Tired of fighting phosphates. About to call it quits.

bakbay

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This is great stuff!!!! But use caution.
Yes — some said that fish(esp Yellow Tangs) may die from particulates getting in their gills. Seems like an urban legend to scare little children? Anyway, if used as directed, I’ve found it to be extremely effective and no mess! Start with a 1/4 dose and slowly ramp up as needed. After awhile, you know how many drops are needed for your tank. YMMV but I will never go back to GFO/refugium/carbon dosing if I just want to reduce PO4.
 

Widdlyscudds

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Finaly someone with a good response!
Steve Harvey Reaction GIF
 

Nman

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L chloride but do your home work on it . You can bottom out in one dose if your maths aren’t correct. Your phosphate will decrease and then go back up due to leaching from the rock and sand keep dosing but slowly no big numbers and eventually you will get it under control. I have used this method on small nanos with no I’ll effect’s to fish or corals or inverts just a option
 
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QuinnLee512

QuinnLee512

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So I just checked my water source and it's reading .12 phosphates. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that's the issue. I was having phosphate issues in my 75g but that was over 6 months ago and my filters were still good then. Fingers crossed.
 

BVI-BUM

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Thank you all for your good advise. As a fellow reefer, I am going through the same issue of high phosphates .58 and a nitrate of 20. So all the comments are needed. Good luck QuinnLee512! You are not alone
 

TWYOUNG

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What is your water change schedule? I used dry Marco rock when I set up my 50 and I can’t keep phosphates. Maybe add a piece of dry rock and let it soak it up?
I started my tank with 100# of CaribSea Liferock and I can assure you it soaks up phosphates just fine. I spent weeks adding up to 100mls NeoPhos DAILY.
 

skesmer88

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I had the same problem as you for months. Phosphates were always over .9 on the Hanna tester and all my corals were slowly dying off and losing color. I stopped feeding pellets and reef roids and switched to AB+ and Benepets. Also added a refugium and ran a good amount of rowaphos for about 2 weeks and now they are finally dropping into readable levels and my tank has never looked better. I also dose microbacter clean.

I definitely understand what you’re going through.
 

dpfriedman

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I've had my 15G peninsula for a little over a year. Been fighting high phosphates for at least the past 6 months. This hobby is no longer fun. I've lost lots of corals. I've used gfo, rowaphos, phosphate e, elimi phos. I have 2 clowns. I feed pellets once a day. I've tested my water source. My phosphates are regularly at least .4. I have caribsea liferock. Was thinking about completely replacing the rocks but without knowing where the phosphate is coming from, don't want to do that yet. Any last ditch effort I can try?

20231205_160559.jpg
 

sheel be right

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does your rodi system have a tds meter? and if so when was the last time you flushed the thing. test the phosphates on some freshly mixed water and see what comes up. also are you using any carbon? if so make sure you are using good quality activated carbon as non activated carbon can constantly leech phosphates.
 

dpfriedman

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I've had my 15G peninsula for a little over a year. Been fighting high phosphates for at least the past 6 months. This hobby is no longer fun. I've lost lots of corals. I've used gfo, rowaphos, phosphate e, elimi phos. I have 2 clowns. I feed pellets once a day. I've tested my water source. My phosphates are regularly at least .4. I have caribsea liferock. Was thinking about completely replacing the rocks but without knowing where the phosphate is coming from, don't want to do that yet. Any last ditch effort I can try?

20231205_160559.jpg
I have a 40g and my PO4 had gotten as high as 1.61 (not a typo) before I started my journey to lower. The tank is really too small to add a reactor so I use the BRS high capacity GFO mixed with their Rox.08 carbon in a media bag. I only use half the recommended amount of GfO to lower slowly. My PO4 got down to .03 over a few weeks but now I keep them around .08 to .1 steadily. I do weekly 10% WC and test PO4 weekly. If they drop too low, I just remove the bag for a week. They usually come back in line. Highly recommend the 1/2 dosage amount if you go this route because it will lower… a lot.
 

Somethingisfishy

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I've had my 15G peninsula for a little over a year. Been fighting high phosphates for at least the past 6 months. This hobby is no longer fun. I've lost lots of corals. I've used gfo, rowaphos, phosphate e, elimi phos. I have 2 clowns. I feed pellets once a day. I've tested my water source. My phosphates are regularly at least .4. I have caribsea liferock. Was thinking about completely replacing the rocks but without knowing where the phosphate is coming from, don't want to do that yet. Any last ditch effort I can try?

20231205_160559.jpg
I have a similar issue except my phosphates are now .9, my tank is a waterbox cube 20 and I have a lot of fish for the size Of the aquarium, I am trying to follow Red Seas mixed reef recipe and the phosphates Keep climbing. I am not sure but when I hit .3 phosphate I found certain corals would die for me. There is a guy Dru’s Lagoon that runs his nano tank at 1.0 phosphate and it is pretty amazing!
 

Charles Zinn

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What type of salt are you using? type of corals? have you done an ICP test? recently tested my source and problems I have been having are in trace element levels in salt mix
 

areefer01

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15 gallons minus rock and substrate we are maybe talking 10 gallons of water. Assuming you are using a salt mix that matches your water chemistry it is easy enough to manage this today with water changes. No need to over complicate this.

What test kits do you have?
Are they in order, not expired?
How long does it take you to test water, say Nitrate, Phosphate, and Alk?

Me personally I would pick a time that you can collect a water sample and test every day, or every other day. It has to be at the same time. Same test kit(s). I would then do a test, note the results in sheets, excel, or numbers, and then mix up a 5 gallon bucket of saltwater. I would do a water change. Let it do its thing and test again the next day. Compare the numbers (before water change, post). I would then test again in 24 hours and compare. I would do this again on the third day. Compare. Depending on the results I would either test again or stand down and test again in 48 hours. So basically move to every other day.

The goal is to not over correct and see what the water change does vs the results of the tests. Is there a trend and what does it look like. This is maybe 10 to 15 minutes of work so to me a no brainer. Also I'm not in the don't feed camp. Fish regardless of age need to eat. When they don't they can become aggress, weak, or forage on things you don't want. Don't over feed obviously but don't starve them.
 

Shawn H!

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I'm using Hanna to test. Not feeding corals because of the phosphate issues. Yes I had a bunch of inverts but they die I assume from the high phosphates. There are still some inverts in there.
My phosphates are ridiculously high and my torch, hairy/fuzzy mushroom and BTA are doing great. I bought my waterbox 25 used (11 months old) and didn’t know better so I started it up using the existing sand. Big mistake. I have been using my python to suck sand out a little at a time and a turkey baster to mix up the sand and it is helping. I also went back to using filter socks to catch it all. I have only lost turbo snails, all the other inverts are healthy and dropping eggs everywhere. Good luck
 

dansyr

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While troubleshooting the source of PO4, in the meantime some macroalgae would do wonders. They suck up nutrients like nothing else and also might suck up some metals / other stuff that might be the yet-undetermined cause of coral/invert deaths
 

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