Does anyone have experience with this product? Is it a good fert or does it also have some bad chems in it? Only reason I'm asking is because I've read somewhere that it is a good source of CO2 for the planted tank but since it also removes algae... maybe it's too much of a good thing (if you know what I mean)?
I use it daily. It's not a fertilizer. It's a source of carbon that some plants MAY be able to use in addition to getting carbon from CO2. It definitely helped to get rid of BB algae but I'm not sure if it's effective for other types. I've read it is but I haven't noticed. I do think it helps my plants.
As wishfish explained, its a simple source of organic carbon. Which does help you (if used daily) in a non stocked tank that's planted. In a planted tank with a decent stock and nothing (filter outlet, air stone) that drives the CO2 out of your tank your fish will do that trick for you.
I have also used it after the black out against algae, worked good to control black beard and green slime algae. Doesn't work for hair algae or any other one thou.
Did it help my plants grow when I used it - nop :-) What did help my plants was root tablets (for the swords) and then using liquid ferts (same as you nutrafin).
Bottom line from my exp: If you wanna use it to control the named algae types, it'll help. If you wanna use it to have nicer plants no it won't do that trick ( at least not for my plants) and you're better up with liquid all in one ferts and root tablets.
i started recently using Excel in my one tank, just to see if it would give better results in plant growth............WOW!!!........It definitely made a BIG difference in the plant growth and has been a little help in eradicating algae in this particular tank...........
The green slime algae that Angel is referring to is NOT an algae, but a form of cyanobacteria...........
All accurate comments from everyone, so I'll just add my thoughts. First to agree with prior remarks, Excel is not a fertilizer, it is a liquid form of carbon which is one nutrient plants need. Most plants assimilate carbon via CO2 produced by the fish and biological processes, and if that is sufficient to balance your light and the other nutrients (nitrogen also from fish, and minerals) the plants will be healthy. Clearly the majority of plants seem to have no difficulty assimilating carbon from Excel. I do not know for sure how this works (with Excel), but I do know that some plants can readily assimilate carbon from carbonates such as in harder water [Vallisneria is particularly good at this which is why it is such a good plant in livebearer and rift lake cichlid tanks]. In hard water CO2 binds to minerals creating carbonates; these plants take up the carbonates and break them down to extract the carbon which becomes CO2 and is used by the plant. Floating plants and plants which send leaves above the surface assimilate CO2 from the air as well.
Using Excel is comparable to using CO2 diffusion--for me, neither should be necessary, although both will result in increased plant response provided light and nutrients balance. How much increased plant growth do you want in your aquarium? Everyone may have a different answer for this, fine. My response is that I just want the plants to be healthy and do the job of filtration and "look nice." I have achieved this without CO2/Excel, and I have no reason to add either. But I do have a lot of fish (though smallish ones) in my tanks. I am fairly confident that carbon/CO2 is not a limiting factor, light is, which is as it should always be. I have no desire to see the plants grow faster; this would affect the biological balance in various ways, and I want it to be reasonably stable without my constant interference.
On the other hand, if the aquarium is very lightly stocked with fish, there may be insufficient CO2 for any plants without adding Excel or CO2 diffusion. The light and other nutrients have to be balanced. To be insufficient in CO2 means either the aquarium can hold more fish or there is too much light and/or too many mineral nutrients being added. I'd rather have a few more fish in my tank than start spending money for additives that shouldn't be necessary.
In response to Byron's question, it isn't so much for the growth that I am researching this stuff... Most of my plants grow fast enough without giving them help. But I find that most could look healthier these days so I'm trying to figure out what's missing or what's too much... in a word, I'm trying to figure out the right balance. I'm not sure that CO2 is the answer either but that is something I haven't tried yet.
What signs do your plants show? You say they're growing well? Yellow leaves, pin holes etc???
Is it only certain plants eg Swords you're worried about?
This is only my rough guess from the lil I recall about your tank - But it MAY not be balanced right, meaning your light vs fish stocking vs ferts used.....So if I was you: Go back to the drawing board, possibly stock your tank better and cross check the ferts your using make sure it is a all in 1 comprehensive one. If plants like Swords are present, but root tablets. I think you're using the same then me in the 55g (Nutrafin) aren't you? Thou it works for me (my plants rather) does not necessarily mean it'll do the same trick for you (different stock, different source water, stocking yaddy ya).
And I hate to ask this now...but you were quite a 'intense' cleaner in the beginning, maybe too large/ too often w/c?? (Hence removing the ferts)
Your recollections about my tank are dead on Angel. I have somewhat eased up on the cleaning of the tank but I have been fighting what I think are 2 different types of algae: 1) cyanobacteria 2) some sort of green fuzz on my plants' leaves. So I may have more than a few issues here...
1) Cyanobacteria: This thing is very hard to get rid of. I thought I had successfully done it a few weeks ago when I cleaned up the tank real good (and caused a mini-cycle to start) but it seems I was mistaken - either the cyanobacteria never left or it came back with a vengeance. I now spend more time than ever removing green slime from the plants' leaves and other decor...
2) Green fuzz: can't figure this one out yet but it looks like a different kind of algae than the cyanobacteria that grows on my plants and decor. I brush it off when I can either with a toothbrush when it's on a solid piece of decor or with my fingers when on plants, but needless to say that brushing off a few hygrophila plants is quite time consuming...
3) Plants are still growing well even with the 2 issues mentioned above except for my hygrophila polysperma rosanervig which - get this - has actually been growing smaller by releasing mini plants in the tank. I hear it is a sign of being healthy as the plant is trying to propagate itself, but in the meantime the main plant has been getting smaller.
So in all, I am looking for a solution to these issues. Did a 30% wc yesterday and will take water params today. I originally believed that flourish excel may help the plants but now I'm not sure...
So let's take this one apart with ya... :-)
Cyanobacteria: Is often seen in tanks with very low nitrates and/ or new set ups with higher ammonia's been present at some stage or another.
Mostly seen on the gravel and/ or up front against your glass. Dirty substrate (no gravel vac) and/ or dirty/ clogged filters and/ or poor circulation in certain tank area's enhance the growth.
The way I battled mine (sure there's other way's, but this worked for me well & quick and stayed away since)
3 day period of 110% black out of the tank, completely covered with thick towels/ blankets. Followed but a good size w/c around 70% I'd guess it was. Decor like the giganto DW I took out and scrubbed down with a hard bristle brush after the black out and put back in the tank.
All this then followed by siesta approach (lights are on 5 hrs 4 off 4 on) and a good comprehensive fert and root tablets for the swords.
Now I do regular weekly w/c and its never come back.
The green fuzz I battled at stage 1) With a tooth brush, twisted it around the fuzzes and took as much as I could off (that was before the black out) some then remained after the black out but turned into gray dust once I started fertilizing and I just sucked it up with the gravel vac.
Back then I read that Excel also helps battle that since apparently this particular type only thrives in LOW Co2 conditions and since you have the Excel any way, to start dosing even before a black out wouldn't hurt non.
Also, since I just replied to your other post on lights: High end lights vs low or no ferts is not a good balance and so does enable algae growth better. Having lower lights (less intense) and a good liquid fert to balance it for your plants will work well IMO (at least it does for me)
Have I confused you enough now :lol: I know its a hassle but if I can battle my 55g with ALL these algae types popping up at once YOU can sure do this too :-)
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