Excel and fert dosing for low-medium light tank - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Warren, Mi
Posts: 476
Excel and fert dosing for low-medium light tank

Can I use excel and ferts as a replacement for co2? I know I probably wont get the same results as if I were using co2. Does anyone know of any article on how to dose using these chemicals?

I have a 38 gallon tank with a Current LED+ light and I was going to use eco complete for a substrate. I can't afford a co2 set up so I'm looking for another way of doing things to get better growth.

I have a moderate understanding of dosing ferts but I'm not familiar with excel. I know it's liquid carbon and I just don't know what to expect from it.
wantsome is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 06:06 PM
Darkblade48's Avatar
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 11,854
Fertilizers are completely different from CO2, so you cannot use it to "replace" CO2.

Excel acts as a CO2 substitute, however.

Regarding dosing, there are various fertilization regimens that are different depending on the amount of maintenance you wish to do.

For Excel, following the recommended doses is usually what most people do.


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.

Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
Darkblade48 is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 06:15 PM
Wannabe Guru
NeonFlux's Avatar
PTrader: (151/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,588
Excel cannot exactly replace CO2.. like Darkblade48 has already mentioned, it's a substitute. It will still help plants in conjunction with some bit of fert dosing, so it's a bit better than having no real co2 at all. And it will help control some algae.

20 gallon - Red Cherry Shrimp/Marbled crayfish tank
55 gallon - Dutch scape low-tech planted tank

250 gallon - Red hook silver dollar/Silver dollars/PB Jack Dempsey/Clown loaches/Tinfoil barb/Roseline sharks/Bala shark Monster fish tank
NeonFlux is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 08:01 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Raymond S.'s Avatar
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
Try to find if Current has a PAR chart on that light. You will get more acurate answers if you can state what the par is at the sub in your tank.
Excel works better when used daily. CO2 is present in most water. We add to it with
CO2 or Excel. If the light was the motor of a car, then Oxygen and gas are the CO2 and ferts. Without almost equal parts of each it will hurt the plant growth.
Many low light tanks rely only on that CO2 which is normally found in the water.
As you raise the light you need to raise the other two also.
The amount of plants also determines how much of each is needed as does the type of plants like regular growth/med growth/fast growth.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 10:49 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Zorfox's Avatar
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,105
I agree with what's been said so no need repeating it. Excel or glutaraldehyde commonly as sold as metricide works well. Dosing the recommended amount daily is sufficient.

For a fertilizer regimen, I would recommend EI. It provides non-limiting nutrients which is the only way to eliminate deficiencies. The only drawback are the water changes. If you don't mind doing weekly water changes that's the way to go. It can be modified for monthly water changes but requires a little more thought than following a basic dosing plan.

Here are a couple of posts I made explaining non-limiting nutrients as well as a list of doses for most tanks.

The EI Concept explained
Dry dosing and Nutrient Solution Recipes
Zorfox is offline  


Quick Reply

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


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

Email Address:


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