how good is excel as a Carbon provider? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2007, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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how good is excel as a Carbon provider?

What is the limit to tank size for getting away with just dosing Excel instead of using pressurized CO2 for a well planted tank assuming decent lighting?

15gal planted,flourite+volcanite,65 watt pc,whisper 2 filter,5lb CO2 tank and diffuser,flourish .

Last edited by cvarcher; 01-01-2008 at 01:16 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2007, 10:35 PM
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It's not a CO2 provider. It's a source of organic carbon.

What's "decent" lighting? What sized tank, and how many WPGs?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2007, 10:50 PM
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10 gallon, 46W CF spirals, 5500K.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2007, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yes thats what I meant ---carbon provider.

Figure on a 20 gal tank , light loving plants say 3watts per gallon(provided with PC 6700k).Can Excel do the job. Dont need rampant growth like I had with the pressurized tank, just slow but healthy and steady.

15gal planted,flourite+volcanite,65 watt pc,whisper 2 filter,5lb CO2 tank and diffuser,flourish .
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2007, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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24fps you had good growth with that setup just using excel?

10gal with 46watts of CF at 5500k . Riccia, baby tears, pearlweed ,pennywort? OK?

15gal planted,flourite+volcanite,65 watt pc,whisper 2 filter,5lb CO2 tank and diffuser,flourish .
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 12:15 AM
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That light spectrum seems a little low. Should be 6700 to 10k- also excel is about 60% as effective as co2. Whether you need pressurized or not depends on your light and photo period. With that much light you'll likely need some kind of co2 and ferts or you'll see slow growth and most likely algae problems
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 12:55 AM
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I am running half a dozen medium light tanks dosing Excel as the only supplemental carbon. They are all doing great...IMHO . All tanks have around 2wpg. I love the stuff. I order two 4 liter jugs every year when Big Als runs their free shipping promotion at Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure how you'll do with over 4wpg on a 10. I know it gets a little hard to judge the wpg on small tanks. But my 5g hex does have a 27w-quad tube-6700k - desk lamp over it. It gets 5 drops of Excel daily using my medicine dropper.

I dose exactly as per label instructions, but everyday. (Not every-other or every third....everyday!)

I am continually amazed at the variety of plants which grow well. I've also gradually fine-tuned a modified PPS fertilization I into these tanks as well.

46g ... 96w -CF.
35hex ... 80w - CF (24" deep tank run w/ Noon Burst:4hrs & 40w: 5hrs)
20long ... 28w -t5
two 10g ... 15w
5hex ... 27w CF
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvarcher View Post
Figure on a 20 gal tank , light loving plants say 3watts per gallon(provided with PC 6700k).Can Excel do the job. Dont need rampant growth like I had with the pressurized tank, just slow but healthy and steady.
I use Excel for a 50 gallon tank with 2.6 wpg and also do EI ferts. First experience with EI dosing for me, been about 2 1/2 months now and my tank has never been in better shape. No algae and nice plant growth. I have my own theory that if you exceed 2 wpg you should use Excel or CO2. I am able to get by with Excel at 2.6 wpg but my guess is that once you get to 3 wpg or more you need to use CO2. I would be interested in hearing the experiences of anyone who uses Excel (without CO2) in a high light tank. If you don't want to have to use CO2 or deal with rampant growth cut back to 2 - 2.5 wpg, dose ferts and use Excel. You should get really good results. Buy Excel in 2 or 4 liter bottles to get the most bang for your buck.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I see. I know what high lighting and CO2 gas does , my planted tank grew fast. Every month I had to cut back 4-6 " growth on everything. Even my glossostigma grew fast! I still had several differant hair algaes anyway but never on the glass. I thought Id try a lower dose of Carbon and lower lighting intensity and see if I could still try and get plants like baby tears or pennywort or macradra to stay healthy and grow slowly .But your saying I may run into algae problems huh. I want to do a 20 gal high and use one power compact 55 watt bulb either 5500 or 6700K. If Excel can be 50-60% as good as CO2 gas it just might work. I will use flourite gravel of course and add Flourish fertilizer and Flourish with iron .Heres a picture of my old 15 gal tank. http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/cvarcher/Ft8.jpg
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...her/FT11-1.jpg

15gal planted,flourite+volcanite,65 watt pc,whisper 2 filter,5lb CO2 tank and diffuser,flourish .
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 08:25 AM
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The issue with Excel isn't effectiveness; it's cost. The amount of Excel that you have to add daily to a larger tank will add up quite a lot over time compared with CO2. The other drawback is that some plants can be injured by it - namely anacharis and vallisneria. I've heard of people completely killing these plants by using Excel.

I'm not knocking it, as I use it quite a bit. But for your wallet and for the health of certain plants, CO2 is a far better option.
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