One of the many causes of out of control algae growth in an aquarium is too much phosphate in water. Therefore it is very important to keep your aquarium phosphate level checked all the time. Generally the lower is better but for aquascaping, 0.2 - 1mg/l is needed to sustain the plant's growth. There are several way phosphate can enter an aquarium:
- Uneaten food
- Fish waste
- Dead fish / plant / algae
- Activated carbon
- pH buffering chemical
- Certain aquarium salt
- Tap water
- Plant nutrient
If phosphate level would continue to rise even with proper care; proper feeding, immediate removal of dead fish, plant & algae, high quality activated carbon and regular water changes chemical phosphate filtration aid is necessary.
Seachem has several products that are designed to remove phosphate from water and each of them has their own merits.
If you want to remove phosphate rapidly from an aquarium, Seachem PhosGuard is the one you should go for. Seachem PhosGuard has the fastest phosphate absorbing capability but also has low capacity. Which is why it is more suitable to be used when phosphate needs to be removed from the water quickly. That being said, PhosGuard can be used as a long term counter phosphate measure if it’s being replaced frequently.
Because of its quick absorbing but low capacity, many believe that PhosGuard will leach phosphate back into water. This is not true. Because PhosGuard rapidly absorb all phosphate in the water, user will find rapid phosphate drop within a day but in the same time, PhosGuard will reach it maximum capacity very fast rendering it unable to remove any phosphate that is generated afterward leaving user to find their phosphate level rising within few days using PhosGuard. This makes some users assume that PhosGuard leaches back out the phosphate that it has absorbed. However it actually just means that PhosGuard needs to be replaced more frequently to counter the rapid phosphate accumulation in the aquarium.
How to use
Each gram of PhosGuard can absorb up to 0.87mg of phosphate & silicate. For example:
- 60L aquarium with 2mg/l phosphate.
- 60 x 2 = 120mg of phosphate that is currently in the aquarium.
- 120 / 0.87 = 138g / 230ml (each ml of PhosGuard weight 0.6g) of PhosGuard is needed to remove most of the phosphate in the aquarium.
This does not include phosphate that is still being generated.
Do not use more than 85ml PhosGuard / 200L saltwater or 400L freshwater. If there’s a high concentration of phosphate, simply replace PhosGuard once phosphate level stops depleting. Pour the required PhosGuard into The Bag / Zip Bag and rinse with freshwater before use. Place the bag in a high flow area but to the point where the PhosGuard would tumbles around. PhosGuard can be left in the filter as long as the phosphate concentration remains at 0.2mg/l. When phosphate levels start to rise again, replace the PhosGuard. The larger capacity PhosBond can be used once phosphate has dropped to the desired level.