Phosphates -- how are they different from nitrates and how do you handle them?


Mmathis

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I've just learned [sort of] the nitrogen cycle, with the end product being "nitrates." So how do phosphates fit into this picture? Where do THEY come from, what do they do, and what do you do about them?

(Also, in another thread it was mentioned that test kits either seem to come with a "nitrate" test or a "phosphate" test, but not both. Can you buy a "phosphate" test as an add-on [that's what I have to do for my KH & GH tests]?)

@Meyer Jordan @MitchM @crsublette @fishin4cars -- and anyone else, please join in!
 
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Troutredds

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Refer to the recent thread titled "How often & Phosphates", began Wednesday by MariaTeresa. In it, Meyer addresses some of your questions, @Mmathis. :)
 
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Phosphorus is completely separate from the nitrification process, TM.:)
Unlike nitrogen, phosphorus never enters a gaseous state so it is passed between living things as they consume nutrients, die and decompose. That's why we need to have an export or binding mechanism to deal with phosphorus/phosphate buildup.
 

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