This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Unfortunately for Photobucket users, things have changed in a big way as of June 26th they are rolling out a $399 per year subscription fee for those who want to hotlink images from Photobucket’s servers to display elsewhere.
    This does not mean it only affects this site, It now means that billions of images across the Web now display an error message instead of the image in question. :(
    https://barrreport.com/threads/attention-photobucket-users.14377/
    Dismiss Notice

PO4 off the charts~

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by fresh_newby, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok Tom, well I have PO4 that is currently off the charts. I am now on my 3rd test kit to try and rule out a bad kit. I too, think I am a victim of bad Eco, but my PO right out of the tap is at 4ish, so what should I do to get it down or keep it lower? I have my NO3 up bigtimes to about 30 to sort of compensate for my skyrocketing PO4, but I don't think that is the answer either. My KH is about 4, artificially pumped up by me adding Bicarb, otherwise it is 1 out of the tap. Gh is about the same as well. I have trace NH4, but I am nearly due for a waterchange, and I dose EI, so adding PO4 is not helping, so I stopped a few days ago. My tank is 90 gal and my pH is about 6.7, but I see no outgassing anymore, when I used to have abundant pearling. Sounds like my parms are a mess...help?
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    21
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    You didn't mention CO2. Do you use pressurized CO2? Your KH and pH indicate you have around 20 ppm of CO2, but you probably have a lot less, so try jacking it up if you have it. The lack of or very low CO2 could cause both nitrates and phosphates to build up if you are dosing per EI recommendations, because plants won't be using it up.
     
  3. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    Oh sorry, yes I have pressurized CO2. I just jacked up the CO2 because I suspected that it was lower then the math is stating because of the ridiculous PO4. I dropped the pH controller to 6.4.
     
  4. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    I just have a feeling this is due to my Eco Complete substrate, but my PO4 is 3 right out of the tap. I quit dosing PO4 with my Macros though.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,462
    Likes Received:
    325
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    Sounds fine then as long as you get the pearling back.
    Stop the PO4 dosing, do the water changes, don't obsess about the PO4.

    Do obsess about CO2 and routine dosing, do obsess about the pearling of the plants. If you have 2ppm vs 5ppm of PO4, do you think there is much difference? Algae? Plants?

    No, not much, but .....the pearling stopping says something more than PO4.........


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    I got pearling back because I cranked up the CO2. My KH is about 3, and that is bringing it up from 1 with Bicarb. I set my pH to 6.5 so theoretically, my CO2 is about 40 ish. That is higher than I normally like for my fish and shrimp, but I am counting on the fact that there may be a false elevation due to my PO4 levels. I am almost at 100, Tom, this isn't like a 2 vs. 4 this is over 50 and probably 100. I said it is 3 out of the tap, but from my tank it is 50-100!
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,891
    Likes Received:
    21
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    How do you know you can trust your PO4 test kit? From what I read, those are not accurate without very careful calibration.
     
  8. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    This is the third one, I didn't trust the first, then I bought a Seachem, then I went and got an Aq. Pharm, and all came up with same results.
     
  9. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    That is hardcore but unlikely. Contaminated Eco eventually stops leeching PO4 yeah? If you can do water changes to limit that, your high PO4 from tap doesn't matter. It is mind numbing, but the article linked here explains this: http://www.barrreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1074

    Think of the PO4 introduced from tap as a dose, and whatever is leeched by the Eco as another dose. You could probably measure Eco's contribution (and if you have a contaminated bag) by putting an appropriate amount of substrate in RO/DI and measure the increase after a week, dependent on the accuracy of the test(s).

    But if you have pearling now, that's good yeah? In my mind, I think increasing CO2 is fundamentally the same as increasing N to compensate for high PO4, only much more effective.

    Just thoughts.
     
  10. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    Thanks czado. That was my thinking when I cranked up the CO2. I wanted to find a threshold of where ther plants would start outgassing again. It seems that I found it with a pH of 6.4-6.5, where I would usually have a 6.8 pH to get it. I wanted to assure that I get it so the plants would utilize some of the nutrients in the water column. My NO3 are high too, around 40 right now, and I was looking for 10-20, so I will skip some macro dosing until I see some utilization of these over-abundant compounds, no?
     
  11. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    I would do that fwiw. After the water change at the end of the week, I'd start dosing NO3 to moderate targets again.
     
  12. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    2
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    Just out of curiosity, if the PO4 were at 3 or 4 ppm, what problems might be expected?

    Would high nitrate levels have any effects on that?

    Bill
     
  13. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    No it shouldn't. In fact a 30-40 nitrate with a PO4 of 4-5 is kind of a good ratio~ I don't have those kind of problems. I am more of the problem of PO4 50-100 and NO3 of 40...lol That is what I am trying to deaal with. ha
     
  14. evergreen

    evergreen Junior Poster

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
  15. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    Thanks Keith

    I really don't have an algae problem. I have some small near the substrate line that I just need to vacuum, although my cleanup crew appreciates it. PO4 doesn't cause algae. My concern is that for the PO4 to be so high, an optimal balance will not be reached. I tried testing with several test kits, and I do think it is my eco complete doing it. The test kit was almost sludge the first time I tested it, as the tank is about 8 weeks old, but after 12 water changes, it is only a dark blue lol
    I did contact Carib Sea and they are sending me something called Phos-Buster-Pro. Has anyone ever heard of that? Does it work? I am also concerned about HOW it works. They said this may help the substrate problem. If it doesn't work, I will just change out the substrate.
     
  16. vidiots

    vidiots Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    I have tested the Hagen Nutrafin Phosphate test kit for use with dosing Seachem's Flourish Phosphorus. And the test kit read exactly what I expected it to. I mixed some bottles of Tap water, and some bottles distilled water with a small measured dose of Flourish Phosphorous. I then used the test kit to measure PO4 levels in each bottle.

    The reason for using distilled water was to verify that the test kit read correctly without any contaminates messing up the results. The second test using tap water was to verify that there were no contaminates in my water source that messed up the measurements. The measurements of both water sources agreed well within acceptable levels. My water straight out of the tap has undetectable levels of PO4.

    When I later switched to using Greg Watson's powdered KH2PO4, I dosed a measured amount into a newly set up tank and measured the PO4 level using the same test kit. Again the test kit read the amount I expected it to.

    Lately I have been using the EI method, but I did use my calibrated test kits to check my math and verify the amounts I came up with to dose for a 180Gal tank were correct. Tom's dosing examples in his EI articles didn't list doses for very large tanks. :)
     
  17. evergreen

    evergreen Junior Poster

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    Yeah, I've heard that PO4 doesn't cause algae. But its starting to be obvious to me that some sort of balance needs to be reached. My tank is 2.5 months old, and every time it starts two look great I think to myself " now is the time to increase light and do full EI. So far the algae loves my thinking:) I,m now looking to co2 as the limiting factor. My hardness is about 5.5 and my PH drops to around 6.8 every evening. I'm using a rex reactor and can't seem to dissolve enough co2 for my 135 gallon tank. So in my case I think the high PO4 Is a case of the plants are being limited by my CO2. So back to the drawing board!
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,462
    Likes Received:
    325
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    Keith, while this author is certainly well meaning, he is frankly, just wrong.
    The Redfield ratio is an atomic ratio.

    So it's the number of atoms.
    Most of the science folks go with mass ratios but not all.
    Folks that do not not know any better confuse the two.

    Try this out:

    P and N.

    See what 16N:1P are in terms of moles/mass
    Next see what what 16NO3:1PO4 in terms of moles and mass.

    14 g/mol x 16 N atoms = 224
    30.97 g/mol x 1 P atom = 30.97

    Ratio is now in terms of mass and thwe proper units, the unit that we use(mass/weight): 224/30.97 = 7.2 : 1 N:p in terms of mass.

    So as you can see, someone is very confused................and it's not me :gw

    Now lets try the NO3 and PO4:

    62 g/mol NO3 x 16 atoms = 992
    94.97 g/mol PO4 x 1 atom = 94.97

    ~10:1

    If you read the BarrReport, you'll note that most plants have a content of 5:1-10:1 N:p in terms of mass.

    So while the Redfield ratio is close, it's a little light on the PO4.
    Still, his interptation is quite wrong. And his conclusions for algae control are certainly wrong.
    I'm not going after him personally, but he's promoting a great deal of errors since many seem to enjoy quoting that site even though it's wrong.

    Then these myths get spread all over the place and then I get cranky. :D
    The issue I have is when I see such myth making, I really hate to see it because it means that these myths will persist and I'll end up having to train and explain to a large group what the problems with it are.

    If folks have been doing it awhile, they will fight over it. Unfortunately they make assumptions and assume that they have made the right conclusion, but when I test their hypothese, they do not, well...........hold any water.

    We can have all sorts of ratios and not one single issue as claimed on that site.

    You still likely are meeting some of the needs, if not most of them for the plants, but..............you can certainly improve upon the method and also have a greater degree of flexibility and less fear in your routine.

    I've come along and done this type of improvement to PMDD=> EI and the list of parameters/levels and the Excel method etc, then NON CO2 methods, then Marine and CO2 enriched methods.

    You have to have those conclusions match observations to make any sense of them, don't you think?

    I'm trying to get folks to think and be more critical of such advice, my own included.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,462
    Likes Received:
    325
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    As long as you have enoyugh PO4/NO3, the tank should do fine over time.
    It's when you really drive the NO3 or PO4 down low is when you have issues.

    If the PO4 is say .2ppm or less, the NO3 uptake rate will slow dramatically.

    There is a very wide range of NO3 and PO4, anything above say 10ppm for NO3 and 1ppm for PO4 is good for most CO2 enriched tanks.

    You do not want to get beyond 40-50ppm or so for NO3 on the upper range(fish health issues where not seen till over 100ppm using KNO3) not beyond 4-6ppm for PO4 since it starts to mess with your CO2 giving you a false positive(shows more CO2 than is really there).

    If you do the full EI or slightly less(most tanks are fine with less also or a little more of the PO4 etc), the main issue folks have is the high CO2 demand since that is typically what causes algae issues in EI dosed tanks. 99% of the issue tends to be that if the person has been dosing EI routinely and has most of the tank filled with plants.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. fresh_newby

    fresh_newby Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: PO4 off the charts~

    AGREED! I read this and am not buying the logic.....
     
Loading...

Share This Page