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Old 02/18/2020, 04:33 PM   #1
g8rorchid
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Super high phosphates, help!

Hello everyone,

I have been doing research on what to use for my high phosphates and the more I read, the more confused and uncertain I become. I have a 90g reef (lps, anemones, some softies). Fish include - pair of yasha gobies, pair of clowns, black cap basslet, firefish, flame wrasse, rose band wrasse, and starry blenny. Tank has been running for about 12 years. I always had issues with high nitrates and after going from a dsb to a regular sandbed, it got a bit better, but not where I was happy with it. I started dosing NOO-X and I am ecstatic with the nitrates. They are between 10-25ppm (Salifert kit), which for me is great. I tested my phosphates with a Salifert kit and it is somewhere around 2.0 (nothing between between 1.0 & 3.0 on the test kit).

I don't have enough room for a reactor and it's pump because my sump is on the smaller side. I tried phosguard, but there hasn't been a change in phosphate levels at all. Is there a product that can be placed in a media bag in the sump and successfully decrease phosphates? I have read about the liquid reducers, but I don't have room for a filter sock to catch the precipitate. Can just a pad resting by where the water enters the sump be sufficient?

I also have a 55g that has high phosphates and nitrates. It is a FOWLR with some cuc. No sump, just a skimmer and hang on fuge (no chaeto as I have never had luck growing any in either tank). I would also like to treat that tank for these issues. Not sure that the liquid would be good for that tank because I have a small purple tang in there and read that tangs are more sensitive to the chemical in the liquid treatment.

Any help and suggestions for both tanks would be greatly appreciated!!!


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Old 02/18/2020, 05:31 PM   #2
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PhosGuard will work, but you might need to use a lot of it. If the phosphate result is correct, the media likely will be exhausted in a few hours. On top of that, the live rock and sand will leach phosphate as the level drops, so it can seem like an endless source. Lanthanum chloride (SeaKlear and similar products) will be a lot cheaper, but more trouble to dose. They form a precipitate which probably should be removed via a filter sock.

None of the animals you mentioned are going to have problems with that phosphate level, so you could ignore it.


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Old 02/19/2020, 03:09 AM   #3
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Why not continue to use nopox? Years ago i didn't have luck with it but now it's working to bring both my nitrates and phosphates down. My phosphates were always a struggle at around 2 ppm as biopellets brought my nitrates down to 3ppm. Using the same phosphate remover as you it was always replace replace replace. My phosphates are now .02 and my nitrates are the same approx.
I had a big thing of hair algae before the nopox and now my algae has all turned brown and it's not easy to get all that out even after a water change tonight. At least my nutrients are where they should be as I continue to dose and monitor my levels.


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Old 02/19/2020, 04:42 AM   #4
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Whatever you decide it sounds like you have years of massive overfeeding to combat..
First thing would be to adjust your feeding habits to stop exacerbating the issue.


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Old 02/19/2020, 07:58 AM   #5
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There are micron cloths that will catch precipitate from Lanthanum but they can clog quickly & overflow.
You would need a few on hand, keep watch & change right away. Coralife sells them.


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Old 02/19/2020, 09:04 AM   #6
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If you had 2.5 pounds of live rock per gallon of tank water you can feed all you want and you will never have a nutrient problem. …….


Of course, if that's a bunch of Adam Schiff, try this:

blue life phosphate rx. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, That product can easily reduce your phosphates to 0.000 overnight, which will pretty much kill everything in your tank. Use it slowly. It took months, if not years, to get where you are; Spend weeks fixing it.


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Old 02/19/2020, 09:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Of course, if that's a bunch of Adam Schiff, try this:



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Old 02/19/2020, 05:54 PM   #8
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Blue Life seems to be a lanthanum chloride product, so it should work, but I would recommend using the micron filters with it.


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Old 02/19/2020, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gprdypoo04 View Post
Why not continue to use nopox? Years ago i didn't have luck with it but now it's working to bring both my nitrates and phosphates down. My phosphates were always a struggle at around 2 ppm as biopellets brought my nitrates down to 3ppm. Using the same phosphate remover as you it was always replace replace replace. My phosphates are now .02 and my nitrates are the same approx.
I had a big thing of hair algae before the nopox and now my algae has all turned brown and it's not easy to get all that out even after a water change tonight. At least my nutrients are where they should be as I continue to dose and monitor my levels.
From what I have read and been told, Nopox is much better at reducing nitrates than it is at reducing phosphates. I do a "maintenance" dose once a week, as I am happy with the nitrate levels.


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Old 02/19/2020, 06:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Vinny Kreyling View Post
There are micron cloths that will catch precipitate from Lanthanum but they can clog quickly & overflow.
You would need a few on hand, keep watch & change right away. Coralife sells them.
Thanks for the info on the option of the micron cloth. I'm confused though as to how it could clog and overflow? Could I just use something like polyfilter or filter floss to catch the precipitate?


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Old 02/19/2020, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8rorchid View Post
Thanks for the info on the option of the micron cloth. I'm confused though as to how it could clog and overflow? Could I just use something like polyfilter or filter floss to catch the precipitate?
Lanthanum will clog the cloth when it gets pulled out of the water.


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Old 02/19/2020, 06:13 PM   #12
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Also, if I were to go with the LC, should I start with like a half dose to decrease the levels slowly? If I go this route, would I experience a spike in nitrates? What could I do to minimize the spike?


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Old 02/19/2020, 06:22 PM   #13
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Are the micron cloths you are talking about, filter socks? My sump has a very narrow 1st section, which is basically useless. The second section houses my skimmer and pump for my UV filter. I don't have an area for a filter sock, that is why I am asking about using a pad to catch the precipitate. If a pad isn't good, then I am thinking that the LC isn't the best route for me. Would gfo work passively? Any other media that would work without a reactor?


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Old 02/19/2020, 11:15 PM   #14
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A filter sock will work, from what I've been told, but I am not sure about the pads. I think it's worth a shot. The lanthanum products are inexpensive, and the pad should work well enough if you are patient and don't add too much. We can work on a dose when you've picked a product.

If you are worried about the precipitate, you can do water changes, and treat the old water with lanthanum chloride, so you can reuse it and don't have to pore as much salt down the drain. That'll make it very hard to overdose, as well. It's a lot more work, though.

GFO will work, too, but it'll take a lot of media. Regenerating can reduce the cost, but it's tedious work, in my opinion. NoPOx will work, too, dosed in large quantities, but you might need to dose nitrate at some point along with the NoPOx.

I doubt that you will see a spike in nitrate. I wouldn't worry about that.


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Old 02/19/2020, 11:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8rorchid View Post
From what I have read and been told, Nopox is much better at reducing nitrates than it is at reducing phosphates. I do a "maintenance" dose once a week, as I am happy with the nitrate levels.
It will also bring down your phosphates. After using biopellets to bring down and steady my nitrates at 3 ppm my phosphates were still high. Using GFO it would go down than back up. Then last week my nopox brought my phosphate from .08 to .02. Nitrates reduced to 2ppm. What you read and been told is not always the case.


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Old 02/20/2020, 08:08 AM   #16
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Not socks, just a cloth like piece with a 50 micron rating that can be cut or folded for use.


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Old 02/20/2020, 06:44 PM   #17
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A filter sock will work, from what I've been told, but I am not sure about the pads. I think it's worth a shot. The lanthanum products are inexpensive, and the pad should work well enough if you are patient and don't add too much. We can work on a dose when you've picked a product.

If you are worried about the precipitate, you can do water changes, and treat the old water with lanthanum chloride, so you can reuse it and don't have to pore as much salt down the drain. That'll make it very hard to overdose, as well. It's a lot more work, though.

GFO will work, too, but it'll take a lot of media. Regenerating can reduce the cost, but it's tedious work, in my opinion. NoPOx will work, too, dosed in large quantities, but you might need to dose nitrate at some point along with the NoPOx.

I doubt that you will see a spike in nitrate. I wouldn't worry about that.
Great, thank you for your thoughts and the offer! Is there a product that you have used that you like? Or are they all the same?


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Old 02/20/2020, 06:49 PM   #18
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Not socks, just a cloth like piece with a 50 micron rating that can be cut or folded for use.
Ok, I did a search and I think I have found what you are talking about. I wanted to post a picture of my sump so you all can see what I am working with and help decide where the best placement for the micron cloth would be. For some reason I am unable to figure it out or the radio buttons are not working. The first section is quite narrow, but there is a small piece of egg crate that sits there. Would I just fold a piece of the cloth and just lay it on the egg crate?


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Old 02/20/2020, 10:26 PM   #19
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The lanthanum chloride products all are similar. The GFO products might be less similar, but we don't have any good data.

For the cloth, as long as the water is force to go through it, it should work. I'd be careful to make sure that nothing bad is going to happen if the cloth becomes plugged, though.


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Old 02/21/2020, 07:53 AM   #20
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I would insert the cloth so it comes up the sides of the chamber(all 4), even If that meant cutting it to go in both directions.
This would help insure water went through it on it's way out the eggcrate.
You would have to check it every so often to make sure it is working.


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Old 02/21/2020, 07:43 PM   #21
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just curious, the high phosphates, is it causing issues in the tank, hair algae, cyanobacteria? How accurate is the Salifert test kit? Between 1.0 and 3.0? FWIW I am bringing a neglected overgrown SPS tank back to life. I have hair algae and had cyano pretty much everywhere and out of control. So if you are not having serious issues with the tank(s) I would get a second test on the phosphate levels. Plus if you are going to start dosing lanthanum chloride I would invest in a hanna checker or an accurate PO4 test kit. I don't know maybe the Salifert kit is accurate. I know the Hanna is not consistently accurate but i feel it is close enough to lower phosphate with lanthanum to under 0.1. I have been slowly dripping diluted lanthanum directly into the skimmer. I did notice the lanthanum precipitated and stuck to the acrylic on the skimmer and made the cup foggy. I dont care but other may and a sock would be better option for them


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Old 02/25/2020, 05:16 PM   #22
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just curious, the high phosphates, is it causing issues in the tank, hair algae, cyanobacteria? How accurate is the Salifert test kit? Between 1.0 and 3.0? FWIW I am bringing a neglected overgrown SPS tank back to life. I have hair algae and had cyano pretty much everywhere and out of control. So if you are not having serious issues with the tank(s) I would get a second test on the phosphate levels. Plus if you are going to start dosing lanthanum chloride I would invest in a hanna checker or an accurate PO4 test kit. I don't know maybe the Salifert kit is accurate. I know the Hanna is not consistently accurate but i feel it is close enough to lower phosphate with lanthanum to under 0.1. I have been slowly dripping diluted lanthanum directly into the skimmer. I did notice the lanthanum precipitated and stuck to the acrylic on the skimmer and made the cup foggy. I dont care but other may and a sock would be better option for them
The high phosphates aren't causing any issues in the tank, other than the algae film that builds up on the glass. I have also noticed a reduction in coralline algae growth. I want to decrease the algae film, build up my coraline algae on the rocks, and would like to try to keep some of the more difficult lps. The phosphate kit has an expiration of 12/2020 and I purchased it about a month ago. The reason for my range of 1.0 -3.0 is because that is how the Salifert test kit's chart is (my sample is darker than the 1.0 color, but lighter than the 3.0 color). My guess is that I am around 2.0.


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