CO2 Supplementing with Excel - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 Supplementing with Excel

So I just purchased a 24" Finnex Ray 2 LED for my 25gal planted tank. I'm running it as a low tech setup now, so I know I will need CO2 in order to keep up with the new light source, or else I will have an algae farm overnight. I looked into a lot of DIY projects because I am a little short on cash after purchasing the light. Seeing as my tank is the centerpiece for our new living room, my girlfriend and myself wouldn't be happy if I had a 2liter bottle full of nastiness with a bunch of tubes hanging out all over the place. So I looked into getting Flourish Excel, but I have several plants that would be affected by it (worried about my Jungle Vals, Taiwan Moss and Java Ferns) and i'm also planning on keeping invertebrates in my tank as well, and I heard they don't take kindly to Excel either. But I heard its only in normal or overdoses.

My question is, could I use a pressurized system based for a smaller tank (Like the Fluval Mini CO2 20 designed for 15 gal tanks) and supplement the rest with a half or quarter dose of Excel?

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Last edited by SunDevil76; 08-17-2013 at 12:33 AM. Reason: nevermind
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:11 AM
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My only concern would be that with it being undersized, I'd assume the CO2 levels wouldn't be very consistent...which might lead to algae problems such as BBA. Granted, not sure if the Excel would then take care of that issue but not something I would count on.

I will say that I've done full doses of Excel and never seen any issues with java fern or Vals...quite the opposite actually. No issues with various snails or RCS either.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 01:25 AM
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Shrimps should be fine with 2x excel. Don't do the recommended initial dosage. I didn't. Just dose 2x excel daily. For your val, well, can't say if it would melt or not. I assume it would....


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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My only concern would be that with it being undersized, I'd assume the CO2 levels wouldn't be very consistent...which might lead to algae problems such as BBA. Granted, not sure if the Excel would then take care of that issue but not something I would count on.

I will say that I've done full doses of Excel and never seen any issues with java fern or Vals...quite the opposite actually. No issues with various snails or RCS either.
Yeah well i'm always ready to take on a little bit of algae, i'm getting livestock to take care of whatever myself and the Excel aren't able to get rid of. If it gets too crazy though i'll probably end up switching back after awhile so it doesn't make things fluctuate even more. Would the inconsistent CO2 cause any other problems like ph swings or anything?

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Last edited by SunDevil76; 08-18-2013 at 02:53 AM. Reason: More questions
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 03:35 AM
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pH swings from CO2 aren't going to be an issue since it doesn't change TDS.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 03:36 AM
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your better off buying a 5lb tank rather than buying the small co2 cartridges. it will save money in the long run.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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your better off buying a 5lb tank rather than buying the small co2 cartridges. it will save money in the long run.

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Yeah the replacement cartridges by Fluval are definitely overpriced, but there are other 16g cartridges I can get from Amazon that are much more economically feasible. Also there's an adapter that will fit the threading on paintball tanks if I wanna go that route in the future.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 09:00 AM
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Been dosing 150-200% excel for 2 weeks with jungle vals and Amano shrimp, no issues, shrimp healthy, vals doing great. I have some moss, not sure what kind, not doing so well but that may be lighting issue.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 05:21 PM
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Been dosing 150-200% excel for 2 weeks with jungle vals and Amano shrimp, no issues, shrimp healthy, vals doing great. I have some moss, not sure what kind, not doing so well but that may be lighting issue.

What do you mean by 200% OD of excel?? You need to explain.... If 5ml for every 50g, do you dump 1L of excel daily in your 50g tank.....


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 05:35 PM
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200% dose would be 2 times the dose, so 10ml for 50g. 1L of excel would probably kill just about anything, fish, shrimp, plants, etc.

As for plants with excel, I have read that plants that are sensitive to excel can be acclimated to it over time. Starting with a small 25% dose for few days, then moving to a 50% dose for a few days, the 75% for a few days, and finally getting to a 100% dose after 2 weeks or so. Of the plants you listed, Vals are the only ones that would mind the excel, so maybe just rehome the Vals. The moss and java ferns should be fine with it.

As for shrimps with excel, there is very mixed reviews on using excel with inverts. Some say they use it all the time with no problems. Others say it wiped out their entire tank. Also, with CO2 gas injection, PH swings can be a problem for shrimp, so you want to be sure to have a consistent PH. I have read about many people waking up in the morning with a tank full of dead shrimp due to PH fluctuation over night. With the excel it doesn't effect PH so it would be safer, but many report deaths of shrimp with excel use. It scares me to use on my RCS tank so I don't. I do use it on my community tank with ghost shrimp and they seem unaffected. Although ghost shrimp are tanks, I think I could set off a nuclear bomb, and they would still be scouring the gravel for debris and doing there thing.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 05:50 PM
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As stated above, the ph swings associated with co2 injection are not the same as ph swings due to changes in minerals.


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 06:43 PM
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200% dose would be 2 times the dose, so 10ml for 50g. 1L of excel would probably kill just about anything, fish, shrimp, plants, etc.

As for plants with excel, I have read that plants that are sensitive to excel can be acclimated to it over time. Starting with a small 25% dose for few days, then moving to a 50% dose for a few days, the 75% for a few days, and finally getting to a 100% dose after 2 weeks or so. Of the plants you listed, Vals are the only ones that would mind the excel, so maybe just rehome the Vals. The moss and java ferns should be fine with it.

As for shrimps with excel, there is very mixed reviews on using excel with inverts. Some say they use it all the time with no problems. Others say it wiped out their entire tank. Also, with CO2 gas injection, PH swings can be a problem for shrimp, so you want to be sure to have a consistent PH. I have read about many people waking up in the morning with a tank full of dead shrimp due to PH fluctuation over night. With the excel it doesn't effect PH so it would be safer, but many report deaths of shrimp with excel use. It scares me to use on my RCS tank so I don't. I do use it on my community tank with ghost shrimp and they seem unaffected. Although ghost shrimp are tanks, I think I could set off a nuclear bomb, and they would still be scouring the gravel for debris and doing there thing.

Hahahaha...Ok, I got the math wrong. I thought the OP meant 200x of excel. We normally talk about OD excel in 1x or 2x or 3x.


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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As stated above, the ph swings associated with co2 injection are not the same as ph swings due to changes in minerals.
So does that mean that shrimp/invertebrates wouldn't be harmed by the ph swings caused by CO2? Only ph swings that alter the TDS?

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 11:38 PM
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So does that mean that shrimp/invertebrates wouldn't be harmed by the ph swings caused by CO2? Only ph swings that alter the TDS?
That is how it was explained to me. My ph fluctuates ~1.5 or so every day/night, and goes back and forth a bit in between. So long as the fauna is acclimated to CO2 it shouldn't cause any issues.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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That is how it was explained to me. My ph fluctuates ~1.5 or so every day/night, and goes back and forth a bit in between. So long as the fauna is acclimated to CO2 it shouldn't cause any issues.
Cool good to know!

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