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Excel spray to combat algae - Ideal Contact Time?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by growitnow, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    I had some thread/hair algae crop up. The algae is limited to large clumps of needle leaf java fern, not easily extracted by hand.

    I mixed up a 50/50 Excel + water solution, then sprayed portions of the java fern most infested. It seemed to be effective with the algae, but also killed the java fern. They were nice huge clumps from GLA. Good clumps of anubia nana petite that took ages to develop were also knocked out.

    What I did:
    45ml of Excel + 45ml tank water
    (volume of Excel to use derived from max water-change dose of Excel in my 90gal tank, which is 45ml)
    During water removal at water change, I sprayed the java clumps once they were exposed as water drained.
    I probably sprayed 80% of the solution I mixed.
    Contact time was 30min before water filled tank again (completion of drain, followed by fill).

    So... can you sage folk recommend what a good contact duration would be for a 50/50 Excel & water spray? Was my concentration too strong? (50/50 based on some of Tom's earlier indications)

    (yes, I seek to address "root cause", but here ask about using the spray as a tool).

    thanks,
    growitnow
     
  2. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Hi,

    Excel can be very effective AND DESTROYING. IME your solution has been much too strong. I've used different combos of water and Excel and found that even
    at 1:20 (5' exposure) the more sensitive plants were killed. The look of the tank equalled late autumn after about a weeks time and took about a month to fully recover.

    I'd not go stronger than 1:40 and 5 minutes time of exposure even for robust plants. Still, that might be too potent, be careful! Sorry can't detail the issue any further.

    Btw tank volume and concentration of solution are independant!

    Regards, Detlef
     
    #2 detlef, Sep 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2010
  3. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah I can wake up an old thread.......everybody does it. :D

    I have a lot of E.Tenellus in my tank that has BBA (the black sooty type, not the furry type).

    If I drop the water level right down so that most of the plant is exposed to the air, and spray with a 1:40 mix as mentioned above, wait 5 minutes, and the fill the tank again..........would this do the trick at knocking the algae out and also not do the plants any harm?

    (I know it will come back if I don't address the root cause; I think I have addressed the root cause).

    Scott.
     
  4. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Scott,

    there'll be no definite answer to your BBA issue and Excel before you've applied the solution I'm afraid. Be careful, better do it twice using an even weaker mix than 1:40 and five minutes contact time.

    Have you tried Amano shrimp, SAE's and clithon snails along with good CO2? I'd go this route first for a week or two while feeding fauna sparsely. Then see if you still need Excel.


    Best of luck, Detlef
     
    #4 detlef, Mar 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  5. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Detlef,

    Thanks for the reply.

    What I might do is pull a single plant out, put it in a plastic container, spray it with a 20:1 mix, give it 5 minutes, put it back in and see how it goes.

    If the algae dies and the plant is ok, then I'll do the lot. :)

    Tried everything else.

    Scott.
     
  6. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Good luck again,

    BUT 20:1 will kill E. tenellus I quess.

    Keep us informed how you progress ...

    Regards, Detlef
     
  7. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Whoops - I meant to type 40:1, I accidentally put 20:1.

    I will try 40:1. :)

    Scott.
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Scott,

    Go easy with excel concentrations and err on the side of caution. You can always add more but hard to take away after the fact. Many plants/leaves will melt for a variety of species if splashed directly with excel out of the bottle.

    I tend to brush mine directly on the wood/BBA itself but just a touch, and every water change. I add excel daily and 7-10 days later is mostly gone and the wood stays clean,,
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    This is exactly how folks kills fish and burn plants.

    CO2 gas is the other way/method:)
     
  10. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I'll mix up several small batches, perhaps a 1:30, 1:40 and 1:50. Then I'll remove a few candidate plants, spray, wait 5 minutes, and then put them back in obviously keeping track of which is which. If a particular ratio is succesfull (i.e. BBA dead and gone but plant fine), then I'll do the whole tank the same way (plant in-situ, I'll just take 90% of the water out).

    Scott.
     
  11. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hey guys,

    I'm armed with a 500ml bottle of Excel, it arrived today.

    I was thinking that rather than misting the plants etc, I might just try water column dosing first to see how that goes.

    My tank is 100g, approximately 400L.

    How does the following sound:
    1. Do a 50% water change like normal.
    2. Pour in 50mls Excel (5ml per 40L initial dosage)
    3. The next day, and every following day pour in 30mls Excel (Triple strength dose, 5ml per 200L (standard daily dose) X 3)
    4. Keep going until the bottle runs out (should last 450mls/30mls = 15 days), so this would last me the typical fortnight 'treatment'.

    During this time I would continue everything else exactly as normal.

    I don't have a UV filter so no need to worry about that.

    I'm a bit uncertain as to whether to dose at lights on or at lights off? I'm really dosing this to knock out the red algae, not so much for the plants which are growing pretty well anyway. So I guess dosing it before I go to bed would be the best time so that it stays as strong as possible during the night without light weakening it?

    Some pretty mixed reports on this stuff; some people see results within a few days, another guy didn't see any change at all. Perhaps some people have a dud (old) batch, perhaps some peoples circulation is very poor etc etc.

    Scott.
     
  12. Mark Lorencen

    Mark Lorencen Subscriber

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    I just use hydrogen peroxide. No more than 3 mls per gallon when spot treating algae. Much cheaper than excel.
     
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