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Phosphate removing stuff

I've long been plagued by algae.  For a good while I just thought I
didn't quite have some lighting or fertilizer thing down.  I bought
every other kind of testkit known to man, and got my iron looking
good, nitrates good, lighting good, but still I have algae.

I finally went out and bought a phosphate testkit.  Now I know why I
have algae:  my tapwater has >5ppm of the stuff.

  [[ And no, there's really no mistaking that reading.  One of my tanks
     has low algae and fearsome plant growth -- 3 weeks after the last
     water change, it has almost as little phosphate as a bottle of
     distilled water I bought and tested.  I changed the water in it,
     now it has some phosphates.  I filtered some tapwater through
     PhosGuard and then tested that water, it came out fairly phosphate
     free.  I dropped KH2PO4 into the test-tube, it turned blue...
     There's no problem with the testkit here.  ]]

I understand that phosphate is injected in the tapwater to control pipe
corrosion in some places.  Given that there have been 5 water main
breaks within 200 yards of my house in the past 5 years, I can't really
say I blame the city...  But anyway.

How to get rid of the stuff is the issue.  I could get a RO/DI filter,
but the RO unit isn't really worth much -- the water here is decent
aquarium water, except for the chloramines and phosphates.

One solution that comes to mind is to set up a holding tank and filter
that water through PhosGuard for a couple days before putting it into
the tanks.

What I'd like to know is the total-cost-of-ownership factors for the
competing schemes.  PhosGuard isn't really cheap, and I wonder how long
the stuff would last against my tapwater.  From what I understand, DI
filters work on a similar principal and need to be recharged from time
to time as well.

					- Steve

Steve Benz (steveb at tall-tree_com)   |   Tall Tree Software Co.
http://www.tall-tree.com            |   Ph/Fax: 512-453-4909