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Phosphate Woes

My tap water contains a fair amount of phosphate, around 3.0 mg/l.  The
phosphate level was measured using a SeaChem test kit.  As the result
of the elevated levels, I am constantly battling algae problems in my
55 gallon plant, mainly blue-green algae.

Presently, I am lowering the phosphate level using PhosGuard.  I am
filtering both the change water and the tank water through the

And now for my questions...

1) Are there better alternatives to lowering the phosphate levels than
using a product like PhosGuard?  I would prefer not using RO/DI water
because the other parameter of my tap water should be find for good plant

2) Does the PhosGuard remove any other elements that my plants require for
good growth?

3) Will phosphate levels of around 1.5 mg/l bind with the chelated iron I
am adding making it unavailable for the plants.

4) I seemed to recall reading on the APD that hanging the roots of
terrestrial plants into the tank would also help lower phosphate
levels.  Are they very effective in using phosphate and what type of
plant would be best?

My goal would be to come up with a method which would allow me to directly
add my tap water into the tank.

Tank Parameters:
     Size: 55 gallons
       pH: 7.0
       KH: 3.5
       GH: 3.5
Phosphate: 1.5 mg/l
   Lights: 150 watts 


alex at wmi_com
West Chester, PA