Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Andyandsue 04-10-2007 08:36 AM

High Phosphate Question
My tap is very high in phosphates, which is contributing to cloudy water and algae. I am using phosphate removing filter media but it's not really helping. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can further remove phosphates?


The-Wolf 04-10-2007 08:45 AM

when you say high how high?
what kind/brand of phosphate remover are you useing?

a quick fix would be to do lots of partial changes with RO water.
If you don't have access to RO, then bottled natural spring water will do but that will be expensive.

fish_4_all 04-10-2007 10:31 AM

I have 0.5ppm PO4 in my tap water but I doubt yours is that low if you are having problems like that.

When you do a water change, is that when it is cloudiest? Does it go cloudy when you dose iron or is the tank planted? You could take the phosphate absorbing media and run your tap water through it before putting it in the tank. I don't know how long it would take to get it down to a "normal" level. If this is in a planted tank, I would refrain from dosing iron right after a water change to keep the iron from reacting with the phosphates and precipitating out which could be causing the cloudiness.

Andyandsue 04-10-2007 11:03 AM

Ah, that is the hard part. I don't have a phosphate test. I'm sure that is it though, I had some foam a while ago and adding the phosphate removing filter floss really helped. Then I had the bright idea of adding driftwood. I didn't like the tannins it added, so I removed it. That is when the bacterial bloom started. No it's not a planted tank, which is why I added algone (which is basically plants in a pouch), thinking that would help. The cloudiness is going away, but now I'm left with the water building this awful muck on the pouch that had a horrid smell, although the tank water does not have any foul odor.

This is a puzzle to me really. I'm also hoping lowering the bio-load by relocating my pleco will help everything.

fish_4_all 04-10-2007 11:16 AM

My only guess then would be that once the pouch has exhausted its ability to remove phosphates the nasty slime starts to form. I have never had any luck with chemical treatments for cloudiness. Algone, allclear, and a couple other and I never got cleaner wate. The only thing that helped was to replace old filter media and clean the filter and pads really well. Some filter floss seems to help sometimes. I think a diatom filter will reomve fine particles but I am not sure.

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