Reducing phosphates

#1
As you most know I’m a noob to keeping coral. My sons system holds about 65 gl with the display around 45 gl. I just recently bought a Salifert phosphate test kit because I never tested for it before. The calcium, alk, mag, and nitrates stay within recommended levels, I’ve been keeping track of them for awhile. I do 10% water change every 7-14 days. Phosphates are up at .1 and holding before and after most recent water change. So from what I’ve been reading gfo would be my best bet for reducing phosphates, they didn’t seem to go down with my last water change. Is a reactor my best bet or will a media bag in my skimmer chamber take care of the problem?
 

FishieBusiness

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#2
While a reactor is the best way to run gfo or carbon due the increased contact time. That being said there are many successful other ways of using these medias. If you have a high flow area in your filter system you can use a media bags, not as effective as a reactor but many people use this method. This is by far the most cost effective way also... Most gfo's on the market will not leach out once the saturation point has been reached but it is something to check before buying a product.
 

Jason_charlestown

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#3
Not the question you were asking, but is this a problem you need to be solving? Is 0.1 phosphate having a negative effect in your tank? Are any of your corals unhappy, or do you have out of control algae growth? In other words, are you solving a problem, or chasing numbers?
 
#4
Well my acros aren’t doing to great, looking faded. My success rate with them isn’t anything to brag about either. I have algae growth with my nitrates At around 2. I’m Defineatly not chasing numbers, trying to improve the overall health and look of the tank is all.
 

gobyvin

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#5
Do you have messy eaters for fish? Fish feeds are all phosphate rich. Maybe too many fish? GFO sounds like an expensive nightmare and I have never used it and probably never will. I believe you can achieve what you want through sensible stocking and good maintenance. Doesn’t Kalk addition with top off help remove phosphates through increased efficacy in skimming also? I would look at your tank and think of all the key ingredients first, strong random detritus stirring water flow for SPS, strong water flow will curb algae too... Is photoperiod too long? If so, cut it down, is par high enough for the corals you want to keep, spectrum correct? Do you filter the water with micron socks or filter pads? How often do they get thoroughly cleaned? When and how do you change water? Do you have enough grazers helping to eat the algae? These are the take a step back things I go to, test results can make you miss the forest for one tree in the interconnection of many things that lead to reef success.
 

sikxability

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#6
I’m always strong in taking the natural approach.

filter floss, water changes and refugium for control, and strong flow for suspension of and removal of debris.

I’m not a fan of dosing nopox or using gfo or anything of that sort. Only thing I run besides things listed above is carbon in a media bag inside my sumps media cup.
 
#7
I have 3 fish in a 45 gl dt, 20 gl sump. 2 clowns and a watchman goby, tiger pistol shrimp, tuxedo urchin, 20-30 different kind of snails. I use rodi water, I have a 5 stage rodi BRS 150 gl per day system. Between my clowns, watchman, shrimp, snails, hermits not to much food gets missed. In my 20 gl sump I have a diablo 150 protein skimmer, and a refugium section with live rock and chaeto. I’d like to get my phosphates lower, correct me if I’m wrong, From what I researched so far it’s as important as mag, calc, and alk. I thought a lot of ppl use gfo and carbon. I usually like to go the “el natural” route also, at the same time I’d like to grow acros and my other corals with success. I use a hydra 26hd on my tank, last time I was able to check par I was at 400 at the center top and by the time I was at the outer edge bottoms I was down around 80.
 

sikxability

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#9
I don’t think the lighting will be your issue here, I run much higher, only thing I don’t prefer myself is having the green channel so high, have seen some material that people say red and green too high promotes algae growth. Attached mine for reference, take it with a grain of salt but I’ve had good luck with it. Started running the brs ab+ amount and altered a little from there over time. If something starts going out of wack I always start with a couple big water changes, maybe a 15-20%. I would consider looking for dead spots in your sump/display maybe some debris could be building up and sitting.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

gobyvin

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#10
There is probably something to green and red levels being higher, I am not experienced much with LED just starting. That spectrum is supportive of plant growth. I second increasing water flow, removal of detritus, that is a lot of snails. I guess they have enough to eat for now. Water temp... if it is higher, say near 80, all life moves faster, including algal growth. When the algae is under control, maybe remove some snails, they are bioload too. I only have two trochus, 5 margaritas and two scarlet hermits in my 27 gallon cube and have light algal growth that they hold back. You did not mention water movement, maybe increase and do some turkey basting of rocks and hand removal of algae then a filter clean and water change. Fish load sounds fine, just be sure you are straining any frozen foods of the juice, and feed sparingly. It will get under control in no time. Have fun with it in the meantime.
 

gobyvin

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#11
Also, in the freshwater world, many planted tank gurus preach that in order to keep nuisance algae at bay stock heavily with display plants from the very start, so slime can’t get a hold. My latest reef was started this way. Rapid cycle and stock up with corals so they suck up available nutrients right away. It worked on my planted FW, so I tried it in the reef. So far so good.
 
#13
Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice. Lol there’s defineatly enough algae to support them. I use a mp10 and it’s set to lagoon mode so it goes from being fairly high to low. My water changes I use a smaller tube for siphoning and Use that for removing the algae. Like I said before I never go longer than 14 days without a water change, sometimes only 7. I use to drain the frozen food before adding it to the tank before I had coral. I read somewhere that corals get fed through that “juice.” Perhaps I’ll try going back to draining the frozen food first.
 

Upcoming Events

Saturday April 20, 2019
BRS April Meeting
Taunton VFW
82 Ingell St
Taunton, MA
Top