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Help me get my phosphates in check.


gradth
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So I have about had it with phosphates. Over the years I have battled many things and beat them all back. But I cannot beat the phosphates back. I have lost countless sps. While I thought it was other things, and it could of been, I think my phosphates are the issue.

 

Currently they have stayed at .25. For the last few months they have not gone up or down. Big issue may be the API kit I am using just doesnt go low enough but either way they are still there. I have done massive water changes, have been running phosguard for the last couple months. My nitrates seem to be in check staying between 0 and 10.

 

This weekend I finally got around to pulling my sump out and removing the 3 year old refugium that was a nasty mess along with some live rock that was covered in weird black slimy algae. I cleaned the entire sump, skimmer, pumps everything down there. Then I replaced the fuge with a bunch of good live rock. A couple days later I tested and found the same results. .25 phosphates and 5 on my nitrates.

 

Im ranting, sorry but im curious which way to go. is a Hanna phosphate checker worth the money? Or is there a better test kit out there.

 

Bio pellets?

GFO?

 

I have tried a few different things, not very impressed with the phosguard, but I had some to use up so it didnt hurt to try it.

 

I have a large carbon reactor that Wannareef made me, can I run gfo or pellets in that?

 

How important is Carbon? I have always ran it, swap it out about once a month or so.

 

I know a few of you know my issues and have given me advice, just looking for which way to go now. Looking for the best bang for the buck I guess. I tried that algae scrubber in another tank. Not impressed at all. Ran for 2 months and got a tiny bit of brown slime to grow on it.

 

Any advice would be great.

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I tried vodka for a few months and did not see any changes. Maybe I should up the dosage. I went by the chart listed on the reefkeepers site.

 

Anyone done any vinegar dosing? Heard good things about that as well.

 

With gfo, is that changed out monthly or something similar?

 

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk

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I tried vodka for a few months and did not see any changes. Maybe I should up the dosage. I went by the chart listed on the reefkeepers site.

 

Anyone done any vinegar dosing? Heard good things about that as well.

 

With gfo, is that changed out monthly or something similar?

 

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk

 

Vodka dosing can take more than a couple months to see results. You're going to have to dose a lot more vinegar than vodka.

 

Yes, you shouldn't need to change GFO anymore than once a month and depending on the quality of the GFO and the amount of phosphate you could probably get away with every couple months.

 

I have an unused container of BRS High Capacity GFO that I don't need since I'll be carbon dosing if you are interested in trying GFO. http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/bulk-media-additives/gfo/brs-bulk-gfo-granular-ferric-oxide-high-capacity.html

 

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If you are thinking of vodka, look into vinegar, you'll use more as Mitchell said but I read better threads on vinegar vs vodka and if you respect Randy Farley-Holmes' opinion, he leans more towards vinegar now vs vodka-It was the direction I WAS going to go if I did not do the bio-pellets, still may some day

 

Google Vinegar dosing, you'll find more information than you want-

 

With regard to the Phosgaurd, if its the same as the "Rowa-Phos" IMO-compared to the BRS ROX, it crap-I was able to buy the rowa phos on a one time deal at cost and I would never buy it again mainly since the BRS is superior.

 

Take Mitchell up on the freebie if its worth the drive-that high capacity stuff is what I'm referring to. I may discontinue using it at some, it just depends on how the BP work out. I used to use it before I got the deal on the rowa phos but went back to it and still have it running. I use the Hanna meter you mentioned and think its worth the money but there are times I need to test more than once, I have gotten false readings

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What kind of water are you using for your water changes? I know for Central Oregon water, our tap water has a ton of phosphates in it. It was one of the issues I have been having here in Redmond, every time i changed my water, i was adding algae food (po4) right back in.

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You said black algae? Usually with one type of algae there are others, try doing a good look around, analysis everything nook & cranny. Research, what they are. And solutions to them. Chances are you need to do deep cleans every where, and water changes more frequently, natural dilution through water changes is always best. Once you start using things to get rid of your original problem, you create a mask for other issues that can arise. I have heard good things about vodka, and vinegar dosin, but all my friends, And uncle say its not something you want to continue for long lengths of time. You in reality want to find the main reason for the high Phosphate. And doing multiple things at once doesn't give you Good answers cause you can never tell which one thing you did solved the issue. But that's my own knowledge, and experience. I have battled almost every kind of bad algae possible.

 

HTC EVO

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peligro

 

You said black algae? Usually with one type of algae there are others, try doing a good look around, analysis everything nook & cranny. Research, what they are. And solutions to them. Chances are you need to do deep cleans every where, and water changes more frequently, natural dilution through water changes is always best. Once you start using things to get rid of your original problem, you create a mask for other issues that can arise. I have heard good things about vodka, and vinegar dosin, but all my friends, And uncle say its not something you want to continue for long lengths of time. You in reality want to find the main reason for the high Phosphate. And doing multiple things at once doesn't give you Good answers cause you can never tell which one thing you did solved the issue. But that's my own knowledge, and experience. I have battled almost every kind of bad algae possible.

 

The black algae was just on a couple bigger rocks in the fuge. I recently took out the eggcrate I had at the bottom of my tank and ended up going through my entire display to do just that, look for anything out of the ordinary. My fuge on the other hand really has not been touched for 3+ years. It was quite nasty, sand was really funky, lots of cyno and misc. stuff. I agree that trying to sort things out quickly is not the answer. I have been slowly trying different things for over a year now. I get one thing in check and something else seems to poke up. It seems I have got everything in check, minus the phosphates. Just weird because the first 1.5-2 years the tank flurished. I had massive SPS growth. I never checked my phosphatesDOH!. Then slowly over a couple months I lost all my sps. I have sorted out a problem, got a frag of birdsnest or something only to watch it one day just RTN. The only thing I can find wrong now is phosphates. Its only been a few days since I gutted the fuge and cleaned the sump, so I should give it some time to see if there is any change at all.

 

What kind of water are you using for your water changes? I know for Central Oregon water, our tap water has a ton of phosphates in it. It was one of the issues I have been having here in Redmond, every time i changed my water, i was adding algae food (po4) right back in.

 

I use RODI water that is coming out at 0tds. Its vancouver water. I am running one of the cloramine carbon filters as well.

 

reefnjunkie

 

If you are thinking of vodka, look into vinegar, you'll use more as Mitchell said but I read better threads on vinegar vs vodka and if you respect Randy Farley-Holmes' opinion, he leans more towards vinegar now vs vodka-It was the direction I WAS going to go if I did not do the bio-pellets, still may some day

 

Google Vinegar dosing, you'll find more information than you want-

 

With regard to the Phosgaurd, if its the same as the "Rowa-Phos" IMO-compared to the BRS ROX, it crap-I was able to buy the rowa phos on a one time deal at cost and I would never buy it again mainly since the BRS is superior.

 

Take Mitchell up on the freebie if its worth the drive-that high capacity stuff is what I'm referring to. I may discontinue using it at some, it just depends on how the BP work out. I used to use it before I got the deal on the rowa phos but went back to it and still have it running. I use the Hanna meter you mentioned and think its worth the money but there are times I need to test more than once, I have gotten false readings

 

I did a lot of reading on vinegar. Looked the most promising. The vodka I did for a few months like I said and found it hard to stay up on it. I am the only one in my house that does anything with my tank so if im gone I cant rely on stuff like daily dosing to get done. Is there a really accurate test kit for phosphates. I had a seachem one and it was harder to read than the api kit. Api was cheap, but there is no reading between .25 and 0.

 

Vodka dosing can take more than a couple months to see results. You're going to have to dose a lot more vinegar than vodka.

 

Yes, you shouldn't need to change GFO anymore than once a month and depending on the quality of the GFO and the amount of phosphate you could probably get away with every couple months.

 

I have an unused container of BRS High Capacity GFO that I don't need since I'll be carbon dosing if you are interested in trying GFO. http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/bulk-m...-capacity.html

 

Vinegar is cheaper than vodka especially with washingtons new taxes(nutty) but im back to the having to worry about it getting done when im not home. Got a couple of big trips coming up in the next couple months and dont want to rely on other people to get it done.

 

I dont get to tigard very much but I might take you up on it. How much do you want for it? I have heard alot of people swear by GFO and it sounds pretty easy to use. I like the fact that I can not have to worry about it every day like dosing.

 

Thanks for all the input so far folks, been a irritating stint with my tank. The good news is my fish are happy and healthy, my RBTA's are happy. Tank looks really good, better in fact than it did when I had massive growth when the tank was new. Just frustrating. I really love SPS and really want to have one of those tanks you see "like yours junkie(drooler)(drooler)". Just hate killing coral. I killed a lot of fish when I was new and stupid and im tired of spending money when im just not sure its gonna make it.

 

On a side note, does anyone have any experience with Hamilton SE bulbs? I ask because I replaced my bulbs with hamiltons a couple of months ago(250 14k's) and they just do not seem very bright. I read a ton of great reviews for them. They just dont seem to pop like other bulbs I have tried. Wondering if anyone had any experience with them or not.

 

Thanks.

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The first you thing you need to do is get an accurate reading of p04 with a reliable test kit. If you look into dosing vodka is has some pretty good results. You should probably run some gfo, along with a carbon source. If you have tried in the past with carbon and didn't succeed you may have gave up to fast. Vodka works very well and IMO is stronger then vinegar. You could also look look into bio pellets but that would still require you to use gfo. Do some reading on carbon dosing and start with some gfo to bring levels down. All this stuff will work you just need to be patient.

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Like others have mentioned, get a good test kit so you know the actual levels that you are dealing with. If they are elevated, use can use lanthanum chloride to bring them down quickly but you need to be careful. Do a search on the different boards to see how people are using it. I now Rick T used this on his new BRS dry rock to bring down very high phosphate levels. Good luck.

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So today I visited Upscales for the first time. Happened to be in the area. What a amazing store. After talking with Travis(I think that was his name), nice guy. He said GFO was a good way to go. My other issue is I need to invest in a decent test kit since the API kit only measures down to .25. I picked up some GFO from him. Just got it set up and I hope I followed the directions right. A bit cloudy at first but I ran off a gallon or so as not to get any in the tank. I had to change pumps to a smaller one since the other one seemed like way to much. next is a decent test kit.

 

Thanks for all the info folks. Sorry I missed you Mitchell. I will try and catch you next time im in the area.

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Hey was was in upscales today and heard you talking to Travis =) Small world. I will need to start wearing my pnwmas member card on my shirst when I hit the stores so fellow members can I.D. one another. Red sea has a test kit that goes from 0 - 5 with a acuracy of +/- .02ppm

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I don't mean to hijack the thread. But figured I'd state and ask. And it would help. I have been over feeding lately. And now have some red cyno. I will take process photos of a multiple attack system on it. And post pics. Because I can't afford a good gfo any ideas on what I can do

 

HTC EVO

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I fed spectrum pellets for a long time and had a lot of cyno issues. Stopped using them and just use brine, mysis and nori and my cyno has gone away. Make sure your skimmer is working good and stay on top of your water changes. Thats the best advice that I have for cyno. Lights out for a while will clear it up, but if you dont sort out the cause they will come back. GFO is new to me, so im crossing my fingers.

 

Jeremy, were you there with your family and little girl? If so your daughter was following my son around and making him all shy. It was really cute. Was really impressed with the store. wish it was closer i would visit it more often. Ill check out the red sea kit. I think that my be the one Travis showed me. Spendy though.

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I also have a bucket of GFO from BRS that I can sell to someone in need. It is only about 1/3 used. I also have a media reactor that can be included. I would need to figure out the price for it all, but it would be cheap. Send me a PM if interested.

 

dsoz

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Well I picked up a elos phosphate kit from OIAB today. Tested my water and best I can tell I am somewhere between .05 and 0. So that is a big improvement.

 

Im thinking I will keep an eye on it this week and see if it stays the same. Then I will have to find me some sps frags and give it a go again.

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