12-01-2010, 06:09 PM
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I know Excel is often suggested as a treatment for algae control but this is not something I recommend. And as has been mentioned, it is only a quick fix, the root of the issue must be addressed.
Algae occurs due to excess light. If the plants have insufficient nutrients to balance the light, algae will take advantage. Increasing carbon via Excel is affecting the balance you have (or should have) by adding a lot of one nutrient (carbon). Unless you also up the light and increase all the other nutrients, it will not be balanced.
Also, Excel does not always work on the algae; Seachem themselves do not recommend it for this purpose. There have been some members here who had issues and took my advice to discontinue Excel and noticed a vast improvement in plants and less algae. There are many biological issues at work in an aquarium, and adding as little "stuff" as possible and letting the natural biological equilibrium become established is usually better.
I see the light is on 8 hours, I wouldn't reduce that yet; what fertilizers are you adding, if any, and how often? Nitrates are OK, though in planted tanks often less; is the tank fairly well planted? Have you tested your tap water for nitrates? Last point on nitrate, if you use the API kit, shake regent #2 for 2 minutes, not just 30 seconds as the instructions say; false and high readings frequently result if the regent #2 is not shaken 2 minutes.