Flourish excel, how much?
I just bought some flourish excel for my planted tank...
I have a 55 gallon tank. moderately planted. Low light and medium light plants that I researched and supposedly do beautifully with low light.
No c02, no ferts have ever been added. bio wheel filter. I just cleaned and replaced 20% water today. I have angelfish, three spot gourami, clown loaches, bristle nose pleco, otto cats.
I'm running on low-medium light.
I want to make sure I do things right. How much should I add and how often?
also, how often should i replace water while using it?
Bottle should say how much and how often to use . In 55 gallons, Excel will get expensive to keep daily dose ,or every other day as bottle I believe suggests.
Is why I chose Fourish Comprehensive as per Byron's suggestion.
I too have a biowheel filter on low tech 80 gallon planted tank and I keep the water level high enough that water returning to the tank from filter does not have waterfall effect which can help to drive off CO2.
I should think this would be even more critical if you intend to use Flourish Excel.
I also use root tabs under some of the plants I have to help then along. (swords,crypts).
I am also looking to purchase a canister filter for my tank as this would help me to be able to remove the now considered (by me) ugly .. Intakes for the biowheel filters ,,and may also allow me to place a heater in the return line hose from canister so that it too won't be in the aquarium.
I might consider reading Byrons very good articles on planted tanks (low tech) which have proved invaluable along with PM's shared ,in helping me to get my tank sorted out.8-)
P.S would always change water BEFORE dosing the tank with ferts. I change 25 to 30 percent of the water once a week and then dose with Flourish comprehensive. Is working for my tank.
This is what I do as well but remember to wait the 24 hours after the water change to add your Flourish because the Prime or water additive you add is taking the helpful minerals back out of the water for about 24 hours after adding. You don't want to neutralize the minerals from the Flourish you just added.
I do not recommend using Excel. I'll explain why. First thing, it is just a carbon supplement, not a fertilizer; it is a liquid form of carbon that most (but not all) plants can assimilate. If you have Vallisneria for instance it frequently will disintegrate with Excel.
Plants need a balance (proportionally) of 17 nutrients and light, which is explained in more detail in the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" stickied at the head of this section, so I won't go into detail on that. CO2 with less light will occur from the fish and bacteria, and in most tanks is adequate for the plants. You will need a fertilizer, as the required minerals are not likely to be sufficient solely from the water (water change replacement), fish food and organics. Once you have the balance between light and the nutrients, you're home and away. This is what I call a natural approach because it uses nature more than intervention with additives.
Once you add carbon, be it via diffusion of CO2 or with Excel, you affect the balance. Light needs to be increased, and the added liquid fertilizer also. Otherwise the plants cannot use the carbon. Liebig's law of minimum: plants stop photosynthesizing with the first requirement that is no longer available in balance.
As 1077 pointed out, Excel has to be dosed daily, and the light will need increasing (intensity, not duration which has little effect when it comes to altering the balance), and liquid ferts will need increasing. This is where you get into the Flourish line of additives, using potassium, nitrogen, excel, iron, and I don't know what all else. Very expensive, very tricky until it's balanced, and unnecessary. Keeping it simple means there is less to go wrong.
For a 55gal tank you can add 5ml either per day or every-other day. I started using it when I had black beard algae. It got rid of it real fast. I'm not sure if the Excel is necessary but the tank has been doing fine with it. The Vals do fine with it. I also started using Excel when everyone said you don't want to drive off CO2 using air stones. Well my tank has two air stones driving my UGF. So I think the Excel helps increase the carbon the UGF is driving off.
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