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High Phosphate During Cycling
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.08.09(Wed)6:12    Post subject: High Phosphate During Cycling Reply with quote

I had the itch to test out a new Salifert phosphate test kit, and discovered that my cycling tank has rather high levels of phosphate...just under 3ppm. I'm guessing the phosphate came from what I was 'feeding' the tank, half a dead prawn (or Nutrafin max previous to that).

Does this really matter during the cycling process? There isn't really much in the tank, just a chunk of (what was meant to be) base rock and a few unexpected hitchhikers.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: 2006.08.09(Wed)6:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes it will matter. If your phosphates are high most likely your silicates are high too. This will cause a lot of algae problems. And it won't just leave the tank.

What is your water source? Ro/Di, tap water, distilled?

Get a phosphate remover like phosguard or if you are running a refugium get some macro algae. Chaeto is the best.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.08.09(Wed)7:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Distilled at the moment. I admit I used some filtered tap water (something like a Brita filter) once when it was handy, but I've also tested the tap water and came up with 0ppm phosphate. The NSW I've been using had something like 0.01ppm.

I'd love to get hold of some Chaeto, but nobody seems to have it in Australia.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: 2006.08.09(Wed)8:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

test your distilled some brands are notorious for phosphates.

lol what's 2 day shipping cost from the US to australia! I shudder to guess.

hmm can you get mangroves down there? they are also great.

If not get something like Phosguard and start sucking it out with that.

Not sure if you have Walmart or something similar down there. Most of them have a water dispenser that is RO/DI with UV. Would be better than the brita tap. $0.65 cents US here for it per gallon.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.08.10(Thu)3:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, we can pick up mangroves off the beaches...sort of. I think you're only allowed to take the seeds or little ones or something...have to check on the law about that one.
I don't know whether I'd go with a mangrove though, don't they require quite a lot of light?

Run all the tests I have on both top up water sources, they basically come up something like this (off memory):
Tap: 1 GH, 0 alk/KH, 0ppm phosphate, 0ppm NH4, 0ppm NO2, 0ppm NO3, pH 7
Distilled: 0 GH, 0 alk/KH, 0ppm phosphate, 0ppm NH4, 0ppm NO2, 0ppm NO3, pH 6.8

Apparently some species of Chaeto are found along the east coast, but I'm not sure whether they're found this far down south...even then I've only seen 2 claims of having Chaeto. Most people tend to use some species of Caulerpa, which I'm not particularly keen on.
Forget about shipping anything alive from US, it would probably be dead before it gets past Customs.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: 2006.08.10(Thu)4:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another culprit for Phosphates is salt might be using. If you have some salt water around for water changes might want to test that too.

Get some Phosguard and start sucking it out.

Man if you could get some chaeto down there and start growing it out and selling it to reef keepers you could probably pay for your tank. Very Happy
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.08.10(Thu)5:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, gonna get the anti-phosphate stuff tomorrow. Was a little too busy today to even get half an hour to run down to the LFS.

I've been using natural sea water for waterchanges, it's what most people tend to use around here. $2 for 25L refill at a certain local LFS, works out cheaper than mixing your own, only downside that I can see is I'm weak and struggle to carry one 25L container let alone two.
Phosphate level in that was 0.01ppm, nowhere near my massive current reading of 3ppm.
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