phosphates?

guppygirl

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Hi all,
I have a question or two about phosphates. So here goes...
My beloved planted 55 gallon has been through some tough times recently. First, I had a phosphate problem with a new flake food. So I got rid of the flake food, and switched to Aquarian flake. Then, I had a very small outbreak of BG algae, and I learned that I could treat that with Maracyn. :X Big mistake. I treated for 5 days, like it says on the package, and it almost looked like my aquarium was a fluffy white cloud! So I did a 25% water change which didn't clear it up. My mom (the biologist) said that the maracyn probably killed most of my good bacteria in the tank. Which is highly probable. :/ So I'm not really sure if it's a bacteria bloom or phosphate, or both, but now my water looks like thick green pea soup. :-( I'm thinking about upgrading my filter from the hagen 802 powerhead with 2 quickfilters on it to the eheim 2217 classic canister filter. I really like this filter and I know some people on the forum have it on their tanks. I don't have a phosphate test kit, but it might be a good idea to get one soon! Here are my current water stats~

pH~ 7.1-7.2 (it was hard to tell)
Ammonia~0
NitrItes~0
NitrAtes~ 30 ppm
KH(carbonate hardness)~ 2 dKH or 35.8ppm
GH(general hardness)~ 4 dGH or 71.6 ppm

So do you think I should get a phosphate-removing media? And if so, which one?
My fish look pretty happy and energetic, and the plants are doing so-so. I want to add DIY Co2 eventually, but I don't have all the parts for it yet. I am filtering now temporarily with activated carbon with an old top fin HOB filter. Hopefully that will remove all the traces of maracyn and any other pollutants.
I have well water, and I'm going to go test it now, hopefully somebody has some ideas on what to do about my poor tank! :-(
Thanks for reading, sorry bout the long post!
Robin :)
 

Angry_Platy

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Your fish look happy and well in pea soup water? I guess that is a good thing. The green water sounds more an algae thing than a bacteria thing though if it is cloudy there may be a bacterial bloom happening as well.

I would do a large water change every day for the next few days till it clears. Carbon will help remove the maracyn.

Your water parameters seem OK though you may want to bring down the nitrates a bit. They may be in your water source so may nit be possible.

As for phosphate removers....I have never heard of them but you may want to keep the phosphates as your plants need them to grow.

Good luck...let us know how you go :)
 

The Mohave Kid

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I'm curious ; How did you conclude you had a phosphate problem before getting a test kit ???

Well water could be a good supply of minerals ... light ??

Are you adding fertilizer ??

Good Day ... B)
 
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guppygirl

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Thanks Angry Platy and Mohave Kid,
Well, I concluded I had a phosphate problem because algae was growing like crazy (brown and a little green spotty algae) and my water was milky white. I am trying to find a phosphate test kit, but I'm pretty busy now, not much time to do aquarium things!
Yes, I fertilize with Flourish, but lately I haven't been wanting to add any so I don't fuel the algae. :/ I did add some like 3 days ago, but I already had the green water then, and that was after a big water change.
I have 130 watts over the tank, 2 65 watt CF's. I have it on a timer too, I think it's from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
I haven't finished with the tap water test but so far, here are my results:

pH~ 6.1 ( :eek: )
GH~ 4 dGH
KH~ 2 dKH (both KH and GH are the same in the tank)

So I'm wondering why my tap is 6.1 and my tank is 7.2? Maybe the well water needs to be aerated, but still!
Yes, the fish seem pretty happy! They're all eating, their colors are good (from what I can make out) and they're very active and normal.
So how would I get rid of the Nitrates? Like maybe the special filter medias that they sell like PhosX and Phos Ban. I think they remove nitrates and nitrites too. :blink:
I know the plants need phosphate, but not as much as I think I have. Plus if I do use some phosphate removing media, it probably wouldn't be 24/7, more like an occasional clean-up.
Thanks again! :thumbs:
Robin
 

Inchworm

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Hi guppygirl :)

I've had a bit of a problem with bacterial bloom in some of my more crowded tanks, and think it was caused by high phosphates. My tap water seems to be high in nitrates too.

I use the product PhosX by Hagan with good results. It comes in a little packet that you drop into your filter, and along with extra water changes, should clear up the water in a few days if the problem is caused by high phosphates.

I don't think it actually does much about nitrates and nitrites though, so I keep up regular water changes to be on the safe side.

If you give it a try, please let me know how it works out for you. :D
 
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guppygirl

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Well actually, I'm using it some now, and I used it fully before. It doesn't seem to work though, but I think that's mostly because of the inefficiency of my filter. :/
Thanks for the suggestion though! :thumbs:
Robin
 

black angel

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Maybe the lighting is on too long. Maybe cutting it down to 8 hours may be better. Just a suggestion though.

As for the greenx, have you used it Wolf? I have a sachet but havent used it yet.
 

The-Wolf

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I have used both the little "teabag" ones and the larger "rolls"(pictured)
IMHO the teabag ones are a waste of money but the bigger pack really does what it says on the box.
In the larger pack they last for 3 months each and 3 to a pack therefor 9 months of phosphate free water :)
I have had no algea probs in the tanks I use these in.
 

black angel

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Thanks wolf. I have a little teabag one that treats 15 gallons for 2 months. I got it free so theres nothing to loose if i try it.
Will get the bigger ones too :)
 

jrd77

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I deal with a perpetual phosphate issue in my 45 gallon. In the past, it has caused the milky-white appearence that most attribute to a bacterial bloom. The thing is that a phosphate or silicate issue apparently looks very similar. I use PhosGuard by SeaChem and really like it. It not not that expensive, its easy to use and works well, especially in combination with water changes when phospahtes get high. I have a penguin 330 filter with 2 biowheels. Behind the generic carbon filters (the blue filters), I have my PhosGuard on one side and my Purigen (also by SeaChem) on the other side. This really helps.

For you though, be careful when using phosphate removers in your tank because your plants need phospahtes. If you choose to use a media to remove phoshates, I wouold use caution and cut down on the time you have the media in your filter. I would also invest in a phosphate test kit. They aren't any more (or less) expensive that what you pay for ammonia, etc...

Good luck!
 
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