Coral skeletons leaching phosphates?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Tobes, 10 Mar 2009.

  1. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Hi (Uncle :whistling:) Hennie

    It was mentioned a while ago by someone - can't remember now :p - that coral skeletons can leach phosphates back into the tank.
    What is your take on this?
    How serious can it get?
    If true/proven, what must you do if you wanna keep that skeleton to prevent it from leaching?
    Will it stop leaching on its own at some stage?

    :wave2:
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    taggin along.
    but my 2c

    when i make artificial rock, i let it stand in FW for a few days, then add vinegar, then rince and leave in SW for 20days, testing the SW before and then weekly to see.

    this would work for coral skeletons i am sure, but thats for more for cleaning etc, would to here hennie's view
     
  4. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Yeah, shells and skeletons all seem to have loads of po4, even aragonite. PO4 is everywhere
     
  5. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Waiting for for Hennie on this one! Good topic Tobes
     
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Thread Starter Retired Moderator

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    Yeah, seeing that a lot of guys mix coral skeletons with live rock :p
     
  7. Tobes

    Tobes Thread Starter Retired Moderator

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    Where's Oom Hennie :baffled:
     
  8. Tony

    Tony

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    Coral substrate as well as live rock will absorb phosphates and then leach them back into the system once saturated leaving the confused aquarist wondering what he did wrong and why his meticulously kept reef is full of algae. Lives corals need phosphates even though in small amounts so if we add a crushed coral substrate or aragonite of unknown purity these things eventually are leached into the system.
     
  9. Tobes

    Tobes Thread Starter Retired Moderator

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    Thanks Tony, I know and agree with you but I actually wanna know if whole big coral skeletons leach phosphates to an extent that it is not worth putting them in the tank. Some places/people sells it as live rock. It might have the same filtering capabilities as live rock, but, because it is a dead coral now, will it leach MORE phosphates than live rock?
     
  10. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    I have done a couple tests on aragonite as I wanted to see if I could use other forms of Calcium media in my CaRx.

    I tested empty clam shells and they do leach phosphates, but then so does Aragonite.

    So I am starting to think that all "dead" skeletons leach phosphates.

    Also remember LR is basically made up of thousands of layers of different skeletons.
     
  11. Tony

    Tony

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    Warren. Do you still want the calcium carbonte from that chemical company? Maybe it's purer
     
  12. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Oh yeah, give me a shout when the chemicals are ready :)
     
  13. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Sorry guys - I've been VERY busy with working at Work, and working at home during the past few weekends (will post about that at some time...). Fortunately, things are now leveling out, and I should hopefully be more active on the Forum again...

    Hennie
     
  14. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, it is true that coral skeletons leach back phosphates (AND many other substances - some good, some bad...).

    How serious this would be is an open question - it would depend on (amongst others...) the ratio of the coral skeleton vs. volume of tank water, the actual level of PO4 in the skeleton (and that would depend on the specie of coral, and on where it has lived...) and on the level of PO4 export of your system.

    There is nothing one can do to prevent the leaching from occurring (as far as I know). Normal tank "maintenance", such as having a refugium with lots of macro algae growth, skimming whilst dripping Kalk, running an algae scrubber, and especially using a phosphate remover, would be sufficient to prevent a build-up of phosphate from this source. Dosing a carbon source (such as Vodka or vinegar) would also (indirectly) remove PO4.

    In my experience, the amount of PO4 added by dead coral skeletons (be it crushed coral sand, the coral particles in a calcium reactor or live rock...) is substantially less than that added to the tank through feeding, so I would not stress too much about this issue.

    Hennie
     
  15. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Thanks Hennie:thumbup:
     
  16. Tobes

    Tobes Thread Starter Retired Moderator

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    Thank Oom Hennie :)
     
  17. Tobes

    Tobes Thread Starter Retired Moderator

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    BTW, he is "oom" to you :whistling:


    ... I am almost "oom" to you :p
     
  18. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Hennie, would your explanation include shells, or would they leach more PO4 ?
     
  19. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Warr, I really don't know - but I would suspect that shells might contain a bit more PO4 (just gut feeling, though...)
     
  20. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Ye, you are getting old aren't you tobes:lol:
     
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