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phosphate and Eusteralis
I bought a phosphate test kit for the first time - it's by Hagen. It says that I have 5ppm of PO4 (yes, that's 5ppm, not 0.5ppm) or more in both of my tanks! Neither tank has much algae, not even on the glass. I DID have algae in one tank, but it was only 8 weeks old (the tank) so I think it was "early tank" syndrome.
The plants are mostly doing fine in both tanks since I do regular water changes and add all the good stuff including KNO3, TMG, CO2, K2SO4 and, in my case, R/O Right (since I have to use R/O water in Davis, CA due to extremely high salt content and very high Boron, which kills plants).
I am not currently adding phospate except for fish food. I stopped adding any tap water for awhile since it contains 0.5ppm, not that that would have much effect at this point.
So, what do we believe is going on here?
1. phosphate does not cause algae if other things are in balance?
2. the Hagen kit is a piece of junk and is not giving me a correct reading? (note that I also tested R/O water and it was zero, and I tested tap water and it was 0.5ppm, so it doesn't just read anything as 5ppm).
Water changes have not made the PO4 decline; there must be a pile of it bound in the substrate (which in one case is brand new, 8 week old Onyx, and in the other 4 year old Fluorite).
Is this a disaster waiting to happen? Should I do anything? Is this PO4 in a form the plants even can use?