Does API CO2 Booster affect Nitrifying Bacteria? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-23-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
Does API CO2 Booster affect Nitrifying Bacteria?

Hello all, have question about API CO2 Booster, does it affect Nitrifying bacteria?
Background Info:
I have a planted tank in the final stages of cycling (1-month by fish-in cycling). The tank is a 20g High, with a large Amazon Sword, a baby sword taken from the large one's Peduncle, a Java Moss ball, Mondo grass, Anacharis, and a 3-plant combo (Dracaena Spathiphyllum Ophiopogon Trichomanes Syngonium).
What happened:
API recommends 1ml per 10 gallons of water for the CO2 Booster. After I added 2ml for my 20 gallon tank, I had an ammonia spike. I know the tank is still new, however I had gone at least 10 days with 0.00 ppm Ammonia, and no other event out of the ordinary could of triggered it. Has anyone else experienced similar results using this product, or know if API's CO2 Booster harms the Nitrifying bacteria?
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-23-2012, 06:36 PM
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An interesting question. I would not have thought so, but...

API CO2 Booster is 1.6% glutaraldehyde (rest is water). Seachem's Excel is the same but a slightly higher percentage. This chemical is toxic. It is used to disinfect medical and dental instruments and as a chemical preservative. Considered a hazardous substance, skin irritant, toxic if inhaled, etc. You can read more here (which comes from a link on the API website):

It kills cells, and is used in products that attack viruses and bacteria. So, it may well affect bacteria in an aquarium. It will kill some aquarium plants, Vallisneria is one.

I wouldn't use it.

Aside from all this, with live plants you should not have a "cycle" per say. Plants assimilate ammonia/ammonium as their nitrogen and provided the fish load is not beyond their capacity, plants will handle the ammonia.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-23-2012, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
Thanks for the info and link Bryan. From what I experienced it seems that the answer is yes. And the link you provided supports that. Also, I actually got some of it on my hands and it was not a pleasant experience for the next 3 hours. The "sensation" they say can occur will occur if contact is made. I'm going to try and return it since I only used a tiny bit out of the bottle.
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