Interesting write up on "liquid carbon" - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting write up on "liquid carbon"

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
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 05:39 PM
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It's an interesting article unfortunately it's written by a biased source. JBL sells co2 systems so it wouldn't be possible for them to write anything positive about liquid carbon.

Most here know, liquid carbon type products provide no where near the benefits of real co2, but they do have a positive effect on growth (and aren't just for algae control) and some plants that wouldn't ordinary survive without co2, are able to survive with liquid carbon.


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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
some plants that wouldn't ordinary survive without co2, are able to survive with liquid carbon.
which ones would these be

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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:35 PM
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Last I checked, the only liquid CO2 to be found in the hobby is found inside pressurized CO2 tanks, not in white and green plastic bottles.

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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Last I checked, the only liquid CO2 to be found in the hobby is found inside pressurized CO2 tanks, not in white and green plastic bottles.
I thought the same thing when I first saw the article, but it goes on to explain that it's not co2. It's a poorly worded title.

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which ones would these be
My spidey sense, tells me your doubtful and not curious.

Taking out of the equation, dirt, extremely rich aquarium soils and sunlight I have personally seen a difference in growth and/or life/death in such plants as: B. Japonica, DHG, Cabomba and submersed Riccia.


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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
I thought the same thing when I first saw the article, but it goes on to explain that it's not co2. It's a poorly worded title.

Bump:

My spidey sense, tells me your doubtful and not curious.

Taking out of the equation, dirt, extremely rich aquarium soils and sunlight I have personally seen a difference in growth and/or life/death in such plants as: B. Japonica, DHG, Cabomba and submersed Riccia.
Could grow all of those without liquid carbon. But then if folks claim that Excel helped, I have nothing against that either. I have just not seen a huge difference myself - and by observing the low tech tanks of others, I can't tell which ones use Excel or not either.
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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
Could grow all of those without liquid carbon. But then if folks claim that Excel helped, I have nothing against that either. I have just not seen a huge difference myself - and by observing the low tech tanks of others, I can't tell which ones use Excel or not either.
I suspected you might say that. But most folks here, do not grow those plants without any supplementation unless they are using a soil substrate (exception the cabomba BTW) As you know more than others, water makes a difference. I actually did a controlled experiment comparing the differences a few years ago. Also there's growth and there's GROWTH.


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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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It's an interesting article unfortunately it's written by a biased source. JBL sells co2 systems so it wouldn't be possible for them to write anything positive about liquid carbon.
In full transparency the link was posted by a biased source as well; myself. 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 that have gotten out of control. And it will kill most algae. But to market it as liquid carbon when carbon can't be found in liquid form at room temperature unless under pressure is extremely misleading to the consumer. And most importantly, it does not add a measurable amount of CO2 to the aquarium. I've done a 10x dose on an algae filled QT tank and that massive dose wouldn't even register on a drop checker. It does have some value as an aquarium product, but it is positively not CO2, and most newer hobbyists assume it is. My problem with glut products is mostly the marketing.

And while JDL does want you to buy their pressurized systems, I would be surprised if anything in the article could be disputed as inaccurate. I'm all ears if you feel any part is.


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Most here know, liquid carbon type products provide no where near the benefits of real co2, but they do have a positive effect on growth (and aren't just for algae control) and some plants that wouldn't ordinary survive without co2, are able to survive with liquid carbon.
@Xiaozhuang beat me to my question here. And I am very skeptical that glut has a positive effect on plant growth outside of receiving more light/nutrients after algal growth is killed off.



Having said all of this I'll be the first to admit that I've killed far, far more fish by accidentally over-injecting CO2 in my aquariums that glut will ever do.
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 08:45 PM
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@Blue Ridge Reef

Did you read my 1st post?

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...Most here know, liquid carbon type products provide no where near the benefits of real co2, but they do have a positive effect on growth (and aren't just for algae control) and some plants that wouldn't ordinary survive without co2, are able to survive with liquid carbon.
I never once said or implied that liquid carbon products add co2. Where do you see that That has nothing to do with. In addition I never said it made a large difference as @Xiaozhuang implied in his response. So let's keep things accurate. For the record I only used pressurized co2 now. I like the full, growth even with lower light plants that you get. I have PERSONALLY experienced better growth with liquid carbon (or whatever you want to call it) then without. And this article is basically advertising for JBLs products. It HAS to be biased. That's the reason they're writing it. It is not accurate if I have personally seen the difference in plant growth and they are using a blanket statement saying there is none. Blanket statements in this hobby are worthless based on so many different parameters, etc.

I believe you when you say you haven't seen growth and believe me it's nothing extreme, but I tend to not belief that myself and others are simply delusional as the article implies.


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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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@Blue Ridge Reef

Did you read my 1st post?
I did indeed. However I think you might be taking personally what was intended to be simply thoughts and experiences on using glut.




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Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
I never once said or implied that liquid carbon products add co2. Where do you see that That has nothing to do with. In addition I never said it made a large difference as @Xiaozhuang implied in his response.
Again, I didn't say that you said any such a thing. I am simply discussing the product's use in the aquarium and nothing was meant personally. I was curious if you felt there exist plants in the hobby that grow only with the addition of glut.

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And this article is basically advertising for JBLs products. It HAS to be biased. That's the reason they're writing it.
You're saying because this person works for a company making a different product then nothing he says on the subject of CO2 vs glut can be trusted. I get your point, but that is textbook ad hominem logical fallacy.
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It is not accurate if I have personally seen the difference in plant growth and they are using a blanket statement saying there is none. Blanket statements in this hobby are worthless based on so many different parameters, etc.
Similarly, because you add glut and your plants do well does not equal glut being responsible for your thriving plants. And it only makes sense that having less algae to compete with would result in more nutrients and light being available. I'm simply trying to say that it isn't CO2, not that it doesn't help anything in any way. To truly do a fair comparison, one would need to set up a series of identical tanks and treat a control group with glut and not the others. As far as I'm aware no one has done that, except *maybe* Tom Barr. I have heard that Seachem commissioned him to thoroughly test their Excel product but he had to sign a NDA, so only he and Seachem probably know.

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I believe you when you say you haven't seen growth and believe me it's nothing extreme, but I tend to not belief that myself and others are simply delusional as the article implies.
I feel you are taking this as an attack and I sincerely do not mean it as one. The author never implied people who use glut are delusional. We all have our own experiences when keeping our tanks. I am as guilty as the next hobbyist of seeing good results and being convinced it was because of the thing I changed. I don't think I ever said that I haven't seen any growth when using glut based products, but I don't think it's a particularly healthy product for fish, inverts or plants to add long term. I tend to feel that algae issues can almost always be cleared up other ways. Those methods will take longer, but see my signature.


In closing, apologies if anything I wrote came across as a personal attack. Any ire from my end was directed at glut products being called liquid carbon. I tried to add qualifiers that I've lost more fish to CO2 overdose, I keep Excel on hand, etc. but admittedly it's a hard subject for me to be neutral about. Happy tank keeping.
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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 10:39 PM
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Question relevant to hobbyist:
1. How long does it last in a real planted tank?
2. How much CO2, reduced carbon does it supply?
3. What is the toxic level cut off?
4. What do studies show for 1/2 life decay rates for glutaraldehyde in anaeroibic and aerobic systems?

We can answer most of 2,3 and 4 from the research already.
https://barrreport.com/threads/gluta...uariums.10194/

As far as I remember it does breakdown, in part , to CO2..Amount is minimal..
It's algaecidal uses are probably the major reason for healthier plants..

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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 10:42 PM
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@Blue Ridge Reef

I appreciate your response and I really didn't take anything personally. To cut to the chase Yes any article written by a manufacturer and not an independent 3rd party is biased. This is basic research bias and it's the reason manufuctuers spend millions of dollars using companies like Nielsen and JD Powers to name a few to conduct syndicated research so the public can be assured the research was conducted in an unbiased way. If they can simply do the research themselves why would they spend money they didn't have to.

Excel (Glut) whatever does work, but I agree the way it works is misleading. Most people think its Liquid co2 and/or carbon (there is some), but I don't believe the carbon has much to do with the way it works. Having read various articles from scholars in the aquarium industry it basically cleans the surface of the plant leaf (it is a sterlizer) and allows the plant to better utilize existing co2 and nutrients. We all know most aquariums have a thin layer of algae or detris on the leaf that will eventually become nusiance algae. The excel or glut can eliminate this issue and you have some positive gains.

This was all documentated by Karen Randall I believe who was a beta-tester for Excel and has said first hand that it improved plant growth in her aquariums. If I find the article I will post it here.

I read your post again and I will state once again I never stated it was co2 or even carbon that improved growth, simply the use of glut/excel PERIOD as you can tell by this post.

Karen Randall -

'I don't have anything negative to say about Seachem. They were the FIRST company to really listen to planted tank aquarists and give us the products we wanted. They are "the good guys" in my book. I don't agree with them on HOW Excel works, (based on the work of other scientists at the University of Copenhagen) but as I said, it DOES improve plant growth in certain circumstances. I was a beta tester for the product, so I know as well as anyone how it works.'
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate your response and I really didn't take anything personally.
Thanks, I try to word what I say carefully on the internet but in my haste to get to my point can admittedly come across blunt at times upon rereading.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
To cut to the chase Yes any article written by a manufacturer and not an independent 3rd party is biased. This is basic research bias and it's the reason manufuctuers spend millions of dollars using companies like Nielsen and JD Powers to name a few to conduct syndicated research so the public can be assured the research was conducted in an unbiased way. If they can simply do the research themselves why would they spend money they didn't have to.
I don't disagree. By all means skepticism should be raised when reading information from a source who sells any product, let alone one that in any way competes with the one they are criticizing. But in fairness to everyone this is a tiny industry, our aquarium hobby, let alone the freshwater planted segment. There simply isn't the profit in it for the proper research and development of substances to be manufactured for sale. Almost everything on my store's shelves marketed for aquariums was designed for other industries and adopted to our hobby (including glut). I doubt even giants such as Seachem and Hagen could afford independent testing on products they bring to market. I will not dispute for one second that the purpose of them releasing this article was to increase sales of their pressurized units, but that in itself doesn't make what the article's contents "untrue." I got a bit of a kick myself out of seeing the hazard signs by the glut and nothing on the CO2 when I have lost an entire established aquarium of fish no fewer than 3 times from dialing that regulator to the left a couple of clicks too far. But I feel there is a difference between raising your alert meter when reading something from a source with invested interests and chalking that info off as useless info because it must be biased.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Excel (Glut) whatever does work, but I agree the way it works is misleading. Most people think its Liquid co2 and/or carbon (there is some), but I don't believe the carbon has much to do with the way it works. Having read various articles from scholars in the aquarium industry it basically cleans the surface of the plant leaf (it is a sterlizer) and allows the plant to better utilize existing co2 and nutrients. We all know most aquariums have a thin layer of algae or detris on the leaf that will eventually become nusiance algae. The excel or glut can eliminate this issue and you have some positive gains.
I think we pretty much have the same belief then, but are arguing semantics. Again, my issue is that you say "there is some." Sure there is, but there is deadly-to-inverts copper in my favorite shrimp food as well but it is an inconsequential amount in both cases. Excel in my humble opinion primarily has any effectiveness at all because it kills competing algae, not because of CO2 gains. And I look at this hobby in a different way than you may. The biofilm and algae that grow on plant's leaves isn't something I'm eager to kill. I have snails, ottos and shrimp and such in most tanks, and am adverse to killing off naturally occurring micro flora even in tanks where I don't have things that feed on it.
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This was all documentated by Karen Randall I believe who was a beta-tester for Excel and has said first hand that it improved plant growth in her aquariums. If I find the article I will post it here.
I seem to recall seeing that some time back. I would be happy to give it another read should you run across it. Cheers!
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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:49 PM
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One of the things that Barr said regarding it, and not able to confirm total accuracy is that glut increased yield 4x vs CO2(g) increased it 10x..

so regardless of it's action.. it helps more than nothing..
http://cactiexchange.ipc.tsc.ru/blogger/fulltext.pdf
Quote:


Metabolism of glutaraldehyde was quite rapid under aerobic conditions, with a half-life of 10.6 h based on the disappear-
ance of the parent compound from the water phase. Glutaraldehyde was metabolized ultimately to CO2, achieving a yield
of 68% after 30 days. Based on the experimental results obtained in this study, an aerobic metabolic pathway can be
proposed: Glutaraldehyde is first biotransformed into glutaric acid. At this intermediate point, further oxidation can proceed
in two ways, either toward a -hydroxyglutaric acid or b-ketoglutaric acid, depending on which of the two carbons, the
carbonyl carbon or the C-2 carbon, is activated. Both pathways then proceed toward decarboxylative chain shortening reac-
tions accompanied by the extrusion of 14CO2 (Krzeminski et al.1975). As no intermediate metabolite between the production
of glutaric acid and CO2 was detected, neither of the two pathways can be ruled out. This pathway of microbial metabolism, through an acidic intermediate to CO2, is very similar to.....
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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:50 PM
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Thanks, I try to word what I say carefully on the internet but in my haste to get to my point can admittedly come across blunt at times upon rereading.
I tend to do that as well. So probably two rams clashing here.

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I don't disagree. By all means skepticism should be raised when reading information from a source who sells any product, let alone one that in any way competes with the one they are criticizing. But in fairness to everyone this is a tiny industry, our aquarium hobby, let alone the freshwater planted segment. There simply isn't the profit in it for the proper research and development of substances to be manufactured for sale. Almost everything on my store's shelves marketed for aquariums was designed for other industries and adopted to our hobby (including glut). I doubt even giants such as Seachem and Hagen could afford independent testing on products they bring to market. I will not dispute for one second that the purpose of them releasing this article was to increase sales of their pressurized units, but that in itself doesn't make what the article's contents "untrue." I got a bit of a kick myself out of seeing the hazard signs by the glut and nothing on the CO2 when I have lost an entire established aquarium of fish no fewer than 3 times from dialing that regulator to the left a couple of clicks too far. But I feel there is a difference between raising your alert meter when reading something from a source with invested interests and chalking that info off as useless info because it must be biased.
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.

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I think we pretty much have the same belief then, but are arguing semantics. Again, my issue is that you say "there is some." Sure there is, but there is deadly-to-inverts copper in my favorite shrimp food as well but it is an inconsequential amount in both cases. Excel in my humble opinion primarily has any effectiveness at all because it kills competing algae, not because of CO2 gains. And I look at this hobby in a different way than you may. The biofilm and algae that grow on plant's leaves isn't something I'm eager to kill. I have snails, ottos and shrimp and such in most tanks, and am adverse to killing off naturally occurring micro flora even in tanks where I don't have things that feed on it.
Yes I believe your right. And again I was merely stating dosing of excel/glut in certain situations improves plant growth. Sometimes in marginal systems in terms of light and no-co2 it can bring a plant over a threshold that allows it to live and grow. I have personally experienced this and according to Karen Randall she has too. I have not give the credit to carbon, other than the fact that the plant might be able to be utilitize existing sources.

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I seem to recall seeing that some time back. I would be happy to give it another read should you run across it. Cheers!
Sounds good, if I find it will attach
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