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  1. #1
    Senior Member Carolpol's Avatar
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    Phosphate questions

    I'm really getting frustrated with my tank! the 220g still has some ugly brown crap covering everything :guns:
    I've looked at all the different reasons for this problem to be ongoing for so long (2 months now) and my patience is just about at its end!
    For those who dont remember oct31 2004 we changed from the 110g to the 220g. so yes I expected to have a "mini" cycle but nothing like this!
    Now to come to my questions about phosphates... were do they come from in our tanks? is it only from the water we add? is there any chemical reaction with something else that produces phosphates? Should I be looking at putting a phosban reactor ? (now Greg and Vince... DO NOT laugh at me )
    What do phosphates do in our tanks? (only green algae or all types? )

    Before someone asks me here are my readings on the tank :

    PH: 8.3
    amonia/nitrite/nitrate 0
    alk : 10.2 dkh
    Ca :420
    temp 79*
    running a fuge with cheato and tang heaven
    DIY skimmer (skimming like crazy and stinky! )
    DIY calcium reactor
    Ro/di water
    water changes once every 3 weeks (more like 2 weeks lately)
    I dont have a phosphate test... should I go get one or should a phosban reactor always be on anyways?

    The 125g will be plumbed into this system at the beginning of april Am I gonna be stuck with this problem in now 2 big tanks?!?!

    Phosphates are the last thing I had not looked at for the brown stuff all over the tank and my chemistry at school is..well that was a long time ago.

    PS I'm not starting a dicussion on the different types of phosphate removers out there I already went through those posts and I am sure if that is what I need I can decide on my own what brand to use.

    Thanks in advance!
    Carol
    Can we fit one more tank? :P
    Dont mind my spelling mistakes I've got an excuse...I'M FRENCH!

  2. #2
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    can i ask what kind of substrate you have in there?Is it play sand?I know some play sand have silicate and stuff in it..
    Derik...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Carolpol's Avatar
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    caribsea sugar sand i believe... but its definatly not play sand..its the same kind of sand we had in the 110.
    Carol
    Can we fit one more tank? :P
    Dont mind my spelling mistakes I've got an excuse...I'M FRENCH!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Did you change your lighting with this tank upgrade? Sometimes a simple change in lights can cause algae outbreaks -all your readings look good. Also, don't be fooled by a 0 nitrate reading - it could be higher just the algae is absorbing it to grow.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Carolpol's Avatar
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    I'm sure the nitrate reading 0 is wrong otherwise there would be no more new algae grrrr catch 20 again here lol

    The lights...
    on the 110 we had 2x400w MH 20 k
    on the 220 we have 3x 400 10k xm and 2x 6'vho atinic
    Carol
    Can we fit one more tank? :P
    Dont mind my spelling mistakes I've got an excuse...I'M FRENCH!

  6. #6
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    Are you running any type of carbon?I do know that if you leave their too long or have carbon that is not phospahte free it could be a problem....
    Derik...

  7. #7
    Senior Member reefmania's Avatar
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    I recall that phosphates can come in many of the foods that we feed our tank. Things like flake food, frozen foods, phyto etc may all contain some phosphates.

    I have started to test for phosphates and noted them in my tank. For now I use a phosphte remover in the sump. I put it in a biber bag that fits snugly between two baffles so the water runs through it.
    180g with 2 x 54g corner bowfront bookends. 220 FOWLR in the works, 75g sump, 75g fuge, 75g QT.
    Solaris I4 72", 2 x 150 HQI Outer Orbit Pendants, Reeflo Orca 250, Profilux controller, Tunze 6101's and 6055's, Deltec CA Rx, PM Kalk Mixer, PM SR45 reactors.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Carolpol's Avatar
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    right now I am running carbon... I usually leave it in the sump for up to 5 days at a time every month or so... I use it sparringly... its Matrix Carbon by Seachem leachable phosphate < 0.00001 g/cc

    I do tend to feed a lot... I know when I feed the sun polyps I make a mess but the fish and the crabs eat every thing within 5 minutes nothing is left. I've alway been a big "feeder" you would think that with the same inhabitants in the tank (excepted for the Volitan but we had the algae problem before we got him) but with a bigger water volume I would at least be status quo.
    would phosphates cause cyano algae?
    Carol
    Can we fit one more tank? :P
    Dont mind my spelling mistakes I've got an excuse...I'M FRENCH!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I think the overfeeding is one of the factors for your problem. Whether the food is eaten or not, it will still end up in your water one way or another. So watching all your food being eaten, and not falling to the sand is not an indication that the amount your're feeding is ok.

    The only second major source of phosphates/silicates is your ro/di water. Have you checked it with a TDS meter?
    George

  10. #10
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    All organic input will produce some phosphate. I don't think that phosphate is a major contributer to brown diatom algeas BUT I'm fairly certain it is a factor. It definetly is one of many things to control in the battle against algea of any kind.
    How deep are your sand beds and where are they and how is your water flow situation- in the tank as well as the fuge. Are the macros growing well or not very much
    I agree that you should reduce the feeding a little...
    BUT remember that the tank is still considered new!!
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

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