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Thread: Reducing or removing phosphates and sulfates to reduce algae growth

  1. #1
    Oyagoi
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    Reducing or removing phosphates and sulfates to reduce algae growth

    Pusruant to Birdman's thread, I wnated to start a thread to ask what others have found helpful or not helpful in terms of removing or reducing phosphates from their system or source water.

    The methods I have seen successfully employed-
    Reverse osmosis
    Filling bags with peat moss and floaing it in a vortex, aerated heavily.
    Putting a bag full of peat moss on top of a shower, letting the water run thru it.
    Running source water thru a large container full of peat moss or bags of it.

    Has anyone tried any of those or other methods? If so what kind of success did you have??
    'Sometimes it take a talking donkey to turn things around in the right direction, ask Balaam."

  2. #2
    Sansai Bancherd's Avatar
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    What's the mechanisim for phosphate reduction using peat moss?

    After I changed the food and started using a large trickle tower, phosphate in my pond was reduced from around 5 ppm to ~ 2 ppm. I do not know which is the major factor, food or trickle tower.

  3. #3
    Honmei
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    Kusuri and Bacta-pur

    Kusuri has a product called Eco-pure that removes them and Bacta-pur has a product called Klear that does the same.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bancherd
    What's the mechanisim for phosphate reduction using peat moss?

    After I changed the food and started using a large trickle tower, phosphate in my pond was reduced from around 5 ppm to ~ 2 ppm. I do not know which is the major factor, food or trickle tower.
    Not sure what the specifics are, have heard differing views on that. I would assume it absorbs them somehow, or creates an interaction that transforms them.

    I had also heard about some food being loaded with it, to check the labels. Maybe someone who knows something more about that can comment.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi bekko's Avatar
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    Man, phosphorus is really tricky. Often, you do not really remove phosphate, you immobilize it by getting it to adsorb to something so it is no longer available as a plant nutrient. However, phosphorus is strongly adsorbed to aerobic organic debris, so there is likely an elevated amount of immobilized phosphorus in the filter backwash. The peat moss trick probably has something to do with the affinity of phosphate for organic matter.

    There is a ceramic media which is designed to adsorb phosphate ions called Kent Marine Phosphate Sponge. Its made for marine aquariums and would be too expensive for ponds. I'm not sure how it works, but the ceramic is probably impregnated with aluminum or titanium, perhaps even iron, to increase the rate that the material adsorbs phosphorus. There may be a similar sort of adsorption going on with the bacteria house ceramic media.

    Calcium carbonate, such as coral rock or pulverized oyster shell, will immobilize a lot of phosphorus through adsorption, and quickly. This may be the most practical way to lower the soluble orthophosphate. However, the calcium carbonate will also increase your alkalinity (in case you are alkalinity adverse).

    Even if you RO the incoming water to remove phosphorus, you still have a significant phosphorus addition via the feed. Feed manufacturers have been working to reduce phosphorus levels, but it's still there.

    The active ingredient in Klear is probably aluminum sulfate - its just alum. It can do weird things to the pH. I believe the sulfate is released to the water in exchange for phosphate.

    -steveh

  6. #6
    Sansai
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    Phosphate removal is a losing battle in a koi pond, if your tap water source has a large amount of it, which is done to line the pipes and prevent lead leaching. The only effective way I've seen is by adding plants.

  7. #7
    Honmei
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    No Aluminum Sulfate!

    Klear is made up only of microorganisms that do specific things, there is no aluminum sulfate or any other chemicals in it. It is Bacteria, and yes I have had this argument before, but it does work. I have no problems with phosphate.
    I also use calcium carbonate in my systems. My CaCo3 is about 120 and my pH was lowered from tap water levels of 8.6 to 7.2 in my tanks. I use a specific form of calcium carbonate that does buffer my pH and lower it.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi
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    I am not much of one to throw in chems on top of chems to correct chems etc etc....

    Feed is a relevant issue, but with 10% water changes should have minimal impact, in terms of algae growth it is all about competition. Not sure I want competition for it, just pure sensible removal. right now I am filtering my source water thru both a container of carbon and then a container of peat moss. It seems to be working so far. I know it is in our food and koi waste, all the more reason to get it out of the source water.

    I ran across a greensand method that looks pretty cool. Got an email in to see if it can be downsized to a pond system as it is designed for waste water treatment. Nicely, the system used lowers the ph from 7.4 to 7.0, perfect koi water.

  9. #9
    Honmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by junglegeorge12
    I am not much of one to throw in chems on top of chems to correct chems etc etc....

    Feed is a relevant issue, but with 10% water changes should have minimal impact, in terms of algae growth it is all about competition. Not sure I want competition for it, just pure sensible removal. right now I am filtering my source water thru both a container of carbon and then a container of peat moss. It seems to be working so far. I know it is in our food and koi waste, all the more reason to get it out of the source water.

    I ran across a greensand method that looks pretty cool. Got an email in to see if it can be downsized to a pond system as it is designed for waste water treatment. Nicely, the system used lowers the ph from 7.4 to 7.0, perfect koi water.
    I don't know what you mean by chems on top of chems. Nothing in any of the responses so far have mentioned using any chemicals, just probiotics, naturally occuring bacteria.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi
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    'Nothing in any of the responses so far have mentioned using any chemicals, just probiotics'- Russel Peters

    I wouldnt want to do that either. I guess our definitions of 'naturally occurring' are different. To each his own. (Alum is a chem, and for me if it was naturally occurring bacteria it would be there already. I'm picky I guess.) I guess what I meant was a way of filtering more than adding something to the pond is what I prefer and am trying to investigate more about.

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