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safe phophate levels


xrayguy
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hi guys, I've had climbing phosphate levels, roughly 2.5, which is higher than I'd like.  My tank is heavily planted.  I only feed every other day if that, and don't over feed ( i feel, fish eat most of the food within 5 minutes).

What I'm wondering, is there a level of phosphates that I need to be aware of, ie gotta do a w/c NOW.

thanx

r

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Phosphate levels of 1.0 ppm (mg/L) or higher, the conditions become favourable for algae growth. At 2 to 3 ppm, algae overgrowth is likely to occur. Ideal phosphate levels are 0.5 ppm or less for an algaeless tank.

It's unlikely to be harmful for the fish and shrimps, it just encourages algae.

So it depends if you want some algae in the tank or not.  2 - 3ppm is probably still okay, certainly a trigger as a reminder to perform water changes. Maybe 4 ppm is a trigger for a water change NOW (if you don't already have overflowing algae) !!

If you do your weekly water change, phosphate levels should be under control. It's when you get lazy that issues develop, and with parameters that matter more than phosphate. 

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i do a 50 percent w/c weekly, usually every tuesday.  That's why I'm perflexed.  I just wanted to make sure I wasn't harming my shrimp.  

I can only speak for myself, but I don't really want to grow algae.  So I pay attention to my water parameters, I keep a journal.  I test my water before dosing ferts.

 

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5 hours ago, xrayguy said:

i do a 50 percent w/c weekly, usually every tuesday.  That's why I'm perflexed.

Hmm, now I'm perplexed. Do you use tap water? Test the water source for phosphates.

Phosphate is added to our tap water for a few reasons, and your local area might be adding more than other towns/cities.

 

Are you fertilising the tank? Most macro fertilisers have Phosphorus in it along with nitrogen and potassium.

Edited by jayc
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3 minutes ago, xrayguy said:

0.25 out of the tap.

That's normal.

 

3 minutes ago, xrayguy said:

I thought it might be coming from equilbrium

Equilibrium has no phosphorus. Are you sure you have no other source of phosphorus coming into the tank, like fertilisers?

Aim for :

1 part phosphates to 10 parts nitrogen.
Since many planted tank aquariums have Nitrates NO3 in the range of 5-20 ppm, this means the phosphates should be around 0.5 to 2 ppm

Plants need Phosphorus, and use it along with Nitrogen and Potassium.  So maintain it around 1 - 1.5ppm to avoid algae issues, but still have enough for healthy plants.

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I do use ferts.  I dose flourish ( I under dose), nitrogen, potasium and iron.  I test my water before dosing.  I've been dosing the same for months if not years, with the exception of using the equilibrium again.  I just started using that to raise my GH for my snails.

r

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2 hours ago, xrayguy said:

I dose flourish

That doesn't have phosphorus either, not enough to raise it by that much.

The only other source is dead plant material or rotting food particles settled either in the substrate or within the filter.

Clean out half your filter sponges and "try" to gravel vacuum as much as possible. I noted that you have a heavily planted tank, and gravel vac can be hard without disturbing the plants.

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