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Discussion Starter #1
Our tap water here in Wichita KS is very high in phosphates, and it is making a mess with BBA I have not been able to get rid of it. Should I use Phosgaurd to lower it (my phosphate tester only goes to 10mg/L but as dark as the solution is I am sure it is much higher than that) ? What should I keep the phosphate level at?? Doesnt plants need phosphates??

Should I just Phosgaurd and put the correct amount of phosphorous back? Please help me out here.
 

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From my experince phosphates do not leed to algae. How high is high? and what are the specks on you tank? This type of algae comes from bright light with no enought co2 or nitrates.
 

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Well that is part of my question, how high is to high. Mine as far as I can tell is over 10mg/l. As far as co2 according to the ph (6.8) and Kh (11*) 52 ppm ( I know that is high but I am trying to get rid of the BBA).

The tank is a 20g High with a Penguin 200b power filter and a DIY co2 system. Also I read somewhere that high phosphates causes BBA.
 

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With that kind of phosphate level in your tap water the pH/KH method will not give you very accurate CO2 readings as the phosphate and other buffers affect the pH also, not just the CO2. The pH/KH table are only good if there are no other buffers in the water, ie R/O water. Try taking a sample of water, testing pH, then let the remainder of the sample sit for 24hrs then check pH again. A rise of about 1.0 in 24hrs will correspond to ROUGHLY 30 ppm. Drop checkers are a more accurate (not perfect by any stretch) means to measure CO2. My guess is the CO2 is not as high as you might think which is causing the algae issues. Macro/micro ferts are an important part of the equation as well, letting any one of them limit plant growth can make problems, too.
 

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My phosphates are thru the roof due to my fish load. Something like 5ppm or more based on the API and Seachem test kits. Yet I still dose 1/4 t. of Monopotassium Phosphate three times a week in following my EI fert regime. I have little to no BBA. I have very rich CO2 well-dispersed which keeps my plants lush and my algae almost non-existant.
 

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My phosphates are thru the roof due to my fish load. Something like 5ppm or more based on the API and Seachem test kits. Yet I still dose 1/4 t. of Monopotassium Phosphate three times a week in following my EI fert regime. I have little to no BBA. I have very rich CO2 well-dispersed which keeps my plants lush and my algae almost non-existant.
I'm sorry got you mixed up with the poster
 

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The City of Dayton used to add over 6ppm of phosphate to my tap water to increase the alkalinity. I still add 0.1ppm of PO4 daily to my tank daily and have very little algae. I'm not sure what type of phosphate buffer the city adds but I'd guess the PO4 the city adds is not easily used by plants or algae. I don't have algae problems unless I cause them by forgetting to add NO3 or not watching my CO2 levels.

Does anyone know what type of PO4 is typically added to increase the alkalinity of a public water supply?
 

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I agree, 10ppm is a bit much but as long as you have sufficient nitrates and CO2 you shouldn't have problems. It was only 3-4 years ago we limited phosphate to very low levels then found we could dose it higher and not run into problems. Higher PO4 levels even seem to reduce the formation of Green Spot algae. It would be hard to guess how much is too much.

What are your NO3 levels? I would look at NO3 or CO2 levels before I would blame the phosphates for the algae. I have had over 200ppm of CO2 in my water when using the pH/KH chart in the past and the fish were showing no signs of stress...my Rams and Apistos were laying eggs at the time as well! If you don't have a drop checker to get you in the ballpark on your CO2 level, test the pH from your tank after resting overnight or after a couple of hours of aeration. This should be close to atmospheric CO2. Try increasing your CO2 until your tank's pH is close to 1 point below your rested pH. In my case, my rested tank water pH is ~7.6 so I try to drop my tank's pH to ~6.6. Make sure you are around all day to watch the fish for signs of stress while you do this. A little too much CO2 will cause them to head for the surface and could even kill them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
well I have my Kh level down to 7* and my new water filtration system installed in my house the phosphates are at 2ppm. out of the tap now not 10ppm like it was before. Lets see after a few water changes.
 

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This is written by Chuck, whom is an aquariumest,
BBA thrives in situations of high phosphates. Phosphates come from fish waste, excess food, and occasionally will be present in the water supply. The best way to eliminate BBA is to let the plants out-compete the algae for the nutrients.

In heavily planted tanks, BBA will often show up when the plants have used up all the nitrates. This causes plant growth to slow or stop, which leaves the excess phosphates available to the algae. By supplying extra Nitrate to a planted tank, we allow plant growth to continue until all phosphate is consumed. Then plant AND algae growth will slow/stop. As long as a usable (5-10ppm) level of Nitrate is maintained, the the plants will continue to use up the available phosphate, effectively controls BBA and other phosphorus-dependant algaes.
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_algae.htm

He seems experienced.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just checked my nitrates and I have them at 40ppm, of course I have been adding nitrogen. The bba has started to turn gray does that mean it is dying??
 

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This is written by Chuck, whom is an aquariumest,
BBA thrives in situations of high phosphates. Phosphates come from fish waste, excess food, and occasionally will be present in the water supply. The best way to eliminate BBA is to let the plants out-compete the algae for the nutrients.

In heavily planted tanks, BBA will often show up when the plants have used up all the nitrates. This causes plant growth to slow or stop, which leaves the excess phosphates available to the algae. By supplying extra Nitrate to a planted tank, we allow plant growth to continue until all phosphate is consumed. Then plant AND algae growth will slow/stop. As long as a usable (5-10ppm) level of Nitrate is maintained, the the plants will continue to use up the available phosphate, effectively controls BBA and other phosphorus-dependant algaes.
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_algae.htm

He seems experienced.
I think that mode of thinking is pretty outdated. Some in the know (Tom Barr in particular) claims to have tested extensively the "high phosphates cause BBA" theory and he has said it's been disproven.
 

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Tom Barr in particular) claims to have tested extensively the "high phosphates cause BBA" theory and he has said it's been disproved.

Could it just be the imbalance of nitrates, Co2 and phosphates.
 

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Tom Barr in particular) claims to have tested extensively the "high phosphates cause BBA" theory and he has said it's been disproved.

Could it just be the imbalance of nitrates, Co2 and phosphates.
90%+ of the time BBA is caused by lack of CO2. Either lack of it or in particular a lack of consistency with CO2 levels. Fluctuating CO2 is probably the overwhelming reason for BBA. And a corollary to that is a tank that seems to have good CO2 but it's not adequately dispersed around. Tests with CO2 checking instruments have shown the potential for huge differences in CO2 levels at different spots around the tank. Until I added a Koralia 2 to my 72 gal I was getting BBA showing up here and there. Since, almost nothing.

If high phosphates caused BBA I'd be covered in it. My Phosphates levels are easily at 3-5ppm.
 

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Thank you so much for the update on BBA. It is a chronic problem in my tanks.

First tank was 10 gallon El Natural. It received indirect sunlight. When I came back from vacation BBA everywhere. Second tank is a 29 gallon tank and doesn't get any sunlight. BBA on leaves on some plants. Was going to add a diy co2 system using a powerhead, but then realized I would have to add something else to circulate the water. Thus back to the drawing board.
 
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