Is Flourish Excel a reasonable substitute for DIY cos - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Is Flourish Excel a reasonable substitute for DIY cos

I have a 10 gallon tank I want to plant. I've been researching Flourish Excel and I've seen alot of people say that if you have a larger tank then you should use DIY co2 instead of Excel because Excel can get very expensive in the long run when dosing larger tanks.

Can I grow plants that require Co2 in a 10 gallon tank buy using excel instead of a pressurized or DIY co2 set up?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 07:15 PM
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Real co2 will always be better. Also excel can be hard some some plants.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 09:11 PM
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If you are going high light you might need the constant output of a CO2 system vs dumping in a large load of Excel and the tank uses it throughout the day. They could both average the same amount of CO2 per day but with excel you would have that huge spike in the beginning.

Perhaps some form of auto dosing could be done to drip in Excel throughout the day. I'm guessing that would be just as expensive as CO2.

I'm not a chemist but the carbon in Excel has to be bound with something else otherwise it would be a gas (duh). I don't know the chemical process where the Excel breaks into a useful form of Carbon but there may be an upper limit to how much a tank / plant can usefully process in one day. It does say "Do not overdose" on the bottle I'm guessing they have a reason.

Maybe experiment with a few plants, a betta, a glass vase, and ramp up the Excel?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octantis View Post

I'm not a chemist but the carbon in Excel has to be bound with something else otherwise it would be a gas (duh).

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Carbon is a solid, not a gas.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe experiment with a few plants, a betta, a glass vase, and ramp up the Excel?

Subscribed to this thread to see where it goes.
That's a good idea. I think I'll experiment with the betta and vase to see how it goes. Might even go dirted.

Do you think dirt will cause a problem? Any suggestions on substrate?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 10:33 PM
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That's a good idea. I think I'll experiment with the betta and vase to see how it goes. Might even go dirted.

Do you think dirt will cause a problem? Any suggestions on substrate?
Wait what's happening here?

I use excel in my 10, 5 and 2.5 with not problems. The expense is no big deal for dosing all of these tanks. I'm pretty sure one bottle has lasted me over 6 mos. but don't quote me on that.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 10:35 PM
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Carbon is a solid, not a gas.

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What Jrill said is true.

The Carbon in excel is a solid source and do not gas out. The Carbon in CO2 is a gas. The two sources of carbon is very different from each other, but serves the same purpose. However, CO2 is a more efficient source for plant utilization.

I hope this helps.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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What Jrill said is true.

The Carbon in excel is a solid source and do not gas out. The Carbon in CO2 is a gas. The two sources of carbon is very different from each other, but serves the same purpose. However, CO2 is a more efficient source for plant utilization.

I hope this helps.
So it's possible to grow high light plants in a 10 gallon using Flourish Excel as the main carbon source instead of CO2?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 01:17 AM
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Excel is better on a small tank with medium lighting. I have a low tech dirt tank 20g. I dose only the daily excel 4ml. I have a nice dwarf sag carpet and few very bushy giant baby tears. Some plants would get stunted by excel like Japonica Blyxa. They tend to grown shorter and smaller than with CO2. 2L of excel, about $40, will last you more than 1 year.

DIY co2 is too much troubles and too much CO2 fluctuations which may lead to more algae growth. With excel, at least, you know it can inhibit algae growth. My low tech tank has no algae even getting more than total of 10 hours of light (artificial and sun light from outside combined).

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Originally Posted by big ounce View Post
So it's possible to grow high light plants in a 10 gallon using Flourish Excel as the main carbon source instead of CO2?

Depends on the plants..some plants would only do well with CO2, ie, many grass like carpeting plants.


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-19-2014 at 07:07 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2014, 12:19 PM
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Excel has another use in that it is very effective at combating certain kinds of algae. Yes it can be hard on certain plants but they can be acclimated to it by adding it in smaller doses than recommended on the bottle. I have a low maintenance 10g planted aquarium where I put a lot of the plant trimmings from my higher tech tank. I add 5ml's of Excel every other day (10 ml's after the weekly 50% water change) plus I throw in a bit (don't really measure it but am guided by the EI method of dosing higher tech tanks) potassium nitrate, monopotassium phosphate (the macro ferts used on my high tech), and Flourish Complete (the micro ferts) every other day too. The light is a 39w CFL so I'd judge it to low to med light level which I leave on about 10 hrs a day (too much and I get some algae, too little and the plants start to look anemic).
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 05:46 PM
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Hi Steve,

I've only been doing this for about 1 month, so everything I know I've read here on PlantedTank. So please exscuse my question of asking about your setup, I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just saying it seems like a lot when compared to other posts I've read, or maybe I'm going waaaay to little, idk.

My setup is:

a 10gallon tank that has Annubias, Water Fern, Dwarf Baby Tears, and very little Anacharis

5 Nerite and 1 Ramshorn snails, no other livestock

one 13watt 6500K CFL 10inches above the water in an 8inch dome
one 23watt 5000K CFL 24inches above the water in an 8inch dome and shadowed by the 6500K CFL

both lights are on about 8hours per day

I have a HOB rated for 20gallons

and I "feed" them Flourish. I guess it's just "plain" Flourish nothing fancy, the label does say it has Trace elements. I feed them that 1millileter every other day.

That's all I'm doing, is this too little?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 01:24 AM
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Well how are your plants looking? They will tell you far more about your broad, general question than anyone on this board. :P


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