High phosphate levels...could it be from API CO2 Booster or Leaf Zone or just bioload?

Which phosphate remover media do you recommend?

  • Seachem PhosGuard

  • API Phos-Zorb

  • Something Else (Please let me know in the comments)


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therealpatricksnyder

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After having some detritus and algae blooms in both my planted tanks I decided to start testing for phosphate and realize that my levels in both tanks are off the charts. One tank is a 5 gallon with a single Betta running an Azoo 60, the other is a heavily stocked (111% according to AqAdvisor) 37 gallon running a Top Fin 40 and a Fluval 306. I have been dosing weekly with API Leaf Zone and daily with API CO2 Booster. I am eventually switching over to just Thrive+ but was using up the rest of the Leaf Zone until then. Could the combo or one of the API products cause a spike in Phosphate? I know carbon can do that so I was leaning towards the liquid CO2 as the issue. I also know the issue could just be high bioload from the fish and plants together. The tanks are cycled but I haven't gone through any algae or bacteria blooms yet so the ecosystem is still learning how to handle those.

Regardless of the cause I'm going to up my water changes and see what happens especially now that I am starting to run RODI. I'm probably going to run some phosphate media as well (PhosGuard or Phos-Zorb) in the mean time to get it under control. Any opinion between Seachem and API on phosphate remover?
 

Chanyi

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What is your current water change schedule?
How much Leaf zone are you dosing?
What substrate do you have?

No such thing as liquid CO2 unless you look inside a pressurized CO2 tank. Regardless, that API fake CO2 contains no carbon, nor dose carbon have anything to due with elevated PO4 levels.

Plants need PO4 in large quantities so don't use any PO4 removing media.

Test your tap water for PO4, that plus a high bioload from fish is likely where it's coming from. Water changes are your best bet at removing them, unless your tap water has loads of PO4 in it.

But, you are using RO. So remineralize with Ca, Mg and some kH.

large water changes with remineralized RO is the best way to get rid of high PO4.
 
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therealpatricksnyder

therealpatricksnyder

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Water change weekly, 25% for the 37 and 50% for the 5 gallon. Leaf zone then gets added after the water change, 20mL for the 37 and 1-2mL for the 5 gallon. 37 has 100% gravel, 5 has 1" organic soil base and 1" Carib Sea Super Natural Peace River Sand top layer. And yea technically speaking the CO2 booster is not CO2, its organic and inorganic carbon producing compound, same thing as Seachem Excel, but glad to hear that won't impact phosphate.

Tapwater reads little to no PO4 and with the RO I've got an inline alkaline remineralizer so that takes care of that. I'll up my water changes to every few days for the time being and see how the levels do.

Thanks!
 

GlennO

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Change more water and ensure that you're not over feeding. Those API products don't contain phosphate. Thrive+ does. Your plants need phosphate, but if it's already 'off the charts' you don't want to be adding Thrive+. You also don't want to remove all of it with a phosphate remover.
 

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