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RE: Source of PO4
For people looking for another source of phosphates, you might consider
Carib-Sea gravels. It appears that their marine gravels and also their
cichlid gravels not only leach carbonates into the water (which can be a
very good thing if you are injecting CO2), but also significant amounts of
phosphates. I put about 10 lbs of their Congo River Mix into nylon bags
and put the bags into the trickle filter of my 100 gallon planted cichlid
tank. I had hoped to stabilize the KH level of the tank. My KH didn't
change much, but the phosphate level went from 0 ppm to off the scale
(greater than 3.0ppm) in a matter of a few days. Its amazing how quickly
algae will grow in a PO4 limited tank, when virtually unlimited amounts of
phosphate are released into the water.
Needless to say, I have removed the bags from the trickle filter and am
doing large water changes. A quart of Kent Phosphate Sponge only made a
slight decrease in the phosphate level.
If you go to the Carib-Sea website, they have a page that shows the
phosphate levels for 3 of their marine gravels. However, none of their
products appear to contain a warning that the gravel will leach significant
amounts of phosphates into the water.
Anyone want 20 lbs of slightly used gravel?