PhosGuard rapidly removes phosphate and silicate from marine and freshwater aquaria. It is not recommended for phosphate buffered freshwater. PhosGuard is highly porous for high capacity and bead-shaped for optimum water flow. It outperforms all competing products. 500 mL easily treats over 150 gallons*. This product is sold by volume. Cited weight is minimal weight.
DIRECTIONS: For best results, PhosGuard should be placed so as to maximize the flow of water through it. It may be used in a canister filter, box filter, or any high flow area of a trickle filter. In some situations it may be necessary to use in a filter bag. Use 250 mL (~1 cup) for every 300 L (75 gallons*). Leave product in place for 4 days, then test phosphate or silicate concentrations with either MultiTest: Phosphate or MultiTest: Silicate. If the concentration of the component you are trying to decrease has not dropped to around 0.02 mg/L, then replace the PhosGuard, otherwise leave in place until levels begin to climb again. As long as concentrations remain under control, the product is not exhausted. Each 500 mL of PhosGuard treats over 600 L (150 gallons*) (i.e. will remove up to 30 mg/L phosphate in 600 L (100 gallons*) of water, depending on the initial phosphate/silicate concentrations and the current biological load. Over treating is not recommended.
PhosGuard is not an exchange resin, it does not release anything into the water. It does not leach phosphate or silicate back into the water and may be removed, dried, and returned to service until exhausted. Continuous use of small quantities is better than intermittent use of larger quantities.
May generate heat on initial contact with water. Pre-wet by adding to a double volume of freshwater (e.g. 250 mL of product in 500 mL water), followed by a rinse.
Q: How do I use PhosGuard? How long does it work and when is it exhausted?
A: PhosGuard is best used in smaller quantities and changed frequently. In an environment with an excessively high phosphate reading, PhosGuard will exhaust rapidly (4 - 5 days). Place the product in a high flow rate area and test your phosphate levels, changing as needed. When you see that your level is below 0.2 ppm (mg/L) leave that portion of PhosGuard in the filter. PhosGuard may yellow somewhat as it picks up organics, but that is not an indicator of exhaustion for phosphate removal. Continue to test weekly for phosphate until you see it begin to rise again. You will then know that it is time to change the PhosGuard . If you have low levels of phosphate the PhosGuard will absorb the silicate in your system. It"s inert and safe to leave in your filter.
Q: What makes PhosGuard different from other phosphate absorbers and why is it not regenerable?
A: There are two forms of phosphate absorbers: iron oxide (rust color) and aluminum oxide (white). Aluminum oxide simply works better, and that is what we use in PhosGuard. The use of the bead shape results in better water flow, no packing, more surface exposure, faster reaction. On a per weight basis, you would have to use more of a non-bead shaped phosphate remover than you would PhosGuard to get the equivalent phosphate removing capacity. None of the other phosphate absorbers on the market are regenerable. Although some manufacturer"s claim that their aluminum oxide based phosphate removing products can be regenerated by intense heat, this is, unfortunately, not the case. That claim is based on a naive interpretation of the information provided by manufacturers of bulk aluminum oxide. Aluminum oxide is more commonly used in gas purification to remove volatile organics and moisture; heating the material after such use will release the non-covalently adsorbed compounds. However, heat cannot result in phosphate release from aluminum oxide due to a difference in the nature by which phosphates are bound to aluminum oxide versus adsorbed gases.
Q: I"ve contacted Reef forums and I was told that your product releases aluminum, which will close corals for weeks and might even damage them! How can something like that not be stated on the package? Furthermore, the product description states: PhosGuard is not an exchange resin, it will not release anything to the water. This to me is a bit of false advertising and puts reef tanks worth thousands of $ at a huge risk.
A: We do recommend rinsing/immersing the product in a double volume of freshwater which should remove most of the fine dust particles that can cause temporary irritation to some soft species. With regards to the release of aluminum, we are aware that it has been shown that under certain conditions aluminum is able to affect some soft species. However this is in no way conclusive as there are a number of other situations where a product such as PhosGuard has had no such negative affect at all. Based on the evidence it would appear it is more than a simple aluminum from phosphate removers is the sole culprit. We are looking into the matter more closely so that we can provide a meaningful cautionary statement (i.e. use of this product under _this set of conditions xxxxxxx_ can have a deleterious affect and should be avoided).
With regards to the false advertising claim I can assure you that was certainly never the intention. The statement it will not release anything in to the water is made in reference to it not being an exchange resin to further underscore the difference between it and an exchange resin: by their nature exchange resins release an equivalent amount of material for every piece of material they absorb. PhosGuard does not release anything into the water upon phosphate or silicate removal; in other words the extremely low level of aluminum leached is not correlated with its phosphate or silicate removal activity. Furthermore, the amount of aluminum that is released is in the microgram range. In other words, an extremely low level that from a chemical standpoint would be characterized as non-soluble i.e. non-soluble material is not released into the solvent (i.e. water). Any search on the solubility characteristics of aluminum oxide would show it to be considered completely insoluble in water.
The bottom line is that if the directions are followed and the product is well rinsed in freshwater, any deleterious effects should be minimal to non-existant and temporary.