Hot Tips: How do you control your nitrates and phosphates?

by | Aug 15, 2007 | 1 comment

A selection of useful tidbits of
information and tricks for the marine aquarist submitted by
Advanced Aquarist’s readership. Readers are encouraged to
post them to our Hot Tips sticky in the
Reefkeeping Discussion
forum or send their tips to

[email protected]
for possible publication. This
month’s Hot Tip theme is
Tips for would-be in-wall tank builders.”

Hot Tips: How do you control your nitrates and phosphates?

I rely mostly on my skimmer (pulls out the gunk that builds up nitrates) and water changes for the nitrates. But I also use macro algae (chaetomorpha) in my refugium and it’s growing well and seems to be helping.


Nitrate molecule.

I don’t have much phosphate control, really, except for using RO water and doing water changes.

Submitted by: bleedingthought

I dont handle them myself, the bacteria and water changes handle the phosphates and nitrates.

Submitted by: wetworx101

I use macroalgae also, but because it is so much
better at removing nitrate, I do get build up of PO4. I use a PO4
adsorber (Rhowphos or whatever is on sale) when the tanks need it.


Phosphate molecule.

Submitted by: SeahorseWhisperer

Lots of flow, big skimmer and water changes using RO/DI water.

Submitted by: Wazzel

Macro in the fuge, big skimmer, RO/DI with kalk for the make-up water, RO-DI for water change water, monthly 20% water changes and liverock.

That and a relatively light fish load. I have 12 fish in my 300G tank. 7 of the 12 are small fish (6 anthias, 1 false perc). 

Submitted by: Louey

I’m with Louey. But I always have a bag of Rowa Phos “PO4 & SiO2 adsorber in my sump. Even though my tank often test negative for PO4, It gives me a head start.

Submitted by: pcardone

I actively use Caulerpa to clear water.
The function of Caulerpa is to create photosynthisis which will
oxygenate the water, and also fixation of Nitrates and Phosphates into
plant biomass. Therefore it is important to keep the Caulerpa trimmed
which will help remove excess nutrients.

Submitted by: 
Andrey Ospin

When running my larger tanks, I used a large turf scrubber to help with any phosphates or nitrate. In my current 45 cube, I just try keep the detritus cleaned up and run PhosBan.

Submitted by: D.W.L.

Caulerpa and PO4 remover, RODI for topoff via a kalkstirrer, and NSW for water changes.

Submitted by: andy37