Warning about excel and cory cat - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Warning about excel and cory cat

I overdosed 15ml excel in a 15 gallon tank to get rid of some algae. Within 30 mins, all my cory cats ( corydoras aeneus ) were on substrate sideup - they usually NEVER stop swimming around. All my other fish including otos, cardinal tetra, and harq rasboras dont seem to be affected at all. Even my amano shimps seemd fine.

I quickly did a 50% water change, and pointed the spray bar towards the surface for oxygenation. The results were immediate, the cory cats started moving and some even swimming again. It remains to be seen if all will survive the night.

Google revealed someone had the same issue as me. Below is the official response from seachem.

I would caution anyone with cory cats looking to overdose excel as an algae cure.

Quote:
Flourish Excel, like many other aquarium products, is a reducing agent and should not be overdosed. This can result in a reduction in oxygen levels and result in death of fish. Excel is not meant to be used as an algaecide and while this is sometimes a side effect it was not designed to do so.The resulting nitrates were probably the result of dying fish. As to why the other fish survived, it is possible that they handle low oxygen levels better than the Corydoras. Corydoras paleatus do prefer water with higher oxygen levels and in the wild are found in cooler water than the Rams and bristlenose. This would leave me to believe that the other fish are more efficient in low oxygen levels than the Corydoras. Your water changes have most likely brought the oxygen levels back up but you will want to remember that dechlorinators and other water conditioners are often reducing agents as well and should not be over used.

http://www.seachem.com/support/forum...ead.php?t=3854
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 05:49 AM
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I should say that you overdosed by 10x...I think a lot of people say to overdose 3x or something like that.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 05:56 AM
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Recommended dosing is around 1mL per 10g. Overdosing, for algae control purposes, is recommended at 2-3mL per 10g for a 10-14 day period (or 3-4.5mL for a 15g tank). So, yeah, 15mL for 15g is quite dangerous.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 06:05 AM
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Weird, my flourish excel says 1 capful (5ml) for every 10 gallons. Do they change the concentration depending on the size bottle you buy?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flip9 View Post
Weird, my flourish excel says 1 capful (5ml) for every 10 gallons. Do they change the concentration depending on the size bottle you buy?
I believe they say one cap thread or something like that per 10 gallons (5 of them per cap). I don't have a bottle on hand... I think it's 5ml for the initial dose per 10 gallons.

Tank: 20 gallons, 62 watts t5, DIY CO2

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 06:25 AM
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Initial use, after a 40+% water change, is 1 capful (5mL) per 10g, but the daily dose is 1 capful (5mL) per 50g, which is 1mL per 10g.

If you interpret the initial dose as the "shock" dose, 15mL per 15g is double the shock dose.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 06:31 AM
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Roughly how long does an initial dose last in a 25g tank with small-medium density of plants?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal Tetra View Post
I should say that you overdosed by 10x...I think a lot of people say to overdose 3x or something like that.
hmm...for my 15 gallon that has no excel at all what is the recommended dosage/schedule to achieve the 3x amount?

Initial dosage is stated at 5ml per 10 gallon. I dosed 15ml, is that incorrect?

Ongoing maintenance (if no water change) is indicated at 1ml per 10 gallon, so I should dose 3ml daily then?

Can someone confirm what the initial dosage should be for a tank that never had excel previously.

Thanks
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 07:55 AM
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I don't believe Corydoras are particularly susceptible to excel. Over gassing CO2 or over dosing excel are both dangerous to all fauna. There are many cases on the web about fauna killed due to over dosage of excel, not just cories.

I disagree slightly with what the Seachem Rep. said about Corydoras paleatus being less efficient in low oxygen environments than the other fish. Corydoras spp. gulps at the water surface as an adaptation against low oxygen levels in murky waters. Although Corydoras paleatus originates from rivers and lakes, this adaptation is embedded to the genes of all Corydoras spp..

When oxygen levels are low, you can spot cories dashing to the water surface constantly for air. They will not lie sideways, upside-down, right-side up, etc waiting for themselves to suffocate. It is not just cories, but other fish go up to the surface and gasp for air as well when oxygen is insufficient.

I've experienced bristlenose plecos acting in the same manner when over gassed with CO2. They enter a paralyzed state and drop sideways, upside-down, and motionless but exposure to oxygen quickly revives them. Whether it's because catfish are scaleless or some other reason, I don't know.

I do agree that the cory died from low oxygen by entering a paralyzed state and unable to gulp air from the surface, but not because Corydoras paleatus are inferior at coping with low oxygen levels.

You dose 5 mL excel as the initial dosage when you do a major water change OR never dosed excel previously before. Then dose 1 mL excel per 10 gallons daily or every other day. Multiply by 2-3 as over dosage ratio.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 02:14 PM
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Ya, 15ml in 15g is way over the overdose rate. If your battling algae, just use it as a normal dose, cut back on feeding, cut back on the lights and be patient. It can take a few months for a new tank to find its equilibrium and get everything settled in. I have algae right now, I'm treating with 1ml on a 20gal, so 1/2 dose of Excel every few days to help the plants and to keep my shrimp safe as well. I have pond snails, right now all over my glass but they're mowing through all the algae on the glass, so they can stay. As there is less algae eventually the pond snail population will die down, the algae will clear up, the plants will grow more and live will balance out. Unless you want to go super light, full co2, super plant setup, it takes time but dosing almost 10x the regular amount isn't going to help.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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This is rather interesting. So I have cut back and being dosing 3ML daily since my first post in this thread.

Seems had absolutely zero effect on the staghorn and bba, was about to write this off as a fail. Then all of sudden when I woke up today and the lights came on, EVERYTHING in the tank is RED. All the algae on the driftwood, in my DHG, on the wall/glass. Everything is red!

Does that mean they are dieing?
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 05:02 AM
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yeah that means it worked, now if you want it to clean up either direct your flow or add a powerhead, I always add extra flow once it turns red to whisk it away, as a side note leaving the extra flow in keeps algae away, was easy for me to figure out that even though I am over filtering the size of my tank means I cant keep flow in different areas as constant and got algae. Power head solved alot of issues for me.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 05:04 AM
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Yeap, red means its dying. It will eventually fall off.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Had to show you guys this picture of my fish tank, crazy!!

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 01:59 AM
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About 2 months ago I was pouring flourish excel into the cap over my tank and my daughter accidently ran by and hit my elbow. Well, a bunch of excel flew out of the bottle and poured directly into the tank. At the time I had 2 plecos and 2 angelfish in the tank. The angelfish started gasping like crazy right away. I bailed about 30% of the water out as fast as I could and I replaced it as fast as I could with fresh water (just to dilute it somewhat). Then I immediately did another 50% water change just to dilute it even more. I didn't even siphon it because that would have taken too long, I just bailed like a bat out of hell. After the 2nd larger water change they weren't gasping anymore and they have been fine since. I was a wreck though!
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