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GrooveMeister

High Phosphates in Tapwater

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Hi Guys,

Being new to this hobby, i made a mistake by using de chlorinated tap water. Phosphates needless to say is sky high. I cant afford a RO/DI unit. What else can i do to bring the phosphate to a minimum? My tank is currently cycled with LR.......nothing else, so trying to solve this problem is giving me a headache. Everytime i change the H2O phosphates gonna rise. Would really appreciate any suggestions

Cheers

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If you need to ask a question, don't be shy to start a new thread. I've created this new one for you.

I won't be too hasty to jump to the conclusion that your sky high phospate levels is due to the tap water you use. Are you in Singapore?

Many reefers have used local tapwater for years and have no problem with phosphate levels. It's present, but not at sky high levels. What brand of salt mix are you using?

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If u have a sump tank, add sand to the middle compartment then buy some algae like chaeto or red bamboo and put it in the same compartment. Idea is to let these algae absorb the nutrients from ur tap water b4 the water returns to the main tank. If it works u should see cyna and brown algae growing in the sand of the sump in a few days and very minute outbreak in your main tank which should clear in a few days once the nutrients are used up.

Do not add LR in ur tank in the mean time if possible ...

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how abt adding a FR with rowa into the setup...

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Hi Guys,

Thank you all so much for your suggestions and especially to Tanzy for starting this thread for me.

Yes i am from singapore, and i am currently using Red Sea Marine Salt. I tested it using Sera Phosphate test kit. No money for Salifert, he he. I have been cycling my tank and had a 0 reading for Nitrires, ammonia and 8.5 for PH after 14 days (cycled with uncured LR). Light is on 4 hrs everyday, but no algae at all. Read that normally if phosphates are high, i should algae......

Hi soul, where can i get the plants for the refugium?

I am really really so thankful to all of you, because without you guys, i wouldnt know where to turn to :bow:

Cheers:

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how high is your phosphate level? 1ppm?

i've been using dechlorinated tap water ever since I started, no big problem.

if you wanna try macroalgae to help to cut down on phosphate, ask in the pasa malam section, people might just give you ... just like before

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Hi Guys,

Thank you all so much for your suggestions and especially to Tanzy for starting this thread for me.

Yes i am from singapore, and i am currently using Red Sea Marine Salt. I tested it using Sera Phosphate test kit. No money for Salifert, he he. I have been cycling my tank and had a 0 reading for Nitrires, ammonia and 8.5 for PH after 14 days (cycled with uncured LR). Light is on 4 hrs everyday, but no algae at all. Read that normally if phosphates are high, i should algae......

Hi soul, where can i get the plants for the refugium?

I am really really so thankful to all of you, because without you guys, i wouldnt know where to turn to :bow:

Cheers:

Hi bro,

IMO, i think u should start off with a better salt like tropic marine, Marine Environment or .... juz my line of thought... getting a better salt is a gd bet...saves a lot of headache... esp impt if u are into corals.

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Yes i am from singapore, and i am currently using Red Sea Marine Salt.

I tested it using Sera Phosphate test kit.

Red Sea Marine salt if one of the salt mix which I have tested before and found nitrates and phosphates in it at a level detectable by Salifert test kit. The calcium level is also rather low. That was 4 years ago and I do not know if their standard has improved.

I won't be too bothered with phosphate levels right now. Consider it a level that needs to be measured only when something goes wrong. Most of the time, inorganic phosphate is at extremely low levels because of utilisation by algae. If a tank is going well, screw phosphate levels. I won't lose sleep over it. Sera test kits are kinda questionable.

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Hi Guys!

Once again, thank you all for the advise. I have decided to change to a better salt.

I forgot to mention that i have not changed the water since the end of the cycling process, could the decaying matter be causing the high phosphate level?

I am also thinking of :

a) removing 50% of the water from the tank.

B) using the removed 50% water to clean the LR

c) Removing the current coral sand (full of Decaying matter) and replacing it with a fresh one.

d) Finally topping up the 50% with the better salt mix.

Need your opinions please. Dunno if this will affect anything

Cheers: :D

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u can also store some water from your water heater from the bathroom, let it cooldown overnight b4 using. Less nutrients from heated water.

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u can also store some water from your water heater from the bathroom, let it cooldown overnight b4 using. Less nutrients from heated water.

That's assuming you are not using copper coils in the heater.

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you can try this to remove phos if you can't afford a RO unit

get some cheap food grade Calcium Oxide pickling lime.

fill a pail with tap water add a half a teaspoon. mix and leave for a day remove residue. best if you can air bubble the water for 2 days before using it to neutralize the high PH.

downside of this is if your using a salt like red sea it won't desolve that well in the water.

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you can try this to remove phos if you can't afford a RO unit

get some cheap food grade Calcium Oxide pickling lime.

fill a pail with tap water add a half a teaspoon. mix and leave for a day remove residue. best if you can air bubble the water for 2 days before using it to neutralize the high PH.

downside of this is if your using a salt like red sea it won't desolve that well in the water.

I don't recommend reefers trying to handle Calcium oxide as it is an irritant to the respiratory tract and it is higly exothermic when it comes into contact with water.

A much safer alternative is Calcium hydroxide to be mixed with water a.k.a. kalkwasser.

The idea to precipitate phoshates out as calcium phosphate is a good concept but the resultant solution will need to be saturated with calcium ions. What is formed is essentially no different from kalkwasser or calcium hydroxide solution (same thing is formed if calcium oxide is used). This solution is too alkaline to be used as water for mixing. Any salt mix added to it will result in massive precipitation of many metal ions resulting in an unusable slurry at the bottom i.e. waste time, waste money.

By bubbling air through kalkwasser or calcium hydroxide solution, you are allowing carbon dioxide to react with water and excess calcium to form insoluble calcium carbonate. This can reduce the amount of calcium in the water and reduce the pH. The mixture will then need to be tested to ensure calcium levels have dropped to a low level before filtering to obtain the liquid.

In my opinion, although this method of phosphate removal in freshwater is conceptually and chemically correct but the procedure is tedious and difficult to ensure the suitability of end product for use with salt mixes without numerous testing. Filtering huge amounts of liquid to remove precipitates is not feasible in the average home without a vacuum pump and proper apparatus.

If the reefer is convinced that the phosphate level in the tapwater is high enough to be of concern to the tank, then buying distilled water or installing an RO/DI unit will be the best and economical way on the long run.

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I'm using Red Sea salt(packaging stated no PO4 & NO3) mixed in tap water since last year.

Use 24" ht beckett skimmer & Aquaz Purephos Premium.

PO4 is at 0.025~0.05mg using Aqualight test kit.

My LPS is doing fine.

BTW Groovemeister, do you run any skimmer & tank with heavy bio load?

You stated "Removing the current coral sand (full of Decaying matter)". This maybe one possible root cause for high PO4.

IMHO...

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I would suggest a Protein Skimmer( if you dont have one), it could saves you alot of headaches in near future.

If you are thinking of changing salt I recommend "Crystal Sea Salt" . Its used by Marine Biologist who has mini reefs aquariums. Its kinda like ###### B's Tooth Brush mostly used by dentist :D

Experience rated: Endorsed and used by hobbyists, retail dealers, public aquaria, universities, and distributors to maintain all types of marine animals.

Dechlorinator added Phosphate and Nitrate FREE!

How big is your tank btw?

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That's assuming you are not using copper coils in the heater.

boiled the tap water first? can?

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Are you sure you can boil so many gallons of water for a water change each time? Unless you have a tiny nano, that is not feasible to boil water for water change.

You probably add more phosphate to the water when feeding than tapwater ever will.

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Hi Guys,

Once again thank you all so very much for the advise and suggestions. Sorry took so long to reply, was on a overseas trip. Will try removing the coral sand with dead matter, change the water about 50% and most probably the carbon also.......and keep you guys informed if there are any changes......hoping,....... so i can start adding my first inverts....he he ;)

Cheers!

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If u have a sump tank, add sand to the middle compartment then buy some algae like chaeto or red bamboo and put it in the same compartment. Idea is to let these algae absorb the nutrients from ur tap water b4 the water returns to the main tank. If it works u should see cyna and brown algae growing in the sand of the sump in a few days and very minute outbreak in your main tank which should clear in a few days once the nutrients are used up.

Do not add LR in ur tank in the mean time if possible ...

chaeto / red bamboo needs lightings? can do without the lightings?? the sand for chaeto / red bamboo needs be DSB? can i use coral chips instead of the sand??

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with chaeto, the phos level will drop after a while right? cos they absorb the nutrients?

when you guys mention bout nutrients, i suppose you guys are talking bout the phosphates?

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