Excel isn't "liquid carbon", it's actually (from what I've read from other's report) a diluted glutaraldehyde. It can be used as a substitute for a carbon source; also works good for spot algae treatment.
Shrimps will do alright in the flora substrate. Then again, I'd go with the Ebi just because the co2 refill on the flora will cost you alot.
A pack of 3 refills costs 15 to 40 dollars online NOT INCLUDING shipping. After a year or so, you could have built a good pressurized dual stage co2 system. It's also the main reason why the Flora is expensive. Go with the Ebi and use glut based products or DIY yeast co2; It will be just as effective and alot cheaper.
Here is a nice collection of them: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/eq...mp-club-3.html
Your right that excel is not just "liquid carbon" but for all intents and purpose for the OP boiling it down to its simplest terms it is pretty darn close, the chemical makeup of Excel is CH2(CH2CHO)2 which has hydrogen, and a bit of oxygen mixed in with a crap ton of carbon.
wow that is good info to know! I had no idea that they were proprietary! Hmm! this is becoming a difficult decision! LOL
I like the idea of getting the Ebi, but for some reason I keep going back to the Flora. The DIY yeast Co2 caught my interest though
The reason you keep going back to the flora is probably because the flora is intended for live plants, and the ebi is intended for shrimp. But they are exactly the same tank. What you are paying for with the flora is a set of large tweezers, which are nice, and a very expensive to run co2 system, other than that, it is the exact same kit.
DIY co2 is a good alternative, but again if you don't want the pain of recharging it every couple weeks, I would go with the excel. If you wanted to spend a bit more, there is a pretty good pressurized system out there for paintball tanks. I have http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/4531/product.web
on my flora, and it is a pretty good system. you can set it and only mess with it when you need a refill. the 20oz paintball tank costs me 3.50 for a refill, and I only have to refill it every few months or so. I would not worry about that until you decide to go to a higher light setup.