Excel to kill algae...but not shrimp? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Excel to kill algae...but not shrimp?

Hi all,

From a conversation in the Algae forum, I got what appears to be good, experienced advice on how to kill off the hair algae in my high tech tank. The procedure is described here --> https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...l#post10762025 with the particulars being...the once-per-week treatment I have found to not harm plants normally killed by Excel. I suggest starting at 1.5 ml of Excel per actual gallon (not tank rated gallons) and increase it by 1 ml / gal each week until all the hair algae responds.

So, it's not just using Excel in the "normal" way

The main question I ask in this forum is if any have experience with this level of dosing that have Neo shrimp. Deanna has had no issues with Amanos, but of course they are not the same and it was suggested to ask for more input.

Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by LonBeMe; 02-07-2020 at 03:39 PM. Reason: fixed link added infor
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 03:09 PM
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I use excel in tanks with RCS and browns
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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I use excel in tanks with RCS and browns
Thanks- good to know, but I assume you mean at regular (low) dose. This method is heavier dose to do a big algae kill
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 04:36 PM
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I use it normal dosage and have used it syringe method
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 04:52 PM
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I'm loathe to use it in shrimp tanks, especially at high doses. That said I have done it, and have only killed shrimp when I got way too heavy-handed with it trying to eradicate BBA (which has a decidedly higher tolerance than HA). If you measured and observed carefully, I think your shrimp would be no worse for the wear before you got to the point HA would die off. As for long term effects such as life span, egg production, and general vigor; I doubt anyone really knows. There is a threshold of glut that will wipe out shrimp so it stands to reason that exposure to doses under that may have some impact on their health. But fortunately glut has a short half life and works quickly so hopefully you could keep exposure to a minimum and still achieve your goals. And Neo shrimp are really good at making more Neo shrimp.

I don't know your setup or how easy it would be to do in your situation, but I've found that soaking plants and hardscape in a solution of water and glut to be very effective. And of course manual removal of HA is possible if you take your time. Another hobbyist shared with me that his trick when trying to remove anything from algae to duckweed was to take a week. On day 1, remove all you can. On days 2-7, remove more than half every day. By that last day there's very little to be found and unless conditions are prime for it to grow back, you're out of the woods. It's a lot easier and more thorough than spending hours all at once.

Best wishes and please keep us updated.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, my scape is way too intertwined to pull stuff out with out destroying it(photo attached). I have had the lights off the last 2 days as that's something else folks have suggested (bizarre when I turned them on to take a look, it seemed like the plants all great faster ??)

I will view tomorrow and decide if I try that method. Thanks for the replies and of course more are welcome. I will follow up regardless.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 07:19 PM
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Yeah, with smaller hardscape and bunched plants that would be a bit of a bear to pull everything out of. As a last ditch effort to control BBA I've done an 80% water change and right before filling the tank back up sprayed (plastic spray bottle) or brushed (synthetic bristle paint brush) straight Excel onto the bad areas. You don't want too much contact time though, do this 10 seconds before refilling. And using a respirator is mandatory. I really don't recommend this except for when nothing else seems to work. In the case of hair algae, large water changes alone can go a long way if your source water is good.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 08:21 PM
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I was just looking into this earlier today because I'm having some VERY persistent green water in my 29 gallon high tech tank. I've recently redone the scape and put in new substrate, so I assume it'll correct once the bio-filter gets back into gear. So far, I've tried AlgaeFix(no shrimp in this tank, don't use for shrimp) for a few weeks now, no help. I've been dosing Excel as well at the "after water change" dosage, no help but is melting my Blyxa...yayyyy.

https://www.aquasabi.com/aquascaping...xide-treatment

Started thinking about H2O2. I can't imagine it's much worse for your bio-filter than Excel would be, but this article talks about dosing in much larger amounts than I would've previously thought safe to our aquatic friends.
You could also search the forums for "The 1 2 punch", which combines Excel and H2O2 while shutting off the filter and adding a powerhead if I remember correctly. Never used it myself, not sure if it is or isn't recommended with shrimp.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 08:31 PM
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On the bright side you have one of the easier algae to get under control. Green water is almost always a combination of bright light and nitrogen in the form of ammonia. In order of speed these will rid a tank of GW: UV sterilizer, diatom filter, blackout. For long term control reduce light and feeding -and stocking if applicable. Other growing plants competing for the nitrogen can go a long way. I haven't had much luck using bottled products for it, outside of those containing copper which should be avoided.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 08:45 PM
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On the bright side you have one of the easier algae to get under control. Green water is almost always a combination of bright light and nitrogen in the form of ammonia. In order of speed these will rid a tank of GW: UV sterilizer, diatom filter, blackout. For long term control reduce light and feeding -and stocking if applicable. Other growing plants competing for the nitrogen can go a long way. I haven't had much luck using bottled products for it, outside of those containing copper which should be avoided.
@LonBeMe I should mention that article I linked addresses doses for hair algae as well, which is what you're concerned about. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Ya know, I've never had this hard of a time with green water. Going on three...four weeks now? Bio-load in the tank is very small, I feed a couple times a week, snail population takes care of cleanup. Light is very bright, and as it's a new re-scape...certainly could be some ammonia spikes, but fish have been totally fine. I've been toying with the idea of a UV sterilizer, primarily because I'd have a hard time with a true blackout as this tank is in my office, but I dunno. Did a 22.5 gallon WC on Sunday, did a 9 gallon water change on Tuesday, changed out 9 gallons this morning and it's thick pea soup again, and it seems to be getting worse. I think Excel is probably counter productive in my case, as it's also hitting the BB while they're trying to get re-established.

@Blue Ridge Reef Any cheap UV sterilizers you like? I can't spend a fortune on the in-line stuff, but wouldn't mind an in-tank one.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 09:10 PM
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I've only ever used an inline one. If you have a local aquarium club, that's one thing that almost always seems to be at auctions or offered used. Then you might be sourcing a new bulb though, so beware of false economy and check the price of a replacement bulb before buying one. I'd imagine the air driven internal ones work, but would take time to read a lot of reviews before selecting one.

Toning down that light would go a long way, I'd wager.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 09:13 PM
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@LonBeMe I should mention that article I linked addresses doses for hair algae as well, which is what you're concerned about. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Ya know, I've never had this hard of a time with green water. Going on three...four weeks now? Bio-load in the tank is very small, I feed a couple times a week, snail population takes care of cleanup. Light is very bright, and as it's a new re-scape...certainly could be some ammonia spikes, but fish have been totally fine. I've been toying with the idea of a UV sterilizer, primarily because I'd have a hard time with a true blackout as this tank is in my office, but I dunno. Did a 22.5 gallon WC on Sunday, did a 9 gallon water change on Tuesday, changed out 9 gallons this morning and it's thick pea soup again, and it seems to be getting worse. I think Excel is probably counter productive in my case, as it's also hitting the BB while they're trying to get re-established.

@Blue Ridge Reef Any cheap UV sterilizers you like? I can't spend a fortune on the in-line stuff, but wouldn't mind an in-tank one.
I got the 24 Watt Green Killing Machine in-tank unit for $75 on Amazon.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 09:30 PM
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I got the 24 Watt Green Killing Machine in-tank unit for $75 on Amazon.
That one is WAY overkill for my needs, haha. I was looking at the Green Killing Machine's, the one I was considering was forty something though and still rated for much more than my tank size. Appreciate the input, I'll consider that a vote for the GKM's!

Anyhow, I feel like I've hijacked the thread a bit here. My apologies.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
I was just looking into this earlier today because I'm having some VERY persistent green water in my 29 gallon high tech tank. I've recently redone the scape and put in new substrate, so I assume it'll correct once the bio-filter gets back into gear. So far, I've tried AlgaeFix(no shrimp in this tank, don't use for shrimp) for a few weeks now, no help. I've been dosing Excel as well at the "after water change" dosage, no help but is melting my Blyxa...yayyyy.

https://www.aquasabi.com/aquascaping...xide-treatment

Started thinking about H2O2. I can't imagine it's much worse for your bio-filter than Excel would be, but this article talks about dosing in much larger amounts than I would've previously thought safe to our aquatic friends.
You could also search the forums for "The 1 2 punch", which combines Excel and H2O2 while shutting off the filter and adding a powerhead if I remember correctly. Never used it myself, not sure if it is or isn't recommended with shrimp.
IME, H2O2 is far less forgiving than glut (Excel). There is a very fine line in using H2O2, where slightly too much is deadly to fauna (I've done it a number of times). I've tried the 1-2 punch and killed many a fish with it, although it did kill most of the algae. However, I've also used heavy glut and killed equal amounts of algae without ever immediately harming the fauna. Occasionally, I'll get an outbreak of this-or-that algae that is concentrated in small grouping of plants. I then use this method; https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...l#post11234245 and employ H2O2 only, because it is more deadly to algae at high levels than Excel, but these deadly levels also kill fish.

I use a level, one in-line, UVS and, since installing it 10-15 years ago, have never had green water. However, before using it, I would get it now and then. I found that this filter media would clear it within a day: Coralife (coralifeproducts.com) - Pure-Flo 50 micron filter pads. I found that 50 microns is about as low as I could go and still maintain decent flow. You do have to tend it, since it will clog quickly until the algae is removed. There are ~$40-$50 "Green Killing Machines" that work well on green water only. you can find them at any of your favorite etailers for such things.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 10:55 PM
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@mgeorges Mean green killing machine, best ive tried out of three
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