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Phosphate in my water (from the faucet)

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Advice please.  I  have been having issues with algae. To cut a long story short, I have 1-2ppm phosphate in my water straight from the faucet ( thought some very bad thoughts about my new light). Don't want to buy distilled water. I thought my plants would take care of the problem. My thinking was add easy green (nitrates go down to 5 ppm with weekly fertilizing) and the phosphate would get used by the plants. Bought more plants... new plants getting coated in algae. I bought phosphate pad from aquarium coop. Added a piece to my hang on back filter. 24 hours later there is no change , phosphate still 1ppm. Do I need patience? more pad? or is there something else I could do?


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Sounds like you need patience. Your aquarium won't reach balance till 6 months after you make the last change. New plants, removing phosphates with a pad etc is all gonna make it take longer. My advice would be just don't do water changes and it'll balance out if you have lots of plants are are fertilizing to replace what is missing. 

Also how do you know the phosphate is causing the issue and not the light, or some other source in your aquarium? What type of algae is it, why not gets something that eats that algae and just let the tank do it's thing?


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Thanks Cory,

I think it is short hair algae.. looks beautiful when the water flows over it, sort of like velvet, however velvet covered plants are not my dream. My new Fluval 3.0 plant light was my first suspect ( until I bought a phosphate test kit). Please don’t try to confuse me with facts... a one nutrient problem sounds so much better than trying to balance nutrients and light.  So you think the phosphate pad is a bad idea... no water changes, more easy green and more plants to cover in velvet? 

Patience? No magic? I’m a stressed out science teacher, teaching on line... this tank is supposed to my zoom antidote... I guess I have to enjoy the rippling waves in my algae for a bit.


 I have been trying to get otocinclus, seem to be hard to get at the moment. Currently researching snails.


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  • 3 weeks later...

@Christine I'm afraid @Cory is right. He has been at it for a long time and has picked up a thing or two. I've actually been in the hobby much longer than Cory, however, I never learned the right things or had any guidance. I was always poking and praying. Now, since I've learned, I'm trying to do things right.

You will get there, but it will take time.

Good luck with your tank!

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Thanks for the encouragement, Cory made me think my phosphate fixation might be a fixation. I cut the light back and things are going much better. Most of the hair algae turned purple and died back (I admit there were a couple of days when I thought "purple " algae was my new plague). My new fish are doing well and some of the plant are.  I bought some pretty dragon stone so the tank is gradually getting to be good to watch. Working on the patience!

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