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phosphates and buffers

> Neil Travis wrote:
> further to my questions on  cyanobacteria [blue green algae] since posting
> my last message I have purchased a phosphate test kit and found that my
> phosphate level is off the planet . above 30 ppm.  the only thing I can
> that is contributing to this is the KH powder that I use.
> Can anybody help me in respect to usage of these buffers.

Verify the test before acting.  I've come to believe all test kits are
inaccurate until proven otherwise.

Commercially produced buffers often contain phosphates, but there are other
sources as well.  Fish food is one, especially frozen foods.  Juices that
contain phosphate are not ingested by the fish and go right into solution.
Careful washing helps.  I inject CO2 which raises pH, and I add baking soda
to lower it.  No phosphates in either.  

If your tank has CO2 and enough light you might be nitrate-limited, meaning
adding nitrate would help your plants utilize some of that phosphate.
However, even 0.1ppm phosphate is enough to support an algae outbreak, and
30ppm is enormous.  Time for some large water changes!

michael rubin 
mrubin at visa_com
1(650) 432-4685