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I am confused as to what the difference is between the two. From what I gather on product labeling, Phosphates are bad. Many chemical filters remove phosphates. However, Phosphorous is needed to fertilize plants and it seems that phosphates are just one form of doing that. Can someone explain this to me?
 

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phosphorous is an element, phosphate (ie monopotassium phosphate as a fertilizer) is a salt containing phosphorous.

phosphates are *not* bad in the planted aquarium, in reasonable amounts in proper ratios etc.
limiting amounts of phosphate in a planted aquarium *can be bad*, as plant uptake can stall. So a proper amount of phosphate in the water column is good for a planted tank.

how much phosphate is dependent on your goal. Check out PPS / EI strategies for info on how much phosphate you want to add to your aquarium.
 

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phosphorous is an element, phosphate (ie monopotassium phosphate as a fertilizer) is a salt containing phosphorous.

phosphates are *not* bad in the planted aquarium, in reasonable amounts in proper ratios etc.
limiting amounts of phosphate in a planted aquarium *can be bad*, as plant uptake can stall. So a proper amount of phosphate in the water column is good for a planted tank.

how much phosphate is dependent on your goal. Check out PPS / EI strategies for info on how much phosphate you want to add to your aquarium.
Beginner!? This is some pretty good advice for a beginner, some one has done their home work.:clap2:
nice answer.
 
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