Excel not working? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Excel not working?

55 Gallon
Ferts: PPS-pro method (5ml of macro mix; 5ml of micro mix, daily)
Lights: Nova extreme 108W (10,000k 54W bulb; "Freshwater" (pink) 54W bulb) Lights on 8 hours a day.
CO2: 5m of Excel, daily

I have been doising nutrients and excel daily, and my tank is still an algae nightmare!!! Is the excel not working?

I would go to pressurized co2, but it is so expensive!
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:00 PM
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In the long run pressurized CO2 is much cheaper actually. Excel is nice stuff, but you'll never see the plant growth that you would with good CO2. If those lights you listed are T5HO, then I'd say you have a lot of light for a non CO2 tank. Thats not to say you couldn't grow plants successfully with that set up, but I think algae is always going to be a thorn in your side without CO2. If you have "problem areas" where you always seem to get algae in a certain spot, spot treating with Excel always seemed to be more effective than blanket dosing in my experience.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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The algae is not is any particular spot...its all over

People keep saying that co2 will provide better growth than excel, but I don't understand why.

In terms of price: buying excel in bulk will only be a couple of dollars more than refilling the co2 tank yearly. On top of that is initial costs.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:28 PM
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Pressurized C02 is much more consistent and constant than Excel. With a good reactor you can saturate the water column with CO2. That's not so easily achieved with Excel.


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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llamas View Post
People keep saying that co2 will provide better growth than excel, but I don't understand why.
Excel isn't a Co2 product, its a alternative carbon source. It gives an alternative carbon for plants. But plants used to use the Co2 in water, not the carbon in excel. So if we give pressurized co2 a 10 from a 10 scale, excel can be 4-5. But it's better than nothing, I'm using excel in my light planted 50g.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 07:35 PM
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that lighting is ridiculous. i had the same amount of light over my 55g tank with lots of pressurized co2 and i still had some algae problems, and i was only running lighting 6hrs a day. either ditch the T5HO lights or get some pressurized co2!

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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ok.... :/

So, next question: Could I run the fixture with only one bulb in it, or will that fry the system.

Also, what would you all recommend? Lower light, or get co2? Is it worth the added expense?
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 08:38 PM
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If you want to run that much light you'll need pressurized CO2.

Or you could switch to a Coralife T5NO fixture and stick with a low tech setup.

Most fixtures won't light up with just one bulb installed.





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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llamas View Post
So, next question: Could I run the fixture with only one bulb in it, or will that fry the system.
Try it and see. Most ballasts simply shut down, no harm done. But I've run across a few that are designed to drive each bulb separately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamas View Post
Also, what would you all recommend? Lower light, or get co2? Is it worth the added expense?
You would probably have to decrease light 50% or more for Excel to work as the sole source of carbon.

On the other hand, adding pressurized CO2 instead will help a lot, but it is not a panacea. You still have enough light that your tank will be sensitive to any small deficiencies in nutrients, circulation, etc.

So the best option might be to both add CO2 and make it so you can physically raise the lights in order to tweak intensity. Of course, the best option for you depends on your goals and what plants you want to grow.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:02 PM
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I remember that some people use doubled of the recommend amount in there tank for normal does, and use five times of the recommend amount for heavy algae problem...
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:11 PM
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I remember that some people use doubled of the recommend amount in there tank for normal does, and use five times of the recommend amount for heavy algae problem...
That's true. At that dosage it works as a toxin, which usually kills the algae before it kills anything else. You can't dose that much forever. And when you stop, if there is a major problem that you haven't corrected (like too much light and no CO2), the algae will eventually come back.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Of course, the best option for you depends on your goals and what plants you want to grow.
Decisions, decisions....one of the hardest things for me!
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:26 PM
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Decisions, decisions....one of the hardest things for me!
Me too.

You could set up DIY CO2 on that tank, with 2-3 2L bottles. I wouldn't want to run that way long-term, but it might be useful as a preview to see what CO2 will do for you, and whether the investment in pressurized CO2 is worth it.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Good point. I was thinking along the lines of a preview, but with lower light.

Can you put T5NO bulbs in a T5HO fixture?
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
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Can you put T5NO bulbs in a T5HO fixture?
Nope, sorry.
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