Interesting write up on "liquid carbon" - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 04:06 PM
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Now you also have relatively new products, which are based on citric acid and citrates, not glutaraldehyde related products, like FlorinAxis from Brightwell Aquatics.

Michel.

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post #32 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:34 PM
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Now you also have relatively new products, which are based on citric acid and citrates, not glutaraldehyde related products, like FlorinAxis from Brightwell Aquatics.

Michel.
FlorinAxis gives only VERY modest benefit, based off a test I ran when I was their scientist. If you're going to go with a liquid carbon additive, use Excel.
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post #33 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:49 PM
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Since I run a plethora of 'nano' some of which have very high light and no room for CO2... I use Excel especially- Successful carpets of HC and
Hairgrass. I started using it maybe 6 years ago?

It accelerated the growth of my low light/low tech tanks and helped with algae (not big blooms, just a hair... get it?). But I now find it useful when I want that 'in between' (medium-high light/low tech). Of course my high tech tanks are less maintenance (until the one crashed when I was out of town recently).

I feel as if every couple years another article comes out which puts a negative spin on Excel.
There are not many products I have found that are more useful and irreplaceable in 'easy to use' form.
'A drop a day keeps the doctor away'

Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful (as long as they cycle!)
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post #34 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 09:48 PM
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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.
I used Stability when I set up my new tank, and it cycled in just over a week. So it worked for the cycle. (n of 1, I know) But after doing a lot of reading, many people said it was the best of the commercially available products, and my experience bore that out. We really need an aquarists' Consumer Reports that tests all these products head-to-head.....

What the Stability didn't do is prevent a huge green water algae outbreak, so I'm relying on API's Liquid Carbon (yes, they really call it that) to combat it in addition to reducing light & adding ferts for the plants since my tank cycled so well even nitrates are at zero. So it's back to the miracle snake oils to solve all my newbie problems. But at the end of the day, it's the overhyped marketing names, not so much the claims, that are the problem here IMHO.
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post #35 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 10:56 PM
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I used Stability when I set up my new tank, and it cycled in just over a week. So it worked for the cycle. (n of 1, I know) But after doing a lot of reading, many people said it was the best of the commercially available products, and my experience bore that out. We really need an aquarists' Consumer Reports that tests all these products head-to-head.....
I tend to beleive 'in general' the claims of Seachem. I have only ever used TSS (Tetra Safe Start) to cycle and I had a shorter cycle time than the 6 - 8 weeks without one of these products so I am relatively certain they can work.

But that wasn't the point, I already had a fully mature seeded filter fillted with bacteria I didn't add Stability to cycle, my filter was already cycled. I added it because there are some 'theories' that covering the substrate with bacteria particularly Seachem stuff may somehow prevent diatoms and algae in a newly established tank.

I don't know if it was Stability or my husbandry and higher plant mass but I have seen very little algae from Day 1 of my new setup, I saw some diatoms before moving over my shrimp and catifsh but after it was gone in 24 hours.
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post #36 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 01:44 PM
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I used Stability when I set up my new tank, and it cycled in just over a week. So it worked for the cycle. (n of 1, I know) But after doing a lot of reading, many people said it was the best of the commercially available products, and my experience bore that out. We really need an aquarists' Consumer Reports that tests all these products head-to-head.....

What the Stability didn't do is prevent a huge green water algae outbreak, so I'm relying on API's Liquid Carbon (yes, they really call it that) to combat it in addition to reducing light & adding ferts for the plants since my tank cycled so well even nitrates are at zero. So it's back to the miracle snake oils to solve all my newbie problems. But at the end of the day, it's the overhyped marketing names, not so much the claims, that are the problem here IMHO.
If it helps at all, I've used nearly every line of plant supplements and major brands of bacteria suspensions in both home and work (R+D and retail curation) applications. In my experience, the major manufacturers of specific additives (Red Sea, Tropic Marin, Seachem, Brightwell, etc) but not generalists' (Tetra, API, etc) are effective when used as directed. By effective, I don't mean they'll prevent any and all issues like your green water, but they do perform as intended and can and do provide benefits. It's an unfortunate fact that product naming can be misleading; companies need to come up with unique names for trademark purposes. Marketing-wise, at least from a planted tank perspective, 90% of the additive market is the general consumer rather than the more serious and informed hobbyist like us here. Companies need to make names appealing for the consumer and simple enough that retail sales staff can sell them. I can't tell you how many times I was told to "dumb down" labels to make them more understandable for the general market. I guess that's what they got for having a scientist writing labels that both the average and informed hobbyist would get benefit from. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of BS in product claims and marketing; especially when it comes to companies that don't rigorously test their products. I know Red Sea, Tropic Marin, and Seachem have good labs so I tend to trust their claims above other brands'.

As far as your green water outbreak; I've found those to happen regardless of additives used. They usually happen after a significant disturbance to the system such as a major replanting and filter clean at the same time. I used to purposefully start GW outbreaks in displays before competitions as they tend to help get rid of nastier algae but don't cause the plants distress. Using a bacterial supplement post-major upheaval can help mitigate systemic issues, but none will 100% prevent them, in my experience.

Regards,
Phil

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But that wasn't the point, I already had a fully mature seeded filter fillted with bacteria I didn't add Stability to cycle, my filter was already cycled. I added it because there are some 'theories' that covering the substrate with bacteria particularly Seachem stuff may somehow prevent diatoms and algae in a newly established tank.
I've used bacterial suspensions in the substrate when starting tanks with mixed results. The premise of seeding substrates to help them mature quicker is sound, but I've still ended up with diatoms in a number of them; sometimes to a significant degree. Power Sand Special is the only amendment I've found that actually seemed to prevent initial substrate algae issues.
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post #37 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 02:01 PM
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API isn't a company dedicated to fish care; they dabble in everything. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars,_Incorporated.

I'm not sure what a company that prides itself in feeding the masses junk food and all the other stuff they make knows about fish, but they sell cheap stuff so people buy it.

Quote:
In February 2003, Mars acquired Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.[34] (API, incorporated in 1964) and in 2007 it was renamed Mars Fishcare, Inc. The company manufactures and supplies home aquarium and pond products.
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post #38 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 02:55 PM
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Mars is the biggest petfood manufacturer in the world, followed by nestle.... and then everyone is trailing way behind them.

The parent company being involved in other things doesn't mean API is secretly working on candy bars...
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post #39 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:07 PM
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Mars is the biggest petfood manufacturer in the world, followed by nestle.... and then everyone is trailing way behind them.

The parent company being involved in other things doesn't mean API is secretly working on candy bars...
Nearly all of the large generalist aquarium supply companies are owned by large conglomerates. Take a look at Spectrum Brands who owns United Pet Group, who own... https://www.spectrumbrands.com/brands/pet-care.html

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #40 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:09 PM
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Mars is the biggest petfood manufacturer in the world, followed by nestle.... and then everyone is trailing way behind them.

The parent company being involved in other things doesn't mean API is secretly working on candy bars...
I didn't say they were, but I don't think highly of Nestle either, so there's that. It's another company that likes to fill their products with fillers and cheap stuff.

I'm not suggesting that people should buy top of the line things, however, there is the issue of quality over quantity...
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post #41 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
Since I run a plethora of 'nano' some of which have very high light and no room for CO2... I use Excel especially- Successful carpets of HC and Hairgrass. I started using it maybe 6 years ago?

It accelerated the growth of my low light/low tech tanks and helped with algae (not big blooms, just a hair... get it?). But I now find it useful when I want that 'in between' (medium-high light/low tech). Of course my high tech tanks are less maintenance (until the one crashed when I was out of town recently).

I feel as if every couple years another article comes out which puts a negative spin on Excel.
There are not many products I have found that are more useful and irreplaceable in 'easy to use' form.
'A drop a day keeps the doctor away'
This sounds like me: I'm attempting low tech with what I think is medium light in my 55 gal (5000 lumen Beamswork) So you just use the Excel daily at the instructed dose? In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what Excel dose would safely address green water w/o killing any plants or livestock. If it can be done quickly, I could probably just put my 4 otos, the 2 ghost shrimp (if I can find them), some snails, and sensitive plants like the vals in a bucket while I'm treating, then put 'em back afterwards.

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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
I added Stability because there are some 'theories' that covering the substrate with bacteria particularly Seachem stuff may somehow prevent diatoms and algae in a newly established tank.

I don't know if it was Stability or my husbandry and higher plant mass but I have seen very little algae from Day 1 of my new setup, I saw some diatoms before moving over my shrimp and catifsh but after it was gone in 24 hours.
This is intriguing. Once my parameters leveled out & it appeared fully cycled, I stopped dosing Stability. A week or so later the green water exploded. How long did you continue using the Stability, and was it at the normal dose?

I see a developing addiction to products here. Just hope I can eventually wean myself off, as I travel a lot and daily dosing is not the low-tech goal I was shooting for....
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post #42 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:28 PM
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I've used bacterial suspensions in the substrate when starting tanks with mixed results. The premise of seeding substrates to help them mature quicker is sound, but I've still ended up with diatoms in a number of them; sometimes to a significant degree. Power Sand Special is the only amendment I've found that actually seemed to prevent initial substrate algae issues.
I was referring to covering lava rock, spiderwood and coarse inert sand, not at the bottom but the premise should be the same. The shrimp keeper I know adds Stability with his monthly water changes in his shrimp tanks and while establishing a new tank.

ADA products are often a mystery to me, highly marketed claims, expensive, and difficult to know what exactly is in it or if it works.
Power Sand Special seems to have two important components mixed in Bacter 100 (100 forms of dormant bacteria spores much like Stability) and Clear Super which seems similar to Seachem Purigen in that it absorbs organics and provides a surface for micro organism growth.

I don't have enough experience establishing tanks so my anecdotal reports are just about worthless, I never had a control. But there is a better than average chance none of these products change the quantity of algae at startup or the length of time it takes to get rid of it. Diatoms are easy to get rid of, Amanos eat it readily so I made a big deal out of something that was likely controlled by using inert substrate, minnimal fertilizer, and keeping lights on only 3 hours a day for the first week. That and planting as heavy as possible (which is only moderate in a hardscape focussed scape) probably led to success much more than any of the substrate additives. I also have purigen in my filter but that was to remove Tannins and it does a great job at that but maybe it helped with Algae as well.
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post #43 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 10:18 PM
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This sounds like me: I'm attempting low tech with what I think is medium light in my 55 gal (5000 lumen Beamswork) So you just use the Excel daily at the instructed dose? In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out what Excel dose would safely address green water w/o killing any plants or livestock. If it can be done quickly, I could probably just put my 4 otos, the 2 ghost shrimp (if I can find them), some snails, and sensitive plants like the vals in a bucket while I'm treating, then put 'em back afterwards.
I use Excel a fraction of the 'weekly' dose, daily. Doesnt hurt my snails or my shrimp.
Green water is effectively too much light and excess of phosphates... If things are turned up (substrate, etc), dying plant matter, etc. then that can cause the green water explosion. It only happened a few times- but the cure was a water change (gently) and adding dafnia. You could always just get some dafnia, and feed your fish at the same time!. lol.


I edited this because my typos made it illegible. Sorry.

Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful (as long as they cycle!)

Last edited by livebearerlove; 06-12-2019 at 12:29 PM. Reason: I added more since I received a phone call and hand to bolt.
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post #44 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:27 PM
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I use Excel a faction of the 'weekly' dose, daily. Doesnt hurt my snails or my shrimp.
Green water is effectively too much light and excess of phosphates... I turned up things, dying plant matter, etc. It only happened a few times- but the cure was a water change (gently) and then dafnia. You could always just get some dafnia, and feed your fish at the same time!. lol.
Thanks, this is really helpful. I've shortened my lighting period and have been doing 10-20% WC daily--wasn't sure if the fresh water & the micros in it was just exacerbating the problem or not. Don't have a phosphate test on hand, and it's not listed in our local water report. All our water comes from our aquifer. Are phosphates often an issue in groundwater, or just surface water?

I'd considered daphnia. Any particular kind you recommend? I was thinking Moina since they seem to have more forgiving temperature parameters. No place sells live daphnia locally, so I'd need to order them. But first I've gotta arrange to have them held at the PO, since it's 113 here today, so that last mile of delivery would be lethal. Will try to make that happen. Now I just need to get more fish to eat the daphnia, since I'm assuming my otos are dedicated vegans......
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post #45 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:32 PM
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Thanks, this is really helpful. I've shortened my lighting period and have been doing 10-20% WC daily--wasn't sure if the fresh water & the micros in it was just exacerbating the problem or not. Don't have a phosphate test on hand, and it's not listed in our local water report. All our water comes from our aquifer. Are phosphates often an issue in groundwater, or just surface water?

I'd considered daphnia. Any particular kind you recommend? I was thinking Moina since they seem to have more forgiving temperature parameters. No place sells live daphnia locally, so I'd need to order them. But first I've gotta arrange to have them held at the PO, since it's 113 here today, so that last mile of delivery would be lethal. Will try to make that happen. Now I just need to get more fish to eat the daphnia, since I'm assuming my otos are dedicated vegans......
Oh My- 113 degrees! Its 101 degrees in Elk Grove, California and its miserable.! Cant imagine what 113 degrees feels like.

180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
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