Do phosphate and nitrate graphs correlate?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by sen5241b, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    Do phosphates and nitrates rise and fall toghether? If graphed, would the two chems parallel each other? Assume one of the two were not accidentally introduced into the tank.
     
    sen5241b, Jun 25, 2009
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  2. sen5241b

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    No. They are not related.
     
    ccCapt, Jun 25, 2009
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  3. sen5241b

    mblack VIP Member

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    no, unless you were using polyfilter or something else that actively removes both, even then the removal rates would probably be different.
     
    mblack, Jun 25, 2009
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  4. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    This doesn't make sense to me. Don't both phosphate and nitrate rise when there is more detritus than the filtraiton can handle? Don't they both drop when overall detritus is reduced?
     
    sen5241b, Jun 25, 2009
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  5. sen5241b

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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  6. sen5241b

    ndepratt Equipment Junkie

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    Ugh I need to re-read the phosphate article.... I just ignore that it exists....

    basically food breaks down into organic phosphorous, which then breaks its covalent bonds and breaks down into inorganic phosphates (such as orthophosphates). Sounds similar to the way food breaks down into nitrates via the nitrogen cycle.... sheesh i'm going to continue ignoring the existence of phosphates....
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
    ndepratt, Jun 25, 2009
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  7. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    I looked at the 2 articles and nitrates and phosphates have the same sources and same methods of reduction. I would not expect the 2 chems to correlate exactly but based on the articles they will, most of the time, tend to rise and fall toghether.
     
    sen5241b, Jun 26, 2009
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  8. sen5241b

    mblack VIP Member

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    they don't have exactly the same removal methods. If you use a phosphate reactor this will not remove nitrate so in that way they are unrelated.

    i.e. the presence of one does not influence the presence of the other.
     
    mblack, Jun 26, 2009
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  9. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    According to the article, water changes, skimming, macro-algae, beneficial bacteria and binding media (yes different for each chem) all reduce both nitrates and phosphates.
     
    sen5241b, Jun 26, 2009
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  10. sen5241b

    tankedchemist

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    The source of nitrates and phosphates is essentially the same for both. However, remember that these are dynamic systems-- so while the levels initially start out the same, nitrates and phosphates get used differently and at different rates, and it is strongly dependent on the algae type and bacteria and so forth growing in the tank-- and even what stage of growth they're in. SO, while initially you could see a correlation between nitrates and phosphates, sooner or later one will be left in excess (usually nitrates) and the other will be consumed because the stuff growing in our tanks needs more of it (phosphates) than it does the other thing (nitrates). PLUS, there's a whole lot more nitrogen in waste than there is phosphate, so that's why phosphate is usually the limiting parameter for algal growth.
     
    tankedchemist, Jun 27, 2009
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