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Video:How to Test for Phosphates in Freshwater Aquariums

with Dan Thornton

Phosphate levels in your aquarium should be tested regularly for proper water chemistry. Watch this how-to video from About.com to learn how to test for phosphates in a freshwater aquarium.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Test for Phosphates in Freshwater Aquariums

Hi, I am Dan Thornton, owner of Reef Encounters in Erie, Colorado and I am here today for About.com to talk about how to test for phosphates in fresh water aquariums.

Many Aquariums Contains Phosphates

Most, if not all aquariums have phosphates in them. It comes from tap water a lot of times, and there are just chemical processes that happen in the tank that will cause phosphates. The flake food that you put in can raise phosphates. The main thing you get from having high phosphates is algae growth.

Test Kits for Phosphates

There are several different type of test kits. There are some that you use just a dip stick that you dip in some of the aquarium water, there are some that you use a test tube with a dip stick, some that you use a test tube with drops.

For most home aquariums, that is about as technical as they get. You have to read the instructions, each test kit is a little bit different. In this one you add the first bottle and then you shake it, and then you add the second bottle. Then you wait the specified amount of time. Looks like phosphates are at about .25 parts per million. So pretty low, certainly nothing to worry about. Even in a clean tank like that, you are going to have some phosphates.

Phosphate Testing Frequency for Aquariums

I wouldn't put phosphates on my every weekly water testing list, but it never hurts to over test, you are not going to cause any problems. In general, if you have a lot of algae, or you are worried that you are putting phosphates in the aquarium from tap water, you don't need to regularly test for phosphates.

Thanks so much for watching, for more information on fish, please visit us at About.com.

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