Phosphate

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Jdoxford

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I know this has probably been asked and answered 1000 different ways, so please excuse me if it’s frustrating, I am new to the forum and this is my first post, so I’m not up to fully understanding format here.
I have a 225 gallon mixed reef, the tank is less than a year old, it is heavily stocked with fish, 7 tangs, couple of puffers, snowflake eel, long horn cow fish, shrimp, snails, chromes, damsels, 4 clowns...(I know some are not “reef safe”, my tank, my gamble, it’s worked well so far..lol)
I run my alk at 9.9-10.2, calcium 470-480, and currently my phosphate is .26, I check magnesium about once a month (it always seems to be where it should between 14-1500 (maybe a little high)
my corals all seem to be pretty good, apart from some of the color in some of my acros, I think they could be a little more vibrant. I use BRS Kallkwasser in my ato, and add 8 drops of lugols a week, amino acids about every other day (vibrance fuel), 13ml a day of korallen-zucht trace element complex...i feed 2-3 times a day, a combo of mysis, krill, rods fish and coral food, and live phyto every few days...
I run a BRS dual reactor with high capacity GFO and carbon, and a refugium with chaeto.
I have shared all this just to ask, how can I get my phosphates lower? I have no hair algae issues or anything, but I am worried that this may be to high? any help or correction would be much appreciated...I have only been in the hobby for about a year, I started with and 80 gallon on a canister, to building an acrylic 225 and running refugium sump (sump is an af-300 eshopps) and running a reef octopus 200 classic int.

49DCE9F1-A328-48DD-A8D3-60D19A3250CF.jpeg
 

Blenny1988

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everything seems to check out so far so just keep an eye on your parameters as you have already stated you have no hair algae and your corals have been doing great :)
 

Blenny1988

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and never be reluctant to asking questions on here they a great bunch on here and dont judge or knock someone with even more experience than my self will probably be along to guide you better than me but everything looks fine to me so try not worry to much we all have to start somewhere hell even seasoned keepers still struggle from time to time and everyone is always learning in this hobby
 

Timfish

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Well, I'd say don't fix what ain't broke. Nuisance algae and phosphate don't go hand in hand, it's far more dependant on the equilibrium of the system. I would encourage you to get FOrest Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" (kindle is just $10). He discusses this aspect of ecosystems. Here's several videos you might find informative:

Forest Rohwer "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas"

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"

And just FYI, phosphorus cycling on a reef and in corals is a whole lot more complicated than just PO4 (Dissolved Inorganic Phosphorus, DIP) and we can't test for most of what's going on.

DIP DOP POP.jpg

(DOP is Dissolved Organic Phosphporus and POP is Particualte Organic Phosphorus)

We also have cryptic sponges messing with phosphorus:

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

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

And biofilms are messing with it too, so you can see it's a very complicated picture, hence the often said admonition "Don't chase numbers" ;)
 
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Jdoxford

Jdoxford

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What test are you using for phosphate?
I am not convinced that your test reads correctly given the absence of algae and growing corals. Careful with chasing numbers...
I use the Hanna Ultra low range digital checker...I use Hannah checker for Alk and calcium as well
 
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Jdoxford

Jdoxford

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Well, I'd say don't fix what ain't broke. Nuisance algae and phosphate don't go hand in hand, it's far more dependant on the equilibrium of the system. I would encourage you to get FOrest Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" (kindle is just $10). He discusses this aspect of ecosystems. Here's several videos you might find informative:

Forest Rohwer "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas"

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"

And just FYI, phosphorus cycling on a reef and in corals is a whole lot more complicated than just PO4 (Dissolved Inorganic Phosphorus, DIP) and we can't test for most of what's going on.

DIP DOP POP.jpg

(DOP is Dissolved Organic Phosphporus and POP is Particualte Organic Phosphorus)

We also have cryptic sponges messing with phosphorus:

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

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

And biofilms are messing with it too, so you can see it's a very complicated picture, hence the often said admonition "Don't chase numbers" ;)
This is probably as about in-depth answer a person can ask for, so much that it will take a little time to understand, and I look forward to coming back to this tonight and watching these videos. And looking into that book. Thank you! I’m learning fast that the “don’t chase numbers” rule, has some real truth in it.
 
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Jdoxford

Jdoxford

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Maybe I missed it but I see no mention of where your NO3 is at. If it's low, raising it will help lower your PO4. If it's kinda balanced just let things be.
I check my nitrates rarely...really only check them if I start to see a problem somewhere...on an API test they read under 5ppm...
 
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Hanna is a good phosphate test. Use it myself, but at times I get unreliable readings, such as 0.3-0.7, without the probe having turned visual blue. I usually then fill the other vial with tank water, set the tester once more and run my test vial a second time.
 
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Jdoxford

Jdoxford

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Hanna is a good phosphate test. Use it myself, but at times I get unreliable readings, such as 0.3-0.7, without the probe having turned visual blue. I usually then fill the other vial with tank water, set the tester once more and run my test vial a second time.
.3-.7 is a lot higher than mine...I will have to do some double test like you said though
 

Potatohead

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I would not use any type of chemical or gfo or anything like that.

I might slowly increase my refugium photoperiod or maybe do slightly larger water changes. Definitely don't do anything drastic. Personally I feel around the 0.12 range is pretty ideal and it is WAY better to have it a bit high, than low.
 
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Jdoxford

Jdoxford

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I would not use any type of chemical or gfo or anything like that.

I might slowly increase my refugium photoperiod or maybe do slightly larger water changes. Definitely don't do anything drastic. Personally I feel around the 0.12 range is pretty ideal and it is WAY better to have it a bit high, than low.
Actually run my kessil refugium light 24/7 may not be ideal, I don’t have a timer for it, been lazy about getting one, and it has been like that for months..lol
 
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