Does Flourish Excel Work? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Does Flourish Excel Work?

I know that flourish excel is often regarded as "liquid carbon" and is simply polygluteraldehyde, but I was wondering how effective it is in acting as a "carbon source" for plants? I don't plan on using any CO2, and was wondering if this product would give me any results even slightly comparable to injecting CO2?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 04:07 AM
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I found it to be most useful as a carbon supplement in non-CO2 injected tanks (low tech tanks). When dosed per instructions, it provided a noticeable benefit in plant health and growth. It is not anywhere nearly as beneficial as injecting CO2, but it is better than nothing. Additionally, it acts as an algaecide for certain types of algae.

When dosed daily, as per instructions, it may melt Anacharis (Egeria/Elodia), Vals, Duckweed and Marimo moss balls (which are a form of algae). These plants can be trained to use it if adapted slowly by not doing the recommended “initial” weekly dose and then just half-dosing every other day, gradually building up to recommended levels. Vals, for example, will initially melt and then re-grow fully acclimated to it.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 04:21 AM
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It definitley helps, kind of a halfway point between none and the real thing


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys! I ordered some off of Amazon, and I'm excited to see the results! I have Bacopa Caroliniana, Rotala Macranda Narrow leaf, and S repens. These plants probably won't melt from excel dosing right?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 01:23 PM
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Glutaraldehyde is a strong protein cross linking fixative (think formalin on steroids). I used to use it to prepare samples for electron microscopy.

I hope the poly in front of it indicates it's somehow polymerised and hence safe. I would be very careful about putting something like that in a tank.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muscleguy View Post
Glutaraldehyde is a strong protein cross linking fixative (think formalin on steroids). I used to use it to prepare samples for electron microscopy.

I hope the poly in front of it indicates it's somehow polymerised and hence safe. I would be very careful about putting something like that in a tank.
Not just formalin on steroids, it is structurally similar to formalin with double HCOOH radical. It is used similar to formalin as a fungicide, bactericide, parasiticide, and Algaecide at the right dosage. It is one of two ingredients in Seachem Paraguard for ich treatment.

SeaChem claims that it provides carbon to plants as intermediate photosynthetic compounds, but avoids claiming its Algaecide effect due to regulatory issue. I have not seen scientific proof of the carbon source claim, but the Algaecide effect is proven by numerous bio essay studies. Since I have CO2, I don’t use it for carbon source, and dose 5x after every WC to suppress algae. The 1x recommended daily dosage is below Algaecide effect, and need a minimum 5x or 2 ppm to be effective Algaecide according to bio essay studies.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muscleguy View Post
Glutaraldehyde is a strong protein cross linking fixative (think formalin on steroids). I used to use it to prepare samples for electron microscopy.



I hope the poly in front of it indicates it's somehow polymerised and hence safe. I would be very careful about putting something like that in a tank.
The poly just indicates that it can oligomerize in water, just like the stuff you used preparing EM samples. While it is fairly dangerous in general, the dose makes the poison and it is used in fairly low concentrations in the hobby.

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Originally Posted by Tiger15 View Post
Not just formalin on steroids, it is structurally similar to formalin with double HCOOH radical. It is used similar to formalin as a fungicide, bactericide, parasiticide, and Algaecide at the right dosage. It is one of two ingredients in Seachem Paraguard for ich treatment.



SeaChem claims that it provides carbon to plants as intermediate photosynthetic compounds, but avoids claiming its Algaecide effect. I have not seen scientific proof of the carbon source claim, but the Algaecide effect is proven by numerous bio essay studies. Since I have CO2, I don’t use it for carbon source, and dose 5x after every WC to suppress algae. The 1x recommended daily dosage is below Algaecide effect, and need a minimum 5x or 2 ppm to be effective Algaecide according to bio essay studies.
I think that they try to steer away from algaecide claims so that they can avoid FIFRA regulation. It's mostly a wink and a nod though.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-02-2020 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muscleguy View Post
Glutaraldehyde is a strong protein cross linking fixative (think formalin on steroids). I used to use it to prepare samples for electron microscopy.

I hope the poly in front of it indicates it's somehow polymerised and hence safe. I would be very careful about putting something like that in a tank.
The difference between medicine and toxin is the dosage. Bio essay studies indicate that you need 10 ppm to be toxic to blue gill. The 5x dosage after WC is equivalent to 2 ppm and Glut has a 10 hour half life meaning that it will degrade to nearly nothing in 24 hour. I have dosed it in my tank 5x daily for a week to fight ick and no fish or plants died from intoxication (except some voluntary mosses I’ve been trying hard to get rid of). I don’t know how it will affect dwarf shrimp, but according to bioessay studies I researched, there is no accute toxicity effect on glass shrimp up to 41 ppm which is a surprise to me.
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