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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I removed the co2 bottle from my 50G to have it hydro tested and refilled. I have been putting 2 caps of excel in each morning while the bottle is not hooked up. I'm pretty sure my tank looks better now! Plants have nice growth and algae is subsiding! I was thinking maybe just keep this excel thing happening instead of hooking the co2 tank back up? Any pros-cons you can think of besides price in the long run?

Cheers
 

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If you are worried about price on the excel, get some metricide. Same thing, but 2x as strong and 1/4 the price. As for running one or the other, I can't help you there, but I know people run both.
 

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If you are worried about price on the excel, get some metricide. Same thing, but 2x as strong and 1/4 the price. As for running one or the other, I can't help you there, but I know people run both.
I second on that! $23 with tax included =) Last forever!
 

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I use both in my high-tech tanks. The only downside of using Excel/Metricide is that it does limit plant selection.

Just my 2 cents!

Stuart
 

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I think co2 is more effective and excel definitely melted my vals and anachris. The anachris tuned yellowish brown and my vals turned mushy and transparent.
 

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CO2 gives you more flexibility I think, but in the end, they're both just tools and can be used separately or in conjunction. Since Excel is an algaecide, it will of course prevent kill algae. But whatever the problem is that caused the algae in the first place is still there. For instance, if you have BBA, it's either fluctuating CO2, insufficient CO2, or a CO2 diffusion problem from a combination of overgrowth or maybe clogged diffusers. But as others have said, Excel is a problem in tanks with Vals and some other plants. I have a tank with Vals and my Anubias in that always has a bit of BBA on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies. The bottle passed hydro test today so i will be hooking it back up.
 

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If you noticed "better results" over Co2 since you started using Glutaraldehyde, this may be due to the fact that your Co2 injection was not optimized and you didn't provide enough Co2 thus you were limiting the growth of your plants and health. From my own experience and also from various other places that I have comed to read about, Co2 injection will provide a substantial faster growth rate of your plants over Excel. When I was using Metricide for a few months, I noticed the plants grew much slower.
 

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If you noticed "better results" over Co2 since you started using Glutaraldehyde, this may be due to the fact that your Co2 injection was not optimized and you didn't provide enough Co2 thus you were limiting the growth of your plants and health. From my own experience and also from various other places that I have comed to read about, Co2 injection will provide a substantial faster growth rate of your plants over Excel. When I was using Metricide for a few months, I noticed the plants grew much slower.
This is precisely what I would suspect and expect.

It could come right down to the type of diffuser\reactor you were using quite frankly.
 

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I think the Co2 reactor is superior to the glass diffuser imho because it is assumed that you would get near 100% diffusion of the Co2 in a reactor (if none of the Co2 escapes off the reactor. This can happen if the outflow from the XP3 filter is too strong, too fast for the size of reactor you have). The glass diffuser in top condition would give off tiny Co2 bubbles but some of it would rise to the surface and escape before they get a chance to be fully dissolved. Some people run the diffuser just below the intake of a filter so that they get sucked into the filter and get dissolved.

From a recent experience:
Tank: 50 gal planted
Pressurized Co2 (2-3 bps of Co2 reading on bubble counter).
Co2 line: Silicone airhose
Lenght of Co2 line: about 7 feet
I had the Co2 line feeding straight into the intake of the Xp3 filter. I cut a small slit on the strainer of the intake and stuck the airhose into it so that the Co2 would go right into the filter.
I discovered that even though my bubble counter was telling me that I was feeding 2-3 bubbles pe second of Co2, when I pulled the line off the intake of the filter, I noticed that hardly any Co2 was coming out. Must have been a leak somewhere.
Conclusion: Running pressurized Co2 system is pretty much reliable once set up but you need to check it on occasion to make sure you have no leak and you are actually feeding enough Co2 into the reactor or what have you (something the glass diffuser has advantage over since you can visually see the bubbles coming off the glass diffuser whereas you cannot see inside a reactor unless of course it is one of those transparent ones).
In either event, the Co2 drop checker should be a visual guide to how much Co2 you actually have. I have a crappy diy drop checker and I really should make a better one and hopefully one that reacts faster as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thats pretty much what I thought about the reactor as well. I know the co2 is getting dissolved because my drop checker changes color as the day passes. I actually had to turn the co2 down, the drop checker was yellow one day when I came home from work and the fish were gasping for air at the top. Just seems the algae gets worse with the pressurized co2 and it subsides with excel.
 

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The problem with using a drop checker with pressurized is that it doesn't react fast enough with changing CO2 levels. So you may be running too much CO2 at the beginning of the light cycle, and not enough at the end. Or it may be a circulation problem. Is your BBA in just one place or area? Or is it all over the tank? One of the ways I've dealt with this problem with fluctuation levels is to run the CO2 15 to 30 minutes before the lights come on (depending on the light level and tank size) and then turn off before the lights go off by roughly the same amount of time. I also am not running air pumps or powerheads with venturi after the lights are out to ensure there is sufficient gas exchange once the plants start utilizing O2 instead of CO2. Not sure if that's part of your problem, but it may be something to think about.
 
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