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Thread: Seachem Excel

  1. #1

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    Default Seachem Excel


    1 Not allowed!
    OK plant fert experts, need some advice.

    I have a 5.5G semi-planted tank, with one betta named Lao, thread here: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...182&highlight=

    It has had a brown algae/diatom issue for quite some time. I used to leave the light (Finnex Stingray) on for way too long each day, 16 hours or so.

    I have cut back on the lighting (around 6 hours a day, now), and it has helped a bit with the brown gunk.

    The plants in the tank (simple stuff, anubias, frogbit, anacharis) are growing, but I only see "green" with new growth, as soon as a stem or leaf reaches a certain size, it's covered with the brown gunk.

    I have Seachem Excel on hand, a full bottle, that was suggested a while back for this tank when it had a different setup, and was an absolute nightmare of gunk, but I ended up tearing it down and starting over before I gave the Excel a chance.

    I've been doing a little research on Excel, and have found it's a love/hate topic, so to speak...some say it works wonders, some say it's a waste of money, and even harmful.

    I want to give it a try...I dosed 2 ml yesterday (directions say 5 ml for 10G, so I went a little conservative)

    I plan on dosing every other day (next dose tomorrow) an amount of 1 ml

    I'll have lots of questions along the way, will get a vid of the tank as it is tonight

    First question: should I stick with around 6 hours of light a day, or should I go longer since there's ferts in the water now?

    I very rarely use ferts, especially liquid ones, so all comments/suggestions appreciated, especially from those of you who have experience with the product

    Thanks, M-
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  2. #2

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Excel has a half life of 12 hours, so they usually recomend dosing every day. Maybe start with half the recommended dose every day and see how your plants react. I have read that the anacharis can be affected negatively by overdosing. Some plants do really bad with it and some work fine. My Val's melted away, and I read later that they don't like it. I dose the recommended amount every day in my 75g. My stargrass seems to love it, and my anubias makes around 1 leaf every week or two.

    Carbon is going to be your limiting nutrient in your tank so giving your plants a source of carbon may allow them to use more of the other nutrients in your tank that are feeding the algae. Also I read that people will use a syringe to dose the excel right on the algae on the anubias leaves and it actually kills the algae. Although I'm not sure if this is for all algae or only certain ones.

    Are you getting algae on the frogbit leaves?
    Last edited by Nautilus291; 09-02-2018 at 11:51 PM.

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks very much for the quick reply.

    If the anacharis doesn't do well, that is fine, it was given to me by a friend (thanks Nat), but TBH I've had it before in another tank, and didn't care for it, very messy (IME)

    I'd much more concerned over the anubias and frogbit (again, thanks Nat)...I'd like to see those thrive

    As far as dosing every day, that was one of the negative comments I've read about the stuff, once you start it, you should never stop, which can mean >$ than I'm willing to spend, or even willing to do, lol

    Yes, I'm getting the brown algae on the FB, but on the roots only, far as I can tell...and it's actually reproducing, I see a few new baby bits

    What about lighting?...stick with 6 hours or so, or increase?...does it matter with Excel?
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  4. #4

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    I'm no expert on lighting (or planted tanks lol), but I'd probably stick with the lower hours since your tank isn't very densely planted. Since the frogbit leaves are exposed to the co2 in the air I'm guessing you won't see much change in the growth of that plant. It may benefit some from the excel, but it's getting all of the carbon it needs from the air. The anubias is such a slow grower, that I don't think some of the negative affects that people talk about would affect that either.

    Honestly the anacharis has the most growing potential from it since they are faster growing and can't get co2 from the air like frogbit.

    Since excel works as an algaecide, and you aren't worried about using it to get faster plant growth, you may be able to get away with using the syringe method directly on the anubias leaves and frogbit roots to kill of the algae and then once the algae is gone stop using it until it works it's way back. I'd start with that half dose on the anubias and watch the other two plants to see how they react. If they seem fine then try it on the frogbit roots also. I wouldn't do it on your other plant since people talk about having overdose issues with it. Other then that I would take the frogbit out of the water and try removing any rotting roots that may be mixed in with the healthy roots. Rotting plant matter is a perfect environment for algae to grow.

  5. #5

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post

    Yes, I'm getting the brown algae on the FB, but on the roots only, far as I can tell...and it's actually reproducing, I see a few new baby bits.
    I was worried that maybe the leaf tops were slightly summerged if you had algae on the tops of them. That is bad for most floating plants and can cause the leaves to rot.

    And I'll mention again, I just got into planted tanks and most of what I'm telling you has been from research, and not personal experience. So, if someone with more knowledge tells you to do something else listen to them.
    Last edited by Nautilus291; 09-03-2018 at 12:54 AM.

  6. #6

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    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    Use ferts! Deficiencies cause algae...excess nutrients do not. Also split photo periods help some tanks...4hrs on 2hrs off 4hrs on.

    Now for Excel...I use Glutaraldehyde actually. Bought a gallon a year or so and am still rocking with it....but there are benefits. It is a mild algaecide...Im not sure I really buy into it being a real beneficial source of usable carbon for plants. There is controversy on this but it is a mild algaecide
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  7. #7

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    LOL, thanks for the input...thing is, I don't use ferts in my other 3 (simple)planted tanks, so really no experience to go on.

    "Glutaraldehyde" sounds like an evil nemesis from a comic book, I'll have to look that one up....
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  8. #8

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    I have a question- are you wanting to eradicate the diatoms or looking for faster plant growth?

    Excel is not actually a fertilizer, it's primary active ingredient Glutaraldehyde is rather a disinfectant used in dentistry (not sure if it still is tho). There is a lot of debate whether plants could use it as a carbon source. But if you're looking for an algaecide, it could work for that.

    Also, just an FYI, h2o2 has the same effectiveness on algae and bacteria as a spot treatment and when it makes contact with organic matter the result is pure oxygen, much safer IMO than Excel.

    Is it ok if I ask a few more questions to get to the bottom of the reason for the brown gunk first? Maybe it could be prevented instead of having to use chemicals.....

    Is it dusty or gelatinous? Can it be removed manually? Have you been trying to remove it and it reappears? If so, how often are you removing it?

    How are your filters? Like is the filter media very dirty when you rinse it, or does it stay fairly clean? Is there debris accumulation in the filter tubes? Can you see mulm in/on the substrate?

    Regarding the photoperiod, if your plants are growing, (and they are) they have enough light. A little trick I have to help determine the correct photoperiod length for my plants and tank is to watch my stem plants like hygrophila and rotala. The tops will close up when they are done photosynthesis, so if they are closed up and my light is still on, I know I have too long of a photoperiod. The access light goes straight to the algae which takes full advantage. Another option to try is a siesta. Two hours on, two hours off, four hours on. This is my understanding, I believe the minimum time for plant photosynthesis is 4hrs and plants can resume photosynthesis much faster than algae after the siesta, so algae never gets a chance to establish competing with the plants. Also another reason my minimum photoperiod length is 4hrs.
    Last edited by angelcraze2; 09-03-2018 at 03:07 AM.
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  9. #9

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    MCHRkiller ninja'd me while I was typing out my post.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
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  10. #10

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by angelcraze2 View Post
    I have a question- are you wanting to eradicate the diatoms or looking for faster plant growth?

    Excel is not actually a fertilizer, it's primary active ingredient Glutaraldehyde is rather a disinfectant used in dentistry (not sure if it still is tho). There is a lot of debate whether plants could use it as a carbon source. But if you're looking for an algaecide, it could work for that.

    Also, just an FYI, h2o2 has the same effectiveness on algae and bacteria as a spot treatment and when it makes contact with organic matter the result is pure oxygen, much safer IMO than Excel.

    Is it ok if I ask a few more questions to get to the bottom of the reason for the brown gunk first? Maybe it could be prevented instead of having to use chemicals.....

    Is it dusty or gelatinous? Can it be removed manually? Have you been trying to remove it and it reappears? If so, how often are you removing it?

    How are your filters? Like is the filter media very dirty when you rinse it, or does it stay fairly clean? Is there debris accumulation in the filter tubes? Can you see mulm in/on the substrate?

    Regarding the photoperiod, if your plants are growing, (and they are) they have enough light. A little trick I have to help determine the correct photoperiod length for my plants and tank is to watch my stem plants like hygrophila and rotala. The tops will close up when they are done photosynthesis, so if they are closed up and my light is still on, I know I have too long of a photoperiod. The access light goes straight to the algae which takes full advantage. Another option to try is a siesta. Two hours on, two hours off, four hours on. This is my understanding, I believe the minimum time for plant photosynthesis is 4hrs and plants can resume photosynthesis much faster than algae after the siesta, so algae never gets a chance to establish competing with the plants. Also another reason my minimum photoperiod length is 4hrs.
    Wow Kat, this will take a moment to respond to, but thanks so much!

    I'll be back with you shortly
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