High Phosphate Levels


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my fish are ailing, red fins and body streaks. one dead, laying on the bottom on their sides, some flashing. The chemistry shows high phosphate levels, and 8-8.5 pH. ???
 

Meyer Jordan

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pH is OK. What is the numeric result of the Phosphorus test> What are the other pond parameters' numeric levels?

Red fins and body streaks are indicative of internal bacterial infection. Feed them medicated food if you can find any..

High phosphorus will not cause any of the symptoms that you described, but will cause other issues in your pond.
 
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The only thing in this video I don't agree with is parasites are now showing up with salt resistance. Fish mainly get sick when their immune system are compromised and that is mostly do to water quality issues.
 

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parasites are now showing up with salt resistance.
Another one of those dictums so prevalent in the pond world that is only partially true.
Parasites will adapt to changes in salinity to a point, much like fish. It is when a certain salinity level is maintained that problems arise as the increase in salinity required to combat a parasite infection may be too high for the fish (and plants) to withstand. This is one of the main reasons that background salinity levels should not be maintained in any pond that supports a fish population.
What you are stating os absolutely true. A healthy fish will not develop a parasite problem. Only weakened fish succumb to infection and overall water quality determines the health of a fish.
 

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My tap water test at 2.0 ppm Phosphate. Is this a level of concern for human consumption?

I did a battery of test and became concerned when my holding pond rested at 2.0 ppm, the source of the phosphate however is the tap water.

The latest data for my city from 2015 says it is testing at .08 ppm.
 

Meyer Jordan

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My tap water test at 2.0 ppm Phosphate. Is this a level of concern for human consumption?

I did a battery of test and became concerned when my holding pond rested at 2.0 ppm, the source of the phosphate however is the tap water.

The latest data for my city from 2015 says it is testing at .08 ppm.
Phosphorus does not present a health problem for humans unless the level is extremely high. Municipalities generally strive to keep this level less than 1.0 mg/L as any level over this will interfere with the operations of Waste Water Treatment plants.
I would suggest that you call your water supplier and inquire as to this present level. Sometimes it is added as a corrosion inhibitor.
The lethal dose for humans is purported to be in the 50 - 65 mg range.
 

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@Meyer Jordan , thanks. As far as the fish, should I be thinking about using a phosphate remover? In a week or so they will go into the larger pond that was half tap and half well water and is about 1.0 ppm.
The other thing is that with the API phosphate test is difficult to tell the difference from .5 to 2.0 so w/o a reference it could be half of what I am stating.
 

Meyer Jordan

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Well let me make your day. 1.0 ppm is too high for a pond as is 0.5 ppm. These levels will support quite heavy algae blooms.

Federal Criteria for Phosphorous level limits are

Streams/rivers 0.1 ppm
Streams entering lakes 0.05 ppm
Lakes and reservoirs 0.025 ppm
 
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Don't forget that you are probably using $10 dollar test kit from a pet store. Testing with one of those kits is worth every penny that they cost. If you really want to find out the quality of your water you will need to have it tested at a lab that has thousands of dollars in equipment . As Archie Bunker was told when he asked what good was his insurance if it didn't pay out " you get peace of mind" by having it. So you get peace of mind testing with an inexpensive kit but would you trust it to test your drinking water?
 

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My algae is a nice coat of a beautiful green shag carpet. Ran out to pet store and bought out Seachem PhosGuard since they only had the single pouches. Put one in the filter box in the holding tank. I plan to remove it day when I half the phosphate, rest and observe, and then repeat. It is supposed to be usable endless times until it is depleated and isn't supposed to leach phosphate back out when depleated like the Kent brand that they also carried.
I could have waited to order it online at a better price but I was on a mission.
 
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If you suspect water quality to be the issue for the bacterial infection, do a big water change. After that the next step is medicated food and if you can a gill swab to look at it under the microscope.
 

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