How to use Excel correctly? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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How to use Excel correctly?

Hello! I'm going to start using excel on my 40g tank, but I'm confused. It says on the instructions to use an amount of excel on the first day and later use less?

How does excel work? Can I add excel every day? Every other day? How much ml of excel can I add of for a 40g? I have algaes. Can I use excel and Flourish on the same day?

I'm worried about my amano shrimps, so I dont want to overdose excel and kill them.

I use Flourish comp, iron, potassium and sometimes root tabs.

Last edited by Manami; 01-13-2016 at 09:22 PM. Reason: edit
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 09:26 PM
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i have a 40g tank and I dose 1/2 cap excel every few days. I also dose 1/2 potassium, iron and micro nutrients, alternating days.

I was dosing full caps in the first couple of weeks. its not an exact science you will have to try and see what happens.
taking pictures of the tank once a week helps determine if your actions are good or bad. if the tank looked better a month ago you need to change something, if the tank looks better now, keep doing what you are doing.



I also have amano shrimps and some of them died, cause of death: unknown.

since you have algae, dosing less than recommended is a good idea, you can always increase the dosage later.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. I can start adding half of the dosage every other day and see how the shrimps react to it.


I read on the internet once that excel can be toxic if inhaled. Should I be worried since the 40g tank is inside my bedroom? Sorry for the silly question.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 03:48 AM
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The best way to dose Excell (or Metricide 14 day) is to dose it every day, at 2 ml per 10 gallons of water. Don't ever use the Seachem recommended starter dose of 5 ml per 10 gallons. That is very hard on some plants like vals, but the 2 ml dosage did no harm to my vals. The Seachem recommended 1 ml per 10 gallons doesn't seem to be enough - I saw a big change when I switched to 2 ml. This is a very low dosage so it doesn't harm fish or, as far as I have heard, shrimp. You dose every day because its life in the tank is about a day - after a day most of it is gone.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 03:57 AM
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Ok. I can start adding half of the dosage every other day and see how the shrimps react to it.


I read on the internet once that excel can be toxic if inhaled. Should I be worried since the 40g tank is inside my bedroom? Sorry for the silly question.
there is a warning on the label, and the cap is childproof, so its definitely not good for you, especially if you are exposed to it every night. if you have allergies or other health problems you should be worried.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:01 AM
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I read on the internet once that excel can be toxic if inhaled. Should I be worried since the 40g tank is inside my bedroom? Sorry for the silly question.
It will be fine, considering that you are diluting the Excel significantly upon dosing it into your aquarium.

That being said, do not sniff the bottle of Excel directly, and keep it sealed when not in use, and you will be fine.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:02 AM
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I'm sure that it's toxic if inhaled at a very high concentration. If it's already in the aquarium you wouldn't have to worry about that.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:06 AM
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Here's the MSDS for it if you're interested.
http://www.seachem.com/support/MSDS/...hExcel.doc.pdf
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:30 AM
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Here's the MSDS for it if you're interested.
http://www.seachem.com/support/MSDS/...hExcel.doc.pdf
SECTION VI: HEALTH HAZARD DATA answers the question.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! Great info.! Thanks you all!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 02:25 PM
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Q: Is Flourish Excel a replacement for CO2 in a planted aquarium?

A: Yes and no. It provides the same benefit as CO2, i.e. it provides the plants with a source of carbon for growth just as CO2 provides them with carbon. However CO2 by itself will give you quantitatively more growth than Excel by itself, although Excel does provide a substantial amount in comparison. If CO2 is a 10, Excel is a 6-7. Using both together provides additional benefit. One of the advantages of the Excel is no up front equipment costs and complexity of valves, hoses and regulators, etc.
I found this in the Q&A section for Excel. Most of the answers are fairly well detailed until the get to the advantages of using Excel and CO2 together.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. But that is if you want to use both, I suppose. They just want you to buy more of their products...haha.

I'm going to experiment using excel first. My light is medium light and I'm buying supposedly hardy, less demanding plants. My only worries are the vals, but I'll keep an eye on it.

If I use excel daily, will I still need to use flourish comp? I only use it 2 days a week.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
I found this in the Q&A section for Excel. Most of the answers are fairly well detailed until the get to the advantages of using Excel and CO2 together.
"Flourish Excel™ is a source of bioavailable organic carbon. All plants require a source of carbon. This is typically obtained from CO2, but, may also be derived from simple organic compounds (such as photosynthetic intermediates). The use of either CO2 injection or Flourish Excel™ does not necessarily negate the use of the other. Because the processes of producing photosynthetic intermediates and building onto them occur simultaneously, one can derive a substantial benefit with the use of Flourish Excel™ either alone or in conjunction with CO2 . The combination is particularly ideal for situations when continuing to add CO2 could result in dangerously low pH levels. Flourish Excel™ also has iron reducing properties which promote the ferrous state of iron (Fe+2), which is more easily utilized by plants than ferric iron (Fe+3)."

In short Excel is good for folks that receive already low pH tap water.

I am currently using both CO2 and Excel. My aquarium degassed water pH comes in at 7.2 to 7.4.
In order to achieve 30ppm of CO2 it is recommended that a pH controller using CO2 be set one full degree below a degassed water sample.
I figured out last week that setting the controller to 6.2 to 6.4 is detrimental to my plants and snails (dissolves their shells) I now have my controller set to 7.0 and am using Excel at approximately 1.25x the recommended rate, feeding every other day.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:24 PM
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I'm hesitant to use Excel in my shrimp tanks because they don't seem to like it. They don't keel over dead (unless you overdose it), but they don't seem happy. They are less active, hide more, and breed less.

I am currently using half-doses in my non-CO2 shrimp tanks.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 06:44 PM
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I dose 2x recommended dose of excel daily on my low tech. I agree with everything Hoppy said.
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