Aluminum Oxide, Soluble Aluminum, and Coral Toxicity
In recent years, there has been speculation that aluminum oxide based phosphate removers like PhosGuard™ release aluminum into the water and subsequently damage corals. The evidence to support this claim was largely anecdotal.
So, through a series of controlled experiments in both freshwater and saltwater, we intended to address both the question of aluminum solubility and aluminum toxicity. The results of these experiments show that under reef conditions (pH near 8) there is no detectable soluble aluminum released from alumina. Under conditions of low pH and high dosage levels, soluble aluminum can be released from alumina; at three times the label dosage rate, we detected 0.2 mg/L aluminum at a pH of 5.3.
Additionally, aluminum oxide is not easily absorbed into the cell to cause negative reactions. Even at three times the dose of PhosGuard™, soft-bodied corals such as Sarcophyton remain unaffected.
For the full report on this study, click here.
May generate heat on initial contact with water. Pre-wet by adding to a double volume of freshwater, followed by a rinse. For best results, PhosGuard™ should be rinsed before use and placed so as to maximize the flow of water through it but not so that it tumbles against itself in flow. It may be used in a canister filter, media chamber, box filter, or any high flow area of a trickle filter. Use of a filter bag is recommended. Use 85 mL (1/3 cup) for every 200 L (50 US gallons) saltwater or 400 L (100 US gallons) freshwater.
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. Over treating is not recommended. PhosGuard™ is not an exchange resin and 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.