how to remove the phosphate

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by edyta2382, 13 Jul 2010.

  1. edyta2382

    edyta2382

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    hello everyone i got a phosphate problem it's a bit high at the moment 0.5 ppm
    i was adding a phosphate remover and nothing still the same recently i bought
    some live rock the live rock was covered in green hair algae i regret i didnt clean
    the rock now the hair is taking over even my old liver rock .
    no3 0ppm
    dkh 10 ppm
    calcium 440 ppm
    phos 0.5 ppm
    ph 8.2
    sal 1.024
     
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  3. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Please be specific with details... what phosphate remover did you use, how much of it did you use (and for how long), and how did you use it?


    PO4 removers take time to work, and if your rock (as an example) contains much PO4 then it will initially appear as if the remover is not working, whilst it is actually removing PO4 but the rock is replenishing it... to over come this, do one or more of the following:
    • Increase the efficiency of the PO4 reactor/filter
    • Use more PO4 remover (but be careful to not over-do this)
    • Decrease new PO4 additions - be very wary of the type of activated carbon you are using (they all leach PO4), and feed less food (and be choosy of the type of food)
    • Ensure that you have a decent skimmer, and then drip lime water (Kalk) close to the intake of the skimmer
    • Add macro algae (and good lights) to your sump, or run an external "algae scrubber"
    • And, of course, if you're serious about this - decrease your fish load
    Fighting PO4 is a long-term thing - don't give up with whatever you are doing :)

    Hennie
     
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  4. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    just wondring about 2 things that are unclear here hennie
     
  5. jaybeepee

    jaybeepee

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    kalk dripping next to skimmer?

    What's the theory behind dripping close to the skimmer please?
     
  6. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i think it help to increase the amout of nutirent skimmed out of the water
     
  7. clinton stanford

    clinton stanford

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    mmm...interesting,tagging along here.
     
  8. Pete

    Pete

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    me too
     
  9. clown

    clown

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    tagging along
     
  10. jaybeepee

    jaybeepee

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    A little more theory than that would be great ;)
     
  11. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Keep in mind that I do not know anything about the method that the original poster used to filter the water with the PO4 remover. It is quite possible that he/she just placed a bag of the stuff into the tank or sump. Obviously, having the water actually flow THROUGH the media will improve the efficiency of the "reactor/filter" quite seriously... Increasing the efficiency even further could be achieved by e.g. running the media in a "fluidised" way, with the particles being suspended in a water "updraft" (as most PO4 reactors operate), or by reducing channel formation if the medium is used in a cannister-type filter.

    RTFM :whistling:

    Seriously, one should start "light", using perhaps half of the dosage recommended by the manufacturer for the first treatment. After observing the tank for a few days, one can then add more medium, taking the total up to (say) 80%, or even 100% of the manufacturer's recommendation. After another few days of acclimatising the tank (or when swopping out the medium the first time), one can then increase the dosage by (say) another 20% IF the tank did not show any serious negative effects during the initial treatment. The risk of OD'ing is that the PO4 level can be reduced too far, and too quickly - all corals, anemones and algae need *some* phosphate to live, and if the level is reduced too rapidly, or too far, the animals and plants could actually die. If the tank has a large volume/growth of algae, for instance, the rapid depletion of PO4 will result in the algae dying, and then decomposing in the water, which would obviously result in the re-release of nutrients from the dead algae back into the water, and possibly an ammonium spike.

    The lime water creates a localised very high pH environment, close to where the drop enters the water. Phosphate can react with certain ions in the water to create less soluble phosphate ion precipitations (sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, etc - not 100% sure which ones, exactly...) depending on the pH of the water. These precipitations, if they can be sucked into the skimmer intake, are then removed from the system by the skimmer. If, however, the precipitations occur far away from the skimmer intake, the precipitations can become soluble again when the pH drops back to the average tank level, and of course then the phosphate will remain in the water...

    Hennie
     
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  12. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    is it better to have high flow through a reactor( to increase the amount of water coming into contact with the PO4 media) or lower flow to increase contact time? Or dose it not really matter.
     
  13. FransSny

    FransSny

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    BM , contact time with the media is MUCH more important than amount of water. See it as taking a cold shower...wats worse , quick blast with icy water or long slow drip...actually k@K analogy..both sucks but you get the idea
     
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  14. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Hi Hennie

    when I dose my Alk mixture, baked sodium bicarbonate with RO, I notice it too turns the water white in colour where it drips in, I assume because of the high pH too? Can I also dose this near the skimmer inlet to help remove PO4 or will this remove Ca too?

    thx
     
  15. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Hennie rules :yeahdude:
     
  16. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Correct - the white you see is magnesium carbonate (I think...) precipitation. Fortunately, the magnesium precipitate is quite soluble (unlike calcium carbonate precipitation), andit re-dissolves after a few seconds, when the pH returns to normal.

    It might precipitate some phosphate as well, so dosing it close to the skimmer intake won't be a bad idea (that's where I do my dosing as well, but more to dissipate the additives than to actively remove phosphate...). If your calcium level is high (420ppm - 450ppm +) it will also cause some calcium precipitation, but this should be pretty localised, as the pH in the fast moving water would quickly drop to more normal levels.

    Hennie
     
  17. herkie

    herkie R.I.P.

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    Hennie how much kalkwasser do you suggest how often in a system of about 100l?
     
  18. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Herkie, that would depend on various factors, such as your tank's rate of evaporation (you should not add more lime water than the evaporation rate, else your tank will eventually flood), and the pH of your system (if the tank runs naturally high, you cannot add as much as when the tank runs with a normally low pH).

    Having said that, a good rule of thumb is to start off by dripping one drop every 2-5 seconds, and to then slowly increase to about two drops per second over a period of a few weeks. Let the system stabilise for at least 24 hours between adjustments, and closely monitor the pH both early in the morning, and just after lights out at night.

    Hennie
     
  19. herkie

    herkie R.I.P.

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    Thank you Hennie.
     
  20. japie

    japie

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    Hi Hennie,

    What about the V0dka,see there is quite a lot of research done on it?? I have no problem, just would like to know what is your opinion.

    Japie
     
  21. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, vodka (or any other carbon source, such as vinegar or sugar) works very well in lowering nutrient levels, BUT only in a mature system that already has a low nutrient level to start with. In a high nutrient system the added carbon will cause unwanted side effects, such as a rapid growth of diatoms and/or cyanobacteria, and could even reduce the oxygen content of the water so rapidly that your fish and/or inverts could suffocate and die....

    Best (IMHO) is to first win the war by conventional methods (feed less, skim more, DLSB, macro algae and phosphate remover) and THEN start with vodka dosing to keep the nutrients low.

    Hennie
     
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