Flourish excel or CO2?
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:20 PM   #1
sugarcube
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Flourish excel or CO2?


I would like some opinions.

I was lucky to get a free bag of plants and a small sample bottle of flourish excel from someone for free.

I have a small 2.5 gallon with a single betta, the person who gave me the plants said my tank would probably be kind of deficient in CO2 and I will need to supplement. So he told me to use a drop of flourish excel with my weekly water change. I'm gonnal use it up eventually and have to get more. But I also read you can use a yeast/sugar CO2 mix and it works just as good if not better.

A new bottle of flourish excel is $15 but I think it will last me a long time.
If I make yeast system it will cost $0 since I have everything in the house already but I don't have a diffuser or check valves so it would have to the most simple CO2 system possible with just a bottle, airline tubing and an air stone.

Which one IYO is better? Should I just buy a extra bottle of flourish excel or should make a DIY CO2 system?

I use a 60W lamp as my source of light. Its on about 10-12hrs a day unless I am using it to study.

thanks for your opinion, I am new to plants so I don't know which is better or if its even needed!
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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60 watts is not correct. That may be the lighting output equivalent but I doubt that you are running a 60 watt on a 2.5 gallon tank. What is the actual bulb output and it's color temperature?
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:04 PM   #3
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I've become a believer in Excel, it kills the algae. For a 2.5 gallon tank I figured 4 drops per day, that didn't hurt the algae. 10 drops pr day is killing it. I have RCS in there which seem to be doing well, my water is extremely hard if that makes any difference.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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I use this light bulb and desk lamp.

I'm not sure what color output is?

Can I use 4 drops of flourish excel everyday in my 2.5 gallon? Its not too much?
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:18 PM   #5
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And you have no algae issues at all? That's a really bright/high output bulb for a 2.5 gallon tank!!! Search some threads on lighting. Usually a 13w, 6500K bulb is good for a 2.5 gallon tank like yours. Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
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My tank doesn't come with a hood so I'm just using my study desk lamp, is it too much light?

I was hoping the plants just grow a lot, I have second desk lamp that is 40w but nothing that is 13w. Should I just get the tank its own lamp?
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcube View Post
I use this light bulb and desk lamp.

I'm not sure what color output is?

Can I use 4 drops of flourish excel everyday in my 2.5 gallon? Its not too much?
I think that is the proper dose. I've gone to ten drops to kill off some algae. Things seem to be okay.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckraft View Post
I think that is the proper dose. I've gone to ten drops to kill off some algae. Things seem to be okay.
Okay, thank you! I will start using 4 drops a day too then, I don't want any algae. I read that if you have lots of light but no carbon you get algae.

I'll be using it up super fast though.

Should I do CO2 system and keep using flourish excel?
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcube View Post
Okay, thank you! I will start using 4 drops a day too then, I don't want any algae. I read that if you have lots of light but no carbon you get algae.

I'll be using it up super fast though.

Should I do CO2 system and keep using flourish excel?
I'm wondering about DIY CO2 into a 2.5 G tank. The CO2 is unregulated, and if the betta is in very soft water the pH could drop a lot. I hope someone with more knowledge about this will add to the thread.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckraft View Post
I'm wondering about DIY CO2 into a 2.5 G tank. The CO2 is unregulated, and if the betta is in very soft water the pH could drop a lot. I hope someone with more knowledge about this will add to the thread.
My pH is 8.2

For now I'll use flourish excel. I'll look around for DIY small tank CO2 systems.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcube View Post

A new bottle of flourish excel is $15 but I think it will last me a long time.
If I make yeast system it will cost $0 since I have everything in the house already but I don't have a diffuser or check valves so it would have to the most simple CO2 system possible with just a bottle, airline tubing and an air stone.
When I first got a pressurized co2 I dropped my diffuser and it shattered, so I ran an air stone for a week before I replaced it. When I installed the diffuser it was an immediate difference, so if you do the co2 route spend the extra 20 on a diffuser. It makes all the difference in the world!
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:27 PM   #12
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I use excel for my carbon source in my ebi tank.

You can regulate/modify the excel dosing a lot easier than diy co2 imo and it does do wonders on algae like mentioned above.

Also, since a bottle of excel goes a long way on most nano tanks, to me it is worth spending the cash on a bottle instead of having to make it myself but everybody is different.

Maintaining balance and making small changes are the most essential when keeping any aquarium imo.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:20 PM   #13
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I used diy CO2 for my 3G when i was cycling and would have gassed everything in there if i had livestock. I have switch back to flourish/metricide. Much easier to control and change up on the fly.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:05 PM   #14
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Excel is easier and works well with regular dosing. You may accidentally gas your fish even with DIY CO2.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:09 AM   #15
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Agree with many of the comments above.
A tank as small as 2.5 g will very likely work best by simply using Excel as the carbon source for growing plants. A DIY CO2 would need much too careful attention, and would likely still be unreliable & beyond the bounds of safety.

And your tank is too small to justify a Fluval mini pressurized CO2 kit (from a financial standpoint), but that would probably do an excellent job.

Should you ever decide to proceed to a 10 gal tank or larger, I'd highly recommend the Fluval 88 mini pressurized CO 2 kit, which does an excellent job.

Here's a 10 gal tank of mine, with Anubias which have tripled in size since I had got them about 5 weeks before the pics were taken, using the Fluval 88 about 7 hours daily/during the lighting period:
Ignore the very first pic - which is one of a couple of discus tank set-ups that I've had - low-tech.

http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...uspaul/Anubias

Last edited by discuspaul; 07-01-2013 at 01:13 AM.. Reason: Adding
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