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Curious fluctuations in phosphate levels and Heater Issues
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.04.21(Sun)22:56    Post subject: Curious fluctuations in phosphate levels and Heater Issues Reply with quote

I've had my 55 gallon stocked since January, and with the exception of two Mysterious Fish Deaths I never quite pinned down the cause of, I've not lost a single fish. I know, I know, four months isn't applause territory, but you'd think by now you'd think there'd be something, especially with all of my mishaps.

Now, I test for phosphates as a matter of course - I like having data and I'd have no use for the phosphate test that came in my kit anyway. Besides, I do track it for my 10 gallon as a way to control algae buildup.

Anyway, I've noticed a curious phenomenon. In a series of tests run 24 hours before each weekly 20% water change, I see a fluctuation in the phosphate level - a steady, but slow climb for two to three weeks, and then a sudden drop back down to zero.

The water changes are completed on schedule in the vast majority of cases (I've had one day-late change and two missed weeks overall), but they shouldn't be heavy enough to account for a total elimination of phosphates, should they? Can anyone think of a mechanism for this happening?

The filter is a Fluval C4, stock configuration (I abandoned the peat after the two mentioned fish died as a bridge-too-far precaution), lighting is 108 W of t5HO (Fluval Life Glo and Power Glo, respectively), and the mean temperature across this time period has been 23.8 C, +/- 2 across the four-month period I have data for.

Unrelated to the above, what's everyone think of the Fluval M series? I have the one rated for my tank (I believe it is the 150), and I'm on my third in 4 months - admittedly, the first one breaking was a ID-10-T error.
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