Phosphates: Do you even EXPORT bro?

What method do you use to export phosphates? Choose all that apply

  • Chemically

    Votes: 306 45.7%
  • Naturally

    Votes: 412 61.6%
  • Mechanically

    Votes: 293 43.8%
  • Nothing

    Votes: 80 12.0%

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Nathan Milender

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I have a refugium that kept everything low. Then I brought in bryopsis with a 'bargain' frag. I started vibrant which killed everything with fluconazole and now I run nitrate about 3 and I cannot seem to get phos up at all. I am thinking about starting to dose phos, it just seems like such a lame thing to put phos i manually.
 
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Sea MunnKey

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My method is a weekly 15% water change and I do realize also it really depends on what type of frozen food is fed to the system. Maybe I'm guessing but ever since trying out San Francisco Bay frozen Bloodworms (Produced in China ...?) I'm experiencing dirty glass & more growth of hair algaes on my DIY frag rack located close to the water surface. However with PE Mysis it had been clear & not even have to wipe the glass for a long time.
 

inktomi

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I *just* made a video all about Phosphate/Phosphorus. How timely hah.

I export these chemicals in my tank using a strong skimmer, as well as a chaeto reactor. This actually reminds me - time to prune some chaeto tonight..

I've tried Lanthanum chloride in the past, it works great, but fish and their gills are _very_ sensative to the fine particulate that it creates - and even dripping it right into my skimmer or through a fine filter sock I lost some fish. Particularly, it seems like yellow tangs are super sensative to it. I wouldn't risk it again myself..

 

Daniel92481

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-Trying to dial things in, I test phosphates before I feed, using the Hanna ULR phosphate checker. The test tells me if I overfed the previous time. With proper feeding, I can usually keep it at 0.04.

-As far as export methods go, I perform a 15% water change every week and let the corals do the rest.
 

Auquanut

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1. Do you keep a steady eye on your phosphate levels?
Meh. I test occasionally, and always have a low but detectable level(.03 to .05ish). As long as I'm harvesting the fuge on a regular basis, I'm comfortable that my PO4 is high enough to feed the algae/corals.

2. What plan do you have in place, chemically, naturally or mechanically to export phosphates?
I run a fuge and an ATS. I have tangs and feed fish and corals liberally. If I see any change in macro growth or PO4 levels, I feel confident that I can gradually adjust my export method to bring things back in line without shocking the system.
I hope I didn't just jinx myself.
 

Emerson

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I started my mixed reef tank almost three years ago. I started with dry Pukani, so In the beginning, I was terrified of a PO4 leeching so ran a GFO reactor with a refugium from the beginning. I had been out of reefing for about 5 years, and GFO was a new thing to me. I didn't realize it was stripping all the PO4, keeping leves at near/at zero. With NO3 levels in the 2-3 ppm range, the tank thrived for about 18 months. Then, through a stretch of stingy (lazy) feeding, my NO3 levels bottomed out. At that point I couldn't get PO4 or NO3 to measurable levels despite increased feeding and delayed water changes.
With PO4 and NO3 at immeasurable levels, I began a year long battle with cyano, then dinos that choked almost all my SPS and some LPS. I pulled the GFO, which led to some hair algae, which finally culminated in an infestation of Red Turf Algae I thought I could never beat (look for a post later on how I eradicated that with Brightwell Razor and MicroBacter Clean later).
Today, I run a small refugium with chaeto and a couple mangrove plants, good skimming, and 20% monthly water changes. I keep PO4 in the .01-.05 ppm range via the Hanna ULR through feeding regimen. If I do get a PO4 spike, which it does occasionally, I use Brightwell Phospat-E to get levels trending down between water changes.
When I started reefing 20 years ago, PO4 and NO3 couldn't be too low (maybe because testing wasn't as good?). Now, I am 99% certain that PO4 and NO3 bottoming out was the catalyst for my woes. I keep PO4 and NO3 additives around; I'll never let levels get to zero again, shooting for .01-.05 ppm PO4 and 3-5 ppm NO3.
 

lakin58

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Phosphates can be a pain the ole sump! Zero phosphates are no good but too much and you have a problem! Ewww algae! So let's talk today about how the masses are keeping phosphates under control!

1. Do you keep a steady eye on your phosphate levels?

2. What plan do you have in place, chemically, naturally or mechanically to export phosphates?

export phosphates.jpg
Test about every 2 weeks with Hana checker. Planning to cut to 1/2 recommended does of GFO, run biopellets and filter socks. Typically test it at 0.00 but think...due to health and growth of coral, there must be enough in the tank for them to utilize
 

DoninHouston

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I’m having such a hard time with phosphates. I have a 80watt uv unit that I think makes it so no algae can reproduce but when I test phosphates they are super high! Like 3ppm high... how do I get them down to appropriate levels???
I'm curious how your corals are doing with 3 ppm PO4's? I've always heard lower is better. Like you, I use a uv sterilizer (half my circulation goes through it), NOPOx almost daily, and weekly testing. We all know that excess food and fish waste cause high PO4's so I tend to adjust my feedings also. My fish grow well and I have never lost a fish (that I see. Some get eaten occasionally due to the mix I keep). Lastly, call me crazy, but I monitor with an ORP meter and find this at least tells me where I am with all this. Without it, I tend to let things go. I keep my reading at about 300, which is what sea water is reportedly.
 

ReeferCrabness

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According to the test kits I've been using, I have 0 Nitrates and Phosphates. Which means the Chaeto, Mangrove and Algae in my refugium are purely
living on love... :-/

I just ordered I boat load of testing equipment from Hanna and will switch
over to using those next week when they arrive. As someone who suffers
from TFO (To Freaking Old) and CRS (Can't Remember Squat) accurate digital meters are kind of mandatory....
 

ccejka

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I run a oversized skimmer and then a refugium that is 15% of my display and I have to keep over feeding to get my phosphates to stay around the .03 to .07 ppm
 

redfishbluefish

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I had to vote "Chemically, Naturally, and Mechanically," because I carbon dose with a DIY NOPOX. I chemically add the acetic acid and ethanol, the natural bacteria gobble up this carbon dose and multiply, and I mechanically remove this nitrate/phosphate loaded bacteria with my mechanical skimmer! :cool:
 
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mattdg

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I've had great luck auto dosing a super low input of NOPOX and running BRS High capacity GFO in a reactor (I realize it is not recommended to do both) changing out GFO once every two months or when PO4 reads near .1

Every system is SOOO different in this respect. It is impossible to make any one recommendation.

I will mention that I put my skimmer on a timer and adjust that according to nutrient uptake needs. I'm more concerned with stripping too much out of the water, these days. The timer on the skimmer helps me regulate a bit.
 

Millimylilly

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I'm curious how your corals are doing with 3 ppm PO4's? I've always heard lower is better. Like you, I use a uv sterilizer (half my circulation goes through it), NOPOx almost daily, and weekly testing. We all know that excess food and fish waste cause high PO4's so I tend to adjust my feedings also. My fish grow well and I have never lost a fish (that I see. Some get eaten occasionally due to the mix I keep). Lastly, call me crazy, but I monitor with an ORP meter and find this at least tells me where I am with all this. Without it, I tend to let things go. I keep my reading at about 300, which is what sea water is reportedly.
Most SPS slowly decline. Everything else is happy
 

NoobReeefer

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IMO phosphates aint even an issue these days with the technology we have available to us. If your willing to spend the $$ on a high quality skimmer and a good fuge light then say bye bye to phosphates.
 
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