Subject: Phosphates/ Chemistry

> I'm still a little confused, I hope you'll forgive me for asking
> questions.  Given the fact that our water comes, in part, from a
> runs through lots of farm land before arriving at the water plan
> comes from a lime aquifer), I assumed that the water plant's wat
> probably had phosphates in it.  You suggest that our water plant
> phosphates.  My questions for Paul and others:
> 1.  Does this mean that there may be more phosphate in our water
> 2mg/l (ppm) orthophosphate added by our water plant?

Yes.  Get a test kit and find out how bad it is.
> 2.  Do my aquatic plants require _any_ phosphates?

Absolutely!!!  Without phosphate, there would be no plant growth 
at all.  It is essential.  But more than enough phosphate is 
provided by the fish in the average tank and the decay of other 
organic material.  _EVERY_ time you introduce _ANYTHING_ organic 
to your tank, you are introducing phosphate too.  The only 
exception _might_ be a tank that is set up exclusively for plants. 
 In this sort of set up, you might need to introduce 
phosphate.(and nitrogen in some form)
> 3.  Do you suppose I would help my plants and/or cut down on red
> using something like Aq. Pharm.'s Phos Zorb in my water aging co
> just happen to have an old power filter and some other stuff aro
> sure I could rig something up).

> 4.  Has anyone had experience with phosphate removing products?

These products _do_ work, but depending on the amount of phosphate 
to be removced, can be expensive.  RO and/or DI units are another 
possibility if the levels are really bad.  All of these methods 
are better used to pre-treat water to be used in the tank rather 
than on the tank itself.


Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA