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I'm new to using ferts, so I apologize if this question has been brought up before, but could someone explain the main differences between Excel and normal Flourish? I've got a 20 long with DIY CO2, so would that make using Excel a bit pointless?
 

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There is a lot of confusion when people first start using these products because of the naming. I'd say that is seachem's fault. So, Flourish Excel is a source of organic carbon that plants utilize when they photosynthesize. DIY CO2 provides a source of carbon from CO2 produced as a byproduct of yeast respiration. Pressurized CO2 provides a direct source of Carbon from the CO2 we pump in.

On the flip side "normal Flourish" (Flourish Comprehensive) is a source of Macro and Micro Nutrients. It is good for smaller low tech aquariums because the amount of nutrients in it is relatively limited. Most people prefer dosing Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium (macros) and a variety of micronutrients (i.e. Iron, Calcium, etc.) through "dry dosing" which is a cheaper long run alternative to purchasing seachem's liquid ferts.

Excel has also been used as an algaecide in higher quantities. The problem with DIY is that it causes a fluctuation in CO2 levels since it relies on the yeast producing it (which isn't very consistent or easy to measure). Excel breaks down in the water column within the day, so must be dosed daily. Regardless though both will provide a source of carbon, but not nearly as much or as consistently compared to a pressurized setup. I would think that doing both would be better than each individually.

Hope this helps clear things up. They really need to change the labeling on those bottles...
 

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Thanks for the help, and yeah, they really do. I guess my next question would be what would be recommended for dosing? Lighting is at 2wpg with 13w 6500k CFLs.
"2wpg" doesn't specify a light intensity. You are using CFL bulbs. If those are mounted horizontally in a standard incandescent bulb socketed hood, you are getting relatively low light. If they are mounted vertically in dome shaped aluminum reflectors, you are probably getting high light. If the tank is a low one, like a 20 long tank, you very likely have high light. If the tank is a high tank, like a 20 high tank, you will have much lower light. The dosing needed depends on the light intensity.

EDIT: I just noticed that you are using a 20 long tank. So, with the bulbs vertical with dome type reflectors you have high light. With the bulbs horizontal, with no reflectors, you have low light. With good reflectors and horizontal bulbs you have something in between.
 

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Plants need over a dozen elements to live.
Some of these enter the water in forms other than fertilizer, but these sources may or may not be sufficient. By adding the missing items the plants will grow their best and will be able to use the elements that are in greater supply.

Seachem calls many of their fertilizers Flourish:
Flourish Nitrogen
Flourish Phosphorus
Flourish Potassium
Flourish Excel
Flourish Comprehensive
Flourish Iron

Each offers a single element of what the plants need except Comprehensive. This one has most of the elements, but not carbon. (At least, not carbon in a way plants can use it.)
Excel is carbon.
 
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