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Shirlie Sharpe

Importance of Phosphates

By February 21, 2013

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PhosphatePhosphates (PO4) in your aquarium water won't kill your fish or your plants. In fact, your plants will thrive on phosphates. So now the question you are asking is, why should you be concerned about phosphate if plants love it and it's not lethal to fish? The answer is that phosphates are a major contributor to algae overgrowth. Furthermore, rapidly rising phosphates are often an indication of other issues brewing in the tank. For those reasons, it's wise to get a baseline reading of your phosphate level, then test every few months. Record the results so you can quickly be aware of an upward trend.

Even if the rising phosphates have not caused algae overgrowth, it is important to consider why they are rising. Phosphates come from many sources, including uneaten fish food, water additives, and sometimes even the water source itself. Perhaps you are overfeeding your fish and need to cut back on the volume of food, or switch to a lower phosphate food source. Or perhaps the additive you use to treat the water is high in phosphate. It's worth the effort to find out why the phosphate level is rising, then take steps to reduce phosphates and avoid buildups in the future.

More About Phosphates
Phosphate Control Additives
Phosphate Control Filter Media
Phosphate Testing Video
Water Test Kits

Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

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