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Re: High Phosphates

Len Kutz wrote:

> I've read about phosphate levels but never really paid any attention
> to them.  Today I got a phosphate test kit and was amazed when my tank
> measured +10ppm.  The kit only goes to 10ppm so who knows what the
> actual level is. What is a normal or acceptable phosphate level?  On
> the other had my algae hasn't been to bad and the plants are growing
> well.  Should I even worry about it?

If your plants are growing well and your algae isn't, then you don't need
to worry about it.  I wonder if the test kit is correct, though.  10 ppm
is high, but I think Diana Walstad reported 9 ppm from her tanks.  Levels
more like 1 ppm are common and I think most people consider values less
than 0.1 ppm to be desirable.

Apparently some factor other than phosphate levels controls algae growth
in your tank.  It could be nitrogen, light, iron or grazing to name just a

If you want a better understanding of how your tank works and how you
might manipulate it then you can test a little more to find out what the
limiting factor is.  Keep in mind though that you might be better off --
as the old saying goes -- letting sleeping dogs lie.

Roger Miller