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 PO4

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Liz
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PostSubject: PO4   Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:22 pm

Here's what I got from the 150 today prior to PWC  (I enlarged it so you can read the numbers):  


That looks like it is around 4 or so. Not as dark as 5 but close to it in hue.

Here is the tap, which is an improvement over earlier this winter, which was around 3 then - looks somewhere shy of 1 now:  




Sooooooo, since I consider fish food to be the primary cause of PO4 elevation in the aquarium, I'd say I'm overfeeding, combined with strongly stocked tanks of fish that are growing. This is a double-edged sword: In order to adequately feed all tank occupants, it is easy to overfeed, yet the many fish in the tank already would tend to drive up PO4. Combined with great lighting and fast growing plants, this would not be an issue, and would be an excellent source of phosphate for the plants, but I don't really have that situation currently.

I think I need to cut back on the feeding, which will be a trick but I'll see what I can do - many of us are familiar with this dilemma - the more boisterous and eager fish tend to get everything while the more timid or smaller fish are left to pick up the pieces. Frankly, I think our concept of how much food our fish need is exaggerated, and they'll likely be fine with less. I feed once daily so I have two options: feed less food once daily or feed the same, or a little less, but split it up into two feedings, so there may be less wasted. I think I'll just feed less!

In previous posts on the topic I have mentioned before that I overfeed, but obviously I have a bit of a problem heeding my own advice! The algae is not a huge problem, but it does interfere with the Anubias and I'd really like to correct that problem.

I will also be injecting CO2 when my pH probe arrives today (MAN I LOVE THAT AMAZON IS HERE NOW! Last month I ordered something at 10:00 p.m. and it was on my porch the next afternoon.. spooky!) so there may be some confusion about what is affecting what, but I think the CO2 ought to improve plant growth while the phosphate control will reduce algae growth. The PO4 issue will not solve itself quickly, however, and even with my large PWC routine it will take a bit of time to reduce.

One thing I wish is that there was not as much PO4 in my TAP WATER. That does not make me happy.

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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:26 pm

Quote :
Here is the tap, which is an improvement over earlier this winter, which was around 3 then - looks somewhere shy of 1 now:

Of course it may be the way the color is reproduced here, but to me your tap water looks just shy of 2, not 1.  The water in the vial looks more like the shade shown by 2 on the color chart - which means that there may not be much of an improvement in your tap water since the winter reading, after all.  

What would an acceptable PO4 reading for tap water be?

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:45 pm

In person it was definitely not as green as 2, though in looking at the pic I can see that it DOES look more like 2. I'm confident it wasn't, since I took notes at the time before looking at how the pics came out.

I would not want more than 0.5 in my tap if I could help it, but it isn't regulated. It is an additive in tap water used to reduce corrosion of metal pipes. That said, there is a lot of phosphate in things like soda, so we're getting it no matter what.

I don't think it is as harmful to ME as it is to my tanks in terms of battling algae.

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:49 pm

Liz - can you bring the test kit to the social on Sunday and test my water if I bring a few samples?

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:04 pm

Sure thing, Tracey.

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:42 pm

Liz,

Could there be other sources of Phosphates besides fish foods? Activated carbon does sometimes leach Phosphates into the water after a few weeks (or months) of use. What plants besides Anubias are in that tank?
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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:30 pm

I have no carbon. There are a few sprigs of Java fern in the tank, and I just last week added a small Bolbitis plant. Nothing fast-growing that will suck up nutrients.

It really has to be the food, as far as I can tell, and I DO feed a lot (once a day) due to the numerous fish in the tank, though I'm making more of an effort to titer the amount of food to be sure everyone gets some, without adding too much. Interestingly, this is an issue in this tank alone. I'm pretty sure I overfeed the 125, since the Denison barbs rush over and try to get everything before the shy loaches and gouramis have a chance. I'm feeding NLS and when I'm done with what I currently have I'm planning on a switch to Xtreme and seeing if that has any effect.

Today I added a spring of floating hornwort from another tank and will see if it enjoys the conditions, and that will tend to grow quickly once it decides it is happy, lol.

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:41 pm

I think that a lot of times we are not as far ahead of the water change game as we think we are. When I see a parameter that is way out of sequent with my water source, I have to question the frequency and amount of water that I'm changing and my husbandry. This could be a good time to take advantage of the lower Phosphates levels in you source water to lower the levels in your tank... shrug

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Last edited by JohnnyAMH on Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:12 pm

I don't think I can do more than 50% weekly, but maybe I should split it up in twice weekly changes. My water bill is bad enough already! Shocked 

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:12 pm

Liz wrote:
I don't think I can do more than 50% weekly, but maybe I should split it up in twice weekly changes. My water bill is bad enough already! Shocked 

I understand completely. Sometimes to effect the change in our tank water parameters that we seek, we have to do something different. It's most likely that your problem didn't develop overnight. In my case the answer was dilution. That could mean daily water changes with water that does not have the same problem until you get the results you seek. Then you may be able to return to a routine that works for you. The take away that I got was that scheduled water changes do not work forever... Neutral

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:31 am

JohnnyAMH wrote:
Sometimes to effect the change in our tank water parameters that we seek, we have to do something different. It's most likely that your problem didn't develop  overnight. In my case the answer was dilution. That could mean daily water changes with water that does not have the same problem until you get the results you seek. Then you may be able to return to a routine that works for you. The take away that I got was that scheduled water changes do not work forever... Neutral

This is so true. I think a tank this size, with the fish now more mature and producing more waste than they did before, means I need to tweak the maintenance. I need to clean the filter more often (major pain! - that thing weighs a ton) and maybe do 25% twice weekly instead of one massive one a week. There is no question that the weekly 50% is a lot of water swapped out, but there is also no question that the phosphate has crept up!

I need to re-test it to see if the municipal water PO4 content was the major contributor, and now that I'm measuring lower values there maybe the tank values have gone down. I don't know exactly when the local water started to have reduced PO4, in other words. It can take quite a while for PO4 to go down, IME. I may also invest in a new test kit.

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:29 pm

I once found a chart years ago that indicated the amount of water changes necessary to reduce TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in tank water. I was amazed at how much water needs to be changed to effect a change. This is not the same chart but it does touch on some of the same basic principles. They can be applied to most any tank water parameter when source water is lower than our tank water.
I think this makes for some interesting reading. Enjoy... study  Math 4 Water Changes

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     ~~~ My Aquariums ~~~
55 gal. Planted Community Show Tank
(Swordtails, Neons, Kuhlii Loaches and Bristled Nose Plecos)
30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
20 gal. Bare Bottom Angelfish Breeder Tank
10 gal. Bare Bottom  Angelfish Fry Tank
10 gal. Planted Show Tank
(Guppies and Bristled Nose Plecos)


Last edited by JohnnyAMH on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:47 pm

I love RTR! He's very knowledgeable, and I like his philosophy.

I do know that for altum angelfish (I am on the Angelfish Study Group forum) that TDS is a huge concern, as well as for discus, often, and many of those keepers have their water plumbed in, with 100% daily or TWICE DAILY pwcs, using R/O water to which they add trace minerals.

I think just to get the levels down I'll up things a bit, and spread it out to twice a week, and then see if it creeps back up. It will be an interesting observation. I don't typically spend hardly ANY time testing my tanks, unless there is a problem, which there hasn't been for years.

Having this site where I can share info inspired me to do some testing and see what I can do about the small algae issue (this is not terribly unsightly and is not a big deal, but I'd like to see if I can control it), so thanks to all for replying and holding an interest.

Thanks to you, Johnny, for spurring me on, and sharing the info on Math and Water Changes - a fish geek's dream combination, lol!

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PostSubject: Re: PO4   Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:15 pm

Liz wrote:
I love RTR! He's very knowledgeable, and I like his philosophy.

Thanks to you, Johnny, for spurring me on, and sharing the info on Math and Water Changes - a fish geek's dream combination, lol!

You are very welcome. I have learned a lot here and I love to give back. Since I have joined CVAS my tanks have improved  and my interest renewed. I am so inspired when I look at and hear about the tanks of other aquatic enthusiast. This is one cool hobby... Very Happy

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30 gal. Bare Bottom Adult Angelfish Tank
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