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View Full Version : Any value in GFO?


Leafer
01/30/2012, 09:43 AM
What I experience may be common so Id like to ask if others have a similar experience and if so what they do. My skimmer is rated for 2.5 times my display and I am over driving it. I only have three fish with LR now and use 0 TDS RO/DI water. I have had significant algae and cyno growth in the past but at this point its under control I believe (It was bad for a while so yay!). I never get any reading greater than 0.00 in my phosphate tests even when I saw nuisance algae growth. Currently I am using the Hanna checker.

So is there any point or value in me running GFO or Rowaphos? I have tried using this at times but saw no evidence that it did anything. Would you just recommend using it as general practice and be confirmed of the need by the fact that the glass needs occasional scraping?

bumski667
01/30/2012, 10:00 AM
Your skimmer does not, and someone correct me if i'm wrong, remove phosphates. Either water changes or a phosphate removing media will help.

but if you're not getting any outbreak now and not using GFO, then keep going that way. If you start to see more algae growth, I would start using GFO.

disc1
01/30/2012, 10:05 AM
Your skimmer can't get inorganic phosphate out, but it does pull out organics that would have led to greater phosphates. So it kinda goes both ways.

It is very common to test 0 PO4 when in the middle of an algae outbreak basically because the algae is taking up all the nutrients from the water. If cyano wasn't so ugly, I bet we would all be clamoring to have it in our tanks because of the wonderful things it does to clean up your water. But either way, the presence of nuisance algae is a better indicator of phosphate levels than the test is.

b0bab0ey
01/30/2012, 10:12 AM
Your skimmer does not, and someone correct me if i'm wrong, remove phosphates. Either water changes or a phosphate removing media will help.

but if you're not getting any outbreak now and not using GFO, then keep going that way. If you start to see more algae growth, I would start using GFO.

Skimmer will remove organics before they can break down into phosphates (and nitrates). IMO GFO is only useful if you're having algae issues and/or need to remove the phosphates fueling that algae. Keep in mind that a lot of times a tank with algae issues will still register a phosphate reading of 0 as the algae is eating up the phosphates faster than it can build up.

Playa-1
01/30/2012, 11:00 AM
I concur, I would only use it if it were required to keep phosphates under control. Nuisance algae in the system is a good indicator of a phosphate problem.

Leafer
01/30/2012, 02:53 PM
It is very common to test 0 PO4 when in the middle of an algae outbreak basically because the algae is taking up all the nutrients from the water.

Thanks for the comments guys. The point above was very helpful. I find it common that instructional videos and guides provided by sellers recommend "an ounce of prevention" (ie routinely running GFO) to keep algae at bay before it develops. And thus part of why I asked.

I just saw the price of GFO so I will only use if I see an algae emergence or phosphate reading. This feels right as I'll let my fuge fulfill its role.

billdogg
01/30/2012, 03:07 PM
You may want to remember that ALL living things need some PO4 to live. Attempting to keep a level of 0.0 will, in the long run, do more harm than good. Use GFO on an as - needed basis and you will be good to go. In the meantime, try to figure out what your phosphate source(s) are and minimize them.

rogermccray
01/30/2012, 03:15 PM
If you are worried about phosophate you may want to check the phospates in your top off container and the container you do your water changes in. I know it's a bit off topic....