glucose added to planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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glucose added to planted tank

Has anyone experimented with adding pure glucose to their planted tanks instead of co2?

Plants will happily take up glucose, I am searching for an alternate to excel, or co2 as the tank I would like to use it on has no room for junk around, under or near it.
thanks in advance
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 03:56 AM
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I think your chemistry is a little confused here. Glucose is sugar. And plants don't normally use sugar they produce sugar. And even if they did use sugar it would not be a replacement for carbon.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 05:16 AM
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Interesting thought...but from a plant biologist's point of view (of course land plants...) the carbon in the sugar would only be used if all the lights were off for over a week...if its used at all. Simple lab test you can do (we do this at Auburn and I did it when I used to teach AP Bio). Take two plants. One plant stays in the sun, the other is put in total darkness for a week. Clip a few leaves. Boil them in ethanol for 5 minutes (grain alcohol will work...be careful since you can start a fire). Then add iodine to stain them. The one kept in the light will be black and the one kept in the dark will be white. You remove the chlorophyll by boiling it in ethanol so all that is left is the starch which stains black--polysaccharides (long chains of C6H12O6). The plant in the dark has used up all the starch stored in the leaves to keep itself alive. So, basically, the plant will use the carbon in its own body before it has to resort to carbon bonded in sugar molecules in water. There would also be a problem with transport of the sugars into the plant...there I'm not sure about whether it would have to be actively or passively pumped in, but I suppose it would be active and have a metabolic cost to the plant.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 06:21 AM
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I think the lower life forms in your tank (mold and bacteria) would utilize it first. You might get unwanted life forms starting to grow.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 04:29 PM
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OK, you guys can laugh. But when I was younger, I tried putting honey in my tank to see what would happen. Nothing died, but the water did turn a nasty white the next day, so I did some water changes.

Don't ask my why...its just one of those things you do when you are young, bored and stupid.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by putty
OK, you guys can laugh. But when I was younger, I tried putting honey in my tank to see what would happen. Nothing died, but the water did turn a nasty white the next day, so I did some water changes.

Don't ask my why...its just one of those things you do when you are young, bored and stupid.
I did the same thing with orange juice, and had the same results.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustinj74
I think the lower life forms in your tank (mold and bacteria) would utilize it first. You might get unwanted life forms starting to grow.
I know, they use free glucose faster than a plant can take it in. Algae and zooplankton are faster, but we know that aquatic plants are made up of 45% terrestrial carbon and not CO2. I am looking for simple ways of acheiving this without tossing a bucket o red maple leaves into my tank.

Georgiadawgger, did you use glucose or a 'sugar' like dextrose or sucrose in that experiment? Excel is simply a commercial prep of a glucose like molecule. What I am aiming for is simply a cost effective alternative to Excel. No room for CO2 bottles.

Rex Grigg, glucose is a sugar, not 'sugar'. Plants use glucose. It is the primary building block of the starch. The CO2 is used to make glucose. Glucose is used in the dark during respiration as Georgiadawgger states.
And at the risk of sounding rude, don't mistake the handle on this board for real experience. I am not a newbie.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 06:13 PM
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Geez... looks like a new thread is in order...
"What nasty stuff have you put into your tank?"

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigpow
Geez... looks like a new thread is in order...
"What nasty stuff have you put into your tank?"
I actually understand the reasoning behind the honey and orange juice.
We forget that enzymes are required to break things apart to thier component parts like glucose and citric acid.

red Maple leaves aren't nasty. they leach anthocyanins (glucose based water solule pigment) that aquatic plants utilize. After the red maple leaves fall off the tree and hit the lakes they leach this pigment that is then used by algae, zooplankton, plants finally to end up in fish. So fish are made from maple leaves!

I am hoping that some of the more advanced hobbyists haven't all stuck to high light, pressurized CO2.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 08:37 PM
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Yes, but high light and pressurized CO2 works..well a lot better than honey IME.

Experiments are good, but I prefer trusted methods when dealing with my 2000 dollar investments.

Why not start a 10 g and play around, and report what you get here. I am for one interested.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by number6
...they leach anthocyanins (glucose based water solule pigment) that aquatic plants utilize.
anthocyanins are not glucose based.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 09:05 PM
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Number6,

It's an interesting question that involves some serious research. I'm sure you could find the main ingredients, or alternatives, but it's going to take some digging. Here's an interesting paper on the Calvin-Bensin cylce, and alternative carbon fixation pathways.

http://web.clas.ufl.edu/users/gestav...h_projects.htm
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Upon further research (and a great tip from Mario on Age of Aquariums forum)
I have found a great deal of material on dosing ferrous gluconate (the base of some of Seachem's products) or potassium gluconate.
Seems bacteria use the gluconates as they would the glucose and the byproduct of the aerobic respiration is CO2.
Overdosing is not a good idea it seems. bacterial blooms have been reported and there's alot of discussion on BGA being able to use gluconates.

I might be setting up multiple buckets with C.F. s above them.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger
anthocyanins are not glucose based.
Dictionary: any of various soluble glycoside pigments producing blue to red coloring in flowers and plants.

Not sure what you mean about that not being glucose based. Upon hydrolysis anthocyanins produce a glucose and 'X'

Good link rustinj74, thanks. I will keep digging.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 01:22 AM
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Excel is a glucose like molecule. But so what. With many compounds the addition of a couple more molecules of an element make the difference between life and death.

If you don't have room for a CO2 bottle and want a carbon source for your tank then take a look at a Carbo-Plus. Of course they are not inexpensive. If there was a cheaper easier source of carbon for planted tanks I'm sure that someone would be selling it.
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