Desired levels of various elements
I'm having a problem with high levels of phosphates in all my tanks, and my
50gal chiclid tank which has no plants, also has elevated levels of nitrates.
Phosphates combined with nitrates...guess what. Yep I've got an algae bloom.
It's diatoms specifically. brownish red dusting all over the glass, heater,
gravel, etc.. Low lighting may also be playing a part in it, but the phosphate
is in excess of 10ppm and the nitrate is around 35ppm. Prior to this outbreak, I
recently did a delicate all day shifting of the entire contents of a 20gal with
fish, gravel, etc., to a new 50gal tank and hood. I'm thinking that because I
had to add a lot more fresh water than I would have during a regular water
change, plus adding more new gravel to the old, perhaps the bacteria colonies
were more severely smitten than I figured they'd be, and now I'm getting some
spikes on these elements a little like cycling all over again.
Here's the question that qualifies this message in the plants mail list. What
exactly are the optimum levels desired in planted tanks for phosphate, nitrates,
and iron? Recall that I'm having phosphate levels in my 75g and 50g planted
tanks as well. The books I have and the test kit instructions don't come out and
say for example, phosphate level should be 0ppm or 5ppm. Same thing with the
iron. I'm pretty sure nitrates should be kept as close to 0 as possible.
I don't think you want 0 phosphates as plants need a small amount to aid in
photosynthesis don't they? If they get too much then they become damaged and
algae grows better right? I have a lot of algae right now, and I didn't know I
had phosphates til I got the test kit today.
Thanks for any advise.
email: duncand at sprynet_com
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