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Tap Water Quality
>1) The Phospate level in my WELL water is 2 PPM according to the DRY TAB
>test Kit. Retested and got same result. Is this unusual? Anybody else
>have high phospates in their water supply? Obviously, water changes
>aren't goinf to solve my high phosphate problem (I run 5 ppm in the
>tanks). If I use a phsophosorb to remove the excess , will this
>deplete the trace elements?
Actually, water changes _will_ solve a good deal of your phosphate problem.
I wouldn't be thrilled with tap water with a phosphate level that high,
but _AS LONG AS_ the phosphate level in the tank is higher than that in the
tank, the easiest and cheapest way to reduce the phosphate level is with
tap water. Only when the level in the tank is no higher than the tap water
does it make sense to look for other solutions.
Remember that the plants in your tank are _using_ a lot of phosphate if
they are growing well. If you are not adding phosphate in some way, the
level should decrease rather than increase over time. (that's why people
who have fish-less tanks have to add phosphate) In Europe, it is not
unusual to have phosphate in the tap water. Still, if the tank is run
well, and the plants are growing well, the amount of phosphate added with
small regular water changes can usually be used up by the plants quite
quickly without it causing algae problems.
In your case, what I would do was do enough large water changes to bring
the phosphate level down to the 2 ppm that you see in the tap water. Then
I'd use the phosphate removing resin to pull most of what's left out of the
tank. At that point, I'd remove the resin from the tank. During this
period, I'd do my best to figure out what I was doing to bring the
phosphate level up so high. (prime culprits are over feeding, especially
with meaty frozen foods, and the use of phosphate based pH buffers)
Once this was under control, I would try to find a level of water change
that your plants could handle without the phosphate level increasing. If
this proved impossible, I would pretreat change water with the phosphate
removing resin rather than treat the tank. Many people who use phosphate
removing resins long term on their tanks find that they actually put the
tnak into a phosphate defficient position. Besides, it's cheaper to just
treat the amount of water needed for the change. In the long run, if you
can't use your tap water as is, it might be cheaper to go to an RO or DI
unit to produce clean change water than to keep buying expensive resins.