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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not new to Excel but I can't find any solid answers to some questions I've always had about it so I was hoping all the awesome people here might be able to help. Excel's not a fert so I wasn't sure where to post this, but I digress...

1) Are water changes absolutely required when using Excel? Basically I was wondering if there is something in glutaraldehyde that builds up to dangerous levels if I just do top-offs, assuming there's enough plant mass to uptake all the carbon before the next dose.

2) Has anyone else ever used Excel in filterless tanks that have no water circulation? I've done this in the past and simply stirred the water a bit after adding it. It didn't seem to harm any of the fish/shrimp but by the same token, the plants didn't seem to respond one way or another. :icon_conf I assume it's not optimal to add to a tank w/ no water circulation, but on the other hand it could make targeting specific plants easier.

Thanks in advance!
 

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1) Not a problem AFAIK. I would not do a loading dose, but the smaller dose is fine.

2) There may be something else going on in a tank with no circulation. ALL the stuff is not getting spread around to feed the plants. (macros, secondary nutrients, traces, O, C...) There may be local concentrations of some things, and lack of those materials elsewhere.
I would add some water movement to this tank.
To dose Excel to kill algae you would turn off the water movement and spot dose. This means the concentration is so high in that spot it can kill algae, and may damage the plant leaves. If you dose Excel by spreading it on the surface of the tank, this might be concentrated enough to harm surface plants.
Plants at the surface are getting CO2 from the air. The plants that need the Excel are lower in the tank. Without water circulation they cannot get carbon from the air or from Excel.
 

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I'm not new to Excel but I can't find any solid answers to some questions I've always had about it so I was hoping all the awesome people here might be able to help. Excel's not a fert so I wasn't sure where to post this, but I digress...

1) Are water changes absolutely required when using Excel? Basically I was wondering if there is something in glutaraldehyde that builds up to dangerous levels if I just do top-offs, assuming there's enough plant mass to uptake all the carbon before the next dose.

2) Has anyone else ever used Excel in filterless tanks that have no water circulation? I've done this in the past and simply stirred the water a bit after adding it. It didn't seem to harm any of the fish/shrimp but by the same token, the plants didn't seem to respond one way or another. :icon_conf I assume it's not optimal to add to a tank w/ no water circulation, but on the other hand it could make targeting specific plants easier.

Thanks in advance!
Hi ItsDubC,

1) No water changes are not required with using Excel, nothing will 'build up' from its use. However, good fish care does suggest we change some water in our tanks periodically to reduce fish waste and replenish nutrients in the water.

2) The plants will only respond with better growth if a lack of available carbon molecules is the "limiting factor" for growth. If there was no improvement after dosing Excel it is likely something else is the limiting factor i.e. light, nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, calcium, etc. I do agree with the mix by hand after adding if there is no circulation in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback! I have kept quite a few successful NPTs in the past but only experimented w/ Excel in two of them. Filterless never seemed to be a problem but perhaps I may have seen better growth w/ circulation. Diana brings up a good point; using a pipette or turkey baster to "feed" plants lower in the water column might be something good to try.

Roy, thanks for helping me realize the possibility that CO2 may not have been the limiting factor in that tank. This was a 20 long w/ an Ecoxotic E-series fixture and back then I was also experimenting w/ PPS Pro. Your comment made me realize that I was probably making things worse by continuing to add ferts to a tank whose plants were not thriving (they just sort of existed lol). I have seen quite a few tanks that grew more difficult plants w/ medium light as long as CO2 was supplemented, which is why I wanted to try Excel in that tank.

I wonder if the E-series fixture was still too weak. The lighting was definitely less intense than the true NPT I had before that which was growing R. macrandra surprisingly well.
 
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