Yes, that's the stuff.
Yes, this is simply a carbon supplement, in liquid form instead of the more usual CO2 which occurs naturally in the aquarium. I am not an advocate of adding Excel; in my experience there is sufficient CO2 from fish and biological processes [even in my non-fish tanks this occurs] to balance minimal lighting and opther nutrients for the plants. Once you start adding carbon, the light and other nutrients have to be increased to balance, and this is not necessary. Provided everything is balanced to begin with. More on this below.
The liquid test kit I just bought a few mos ago does not have a hardness test. :( I can tell you that our water is VERY hard here out of the tap. We installed a whole-house filter last month, and I have been filtering the water myself through a PUR water filter as well (I bought specifically for the fish, sounds silly but its a lot cheaper than buying RO water from the LFS all the time!!) Not sure how all my filtering is doing as far as the hardness since I ran out of test strips that had the hardness test on them before we did all of that. The PH is about 7.6.
You could take a sample to your fish store for a hardness test, it is nice to know, esp after it has gone through some filtering/softening.
Since it takes a day to filter it all that way, the water sits for a day in my old RO water containers with the water safe in it before I put it in the aquarium. I use Tetra Aquasafe. And I probably overdose the Aquasafe because of how hard the water was. http://www.tetra-fish.com/sites/tetr...?id=110&cid=73 |
This conditioner is fine. Don't overdose it; I know they all say "cannot be over-dosed" but it is chemical stuff and no point putting more in the water than required. It will do the job at the recommended dose.
The water has had a bit of a green tint to it since my last water change but I thought it had something to do with my big Gold Gourami dying. (I found him in the morning, no clue how long he'd been that way.) I'm almost due for a WC. |
I try to have the lights on 12 hrs, but honestly a lot of times it probably ends up more like 14. I like to turn one on and a half hr later or so turn the other on so it doesn't shock my nocturnal fish. At night I do the same turning them off.
These may be related. The light is sufficient for the plants, but perhaps may be too much to balance the nutrients including carbon. Rather than increasing carbon as an experiment I would suggest reducing the light duration. Ten hours a day is plenty. This may be the cause of the spindly stem plants. I also think this may be causing the "green" water. This sounds like the start of what we actually term "green water" which is a micro-algae bloom that at its worst can turn the water into pea soup, so that you cannot even see into the tank. There were a couple of recent threads from aquarists with this issue. Light is the cause. I would be inclined to reduce your light to at least 10 hours and possibly even less, say 9 hours. Use a lamp timer you can get in a hardware store so it is consistent day to day (better for fish and plants), and obviously have it scheduled "on" when you are there to view the aquarium; it doesn't have to be parallel to outside daylight or anything, so long as the aquarium receives total darkness for 8-10 hours a night. For example, if you work you could have the light on at 10 or 11 am, and off at 9 or 10 pm.
Reducing the light duration and increasing the Flourish to twice weekly but at minimal dose should help. Give it1-2 weeks and report back to us on any changes. My next suggestion would be to reduce the intensity of light (remove a bulb) but I'd try the other first.