low to start as I would have liked.
Was this with the 774? Doesn't the 774 max out at 0.09?
 
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