Interesting write up on "liquid carbon" - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:07 AM
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Ahhhh …the scare tactics showing the horrors of using a product that kills germs in hospitals in our tanks!! If we inject just a little potassium into our blood, we get almost instant heart attack, yet we pour it, with abandon, into our tanks …OMG!!!

This is a comment upon the referenced website:

Most that have used glut report substantially enhanced plant growth for all but a few species of plants (which can be adapted to it), in contradiction to the author’s finding. He goes on to state that “a dosage of 1 ml per 50 l water daily the plant will show clear signs of damage.” Taking into account the differences between his 5% solution and Metricide’s 2.6% solution, he is saying that damage occurs at .15 ml / gallon of water. This is far below Seachem’s recommendation and I have, personally, routinely used 2 ml /gal of Metricide with no damage. I found it to be particularly effective at improving growth in low-tech setups at Seachem’s recommended dosing levels. This can be easily tested by adding it, withdrawing it and repeating this over and over while watching growth rates change, for the better, every time is resumed.

Regarding it being called a CO2 supplement, he is right and it is unfortunate that so many people seem to call it such. None of the suppliers of this for aquariums do. It is a carbon supplement, not a CO2 supplement and is only similar to CO2 in that they both contain carbon, it is also related to my firewood in the same way. The carbon contribution of glut is far below CO2 but, in the sense that more is better than none, that extra carbon does enhance growth vs. relying only on atmospheric CO2.

Yes: glut has been classified as dangerous, just as about every product known to man has been determined to be “known” to cause evil things according to California and the EU. Treat it with respect and no problem. Also, I would not advise ingesting large quantities of any of our macro nutrients daily.
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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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I tend to do that as well. So probably two rams clashing here.
Another Aries, probably. (I kid, I don't remotely believe in astrology just seemed a funny way of bringing the subject full circle)


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Here we will have to agree to disagree, although yes it is a smaller industry there are still independent experts like Karen Randall, etc that do evaluate these things and they don't have a horse in the race. I would trust their expertise and user experience over a company sales rep. I agree many of killed plenty of fish by simply having a creeping needle valve and the bubble rate increased when they weren't around.
I suppose we do break in thought here. I own Karen's book "Sunken Gardens" around here somewhere. While I would agree that I would tend to trust a former president of the Boston Aquarium Society over a "salesman" (though that very statement is getting into both appeal to authority and strawman logical fallacies), not sure I would consider her an expert, let alone an authority on planted tanks and water chemistry. No doubt she is very knowledgeable and a hobbyist, but equally so was Walstad who everyone cites as the reason why not do have a filter and do partial water changes. And now Diana Walstad advocates for filters and partial water changes but nobody swearing by her old methods seems to have noticed. Not saying Karen Randall is wrong, just that people have realizations that change their minds sometimes. I sure have on many subjects. Wonder if we could reach out to her and see if she still advocates use of this chemical compound in aquariums?
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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:42 AM
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Writer of this works for JBL and has some great information on what glutaraldehyde does and does not do. It's broken up into 4 short parts and explains the chemical reaction in our tanks from using these products. Hope you find it interesting and informative: https://www.jbl.de/en/blog/detail/12...-fertilisation
I think 'Great' information is a bit optimistic.
Great would be the mechanism by which Glut is used by plants as a Carbon source, but since the author doesn't even think that plants can use it or that it improves growth, I found nothing of value in that article.
I don't really know if it does or doesn't improve growth in my tank, I run pressurized CO2, I've only every used it as an Algae bomb.
But if I had low tech I would try using this product as others have found it helpful for growth (where placebo or otherwise).

I used Seachem Stability when I rescaped my tank recently, my scientific nature doubts it was necessary(I had a seeded filter), but the hobbyist in me wanted to do anything practical to prevent algae and diatoms at the beginning and my tank had very little algae or diatoms so while I can't conclude the success was from Stability the setup worked and I would use it again.
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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 02:34 AM
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Each and every time I've used Excel in non-CO2 tanks plant growth was noticeably improved (except for a few plant species that don't like Excel). And these were many times over the years.


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I keep Excel (glutaraldehyde) on hand by the liter because it works better than anything I've tried at eradicating subwasswertang and a few other mosses
This is curious. All my mosses and especially subwassertang thrive with Excel. Subwassertang grows like crazy, I'm regularly throwing out pounds of it...
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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:29 AM
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...
I suppose we do break in thought here. I own Karen's book "Sunken Gardens" around here somewhere. While I would agree that I would tend to trust a former president of the Boston Aquarium Society over a "salesman" (though that very statement is getting into both appeal to authority and strawman logical fallacies), not sure I would consider her an expert, let alone an authority on planted tanks and water chemistry. No doubt she is very knowledgeable and a hobbyist, but equally so was Walstad who everyone cites as the reason why not do have a filter and do partial water changes. And now Diana Walstad advocates for filters and partial water changes but nobody swearing by her old methods seems to have noticed. Not saying Karen Randall is wrong, just that people have realizations that change their minds sometimes. I sure have on many subjects. Wonder if we could reach out to her and see if she still advocates use of this chemical compound in aquariums?
Not sure where your going with this now. The only question was "does it help plants grow' since the article refuted that. I think Karen Randall or any other hobbyist can see if it helps in their own tanks. As you can see others have chimed in here that it does help certain plants. And I can add my own experience to this as well so there's no delusion. Whether we should use it, based on what it is or can do or whether its dangerous etc is another topic entirely.


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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:46 AM
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Social media/online marketing homeboy for a company copy and pasting information about a product......regardless of if it works or not I would look elsewhere to make a decision.
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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 08:55 PM
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For the record, Seachem states in their Platinum Training courses that the mechanism by which Excel aids plant growth is by providing a photosynthetic intermediate, which is part of the main carbon chain, of the active ingredient. I grilled the folks there pretty hard about all the other stuff attached to the chain, namely the cyclic aromatic compounds, with little official response.

Does Excel benefit plants? Yes. Is it as good as CO2? No. Do other carbon supplements benefit plants? In my experience and testing, yes. Are any of them as good as CO2? No, but given the proper conditions for their use (low energy tanks, etc) they don't have to be as carbon demand is lower.

Also, for the record, I used to work as a scientist for companies that produce/distribute liquid carbon supplements for planted tanks and even then I said CO2 is better. I know a number of people still working in the industry for companies that sell liquid carbon supplements who will say the same thing. Simply being an employee of such a business doesn't automatically make reports of liquid carbon supplements being effective inaccurate or "toeing the company line". Take a look at Seachem; they make the most well known carbon supplement but also sell CO2 gas equipment. You'll never hear one of their staffers say "Excel sucks, use our CO2 stuff instead.". They know the proper use of each and will give the proper recommendation for the situation.

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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 09:01 PM
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Ive bought bottles and bottles of the stuff ( Excel) over the last 3 years. I am a self-professed Seachem junkie. I even use Advance . As I put it all these products in my low-tech tanks I tell myself they all work great. How else am I going to justify the cost. LOL
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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 10:06 PM
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...

Also, for the record, I used to work as a scientist for companies that produce/distribute liquid carbon supplements for planted tanks and even then I said CO2 is better. I know a number of people still working in the industry for companies that sell liquid carbon supplements who will say the same thing. Simply being an employee of such a business doesn't automatically make reports of liquid carbon supplements being effective inaccurate or "toeing the company line". Take a look at Seachem; they make the most well known carbon supplement but also sell CO2 gas equipment. You'll never hear one of their staffers say "Excel sucks, use our CO2 stuff instead.". They know the proper use of each and will give the proper recommendation for the situation.
Phil, did you read the attached article from the JBL employee? It didn't say co2 was better it simply stated that liquid carbon does nothing.(unless I'm reading it wrong) There is no balance in that at all. Seachem sells both so why would they say "Excel sucks" that is an unfair comparison to JBL since they only sell co2-related equipment. That would be like Ford saying their Mustangs suck only buy the Ford F-150. They would say something more along the lines "in a high light, high demanding system excel might not be enough so the use of pressurized equipment is recommended."

Seachem also sells both liquid flourish and root tabs. Again same thing they say you probably don't need both, but obviously there's a market for each depending on the setup.


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Last edited by Asteroid; 06-07-2019 at 10:18 PM. Reason: .
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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Each and every time I've used Excel in non-CO2 tanks plant growth was noticeably improved (except for a few plant species that don't like Excel). And these were many times over the years.



This is curious. All my mosses and especially subwassertang thrive with Excel. Subwassertang grows like crazy, I'm regularly throwing out pounds of it...
Weird, I stumbled upon it by accident in a tank I didn't want to nuke of subwassertang. At a high does it's sure melted mine more than once. Just wish it worked on Java moss. I have a new tank I'll be setting up in the coming weeks and will let subwassertang establish once I do. Then just for the fun of it, I can see how much Excel it takes to kill it all. If it doesn't work, something else has been at hand and that just seems unlikely since the stuff won't usually die.

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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 08:55 AM
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Has anyone done a controlled (but simple) experiment to show the difference in growth between liquid carbon and no liquid carbon? Thanks.
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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 11:36 AM
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One can spend money all the time with additives trying not to buy a Co2 kit or buy the Co2 kit and then the monthly cost is less.
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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 02:50 PM
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Has anyone done a controlled (but simple) experiment to show the difference in growth between liquid carbon and no liquid carbon? Thanks.
Carbon in the Planted Aquarium - APC Library - Aquatic Plant Central


you can go to the primary source...
Walstad, Diana, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, Echinodorus Publishing, 1999, pp. 94-97.



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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 03:41 PM
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Has anyone done a controlled (but simple) experiment to show the difference in growth between liquid carbon and no liquid carbon? Thanks.
It's not even debatable anymore if it enhances plant growth under certain parameters, IT DOES. You could make up your own mind by the experienced aquarists and attached articles in the thread. The JBL article simply looks at the negative consequences of using liquid carbon products PERIOD, in an effort to sell pressurized systems since that is all they sell unlike Seachem. They even place a picture of a pressurized system on every page of the liquid co2 article. LOL


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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 04:41 PM
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One can spend money all the time with additives trying not to buy a Co2 kit or buy the Co2 kit and then the monthly cost is less.
The other option for those that don't have temperamental stems is to only buy things they need to begin with and skip the Excel all together as most people only use for for a algaecide anyway. Keeping a clean tank saves money all around. When a issue does pop-up, it is easier and cheaper to deal with the source of the problem...
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