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ajm83

Struggling to manage phosphate in a nano

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ajm83

I'm struggling to keep phosphate in range (0.02-0.09).  Problem is that as soon as I add PhosGuard to my external filter, it quickly strips all the phosphate out of the water and I start getting coral problems.  I also tried carbon dosing (vinegar) but it just stripped all the nitrate out and barely touched the phosphate.

 

If I don't control phosphate, it gradually rises and I get browning on my corals and green algae problems.

 

 

Any suggestions? 

 

Tank setup:

85L with external filter (fluval 306), tunze 9004 skimmer

 

Thanks

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GregEmmitte

It's probably the external filter. Do you have any macroalgae?

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ajm83

I don't have any macro, no.

 

It would have to go in my DT as I have no easy way of adding a refugium.  Any suggestions welcome for that, nothing too invasive though!  I had caulerpa come in on some LR and it took over the tank in no time!

 

 

What do you mean the external filter - causing phosphate to drop too quickly? Flow too high through the phosguard?

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Clown79

Try using a small quantity of phosguard regularly for maintaining rather than larger quantities infrequently

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GregEmmitte
41 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Try using a small quantity of phosguard regularly for maintaining rather than larger quantities infrequently

That was gonna be my next comment.

i use phosgaurd all the time

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ajm83

Thanks @Clown79 & @GregEmmitte ,  I should have said, I'm on between a half and a third of the recommended dose already.  I can go lower but it doesn't seem to change anything except I replace it 2-3 times more often.  It strips po4 then it completely stops working, I replace it, it strips po4 again, etc etc etc.   What I really want is a more gradual process.

 

Would RowaPhos (GFO) be a better choice do you think?

 

Really wish I had a sump so I could chuck a load of algae in there.

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GregEmmitte

Is yours an AIO? Just clear out a small space in the back and ad macro and a little light. I ran macro with light 24/7 when I had a biocube. And still had to ad phosban but that's a different story entirely 

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Clown79

That's how phosguard is supposed to work.

 

You add it and replace it when phos starts rising.

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ajm83
18 hours ago, GregEmmitte said:

Is yours an AIO? Just clear out a small space in the back and ad macro and a little light. I ran macro with light 24/7 when I had a biocube. And still had to ad phosban but that's a different story entirely 

 

Unfortunately it's a converted tropical tank, so just a glass box and an external (and the 9004 in the tank).

 

12 hours ago, Clown79 said:

That's how phosguard is supposed to work.

 

You add it and replace it when phos starts rising.

 

But stripping it to zero?   I just can't understand how people use it with no problems.  

 

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ajm83

Maybe I'm overthinking it and should just do more water changes!

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GregEmmitte

You could always try an HOB fuge.

 

or do a conversion like I'm doing with my 20 gallon long.

IMG_3742.JPG

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ajm83

Ooooh! Now that is interesting!  What are you planning to run in it?

 

I'll take a look at the HOB options.  Would be good to maintain a bigger amount of pods as well.

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GregEmmitte

I really don't know yet. I just made it to make it for now lol.

Maybe nems and clowns 

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John L

http://aquaforest.eu/en/product/probiof/

 

Try this, aquaforest pro bio F, I've been using it 1 yr so far fantastic product. My phosphates consistently 0.03. 

 

I run a little rowaphos in the background changed out once a fortnight also ,I have fully stocked tank and feed twice a day.

 

Its easy to increase decrease yr phosphates by adding more/ or reducing pro bio f dosage. It also lasts ages. I'm 1 yr in and still have 1/3 small tub left. 36G tank.

 

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Narzyzz_12

Can't go wrong with larger WC and feeding less

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TJ_Burton

If you can find a cheap used reactor, you can grab some cheap LEDs off Amazon and make a chaeto reactor. Super simple and works well for removing excess nutrients without slamming them to zero. Phosban reactors hang-on if you don't have a place to set it beside the tank.

 

 

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ajm83
6 minutes ago, TJ_Burton said:

If you can find a cheap used reactor, you can grab some cheap LEDs off Amazon and make a chaeto reactor. Super simple and works well for removing excess nutrients without slamming them to zero. Phosban reactors hang-on if you don't have a place to set it beside the tank.

 

<snip>

 

That's a very cool idea, I could probably quite easily tee a line from my external into the reactor.  

Plus it would be quite good for when we have guests over and they ask what's involved in keeping marines and I open the cabinet to reveal a small glowing nuclear reactor :lol:

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holy carp

You could also see if you can get less flow through the phosguard.  I use mine in a media bag in the return section of the sump instead of in a reactor/filter that puts a lot of flow through it.  It works well without stripping the PO4 too much, and I use twice the recommended amount.  It lasts me at least a month or 6 weeks before depleting.  I think if you're forcing water through it, it will reduce PO4 faster than you want, and of course it will also deplete more quickly.  Don't know if that's practical with your filter, though.

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Clown79
4 hours ago, ajm83 said:

 

Unfortunately it's a converted tropical tank, so just a glass box and an external (and the 9004 in the tank).

 

 

But stripping it to zero?   I just can't understand how people use it with no problems.  

 

the instructions state to add it and test in 4 days. If phos has increased, the phosguard is exhausted and needs replacing.

 

Media gets exhausted. 

Carbon only lasts so long as well

 

The problem is where and what is causing your phos to be so high.

You have to evaluate what you are doing and eliminate the cause.

 

Waterchanges and media will help but as long as the cause hasn't been corrected, the issue will continue to exist

 

Evaluation:

 

1. How often/how much waterchange is being done

2. Water source

3. Filtration

 

Is a sponge being used in the filter?

How often is the filter cleaned?

What other items are being used in the filter?

 

4. Fish stocking and feeding

5. Additives being dosed into tank

6. Are you vacuuming sand and blasting rocks

 

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ajm83
1 hour ago, holy carp said:

You could also see if you can get less flow through the phosguard.  I use mine in a media bag in the return section of the sump instead of in a reactor/filter that puts a lot of flow through it.  It works well without stripping the PO4 too much, and I use twice the recommended amount.  It lasts me at least a month or 6 weeks before depleting.  I think if you're forcing water through it, it will reduce PO4 faster than you want, and of course it will also deplete more quickly.  Don't know if that's practical with your filter, though.

 

Yes,  good thinking  I can quite easily try that with the filter as it has adjustable flow using the little lever thingy on the top.

 

1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

the instructions state to add it and test in 4 days. If phos has increased, the phosguard is exhausted and needs replacing.

 

Media gets exhausted. 

Carbon only lasts so long as well

 

The problem is where and what is causing your phos to be so high.

You have to evaluate what you are doing and eliminate the cause.

 

Waterchanges and media will help but as long as the cause hasn't been corrected, the issue will continue to exist

 

Evaluation:

 

1. How often/how much waterchange is being done

2. Water source

3. Filtration

 

Is a sponge being used in the filter?

How often is the filter cleaned?

What other items are being used in the filter?

 

4. Fish stocking and feeding

5. Additives being dosed into tank

6. Are you vacuuming sand and blasting rocks

 

Well I'm not sure I see 0.02-0.09 being particularly high, I mean it does climb but quite slowly.  It's just that it will keep climbing to the point where corals start to brown out.

I am aware media gets exhausted, I'm not bothered about replacing it regularly,  it's just the fact it's taking phosphate down too aggressively in the first place.  If you imagine a graph of my po4 level, it's giving me a sawtooth when I want a flat line. Hope that makes sense!

 

1. 10L per week on 90L total volume, without fail every week.

2. RODI tds 0ppm

3. Fluval 306 full of Matrix and Siporax,  Tunze 9004 skimmer,  lots of LR in the tank

Yes, I have sponge prefilters, but they rarely hold any visible muck.

Filter is cleaned fortnightly, once a month or so I scrub one section of the Matrix media in old tank water.  Like the sponges, it is rarely dirty though.

Sometimes I run carbon to polish the water. 

4. One juvenile clownfish, about 10 snails as CUC

5. 2 part, reef roids target fed once per week,  phyto target fed once per week. Minimal amounts.

6. No, not really. TBH that's because i'm worried about snapping my SPS with the vac

 

I would be almost certain the cause of the PO4 is simply feeding the fish and corals, but I don't wish to reduce those. 

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Clown79

Feeding phyto, not vacuuming, and sponges would be the culprit to phos.

 

Phos above 0.03 is too high.

 

Phosguard is known to reduce phos rapidly  it's why most recommend using very little and replace as needed 

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