Is it common knowledge that excel will crash PH levels? - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 234
Is it common knowledge that excel will crash PH levels?

I Found out the hard way today that excel in high doses can and will crash my PH.

I have a 5.5 nano and have been dosing 2ml daily for a few months now. Well I started to get a little algae problem so I decided to up the excel amount for afew days to combat the algae.

After a 30% water change of tap water with a ph of 7.8 and conditioned. I added 1 cap full of excel to the tank(adouble dose from normal). And with in 3 hours I had 2dead fish.

After finding this I broke out the test kit and found zero ammonia/nitrite and 5-10ppm nitrate. Phosphate was 1ppm or so and ph was basically clear with a API test kit.

SO I immediatly retested and got the same result clear to a very slight yellow color. Meaning ph had dropped to the 5's.

I checked tap again and it was still 7.8-8ph.So I did a 20% water change to start building the ph back up slowly. I did another 12hrs later and got the ph back up to around 6.8-7.0. At this point I was starting to blame the excel.

So to test this I filled 2 vials with tap water to the 5ml mark. And the first tested blue or high 7's-8ph. The 2nd vial I used a eye dropper and added one drop of excell to the tap vial and tested. And it was clear to very very slightly yellow. Or under 6ph.

lesson learned

I thought this might be useful info for others. If you did not allready know.
hybridtheoryd16 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 05:25 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Minsc's Avatar
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 1,106
You put 10x the recommended daily dose in your tank, and were surprised it killed fish?!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Minsc is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 01:49 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
shane3fan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Athens Ga.
Posts: 1,245
Yeah, daily dosage of Excel for a 5.5 gallon would be about .5 ml
shane3fan is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 02:08 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: virginia, usa
Posts: 696
I dose a 3 gallon .3mL three times a week....
londonloco is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 02:12 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Sierra255's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dickinson, TX
Posts: 306
Not surprising it killed your fish. If you read the instructions, it says to do an initial dose of one cap full (5 mL) for every 10 gallons and daily dosages of one cap full (5 mL) for every 50 gallons. It also says to avoid overdosing.

If you count substrate and other things in your 5.5 gallon, you're probably closer to 5 gallons (and possibly less) anyway, so we'll use that number for your aquarium size. Plus, it's easier to do the math. So, based on the instructions, your initial dose should be 2.5 mL and your daily doses after that should be around 0.5 mL.
Sierra255 is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 03:20 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
rich815's Avatar
 
PTrader: (34/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Albany, CA (San Francisco area)
Posts: 1,115
Yeah, it was not the pH crash but the high amount of excel you dosed. I dose just under a capful daily to my 18 gal and that's a lot. 20-25ml (4-5 caps) to my 72 gal. 5ml to a 5.5 gal nano was too much. BTW, with those amounts I dose I notice no significant change in pH.

---------
My tank:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My Photography Website (my other hobby)

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rich815 is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minsc View Post
You put 10x the recommended daily dose in your tank, and were surprised it killed fish?!

No I was surprised that excel lowered PH values so extremely.

And since this was a intial dose right after a large water change it was actually a 2x the recommended dose.

Mistakes happen and lessons get learned
hybridtheoryd16 is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
Yeah, it was not the pH crash but the high amount of excel you dosed. I dose just under a capful daily to my 18 gal and that's a lot. 20-25ml (4-5 caps) to my 72 gal. 5ml to a 5.5 gal nano was too much. BTW, with those amounts I dose I notice no significant change in pH.

That is odd

You must have alot of buffer in your water supply.
hybridtheoryd16 is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 05:27 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridtheoryd16 View Post
That is odd

You must have alot of buffer in your water supply.
Remember, Excel is not CO2. It doesn't supply CO2 at all. It is just an organic compound that plants can breakdown and use as a carbon source. I don't recall it being acidic, nor does the MSDS say that it is (for glutaraldehyde the MSDS says pH is unavailable.) But, it does react with both acid and alkaline solutions, suggesting that it doesn't drop the pH itself.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Remember, Excel is not CO2. It doesn't supply CO2 at all. It is just an organic compound that plants can breakdown and use as a carbon source. I don't recall it being acidic, nor does the MSDS say that it is (for glutaraldehyde the MSDS says pH is unavailable.) But, it does react with both acid and alkaline solutions, suggesting that it doesn't drop the pH itself.

All I know is with my tap water and its set of buffers. If you put 5ml in a API test vial and 1 drop of excel,cap and mix. Then add 3 drops of PH test regent you will get a very very slight yellow tint indicating a PH value below the scale provided by the test. Which is 6.

If I had a electronic PH meter. I would stick the probe in a bottle of excel and find out the PH level of excel directly. But I do not.
hybridtheoryd16 is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:41 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
shane3fan's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Athens Ga.
Posts: 1,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridtheoryd16 View Post
All I know is with my tap water and its set of buffers. If you put 5ml in a API test vial and 1 drop of excel,cap and mix. Then add 3 drops of PH test regent you will get a very very slight yellow tint indicating a PH value below the scale provided by the test. Which is 6.

If I had a electronic PH meter. I would stick the probe in a bottle of excel and find out the PH level of excel directly. But I do not.
Thats kindof an extreme test dont you think? I know a drop of Excel doesnt sound like much--but considering how small the normal dosage for a large aquarium is, a drop in a test tube seems like a lot.
shane3fan is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:47 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
StillLearning's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Posts: 303
Here is a some info on it.

http://www.aquabotanic.com/carbon.html

Does this affect the pH as CO2 gas does?
No, it does not affect pH.

Also on Seachems site..

http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/FlourishExcel.html

Q: Is it better to add Flourish Excel at night or in the morning based upon plant carbon uptake physiology?

A: Carbon intake is a function of photosynthesis. Based on this, it would be ideal to dose Flourish Excel during the day. But given that Flourish Excel can stay complexed as a carbon source for up to 24 hours before it dissipates, you can dose at any time of the day and the product will be available for the next 24 hours. Flourish Excel is not carbon dioxide and there is no impact on pH using Flourish Excel.
StillLearning is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by StillLearning View Post
Here is a some info on it.

http://www.aquabotanic.com/carbon.html

Does this affect the pH as CO2 gas does?
No, it does not affect pH.

Also on Seachems site..

http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/FlourishExcel.html

Q: Is it better to add Flourish Excel at night or in the morning based upon plant carbon uptake physiology?

A: Carbon intake is a function of photosynthesis. Based on this, it would be ideal to dose Flourish Excel during the day. But given that Flourish Excel can stay complexed as a carbon source for up to 24 hours before it dissipates, you can dose at any time of the day and the product will be available for the next 24 hours. Flourish Excel is not carbon dioxide and there is no impact on pH using Flourish Excel.

All that is great and its the same info I read as well.

But feel free to run the test as well and see it with your own eyes.

test your tap first.

then add 1 drop of excel to a clean vial. Fill to 5ml mark with tap water and add regent. See what happens.

report back please.
hybridtheoryd16 is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 04:26 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
Excel is supposed to be dosed at 5 ml per 10 gallons, after a water change. Double that, as some do, and that is 10 ml per 10 gallons, or 1 ml per gallon. A gallon is about 4000 ml, and one ml is about 20 drops. So, 1 ml per gallon is 20 drops per 4000 ml, or 1 drop of Excel per 200 ml of water. That is the dosage you would want to do that test tube test with. Using one drop per 5 ml is a meaningless test.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 03:39 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
I remembered one more bit of information: I used to work with hydraulic fluids a lot, and the chemist who worked with me explained to me that organic chemicals rarely have a pH. As he explained it pH doesn't apply to such chemicals. Instead we used something called an "acid number", which was a measure of the effective degree of acidity of the chemical. That was not measured the same way pH is measured, but I can't remember, if I ever even knew, exactly how it was measured. I do recall that it was a titration test, but the sample was first mixed with a solvent of some kind.

Based on that, Excel may not have a pH.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome