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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Hair algae

So I did a pretty thorough post on fertilizer and got a lot of really great advice from that, so now that I'm dosing more correctly I want to try to fix this ultra fast growing hair algae I started a new post as this doesn't have anything to do with ferts.

I read an Interesting article earlier about the cause for hair algae being improper c02 and it got me thinking, mind you I've been battling this for like ever now and have tried (lowering my light intensity, increasing my light on time, decreasing my light on time, increasing my intensity, which is actually making my plants grow better and about 70 other things with my light let alone other things as far as filtration, more plants, etc etc the list is way to long) but never really thought about this before and that's could my light be exhausting the co2 in my tank?

I know plants expel c02, I know c02 happens from atmospheric pressure as well as fish respiration, I don't have a canister filter nor c02 as I simply can't afford it and I'm highly against using excel as I've killed fish before with very small dosages (I know I'm gonna get flack for saying that but it's true), simply put could my fluval 3.0 running at an estimated 80% for 6 hours (not including the ramp in/ramp out which are 1 hour each, if that's factored in 8 hours total

Tank specs
55 gallon
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 25
Ph 7.5
Phosphate (Approx 3 need a better test kit)
Tds 148
Temp 76
Kh 4
Gh 6-7

I need to fix this as it's using up the nutrients my plants need to grow and stay healthy, I know I'm gonna be recommend to get c02 I just can't afford it.






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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 02:30 AM
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plants take in co2 during lighted hours and expel o2 then during night hours they take in o2 and release co2. also from my understanding algae is not consuming nurtients in the sense of things like NPK. most are consuming nitrates and co2 as an energy source. i could be completely wrong on this though. in my experience when my co2 runs out hair algae begins to bloom. im dealing with it in one of my 20 gallon tanks since i have been quite lazy on keeping up the co2. i think reducing your lights just a bit, doing a minimal hydrogen peroxide treatment and getting consistent co2 levels will help a great deal. you can do diy co2 which is very cheap to do. i paid $20(per diy rig) for a diy co2 setup and i pay somewhere around(this is a random guess) $20 per month to run 4 tanks on co2(sugar and yeast option). that is stupid cheap to have co2 on a tank. it does run out every 1-2 weeks but it is well worth it.
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plants take in co2 during lighted hours and expel o2 then during night hours they take in o2 and release co2. also from my understanding algae is not consuming nurtients in the sense of things like NPK. most are consuming nitrates and co2 as an energy source. i could be completely wrong on this though. in my experience when my co2 runs out hair algae begins to bloom. im dealing with it in one of my 20 gallon tanks since i have been quite lazy on keeping up the co2. i think reducing your lights just a bit, doing a minimal hydrogen peroxide treatment and getting consistent co2 levels will help a great deal. you can do diy co2 which is very cheap to do. i paid $20(per diy rig) for a diy co2 setup and i pay somewhere around(this is a random guess) $20 per month to run 4 tanks on co2(sugar and yeast option). that is stupid cheap to have co2 on a tank. it does run out every 1-2 weeks but it is well worth it.
I'll have to research it a bit as I know with dyi co2 can come many other horrible other things, I lowered my light by 5% and put 1"blocks under it to raise the light a bit off the tank

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 08:48 PM
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Hair algae is one of the hardest to eliminate in my experience. Algae is primarily cause by nutrient deficiency of some sort. That can be not enough light or CO2 or insufficient levels of any one macro or micro nutrient. Also algae being primarily a single cell organism its nutrient needs to live and reproduce are very small. For example I store RO water in a bucket until I need to do a water change. While it is in there I use a pump to pass the water through a DI filter. The TDS of the water averages 1ppm. So despite having basically nothing in the water this bucket has algae. Not much but it is there. Now if I put a floating plant in the bucket (salvinia minima) is just sits there, It doesn't grow but it doesn't die either. It just sits there.

So in short changing lighting period or CO2 levels flow and filtration is may not going to do much. I think lighting and CO2 will only have a noticeable effect if you are currently very close to water parameter that algae doesn't like. And in general if you make conditions hard for algae to grow you also make the conditions very hard for plants to grow.


Quote:
could my light be exhausting the co2 in my tank?
That is a possibility but in my experience with CO2 exhaustion, My PH when up. When I first set up my tank I didn't use CO2 and water PH was normally 7. When the plants were growing well my PH actually climbed to 9. And then at night the PH would drop back down to 7. Now I am using CO2 I can still see the same think. If my CO2 is sufficient my ph drops. IF it is not sufficient it goes up. If I have just enough CO2 my PH stays constant. I am currently running the tank with a PH drop of 0.2 ( I am not aiming for high light and CO2) and at least some of the plants are pearling and all are growing.

When I first noticed the PH increase when I wasn't using CO2 I simply solved the problem by reducing light level. This slowed plant growth a little but it also allowed CO2 levels from fish and air to get into balance with the consumption by the plants. Also It should be noted that my fish were never harmed by the high PH. From their behavior it appeared they didn't notice it. Also it should be noted that I have no idea if all tanks show a PH increase with CO2 depletion. So it is possible for your water to have a stable PH and still have insufficient co2 levels.

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I'm highly against using excel as I've killed fish before with very small dosages
Excell is an organic acid that reacts strongly with certain molecules that are present in living tissue. This fact gives it it's antiseptic effect. However there are other types of organic acids that don't have this antiseptic quality. vinegar (acidic acid), citric acid, and gluconate are all organic acids that are commonly used in fertilizers. You could try these instead of excel. as long as you don't add enough to crash your PH, Your fish probably wouldn't notice a 0.5 PH drop due to the addition of a less reactive organic acid. This might help to insure your plants are never short on carbon.

The last thing I can think of to address a carbon shortage (if you have one) would be to add more fish. They convert food to carbon dioxide and organic waist which can help.

However with all that said I don't think CO2 and lighting will solve your problem. When I looked back at your fertilizer posts I saw a lot of talk about NPK and iron. Those are only 4 out of the 14 fertilizer nutrient plants need to grow. So in the end I think you are going to have to look into your fertilizer more. But with a focus on your micros.

I think your problem is something running out periodically in your tank. For example if you don't have enough copper your plants might be fine for most of the week but near the end of the week it runs out and your plant growth slows for stops for a couple of days. until your next water change and fertilizer dose adds more copper.. That 1 to 2 day pause in plant growth is all that algae needs in order to grow. Remember algae can grow in very low nutrient levels While there might not be enough copper for your plants the algae will have enough.

During the iron discussion on your fertilizer thread did you notice your copper dose was 0.0003ppm and your zinc dose was 0.0014ppm. Why so low? I am currently at 0.01ppm for copper and 0.02ppm for zinc. In my tank I use DI which has basically nothing in it. With regular fertilizers I couldn't get any reliable growth. I then started to make my own micro fertilizer and now I see evidence of growth every day in all my plants.

Zinc, copper, and calcium levels are frequently kept low in fertilizer since they are plentiful in tap water. The copper comes form copper pipes. Galvanized steel and brass pipes also contain zinc. Calcium often comes from limestone. Manufactures of fertilizer keep the Cu, Zn, and Ca levels low to prevent over dosing the water column. For example my tap water ( which I don't use in my aquarium) has a EPA safe copper levels of 0.05ppm. That is over 100 times more copper than in your fertilizer. So it is entirely possible you have more or less copper and zinc than I do simply because you have no way of knowing how much is in your tap water.

From your fertilizer thread it is also apparent that you are aware of the CSM+B toxicity issue. Many people having problems with CSM+B thought the EDTA in CSM was the cause. But there is a growing amount of evidence that suggests it wasn't a toxicity issue at all. But instead a deficiency issue. While CSM is a good fertilizer it is intended for use on farms, not aquariums. The mix of nutrients may be balanced for soil but not aquarium. There is a growing number of people that are now mixing there own micro fertilizer and getting good results. The fact is is that many fertilizer manufactures are simply guessing on how much of any ingredient to add put in a fertilizer. So when you compare nutrient levels in fertilizers you often see a wide variety of levels. So while a fertilizer may work well for some it might not work well for others. Simply because each has different tap water chemistry.

In your fertilizer thread you we considering reducing your iron since you also dose FE DTPA (due to your water PH). And most of that was because your CSM+B also has iron. I would however recommend you do not reduce your CSM+B levels. I fact I think your should try more csm. Or you can try what one other person has done which is to add additional zinc to your fertilizer.

Just for your reference I mix my own micro and these are my dose levels:
Fe 0.1ppm (DTPA)
Mn 0.05ppm
B 0.02ppm
ZN 0.02ppm
Cu 0.010ppm
Mo 0.001ppm
Ni 0.001ppm

I won't say my tank is algae free but it is much better than it was. The hair algae that once covered everything is no a very minor issue. Currently intermittent green water is a bigger issue and I have hard green spot algae issue that is not due to low phosphate. Know I can solve the green water with filer pads and an UV system and more scrubbing removes the spot algae but would like to avoid that.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
That is a possibility but in my experience with CO2 exhaustion, My PH when up. When I first set up my tank I didn't use CO2 and water PH was normally 7. When the plants were growing well my PH actually climbed to 9. And then at night the PH would drop back down to 7. Now I am using CO2 I can still see the same think. If my CO2 is sufficient my ph drops. IF it is not sufficient it goes up. If I have just enough CO2 my PH stays constant. I am currently running the tank with a PH drop of 0.2 ( I am not aiming for high light and CO2) and at least some of the plants are pearling and all are growing.
I check my parameters quite frequently throughout the week without a ph swing in either direction, I did notice you stated that I could have stable PH but still not have adequate c02, I have a pretty heavy fish load, in my opinion decent plant mass (needs more) and I over filter, but I recently modified my hob’s to not be so hard on down force and made them where they ripple the surface, I noticed yesterday that have hard green algae in small amounts on the glass so I’m wondering if modifying the filters ( baffling the flow) could be the cause for the hard green spot algae? if so I’m thinking about getting a second wave maker for increased flow in low flow areas.

Before my plants wouldn’t grow but algae did, but with adding more fish, increasing my light and modifying my ferts plants grow pretty decent now except wisteria and my Amazon , I pulled the wisteria and have it floating, the bottom stems were rotted which I’m sure is the cause for them not growing just not sure why the stems rotted/melted, but since floating (2days) I already have new growth and all the leaves are curling up trying to reach out of the water (not sure this is of any importance to this thread though, I know all plants that can be floated grow better at the water surface in a low tech tank)





Quote:
is an organic acid that reacts strongly with certain molecules that are present in living tissue. This fact gives it it's antiseptic effect. However there are other types of organic acids that don't have this antiseptic quality. vinegar (acidic acid), citric acid, and gluconate are all organic acids that are commonly used in fertilizers. You could try these instead of excel. as long as you don't add enough to crash your PH, Your fish probably wouldn't notice a 0.5 PH drop due to the addition of a less reactive organic acid. This might help to insure your plants are never short on carbon.
I’ve been researching dyi c02 with citric acid or yeast haven’t decided which is safer/better, but I’m also very leery about it as if I don’t do it right I risk killing my fish, if not balanced I get even more algae issues like the dreaded BBA, I have read about people just adding vinegar to their tanks but I’m not keen on that idea.

Quote:
The last thing I can think of to address a carbon shortage (if you have one) would be to add more fish. They convert food to carbon dioxide and organic waist which can help.
I have an over stocked tank right now, I did just add more fish not to long ago which greatly improved my plant growth by a lot , my tanks a 55 gallon and I now have 26 fish, 8 rainbows and 2 bigger groups of tetras (ornate and lemons) and a calico BN. I have a decent amount of plant mass just need faster growing stems which I’ll be getting soon, going to get some horn wart,a little bit of penny wart as a floater and a bundle (5stems of anacharis) with some ferns to attach to my new driftwood which I think will help starve the algae and in turn produce more c02 when lights off (hoping anyways)


Quote:
During the iron discussion on your fertilizer thread did you notice your copper dose was 0.0003ppm and your zinc dose was 0.0014ppm. Why so low? I am currently at 0.01ppm for copper and 0.02ppm for zinc. In my tank I use DI which has basically nothing in it. With regular fertilizers I couldn't get any reliable growth. I then started to make my own micro fertilizer and now I see evidence of growth every day in all my plants.


Zinc, copper, and calcium levels are frequently kept low in fertilizer since they are plentiful in tap water. The copper comes form copper pipes. Galvanized steel and brass pipes also contain zinc. Calcium often comes from limestone. Manufactures of fertilizer keep the Cu, Zn, and Ca levels low to prevent over dosing the water column. For example my tap water ( which I don't use in my aquarium) has a EPA safe copper levels of 0.05ppm. That is over 100 times more copper than in your fertilizer. So it is entirely possible you have more or less copper and zinc than I do simply because you have no way of knowing how much is in your tap water.

From your fertilizer thread it is also apparent that you are aware of the CSM+B toxicity issue. Many people having problems with CSM+B thought the EDTA in CSM was the cause. But there is a growing amount of evidence that suggests it wasn't a toxicity issue at all. But instead a deficiency issue. While CSM is a good fertilizer it is intended for use on farms, not aquariums. The mix of nutrients may be balanced for soil but not aquarium. There is a growing number of people that are now mixing there own micro fertilizer and getting good results. The fact is is that many fertilizer manufactures are simply guessing on how much of any ingredient to add put in a fertilizer. So when you compare nutrient levels in fertilizers you often see a wide variety of levels. So while a fertilizer may work well for some it might not work well for others. Simply because each has different tap water chemistry.

In your fertilizer thread you we considering reducing your iron since you also dose FE DTPA (due to your water PH). And most of that was because your CSM+B also has iron. I would however recommend you do not reduce your CSM+B levels. I fact I think your should try more csm. Or you can try what one other person has done which is to add additional zinc to your fertilizer.

Just for your reference I mix my own micro and these are my dose levels:
Fe 0.1ppm (DTPA)
Mn 0.05ppm
B 0.02ppm
ZN 0.02ppm
Cu 0.010ppm
Mo 0.001ppm
Ni 0.001ppm
To make this part a bit more simple as far as addressing , I am going to get a municipal water report done, all my pipes in my home which is 102 years old are all copper water pipes with the main ones before converting to copper are galvanized, so I don’t really know what my copper zinc or calcium is so the municipal water report will show that I think? I’m assuming my calcium is okay as before I added a cuttlebone in for my nerites I never had an issue with their shells but my rams horns don’t live very long so I’m thinking the copper might be high, I also used to have Texas holey rock in the tank which never increased my gh so I’m assuming it was because it didn’t leech like other limestones do which would increase calcium in the tank.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 02:13 AM
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There is a lot of missing details and weird stuff in this thread. It's late and I'm not going to get into what is weird and or ask for further details, but I will suggest you go here https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/control-algae.html and read. The belongs to Dennis Wong who is highly respected in the planted tank hobby.

Dennis is a big fan of using CO2, but you don't have to use it. He is also a big fan of using substrates such as Aqua Soil, but you don't have to use that either. My point is, keep what you will hopefully be reading in context. He also addresses ferts, lighting, ect...
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Smooch View Post
There is a lot of missing details and weird stuff in this thread. It's late and I'm not going to get into what is weird and or ask for further details, but I will suggest you go here https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/control-algae.html and read. The belongs to Dennis Wong who is highly respected in the planted tank hobby.

Dennis is a big fan of using CO2, but you don't have to use it. He is also a big fan of using substrates such as Aqua Soil, but you don't have to use that either. My point is, keep what you will hopefully be reading in context. He also addresses ferts, lighting, ect...

this is an awesome link. ty for this.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 05:40 AM
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To make this part a bit more simple as far as addressing , I am going to get a municipal water report done, all my pipes in my home which is 102 years old are all copper water pipes with the main ones before converting to copper are galvanized, so I donít really know what my copper zinc or calcium is so the municipal water report will show that I think?
Getting the local water report is a good idea. However keep in mine the following:

I have only seen on water report that listed zinc. And that report listed a level of 0.35ppm. Most however do show values for copper and lead.

For most quality checks they test the water coming out of the water treatment plant. However since copper corrosion can carry from house to house Copper, lead, and maybe even zinc are measured at some homes and office building and then the average and range of those readings are stated in the water report. So the number in the water report for copper, lead, and zinc may not reflect the actuall value in your home. You might want to inquire if they are willing to yes your own tap water. If not you can mail in a water sample to a commercial lab. I have not personally done that although I have been thinking about it. I posted a link to one below to just give you an example of what I am talking about. It is not cheep but might be worth it.

https://www.amazon.com/Triton-Labs-I.../dp/B0106D3QAQ
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smooch View Post
There is a lot of missing details and weird stuff in this thread. It's late and I'm not going to get into what is weird and or ask for further details, but I will suggest you go here https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/control-algae.html and read. The belongs to Dennis Wong who is highly respected in the planted tank hobby.



Dennis is a big fan of using CO2, but you don't have to use it. He is also a big fan of using substrates such as Aqua Soil, but you don't have to use that either. My point is, keep what you will hopefully be reading in context. He also addresses ferts, lighting, ect...
I've read all of Dennis wongs website, I've actually talked to him numerous times through messenger as well, he's a great guy.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Getting the local water report is a good idea. However keep in mine the following:



I have only seen on water report that listed zinc. And that report listed a level of 0.35ppm. Most however do show values for copper and lead.



For most quality checks they test the water coming out of the water treatment plant. However since copper corrosion can carry from house to house Copper, lead, and maybe even zinc are measured at some homes and office building and then the average and range of those readings are stated in the water report. So the number in the water report for copper, lead, and zinc may not reflect the actuall value in your home. You might want to inquire if they are willing to yes your own tap water. If not you can mail in a water sample to a commercial lab. I have not personally done that although I have been thinking about it. I posted a link to one below to just give you an example of what I am talking about. It is not cheep but might be worth it.



https://www.amazon.com/Triton-Labs-I.../dp/B0106D3QAQ
My local Pool supply company does water analysis for pools, with a computer, I wonder if their machine tests for all that stuff as well, I'll have to call them today, I also have a cousin that's in college that has access to analytical grade equipment for water testing just not sure if she can do it for me I'll have to ask.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-21-2019 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 11:01 PM
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My newly set up tank (≈10 days) seems to be pretty much cycled, but I'm now experiencing a major algae outbreak. There's hair algae on the back glad that grows so fast that it starts detaching after just a couple of days.

Bought 4 oto cats who are going to down on the diatoms & GSA, but don't seem to relish the hair algae. Are there any critters (fish, shrimps, snails) etc that will eat this? Leaving town next week for 2 wks, and I don't want to come home to find all my lovely new plants strangled by the hair algae.

Leery about the algae eaters because it sounds like it's hard to know what species you're getting as juveniles, and some can turn into 11" carnivorous behemoths. But if that's what it takes, I'll chance it & get one--can always rehome it if I need to.

I've heard mollies love algae--do they like hair algae? Any species of shrimp like this stuff?

Interested in hearing people's experiences
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 01:03 AM
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My newly set up tank (≈10 days) seems to be pretty much cycled, but I'm now experiencing a major algae outbreak. There's hair algae on the back glass that grows so fast that it starts detaching after just a couple of days.

Bought 4 oto cats who are going to down on the diatoms & GSA, but don't seem to care for the hair algae. Are there any critters (fish, shrimps, snails) etc that will eat this? Leaving town next week for 2 wks, and I don't want to come home to find all my lovely new plants strangled by the hair algae.

Leery about the Siamese & Chinese algae eaters because it sounds like it's hard to know what species you're getting as juveniles, and some can turn into 11" carnivorous behemoths. But if that's what it takes, I'll chance it & get one--can always rehome it if I need to.

I've heard mollies love algae--do they like hair algae? Any species of shrimp like this stuff?

Interested in hearing people's experiences--thanks!
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 01:29 AM
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Hair algae is very easy to eliminate: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10762025-post6.html


Killing fish with very small dosages of Excel (as OP mentioned in his first post) - is a BS, sorry, but it is.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Hair algae is very easy to eliminate: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10762025-post6.html


Killing fish with very small dosages of Excel (as OP mentioned in his first post) - is a BS, sorry, but it is.
Actually it's not bs, but you can think so if you want, would you like to see what it did to an anubias as well?

Also I have absolutely no reason to lie about anything and that's what you pretty much just said, BTW excel didn't do anything EXCEPT kill fish

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Not to Mention you linked a form board with nothing to look at

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-31-2019 at 05:40 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 01:03 AM
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Actually it's not bs, but you can think so if you want, would you like to see what it did to an anubias as well?

Also I have absolutely no reason to lie about anything and that's what you pretty much just said, BTW excel didn't do anything EXCEPT kill fish

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Not to Mention you linked a form board with nothing to look at

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It's linked to a quote from @Deanna, might be your phone.


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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It's linked to a quote from @Deanna, might be your phone.
No It just takes me to a new forum, I shouldn't of got a bit testy, but I know that all my fish are extremely healthy, always are and after 1 week of using excel (5 ml every other day) I had 3 Rainbows die and the others were acting really lethargic, I did a 50% water change and they went back to being healthy again with no issues since, it was the only thing that could of did it, no change in diet, water parameters were perfect, no new additions, nothing but the excel.

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