Phosphates

Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
46,514
Reaction score
35,942
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Ok, dumb question. So if you have algae you have phosphorus in your tank but it tests zero because it’s tied up in your rock and substrate. So how do you know when to change out the gfo?

The amount of phosphate that remains attached to rock and sand surfaces is a function of the concentration in the water. More in the water means more on the calcium carbonate surfaces.

The amount of phosphate bound to rock and sand when the levels in the water are stable and undetectable with a good kit are quite low and likely not important.

If you do not detect phosphate in the water, I'd remove the GFO and see what happens. Too low of phosphate can be worse than too high.
 
OP
S

stevolough

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
charlton
The amount of phosphate that remains attached to rock and sand surfaces is a function of the concentration in the water. More in the water means more on the calcium carbonate surfaces.

The amount of phosphate bound to rock and sand when the levels in the water are stable and undetectable with a good kit are quite low and likely not important.

If you do not detect phosphate in the water, I'd remove the GFO and see what happens. Too low of phosphate can be worse than too high.
6456A85C-2A1C-47BF-A891-056167036E50.jpeg

I’ve been dealing with this for a bit. Think maybe it’s Calothrix. Only on the rock. Doesn’t get very tall. Just a fuzzy film
 
Fritz

Pistondog

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
3,521
Reaction score
6,739
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I have a hippo and just increased my snail population. How is a algae problem a least problem?
It is possible to have pest algae with low nutrient levels. In the ocean where these algae live, nutrients are lower than our tanks.
Like @LiveFreeAndReef said, an herbivore might be your solution.
 
OP
S

stevolough

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
charlton
It is possible to have pest algae with low nutrient levels. In the ocean where these algae live, nutrients are lower than our tanks.
Like @LiveFreeAndReef said, an herbivore might be your solution.
I put in some large margarita snails. Hopefully they can make a dent
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
46,514
Reaction score
35,942
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
How is a algae problem a least problem?

A pest problem? Because it looks like you have a problematic kind of algae growing there, and adjusting chemicals is not typically a good solution for such scenarios.

Some sort of herbivore or aggressive manual removal plan to treating rocks outside the tank (such as with peroxide) may be the best bet.
 
OP
S

stevolough

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
charlton
Looks like a cyanobacteria.
That’s what I’ve been thinking but it’s only on the rock not on the sand. That’s why I’ve been trying to pin it down. I’ve seen cyno can be green so I’ve been on the fence with a chemclean treatment. I picked up some Mexican turbo snails who are helping. There is some nice coralline algae under that mess
 

Dan_P

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
2,688
Reaction score
2,727
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
That’s what I’ve been thinking but it’s only on the rock not on the sand. That’s why I’ve been trying to pin it down. I’ve seen cyno can be green so I’ve been on the fence with a chemclean treatment. I picked up some Mexican turbo snails who are helping. There is some nice coralline algae under that mess
My Mexican turbos seem to be put off by cyanobacteria, at least if there is any on the Ulva I grow (I now give the alga a cold tap water rinse before feeding the snails). Yours are maybe plowing through the cyanobacteria, though I suppose they could be eating the stuff.

Cyanobacteria tends to grow in slimey films that do not attach very strongly to surfaces. I would hazard a generalization that most algae adhere strongly.

With regard to the effectiveness of Chemiclean, remove a good size sample of the slime or small piece of slime covered rock and place it in a clear container of tank water. Treat this specimen with the recommended dose of Chemiclean to see what happens. Illuminate and if possible aerate the sample to duplicate aquarium conditions. We want to determine if it dies from Chemiclean not darkness, though you can do that experiment too. If Chemiclean has any effect, you should see it in 24 hours.
 
OP
S

stevolough

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
26
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
charlton
My Mexican turbos seem to be put off by cyanobacteria, at least if there is any on the Ulva I grow (I now give the alga a cold tap water rinse before feeding the snails). Yours are maybe plowing through the cyanobacteria, though I suppose they could be eating the stuff.

Cyanobacteria tends to grow in slimey films that do not attach very strongly to surfaces. I would hazard a generalization that most algae adhere strongly.

With regard to the effectiveness of Chemiclean, remove a good size sample of the slime or small piece of slime covered rock and place it in a clear container of tank water. Treat this specimen with the recommended dose of Chemiclean to see what happens. Illuminate and if possible aerate the sample to duplicate aquarium conditions. We want to determine if it dies from Chemiclean not darkness, though you can do that experiment too. If Chemiclean has any effect, you should see it in 24 hours.
Thanks, that’s a real good idea. It doesn’t come off easily with a toothbrush so that adds to my reservations with using it.
 

chipchipmofo

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
340
Reaction score
179
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Switzerland
@Randy Holmes-Farley I also fight with PO4 @ 0.01 (Hanna Checker ULR) and I am dosing ATI Nutrition "P" for a few days now. Well as I know this product is not to raise PO4 I am still working with it. The product was developed to "feed" the tank with PO4 daily. But, my tank is now 3 weeks and NO3 is 10... I need to raise PO4 a little. Would ou overdose the ATI Nutrition P in order to raise PO4?
 

Toys For Kids Drive

Untitled-2 copy.jpg

Have you ever had a nano reef tank?

  • I have one now (leave a photo in the thread)

    Votes: 220 45.8%
  • Yes, but in the past

    Votes: 107 22.3%
  • No and no plans to have one

    Votes: 82 17.1%
  • No but I want to have one in the future

    Votes: 63 13.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 1.7%
QT FISH
Top