01-20-2009, 10:27 PM
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Good information in that post. You have several small things that need to be changed to reduce phosphate introduction into your aquarium. Keep in mind, phosphate will test zero if it is being utilized by the algae. (Similar to ammonia and nitrite testing zero after bacteria are established.) The lack of phosphate on a test kit reading does not mean phosphate is not being introduced.
First, you should not be using a hang on filter with a filter pad. This is similar to the canister discussion. The filter pad collected organic acids. Small acids bond to the floss and are invisible to the naked eye. As water flows thru the filter pad the breakdown of the acids indirectly introduces phosphates into the system. The only solution is to clean the filter pad daily (or more). Most hobbyists simply choose not to use mechanical filtration.
Second, the activated carbon needs at least a weekly cleaning. It will quickly become biologically active if not cleaned weekly, causing similar introduction of phosphate.
Also, does your skimmer have a sponge intake or output to reduce bubbles? If so, it needs a daily cleaning for an intake or weekly cleaning for output.
The frozen brine shrimp is a phosphate pit. Cut back as much as possible, or use a brine net and rinse it under tap water prior to feeding.
Finally, and most importantly, your sand bed is a nightmare. This is a HUGE issue. Sand beds need to be extremely thin, say less than 1'', or a minimum of 3'' to 4'' deep. Anything in between becomes a detritus trap, with a complete lack of denitrification. You could solve a ton of problems by simply increasing the sand depth to a 3'' minimum level, more effectively 4''.
These topics are not discussed often, which is sad. In my experience these simple steps can be the difference in a very successful marine aquarium and a very difficult situation.
Last edited by Pasfur; 01-20-2009 at 10:29 PM..