Weekly excel dosing or DIY CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Weekly excel dosing or DIY CO2

Does anyone have experience with dosing excel on a weekly basis? I have a low tech 37 gallon, and I would like to start dosing excel for a small bit more growth and healthier plants, but I dose only once per week and I can't change that. Is it beneficial to dose excel in small amounts only once per week in a low tech tank?

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I just had another thought. Would DIY co2 be better than excel? I figure I could do 2-2 liter bottles or something similar and replace one per week. What are the advantages and disadvantages in a low tech tank of diy co2 vs excel? Would two 2 liter bottles get enough co2 into a 37 gallon tank with a canister filter setup to create a little surface agitation (I have it this way to take care of surface scum)?

Right now I seem to have a very stable system with very little algae and part of me thinks I should just leave it alone. Would adding diy co2 or excel upset my balance?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 07:33 PM
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just one thought here: I know that by dissolving co2 you are actually changing the water chemistry. I don't think excel will have an effect on things like pH, but I guess I'm not 100% sure. Because of that, i would say the excel would be a more "stable" way to go, but I don't know if once a week is enough to make a difference. Again, I would guess it would help somewhat.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 08:23 PM
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i would use 2-3l bottles for a tank that size, i have a 2l and a 3l on a 29g.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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When I said stable I meant I had found a balance with my plants and light/ferts where I get almost no algae. Im not worried about a ph swing due to co2.

Do you have any idea what your co2 levels are bsmith? How much light do you have and what differences did you notice when you added co2?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 02:20 AM
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Carbon is almost always the limiting factor for plant growth in an aquarium. Weekly dosing of excel is giving them the ability for growth (just a little bit), but I believe I read that any portion of excel that isn't used within 24hrs essentially becomes worthless to plants.

Adding 2 2L bottles of DIY will give your plants much more carbon to utilize. That being said, 2 2L should be plenty if you are sticking with a low-tech setup - especially if you route the output of the CO2 into the intake of the canister.

You don't mention what type and how much lighting you have, nor anything about other fertilizers, so that info would be helpful.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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I have 2x18w t5's plus 1 normal output t8. Right now I dose about 4 ml of flourish (just regular flourish, I think comprehensive) and 1/8 tsp k once per week.

My cannister filter output is pointed up towards the surface. Woud it still be beneficial to route the co2 into that? Would I have a lot of bubbles in my tank if I do that?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 02:46 AM
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Any CO2 at all is going to be beneficial. What you are doing now is allowing your plants to grow well for one day, then, basically nothing the rest of the weel.

I have my canister aim toward (not breaking, just a ripple) the surface, and I have no bubbles (I assume you mean CO2 bubbles). I get 100% diffusion with my pressurized CO2 and my canister. Place an airstone or one of these at the end of the tubing from the CO2 so it's broken up more before going into your canister.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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I really want to setup diy co2 now but I have two concerns. One is that the inconsistancy of diy co2 will cause more trouble than it it worth. I think I can make it fairly consistent with 2 2-liters and changing one per week. Is diy co2 fairly consistent with this method?

The other concern is how I can diffuse it without adding another large something in the tank. Can I just run the co2 to the canister filter input without any kind of diffusor or airstone?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McgJosh View Post
I think I can make it fairly consistent with 2 2-liters and changing one per week. Is diy co2 fairly consistent with this method?
yes. when I used DIY, my mixes lasted 3wks, thus i ran 3 bottles, alternating weekly. 2 should work fine though.


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Can I just run the co2 to the canister filter input without any kind of diffusor or airstone?
You can, but why put the extra effort on the impeller and chance an air lock? Airstones aren't that big, and if you place it right under the intake of your filter, it won't even be seen.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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So I should be okay with just a cheap airstone under the intake?
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
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So I should be okay with just a cheap airstone under the intake?
For a while, until the CO2 dissolves it.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 04:45 PM
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one other thing to mention is that you stated you only have time to doese excel once a week. Well i did the whole diy co2 and it was ok for a while but it got old really quick dumping out the bottles and making new yeast mix everyweek. I then quickly dumped it and got pressurized co2 and it was the best investmint i made. Just my two cents though.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McgJosh View Post
Do you have any idea what your co2 levels are bsmith? How much light do you have and what differences did you notice when you added co2?

according to dkh/ph relationship im at ~30 ppm co2, my drop checker is light green in the morning before i turn on the lights and turng dark green throughout the day.

i have 65w over a 29g.

i added diy co2 very shortly after the lighting upgrade, and noticed a rediculous growth surge in all my plants. just for an example....

before light upgrade, co2, ei fert dosing...


and after.....
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 08:42 PM
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Bsmith,
Are you for real? That's a huge and drastic change over what you had! I can't believe it! I question it only due to the old picture being slightly fuzzy while the new one is crystal clear. Kinda like those lose weight/acne infomercials of before and after..
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 02:01 AM
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The CO2 is very important. If you don't have that, then you can't grow beyond the carbon that comes from fish poop and the little that dissolves into the water from the air and that isn't much

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