Excel or fluval mini CO2 as a temporary fix - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Excel or fluval mini CO2 as a temporary fix

Hello I have an algae issue in my tank since I've added more lighting. And I'm thinking of making the jump from low tech to high tech but I don't have the money to build a good CO2 system right now. So I've come up with 2 options but want some opinions.

OPTION 1:
Buy a fluval mini CO2 kit and use that for now until I can afford a good setup which would be and could be months from now.

OPTION 2:
Get flourish excel and overdose to kill off the algae while also splitting my daylight up giving a "siesta" period. I only worry that the excel might melt some of my plants :/

Any ideas or opinions in this? I have a lot of diatoms that I can no longer rub off my plants and I have a staghorn outbreak growing by the day. So I need to do something soon my plants are looking pretty crummy ATM
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 02:46 AM
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If you use excel I wouldn't overdose, that can make things worse especially since its known to melt plants. If you're talking a few months of this use, IMO it would be better for the plants to do the mini Co2 kit, although the cheaper route would probably be excel as you wouldn't have to buy the refills.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Ok. Now with that route the instructions say to open the valve and release co2 into the diffuser twice a day. Without the pressurized gauges how will I know exactly how much co2 I will need? Also I have a little bit of surface agitation from my filter but at night to keep co2 levels from rising to a deadly level for my fish would it be wise to have a powerhead running at night? Or is that unnecessary?
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorblizzle View Post
Ok. Now with that route the instructions say to open the valve and release co2 into the diffuser twice a day. Without the pressurized gauges how will I know exactly how much co2 I will need? Also I have a little bit of surface agitation from my filter but at night to keep co2 levels from rising to a deadly level for my fish would it be wise to have a powerhead running at night? Or is that unnecessary?
It sounds like passive diffusion is the method they (Fluval?) is recommending to get CO2 dissolved into the water. Passive diffusion is not as efficient as active diffusion, and I would not recommend you use it if you want to get any appreciable amount of CO2 into your water column.

Regarding your second question, as long as you have a reasonable amount of surface agitation from your filter return (or powerheads), then you will not need additional powerheads/airstones, etc.

That being said, I find that disposable CO2 cartridges economically unfeasible (they are very expensive in the long run), so I would recommend you use Excel for the next few months.

Anthony

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ok. Gonna pick some up tomorrow. Best to use that once a day and before the lights are on right?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:20 AM
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Ok. Gonna pick some up tomorrow. Best to use that once a day and before the lights are on right?
Yes. Just use according to the instructions with the exception that on water change days, you do not need to double the dosage.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Why would I have thought to double it? Before and after the change?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:25 AM
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Why would I have thought to double it? Before and after the change?
Excel recommends that you double dose, it is not needed. Just do a regular dosage every time.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Oh ok. I suppose after I bought it I would have Answered the question then lol. That brings me to a new question...water changes. I only do 20% every other week but I really don't know what's needed. With fish only I watch the nitrates and use that to determine how large of a change and how often but with plants it's ok to have some nitrates right? How do I determine how much to change and how often? I'm alright with doing a weekly water change but I still want to keep it minimal
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:45 AM
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The amount of water change needed and how often depends on how fast fish pollution and plant detritus is building up in your aquarium. Every tank is different and the more stocked your tank is, the more amount of water needs to be exchanged. So, you need to ask yourself these questions:

How stocked is your tank? Are you close to, at capacity or overstocked? Is there a lot of plant detritus floating around? (dead leaves, etc.)

Also, if you are dosing any fertilizer (if you're starting CO2 you'll need to dose ferts of some kind) it is necessary that you do water changes more often to clear out the uneaten ferts that your plants don't use. Personally, if your tank is well stocked I suggest 30% weekly, or 50% biweekly. Some recommend 50% weekly changes when dosing ferts, but it varies in opinions. Smaller water changes more frequently is usually better for the overall health of your tank. You should also be keeping an eye on your nitrites and ammonia, both ideally kept at 0. Yes, it is ok to have some nitrates (some say 80 and under, I say keep it under 40 at least).

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Last edited by Ashnic05; 02-19-2013 at 05:48 AM. Reason: ..
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well my nitrites and ammonia are at 0 nitrates are at 20ppm almost always. I dose NPK trace and iron weekly with a 2nd dosing of trace iron and potassium halfway thru the week. I have a 10g with 6 rose danios Nd 2 kribensis. 1 adult male and a juvenile female so in gonna guess my tank is well stocked or overstocked. There's no plant leaves floating around. Occasionally unbeaten food on the sand but I was told that's ok because it acts as added fertilizer as long as its not too much. I have a strange foam tho since yesterday. Surrounding whatever plants reach the waterline. It's tiny foamy bubbles. I removed it with a cup but it keeps comin. Back a little bit. Something I should be concerned about? I'm gonna start doing 20% weekly water changes and see if that helps. Also I was told to skip ferts once a month to let anything not used get used up. Is that a good idea?
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:53 AM
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The more you change the water the better it is for every thing in your tank, I do at least 50% every week. I have a conductivity meter and can see the benefits of water changes first hand.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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I don't mind large water changes its just a hassle to go to my LFS 30 minutes away to buy RO water 5 gallons at a time lol. At 50% that means ill have to fill up every other week and I don't go to town that much. I use 50/50 RO and tap
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 06:06 AM
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Do you have a tds meter.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Never heard of it. What does it do?
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