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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking about starting a regular dose of Excel, but had a question/concern. I've read that it can be highly toxic and/or cause skin irritation. Assuming that I start dosing it regularly, will it still be safe for my hand(s) to be in the water during routine water changes and maintenance? I'm assuming it's only toxic if it comes in contact with the skin directly from the bottle (not when diluted in tank water). Anyways' just thought I would seek some options and/or thoughts.

4,221 Posts
It degrades after 24 hours or so. If you dose after you are done working in the tank there isn't any potential problem.

I have gotten some on my hands and could taste it for a couple hours. Not so good, means it is going through the skin - I am not putting my fingers in my mouth! I haven't tasted it after working in the tank but I do try to keep my hands out if I just dosed the tank.

27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a bunch guys. I actually spent some time reading up on this last night and was able to discover the same thing(s). Flourish and Flourish Excel are on the way!

6,186 Posts
Want to be cheap? Want to provide carbon for aquatic plants?
Buy or build a CO2 system.

Great that you are posting and asking questions. Always best to consider what you do before diving into it.
My question using it was; Glutaraldehyde is mainly used for cold sterilization in labs and in the medical field why?
Answer; It kills nearly all bacteria and viruses at only 2% solution in water. This is serious stuff folks!!!

OSHA regulates exposes as dangerous above 0.1% concentration.
Study reports of occupational exposure at 2% started in 1983 I think.
(I've done a lot of reading)

Excel has been reported as lab tested to be 1.5% solution as early as 2004.
Union Carbide and Arup Laboratories among others have published available results showing cell wall absorption ratios.
2.5% glutaraldehyde (Karnovsky’s) read the MSDS before buying commercial grade solutions! This stuff can hurt you simply getting it on you're hands.

If you can smell the apple like odor of it then you're body is absorbing it from the fumes.
Commercial use has exposure to the eye and respiratory (nose) membrane as a huge issue of concern handling it. Skin absorption is also a major concern on the MSDS.
Bio Grade 25% solution has been sitting in my chemical cabinet since March 2011 purchased from Electron Microscopy Sciences, Division of EMS Acquisition Corp. That's the highest concentration you can buy without a Hazmat fee. Diluting this stuff to 1.5% here is done within a chemical exhaust hood wearing a respirator, rubber gloves and apron.

Great algaecide but understand what you are handling,
even Excel carries a warning on the label for this reason. Chronic hazards start with skin exposures of only 0.1%

(not talking about washing in the shower daily with it either)

Pressurized CO2 is MUCH safer and cheaper starting at about 1 years use with a good regulator if you count up the pennies.
Marketed use;
** disinfectant and sterilizing agent against bacteria and viruses (2% solution),
** Embalming fluid and tissue fixative, a component of leather tanning solutions, and an intermediate in the production of certain sealants, resins,
** Dyes, and electrical products (HSDB, 1996).

A balance of knowledge with the need rather than extremes is best I think.

I mentioned purchasing 25% bio grade chemical and the precautions I use handling it. Mentioned the fact that heavy glass jug is still here locked down. The cost saving was insane over Seachem's watered down "safer" solution in the pretty bottle. Glutaraldehyde use has real value in my tanking program/hobby but just like titration chemicals checking the water quality. I'm aware of what I handle. How many read the hazards listed on the test kits?
Most reagents are acid based. I still own and use those weekly.

Once I dilute the glut to 1.5% I use it without safety equipment at that concentration other then exercising my brain.

I also prefer dosing fertilizers in liquid form rather than the dry chemical. Fish can act darn stupidly and mouthing or eating Potassium Nitrate (KNO3), Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4), Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) or Plantex CSM+B is a concern I have for them dry dosing. Probably thousands dose dry world wide without issue. I use to add it all dry but on accident dosed with the pumps off and the water calm. The chemical salts sank and landing on the plants in concentrate. Burned the plants killing growth to the base node. I've also lost young fish that were seen grabbing the granules and spitting it back out. Quit dosing dry when I foolishly (in a hurry on my schedule) did it more than once.

Who here is perfect?

Pumps turned off to feed the fish I've later gone to bed forgetting to turn the filter back on. Nothing perfect about me.

Keeping planted aquariums in the long term using dry ferts is a HUGE savings over pretty premixed water bottles. $20 buys most enough plant food to last over a year. Why not just buy the bottles only once?
The basics for doing it are laid out by others in many formats.

Common sense applies to everything (or should)
Adding 30ml of 1.5% glut to 500 and 1000ml bottles it eliminates fungal growth in the bottle while the mix sits in my storage cabinet. Wonder why Seachem uses bottles of solid colored plastic? It eliminates light energy from entering the bottle. Fungus or algae grows in the solution given a chance. That chance is light energy. Adding the glut eliminates that growth and I use clear dosing bottles.

Using 10ml syringes I directly inject Glut or Hydrogen Peroxide on problem areas to kill BBA and other algae. With the water calm that creates a concentration well above what I would apply to the tank overall. Algae spot treated is quickly killed taking months to appear again.

(imo) Glut is a valuable product to have on hand.

If by life's hectic schedule I neglect a tanking system and algae attacks my plants glut is the bomb. Water changed, parameters set and daily dosing of up to 10ml (1.5%)/15gal of tank volume wipes the tank clean in a week or two then the jug is back on the shelf.

Daily use of it though I challenge the value as it relates to the need.
If lighting levels require regular additions of glutaraldehyde to avoid algae I firmly believe you're tank and bank would benefit by adding pressurized CO2 injection and a down flow reactor. Recovery of costs would be achieved over a short time period. Same consideration as switching to dry fertilizer. Anything stopping the shipment of pretty bottles of weak solution benefits the wallet.

Don't be a cow in the herd not knowing why is my message I guess (and don't trust Wikipedia and web forums LMAO!) without verifying information.

Ask what, ask why.

Warnings need to be said (included) when offering advice on alternatives (imo).

If we were all the same the world would be a boring place and all conversations would be short ones.

I always wonder proof reading my contributions and hope my posting style clearly divides my statements from those of others I reference and quote.
I try to share (effort to help) and also try not steal the hard work and knowledge of others.

(IMO) Glutaraldehyde has value in tank use just ask what, ask why. Know how.

Tolerance or resistance to exposures is as varied as people are. Things that bother me don't another. My Dad has smoked for >70yrs yet I have uncles that died with cancer in their 50's. My wife's best friend breaks out in hives on her arms and hands if she pumps gas into her car and gets headaches from the fumes. Excel has caused dermatitis right away for a few using it has been posted.

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