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excel is a carbon substitute, it stays in your tank longer than co2, but get pricey if you does it regularly since its not a cheap fert. However, it does wonders if your tank is lacking in co2. Also, some people overdoes excel to fight some types of algae growth
excel is basically liquid co2 so it wont leave the tank with surface agitation and such. It depends, my plants i only dose excel once a week because i ahve very little surface agitation so i retain a lot of the co2 my fish generate. In my 20 gallon w/ bubblewand, i had to dose it once every 2 days.
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In a small tank a single bottle will last a long time. I got my bottle for $7 bucks at the LFS and it's lasted me about 4 months so far and it's only half empty.
Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
The only things that happen quickly in an aquarium are bad things.
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