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Do I Need Phosphates On A Planted Tank?

Discussion in 'Planted Chit Chat' started by andy36yr19, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. andy36yr19

    andy36yr19 Fish Fanatic

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    I've been thinking of getting a phosphate remover chemical media instead of carbon. I'm not sure if I need phosphates for planted tanks though. All I need is a yes or no please.
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Yes, phosphate is taken up by plants. Generally speaking, any form of chemical filtration (carbon, etc) is detrimental in planted tanks. It is better to let the plants remove nutrients.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. andy36yr19

    andy36yr19 Fish Fanatic

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    Ok thanks. Is there any chemical filtration good for planted tanks? I think ammonia remover is safe
     
  4. NickAu

    NickAu Member
    Tank of the Month Winner!

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    In a cycled planted tank that gets a weekly 75% water change ammonia nitrite and nitrate shouldn't be a problem.

    What type of filter do you have?
    How many plants and what type?
    Can you post a photo of the tank?

    PS
    I dont normally link to other sites but this article written by @Byron is a brilliant explanation.

    Bacteria in the Freshwater Aquarium
    https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/member-submitted-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/

    Sorry mods you can spank me latter. LOL

    Byron if you read this is there any chance of copying the post here and maybe getting it pinned?
     
    #4 NickAu, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  5. andy36yr19

    andy36yr19 Fish Fanatic

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    Its mediumly planted it's a 10 gallon on an aquaclear 30 with 6 ludwigia repens, 3 assorted anubias, 2 moss balls. Also the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate arent a problem. They're all 0 but nitrate is like .5
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    No. Chemical filtration should never be used on an aquarium with live plants. There is no need for it, and you risk removing plant nutrients.

    Ammonia/ammonium is essential for plants, and assuming there is not some biological problem (like way overstocking) you do not want to be removing ammonia. Nitrogen is a macro-nutrient for plants, and studies have shown that most aquatic species of plants prefer ammonium as their source of nitrogen. Plants will rapidly take up ammonia/ammonium and studies have shown this occurs more rapidly than the uptake of ammonia by bacteria. So plants are actually doing a better job, because not only do they rapidly remove ammonia, they do not produce nitrite so this is not an issue, again assuming a balanced biological system. And nitrate will also be less, which is good for fish.

    The fast growing plants, and here floating plants are about the fastest, and often referred to as "ammonia sinks" because of the amount of ammonia/ammonium they can assimilate.

    Ammonia/ammonium is the same thing as far as plants are concerned. Ammonia occurring from fish respiration and the breakdown of organics will change to ammonium which is relatively harmless if the water is on the acidic side (pH below 7). Plants will take either up, as will the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. There is no reason to get into the involved explanation of ions between ammonia/ammonium.
     

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