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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank question

Made my first seachem excel purchase and I did as the bottle requested. Start with a water change then dose accordingly. I did so and in less than 24 hours I have a very cloudy tank and almost all of my fish are hanging around on top of the tank.

I've read that excel can mess with oxygen which would result in my fish hanging up top. But what's with the cloud? I'll always have a mild cloud a day after a normal water change, but I've never seen it this heavy.
 

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What's the volume of your tank and how much Excel did you dose?

If I remember correctly, you live in my area and we have nightmarishly unpredictable water. There's been an algal bloom in the Ohio River in our area the past couple days that's been causing some problems, as well. So it could definitely be a water issue.

Have you tested parameters?
 

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Tank question

Made my first seachem excel purchase and I did as the bottle requested. Start with a water change then dose accordingly. I did so and in less than 24 hours I have a very cloudy tank and almost all of my fish are hanging around on top of the tank.

I've read that excel can mess with oxygen which would result in my fish hanging up top. But what's with the cloud? I'll always have a mild cloud a day after a normal water change, but I've never seen it this heavy.
Hi ANTIplastic,

Assuming you dosed per the instructions it sounds like you may have had a substantial amount of algae in the tank. Excel, along with providing carbon molecules, has algacide properties. It is likely that a lot of algae is dying off and decomposing making the water cloudy and using up oxygen. Increase your filtration, add an airstone to increase circulation, and watch your fish. With good filtration the water should clear in a day or two. The good news, you have probably killed off a lot of algae.
 

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If that is so, you have killed a lot of algae, I would do a big water change.
That much matter dying all at once can add too much nitrogen to the tank, the ammonia and nitrite removing bacteria cannot keep up.

Fish piping: I would do a water change.

If the posts above are right, and your tap water comes pre-loaded with algae, I would not dose the high initial dose of Excel. Just do the regular dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What's the volume of your tank and how much Excel did you dose?

If I remember correctly, you live in my area and we have nightmarishly unpredictable water. There's been an algal bloom in the Ohio River in our area the past couple days that's been causing some problems, as well. So it could definitely be a water issue.

Have you tested parameters?
Haven't done a parameters check yet. I literally did this post on my phone while waiting in a doctors office. I'll see whats up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi ANTIplastic,

Assuming you dosed per the instructions it sounds like you may have had a substantial amount of algae in the tank. Excel, along with providing carbon molecules, has algacide properties. It is likely that a lot of algae is dying off and decomposing making the water cloudy and using up oxygen. Increase your filtration, add an airstone to increase circulation, and watch your fish. With good filtration the water should clear in a day or two. The good news, you have probably killed off a lot of algae.
I have a penguin powerhead 300 that I don't use. Would that help. I'm currently running two HOB fluval 30's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If that is so, you have killed a lot of algae, I would do a big water change.
That much matter dying all at once can add too much nitrogen to the tank, the ammonia and nitrite removing bacteria cannot keep up.

Fish piping: I would do a water change.

If the posts above are right, and your tap water comes pre-loaded with algae, I would not dose the high initial dose of Excel. Just do the regular dosing.
Water change? How big of a water change?
 

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I have a penguin powerhead 300 that I don't use. Would that help. I'm currently running two HOB fluval 30's.
Hi ANTIplastic,

Yes, I would add the powerhead until the water clears. A 25% water change would be a good start.
 

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I've had some issues with the "initial dose", and I'm not alone. I'd stick with the regular daily dose of (I think) 1mL/10g. I've used twice that dose daily for a week for algal combat, but more than that tends to make my plants unhappy. No noticeable fish protests, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alrighty. I did a 25% water change and its looking clearer. The fish are now swimming in their normal routines and they have left hanging out on the top searching for air.

When I did the water change I did a dose of prime and turned on my powerhead. To be honest-not a fan of the power head. It stirs the water up way too much but if it's recommened to help with the water I'll do it. Question is, how long should I do it? Also, when can I dose with Flourish and Prime again?
 

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Glad the fish are feeling better. If you are going to be watching the tank go ahead and take the powerhead out, you can turn it back on if you see the fish going to the surface again.

Prime is only dosed with new water that has chlorine or chloramine in it. It can affect oxygen level too and tap water itself can be low in oxygen. I always aerate replacement water at water change time now after a couple times the fish were uncomfortable after water changes.

Dose the Flourish as directed. It helps the plants grow and doesn't change how algae grows, algae can always find nutrients.
 

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I know people who use Prime to cut down on ammonia spikes (fish that may have died and they didn't catch and so forth). Of course, its only a short term solution.

Also remember that Excel requires the light on after dosing.

Using Prime, adding an airstone/powerhead to introduce O2 through agitation and water changes are good temporary measures. That should knock out the cloud.

I haven't used Excel too much but is there a reason for the first dose being heavy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I know people who use Prime to cut down on ammonia spikes (fish that may have died and they didn't catch and so forth). Of course, its only a short term solution.

Also remember that Excel requires the light on after dosing.

Using Prime, adding an airstone/powerhead to introduce O2 through agitation and water changes are good temporary measures. That should knock out the cloud.

I haven't used Excel too much but is there a reason for the first dose being heavy?

Not to sound like such a sheep-but no. It doesn't say why there should be such a heavy opening dose. Nothing that caught my attention anyways.
 

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Not to sound like such a sheep-but no. It doesn't say why there should be such a heavy opening dose. Nothing that caught my attention anyways.
Hi ANTIplastic,

The reason for the high dosage after a water change per Seachem is:

Thank you for your question, -------. Because carbon can be removed from the water upon performing a major water change, we recommend increasing the amount of Flourish Excel dosed on water change days, simply to re-constitute the water with carbon for your plants to utilize as needed. We hope this information helps, and thank you for using Excel!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
An Update

Okay. So I've lost one fish and the tank isn't getting better. It's not getting worse, but it's not getting better. I'm running the powerhead at the moment and I've done a 25 percent water change. Upon the initial water change the fish seemed happier and the tank got clearer. Now it's back to where it began.
 

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Hi ANTIplastic,

If it has been over 24 hours the Excel has worn off.

It looks like you have a lot of dissolved organics (tannins) in that tank. How long has that wood been in your tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the main big "stump" like piece of DW has been in there for over 3 months. The other vine like pieces are fairly new. I'd say about 3 weeks. I never notice any serious cloudiness such as this. How would DW spark a white cloud 3 weeks later?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As I've been dealing with this it's crossed my mind that in some ways its as if I started a new cycle on my tank. I say this because I switched out my light bulbs. I had a simple T8 full spectrum then I changed it to a T8 Floramax bulb to help my plants. Then I switched out both of my filter sponges as I do once a month, then of course I added a dose of Excel. This was all done in one day and ever since then I have had this white cloud.
 

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As I've been dealing with this it's crossed my mind that in some ways its as if I started a new cycle on my tank. I say this because I switched out my light bulbs. I had a simple T8 full spectrum then I changed it to a T8 Floramax bulb to help my plants. Then I switched out both of my filter sponges as I do once a month, then of course I added a dose of Excel. This was all done in one day and ever since then I have had this white cloud.
You replaced all of the filter sponges in your filter? The beneficial bacteria takes home in those filters, so if you remove them, it would cause another cycle I believe. When I had a white cloudiness to my tank, it was the bacterial bloom establishing the cycle. If your filter has two sponges, I would replace one only and leave the other one. But even at that point, it would only be necessary if the filter sponge is extremely clogged with detritus that replacing it would be required. Most of the time, just a squeeze and a rinse in tank water or water that has been dechlorinated would suffice.
 

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As I've been dealing with this it's crossed my mind that in some ways its as if I started a new cycle on my tank. I say this because I switched out my light bulbs. I had a simple T8 full spectrum then I changed it to a T8 Floramax bulb to help my plants. Then I switched out both of my filter sponges as I do once a month, then of course I added a dose of Excel. This was all done in one day and ever since then I have had this white cloud.
Hi ANTIplastic,

Congrats! I think you have answered your own question. I try to remember that my aquarium operates as a 'system' and changing just one thing can have an affect on several others. I can't tell you how many times what I thought was the 'obvious' cause of a problem was not the cause at all.

Your tank will need to cycle again. Test for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and do water changes as necessary to keep levels down. If you have another tank take some mulm from the filter and add it to the filter of this tank to help 'jump start' the process.
 
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