Excel vs co2? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Excel vs co2?

Ok, so I have a planted 45 gal... But co2 is pricy... I have Anubis, swords, JM, ludwiga, and DHG... I have about 3 WPG... So excel vs pressurized co2? Would DIY work??
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 06:06 PM
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DIY is the cheapest for that size tank over Excel.
If that's 4 x 39W bulbs you may need injected. The DHG is the only thing in there that
needs any of that high end stuff. 2 bulbs/w no Excel or CO2 is good for everything else.
OK so the Ludwigia may not get red/w 2 bulbs.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 06:10 PM
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For a tank size that large I honestly dont think DIY would be sufficient especially if you have higher light. (btw you cant to calculate the amount of light you have by par data not by WPG) Also excel will end up costing you more in the long run if you plan to buy the generic one (flourish). You might as well want to just invest in a co2 system as it will make a huge difference in the health and experience you have growing your plants. They are not that expensive either, I just use the milwaukee regulator which you can find on ebay for $80-$90 and you can always find used co2 tanks on craiglist or something.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 04:59 AM
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DIY CO2 is usually only good for about 25g and below, IMO.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrman83 View Post
DIY CO2 is usually only good for about 25g and below, IMO.
yep and even then its iffy


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 08:15 AM
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Invest in pressurized co2! Excel will cost a lot in the long run. Also certain plants will melt from excel dosing. I have pressurized co2 but I keep excel mostly for algae killing

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 05:55 PM
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I would go pressurized co2 if you can, though excel is definitely an option if you don't want to go that route and it's not close to expensive as many believe. If you use excel simply dose daily per instructions and don't bother with the high doses at water changes. For what you would spend on the regulator alone would pay for enough excel to last you well over a year.

Stay away from diy in larger tanks.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 06:57 PM
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There is nothing wrong with trying DIY + Excel. It's not like you'd be out a lot of money if it didn't work.

I had been using Excel only (1.5x dose) on my 29g. My water wisteria and riccia flutions were growing pretty good. Swords & alternanthera reineckii were putting out some new growth, but it was kind of meh. And my ludwigia was not dying, but not really growing either. Overall, it was underwhelming.

A couple of weeks ago I switched to Excel (normal dose) + DIY. I'm using distiller's yeast with a yeast nutrient (working towards a 3-bottle system). I'm using limewood for my diffuser because I don't like the look of reactors in my tank. I get a nice consistent flow of fine bubbles. Is it the ideal, optimal set-up? No.

But the important thing is that I can already see the difference. Everything is putting on strong new growth now, even my ludwigia. And although my algae isn't completely solved, it's noticeably better.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 02:50 AM
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3 wpg with what type of lighting? You don't have any high light plants really and that isn't a huge tank so excel is definitely doable. Are you dosing ferts as well?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 05:43 PM
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I am doing a 3-4x dose in my 29 gallon while I am collecting the parts for my pressurized setup, and it has worked wonders on my algae problem, I have 5 WPG of T5HO lighting and the algae was insatiable, now it's quite minimal, and I am getting strong growth on everything...I was told by a very well respected senior member (hoppy) that a 3x dose was fine, as the recommended dose was incredibly low


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 07:39 PM
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Just worth noting, the WPG rule is no longer applicable due to so many different types of lighting available along with quality of reflectors. Speaking of Hoppy, he has put together a great thread on the subject which has been added to over the past couple years. You can find it HERE.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2014, 10:27 PM
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Yeah I use PAR, but after trying to explain PAR, PUR and CRI to countless people I have given up trying, and if they want to use a dead measurement then I will give them my opinion in terms they will understand rather than spend an hour of my life that if will never get back trying to educate them...but once you understand PAR, and beyond that PUR and CRI you will spend much less time fretting over your lighting, and the slew of problems that inadequate or overly aggressive lighting can cause, and more time, trimming your healthy algae free plants :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Absntmind View Post
Just worth noting, the WPG rule is no longer applicable due to so many different types of lighting available along with quality of reflectors. Speaking of Hoppy, he has put together a great thread on the subject which has been added to over the past couple years. You can find it HERE.

I'm surprised you didn't realize that I was well aware of the Using PAR instead of WPG thread (I'm assuming that must be the link you posted), considering we had an exchange on that very thread today.


WPG hasn't really been relevant in 2 decades, due to the huge variation in the PUR of bulbs and quality of reflectors


It is only feasible if everyone is using the same bulb type, brand, color temperature, shape, and reflector, which hasn't happened since...ever, but maybe in the early 80s or late 70's things were a lot closer to being the same, as there were a lot less manufacturers and options from the manufacturers that did exist in the hydroponic and aquarium lighting communities.


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-21-2014 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Back to back posts
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seadon View Post
Yeah I use PAR, but after trying to explain PAR, PUR and CRI to countless people I have given up trying, and if they want to use a dead measurement then I will give them my opinion in terms they will understand rather than spend an hour of my life that if will never get back trying to educate them
No offense meant, but I would rather give no advice at all than to allow someone to continue use of an antiquated formula which could not only let them waste money now, but time and money later if/when they have issues because of such.

I assumed you didn't know (WPG incorrect) due to your response. I didn't see your post in the link till after, which of course surprised me.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 11:16 AM
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No none taken, and the advice I give is good and based on what I've learned, I just don't take the time EVERY time to give a lesson or find that link, I do often enough, but sometimes I put it it terms they understand...no one helped me find that thread, and if somebody is interested in learning about the specifics of lighting, then it's stickied so it's not hard for them to find...but I'm glad you posted it on here, and caught my laziness this time lol.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 01:19 PM
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Pretty much as long as you know what type of light they are using, you can give them accurate advice in WPG if you don't think that they will take the time to read that thread and learn the correct method for light measurement and you want to help out...that's how I look at it.


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