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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 4 week old tank still going through the nitrogen cycle. In the last week and a half I have developed algae that I've best been able to identify as hair/beard algae. Green string like algae growing on my silk plants and on the glass. After reading up on what can cause this and how to control it, one thing I looked at is my Phosphate levels. I tested my water out of the tap (well water by the way) and out of the tank. There is phosphate present in the well water (around 4-5 PPM it looks like). But my tank water Phosphate levels are off the charts.

I decided on a fishy cycle process (please no bashing) and I feed the fish a small amount of flake food every other day. I keep up with water changes. I've have also cut the daily light back by several hours.

I added API's Phos-Zorb to my canister filter on Thursday 2/14. Re-tested the water on 2/15 and the Phosphate reading is still through the roof.

How long should it be before I start to see a reduction and eventual elimination (if possible) of the Phosphate levels in my tank?

In addition to less frequent fish feedings, fewer hours of daily light, and the Phos-Zorb in the filter, any other recommendations to get the phosphates down? And how about any other measures to rid (or significantly reduce) this type of algae from my tank?

Tank profile:


46 gallon

Ph 7.8

Temp 78 degrees



Premium Member
3,108 Posts
Hi Dave,

What type of fish are you keeping at 7.8?

Is your light on a timer? For how many hours is it on now daily?
For how many hours was it on before you changed the photoperiod?

Does sunlight hit the tank at any point of the day?

The phosphate absorbers take about a day to start becoming effective.

What type of ornaments, rocks, etc are in the tank?

The silk plants may have something in them from the manufacturing process thats encouraging algae growth. Are they commercially made & designed for aquariums?

Let's get to the bottom of this!
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