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Total Phosphate Testing Chemistry


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I have heard it stated many times that one of the leading causes of algae outbreaks in reef aquariums is high levels of phosphates. The phosphates are imported into our systems though numerous routes. One issue that we all have is that the test kits that are typically available to us only measure the inorganic phosphate. The organo-phosphates which make up the vast majority of the phosphates in our tanks are not detected.


In looking into this I ran across this article about measuring total phosphate concentrations.




They basically take their water sample add a little sulphuric acid and then boil. This converts the organo-phosphates to inorganic phosphates. One question that I have for the Chemisty around is whether there are other ways to oxidize the organo phosphates? Could one bubble ozone through the sample or expose it to UV?


It would be nice to have a technique to monitor total phosphates in our tanks.



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