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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read on a bunch of websites that people use glutaraldehyde instead of excel as a carbon source for plants since glutaraldehyde is what makes up excel. It's alot cheaper that excel, but I'm not sure it's safe. It might not be the same concenration as excel. Does anybody have any experience with it?
 

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You would have to dilute the glutaraldehyde with water, comparable to what products like Seachem's Excel or API's CO2 Booster do. The only ingredients in both are glutaraldehyde and water; Seachem term the chemical polycycloglutaracetal but this appears to be their form of glutaraldehyde.

The problem though is the glutaraldehyde. This is a very toxic chemical that is used in hospitals to sterilize medical instruments, in anti-freeze, in embalming fluid (it kills bacteria), in ship ballasts to kill bacteria, etc. It is dangerous to humans if it gets on your skim, or the fumes are inhaled, as this data sheet indicates:
http://www.seachem.com/support/MSDS/FlourishExcel.doc.pdf

Some plants will be killed if Excel or CO2 Booster are used even at recommended strengths. If it is overdosed, plants, bacteria and fish can be seriously affected and even killed.

The manufacturers of both products may say they are safe with fish, but any chemical substance that carries such hazards is not something I care to use.

Byron.
 

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byron is right, but there are many note worthy aquarists that do use glutaraldehyde with water with no adverse effects, some even use double or triple doses. i personally dont use and will not use such a product just giving some insight is all.i feel that a x4-x7 growth rtate increase just isnt worth it not to mention it would also come along with having to find a new light/fert balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. I personally don't want to mess with it either if it's that dangerous. I'd rather work with excel, since it sounds (relatively) safe. I'll just use it until I can get a co2 system. Just another thing on my never-ending wish list...
 

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Many tanks do just fine without those additives, even Excel carries a lot of risks as Byron stated. The majority of plants get on just fine with just Flourish Comp, and that poses no danger to fish like Excel does.

Even CO2 can kill fish if overdosed or if it runs at night.

I wanted CO2 as well when I first started my planted tank but I've found mine does just fine without it, honestly.
 

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I use undiluted metricide 14 at double the dose in a 1 gallon~ doesn't affect anything in my tanks, even the shrimps. But then again I'm not really sure if there is a long term adverse effect. I mean if a human were in a place with high radiation levels for a day they'd be completely fine, but if they lived there, the effects may not be felt for another 40 years anyway or something... just an analogy.

Every inch of my tank is covered by plants (top middle bottom), so I'd like to think that the plants use the metrcide faster than it can harm the live stock. I mean the ferts we dump in our tank aren't really that great for fish health either but the plants absorb it fast enough so there is no build up. That's also the reason why I always dose ferts and metricide first thing in the morning~

I think you should dose according to how heavily planted your tank is. Ask people with similar plant stocking about their dosage and what works for them ^___^
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I'm definatley going to need some kind of co2. I just got a double tube t5ho fixture online. I'm about to take the plunge into high-light plants! (Holds breath) :lol: I know it's gonna be algae city without a good balance, so I've got to wait until I find a good solution. I'll use excel until I can get pressurized co2. I might get some metrocide to experiment with in a little fishless bowl I have in my window to see if it actually helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's really cool. It'd be great to not have to spend even more money if it's not necessary. My fish loads at the max, so they're probably cranking out enough co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It would be cool to set up a symbiotic relationship like that. I'd rather have it be as natural as possible. The only reason I want to use ferts is because it'll help the plants grow, which will help the fish. I want them to be happy in their little home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the awesome advice. I'll moniter the progress without excel. Maybe make a thread for it. That's what I love about this hobby. Everyone is so supportive when someone needs help. This is a great forum.
I've got to go to bed. Sleepiness is making me woozy. :-?
Peace!
 

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fish DO crank out CO2 XD although "crank out" is kind of misleading, seeing they don't really produce as much as "crank out" implies :p what I mean is that they take in oxygen and expel CO2 just like any other animal XD
 

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As I mentioned in another thread yesterday, natural CO2 occurs in the aquarium in greater quantity than many realize. Fish, plants and some bacteria respire continually (24/7) and this releases CO2 into the water. But the greater amount occurs from the breakdown of organics by bacteria.

The aim is to create a balance between light (intensity and duration are both important), CO2 and other nutrients. Those of us who have "natural" planted tanks, meaning no added CO2, know that it may take a few weeks to find that balance. And of course, there are some plants that will not survive in the moderate light intensity and without diffused CO2 to balance; but a majority will. The type of plants and the expected growth rate wanted by the aquarist will determine which method is best suited.

I have always preferred less intervention in my fish tanks, allowing nature to do most of the work. Some plants thrive, a few don't; I use what works. The photos below are just two examples of what is possible with this "natural" approach; these tanks have no CO2 addition by any method, relying totally on what occurs naturally.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Amazing, Byron. I just hope my tanks will be anywhere near that lush.
 
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