Phosphate Control: How to Keep Levels in Your Reef Aquarium Near Zero
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. I'm having difficulties controlling phosphate in my 180-gallon reef aquarium. What's the most efficient way to keep the phosphate level as close to zero as possible?
 
A. Phosphate is a nutrient that fuels algae growth and inhibits calcification of corals, invertebrates, and coralline algae. Therefore, phosphate control is extremely important in minimizing algae growth and maximizing coral growth in reef aquariums   especially those containing hard corals.

To keep phosphate levels down in your aquarium, you must employ an efficient protein skimmer and perform water changes with water that has been purified by reverse osmosis. To further reduce phosphate levels and boost the calcification process within your aquarium, incorporate a chemical media specifically designed for phosphate removal.

PhosBanTM is an ideal chemical media that will never leach nutrients back into the water, even after it is exhausted. Simply place a mesh bag of PhosBan in an area of high water flow, such as your sump. For larger aquariums, or those with severe phosphate problems, use a fluidized bed filter. Fill the filter with a media such as PhosBan, attach a powerhead, and hang it on the side of your aquarium or sump. You will then be able to control water flow through the filter to achieve the best flow rate for the media. This will, in turn, allow you to maximize media performance, while keeping phosphate levels near zero.

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