Will excel provide enough CO2? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Will excel provide enough CO2?

I'm thinking of starting to use excel for one of my low tech planted tanks that just isn't working. However, I have been told that excel does not lower the ph like CO2 and I'm wondering if I should even bother. My ph is about 7.6 and the kh is 3. Will excel provide enough CO2 for my plants? Thanks
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 07:58 PM
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I think it will and it'll keep algae at bay too. It's has a disinfecting nature.

The only down side is it's expensive and has possible issues with crustacean larvae and fish fry. In a low tech environment, you might not need to dose everyday or even at all.

I run a couple of low-techs I pretty much ignore.


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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 08:37 PM
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I use Metracide 14 as an excel replacement. It is 2.6% Glutaraldehyde. I think Excel is 1.7 percent, so you can do 1 of two things, mix it with distilled water or dose less. I actually use it in my 75g tank with great success(and at this price it is affordable, will take a long time before I buy another regulator at this rate, though not AS good as co2, it works for my LT purpose).

I just use an excel bottle to keep it close, the gallon stays in a closet. I use the lid to dose, just like when I used excel.

I bought from here http://www.dealmed.com/Products/Surf...4-Day-1-Gallon By far the cheapest solution for 1 gallon of this. Do not use the activator that comes with it(you will understand when you get it).
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 09:02 PM
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Excel will work fine don't worry about the pH 7.6 is within the normal range for 90% of the fish your ever going to keep. Remember the less light the less C02 and ferts plants need I never dose Excel daily in my low-light tanks, once a week usually does the trick.

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. My lights are 1.5 watts/gal. If I dose the excel once a week after water change, can I do just the flourish once a week as well, or will I need NPK?

And thanks over_stocked, I'll look into that. Right now my head is spinning a bit cuz I'm a newbie (at trying to do this right anyways)
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramlover22 View Post
I'm thinking of starting to use excel for one of my low tech planted tanks that just isn't working. However, I have been told that excel does not lower the ph like CO2 and I'm wondering if I should even bother. My ph is about 7.6 and the kh is 3. Will excel provide enough CO2 for my plants? Thanks
Keep in mind, Excel does not dose CO2. It doses a synthetic Carbon (not really, but thats the easist way to explain it) that assists with photosynthesis.

Be careful how you relay information.


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Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
I use Metracide 14 as an excel replacement. It is 2.6% Glutaraldehyde. I think Excel is 1.7 percent, so you can do 1 of two things, mix it with distilled water or dose less. I actually use it in my 75g tank with great success(and at this price it is affordable, will take a long time before I buy another regulator at this rate, though not AS good as co2, it works for my LT purpose).

I just use an excel bottle to keep it close, the gallon stays in a closet. I use the lid to dose, just like when I used excel.

I bought from here http://www.dealmed.com/Products/Surf...4-Day-1-Gallon By far the cheapest solution for 1 gallon of this. Do not use the activator that comes with it(you will understand when you get it).
Not really sure why you are giving a breakdown for Glutaraldehyde here?

Why weaken the Excel dosing?? I think you are a bit off track here OS.


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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ramlover22 View Post
Thank you. My lights are 1.5 watts/gal. If I dose the excel once a week after water change, can I do just the flourish once a week as well, or will I need NPK?

And thanks over_stocked, I'll look into that. Right now my head is spinning a bit cuz I'm a newbie (at trying to do this right anyways)
Stick to the basics.

Dose excel daily if you can. It will not last that long.

NPK is not Excel. They are the standard macro fertilizers that plants utilize. Excel is a supplemental fertilizer used as a carbon supplement as you originally posted. It does not alter pH I believe.

Do not bother with Metracide 14. Stick to Excel.


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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 09:52 PM
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Dummy me...

NPK

N - Notrogen
P - Phosphorous
K - Potassium


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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Excel is a carbon supplement - thanks for the language. I understand that by using the excel my plants will need more nutrients. I'm just wondering if I should just go by the Seachem dosing calculator for the macro nutrients or if I can just use the Flourish since it's low light.
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 03:25 AM
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No Excel/C02 doesn't require you to use more ferts, light requires you to use more Excel/C02 and ferts think of Excel/C02 as a fert and it's less confusing.

You can start with the regular dosing scheme to keep Gatekeepers eye's in his head

From my experience over the last few years with allot of low-light tanks I found that I could dial back the ferts and Excel to once a week or so and not see any difference in my Java Moss, Java Fern, Hornwort, Watersprite, etc than when I was dosing full tilt per the normal instructions. I'm just using T-8 Wal-Mart/Home Depot strip lights at least four to six inches off of the tanks.

You just need to experiment with your specific tank(s) to see what works for you.

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 03:55 AM
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Do yourself a favor and get the dry fertilizer mix (e.g. from Green Leaves Aquarium). Unlike Flourish, the contains all the macro- and micro nutrients you need, and it's really easy to use. All you need is two separate plastic bottles. The 16oz ones are ideal.

I have a low-medium light tank and dose Excel every other day (full dose), and macro and trace each once a week. I also dose extra iron and some extra P...gives my Anubias a nice boost.


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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Just needed a place to start! Here goes nothing!
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
Do not bother with Metracide 14. Stick to Excel.
What makes you say that? What is the difference? There is alot of people who use it successfully. It last a long time when you buy it by the gallon and works amazing. From what people have gathered its only 1.5% Glutaraldehyde. But Seachem wont say much cause its a "trade secret".
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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 11:52 AM
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Fom wiki.

Quote:
As a strong disinfectant, glutaraldehyde is toxic and can cause severe eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, along with headaches, drowsiness and dizziness. It is a main source of occupational asthma among health care providers.
Not saying you should drink Excel, but it is alot safer to use and contact. For someone new to the hobby, keep it simple to start. Buying gallons of glutaraldehyde is just not something I would reccomend to someone who has just entered the hobby.

There is no trade secret. Seachem does not promote their product as an algacide. That is just a happy biproduct of using it.


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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 02:34 PM
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Not really sure why you are giving a breakdown for Glutaraldehyde here?

Why weaken the Excel dosing?? I think you are a bit off track here OS.
I must have not been clear. I meant that you can dilute the Metricide 14 with distilled water to be equal to excel, or like I do, you can just dose it at 100% and either use less metricide or dose more glutaraldehyde.

Metricide contains the only active ingredient in Excel and would save the average user a TON.

For instance...

2x2L of excel(just over 1 gallon, would run you 62 bucks(before shipping) from Big als. (just the first I chose, not sure if it is cheapest)

1x1 gallon of Metricide 14 is 24 bucks shipped for me, from DealMed

Now, assuming you dose it straight, 100%, not reduced at all, Metricide is 38% the cost of Excel. You would be paying 62% more for a lower concentration of Glutaraldehyde.

Now, lets assume that you dilute it at a ratio of 1.5(Glutaraldehyde):1(distilled water) you end up with a percentage of 1.8% Glutaraldehyde--just over the excel level. This will make your 1 gallon of Metricide turn into 1 2/3 gallon(1.666) gallons of Excel equivalent.

So, now, if diluted you would have the equivalent of about 100 dolars(before shipping) worth of Seachem Excel. On a 50 gallon tank, dosing at seachem dosing of 5ml per 50 gallons... you have 1261 doses... For 24 dollars.

If you don't dilute it, but still dose 100%, you would have 757 doses(on a 50g tank) and be more concentrated. On my 75 gallon tank I dose 10ml daily/every other day of 100% metricide 14(2.7%). I have 378 doses in my bottle.

The value is simple.

All for 24 dollars shipped to my door and about 3 minutes of math.
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