Hybrid methods, fusing dry start+ excel with non CO2

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
113
Yes, plenty of folks have grown HC with Excel, and a few non CO2, but you are not going to have a dense think stem plant background, only HC for the most part and it will not be quite as dense, no Excel will make it even harder.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
  • Like
Reactions: Andy Taylor

feh

Guru Class Expert
Jan 14, 2011
668
2
18
48
South Carolina
Tom Barr;60763 said:
May5thHCdrystartresized.jpg

resizedHCweek7.jpg

Filling the tank:

partiallyfilled180.jpg


Done:
resizedHcweek4.jpg


3 weeks later:
frontedgepruning.jpg


Regards,
Tom Barr

Regards,
Tom Barr

What kind of time lapse was this? 4 weeks or longer?
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
113
8 weeks, then 3 weeks later once submersed for the final
 

feh

Guru Class Expert
Jan 14, 2011
668
2
18
48
South Carolina
Thats not so bad. When you took out the HC and put the Staurogyne in did you grow that in the same way or left it flooded?
 

wasserman

Junior Poster
Jan 10, 2011
18
0
1
38
Bali
Hi Tom

it's quiet difficult to get Excel in Indonesia.
Do you something else to replace?
I wonder what's inside Excel product...hmmm...
especially if there is DIY version of Excel

thanks tom
 

Florin Ilia

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 22, 2011
420
0
16
Bucharest, Romania
I'm not Tom but I can tell you that the basic ingredient of Excel is Glutaraldehyde. Similar aquarium products are Easy Carbo from the company Easy Life and Liquid Carbon from AE Design. These have different concentrations so don't assume dosing is the same.

If you can find glutaraldehyde locally then you could use Wet's calculator to mix up a solution:
http://glut.petalphile.com/

Make sure you check the tips.

See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-n2UK7D98w
 
Last edited by a moderator:

wasserman

Junior Poster
Jan 10, 2011
18
0
1
38
Bali
thanks florin, that is a very helpful info.

another question.
at the wet's calculation, there are various type of glutaraldehyde.
which one do you suggest to best replace Excel?

it would be very helpful if you could link me to any article discussing about Excel.

Cheerio
 

Florin Ilia

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 22, 2011
420
0
16
Bucharest, Romania
Wasserman,

Glutaraldehyde is the basic ingredient in Excel, Easy Carbo, Liquid Carbon which are designed for use in aquariums, but it is also used in other applications, notably as a disinfectant. That's why Wet made the calculator - in case you want to make your own solution for use in the aquarium from a product designed for something else.

Take care, it is a very toxic chemical. Whatever solution you use, never allow it to splash in your eyes. Never smell the product. Keep it in a closed container. Wash immediately if it comes in contact with your skin. Never leave it within reach of children.

Personally I never used anything other than the aquarium products and I would be reluctant to handle higher concentrations. I recommend you do the same - I imagine at least one out of three should be available in Indonesia - unless you are experienced to handle dangerous chemicals and you really know what you are doing. If you still want to DYI, I will have to let an expert answer, I don't want to gamble with your health.

There are many discussions about excel/glutaraldehyde, you can start with this search: www.google.com/search?q=excel+site:barrreport.com&oq=excel+site:barrreport.com

Florin
 

dav.tomassini

New Member
Jul 16, 2017
9
2
3
NL
In an agenda based biased support for non CO2 methods(I shall also unasahmedly support the non CO2 approach), Homer Simpson(not his real name) suggested some things that fused a few methods together to Achieve a goal.

This method is easy and simple and uses a commercial product that is widely available and homogeneous. ADA aqua soil.

Here's a hybrid approach I've mentioned to some folks that works extremely well. Use Excel for the non CO2 approach and do the water changes for the first few weeks, then slowly back off.
The plants will be well established and their roots grown in. You can do all the water changes you want. Then when you ween off the Excel, go cold turkey with the water changes.
Very simple.

Now many claim you should do one method and not mix them etc, however, with the dry start and with such methods like this one, you can do them and take the advantage of each to get the goal you are after:thumbsup:
Now you can take this method above, and then do the dry start as well, then add Excel, then back off later depending on what species you want in the tank.

So in summary:

Try using ADA As for a non CO2 tank(or soil, or worm castings, or river, lake sediment sif a good source is available), the problems with it are high NH4/tannins etc.

To get around this:
We can do the dry start to better root plants and to help cycle the tank and the NH4. Once the tank's foreground plants etc are established, we flood the tank.
We also add Excel for the first few weeks and do large water changes to remove the leaching from the ADA AS.Now after 2-3 month's time has past, the plants are well grown in, no algae(excel + dry start), dense, and well cycled. The ADA soil is now fairly mature and ready to go non CO2/non Excel and no more water changes. Give the plants at least 2- 4 weeks time to adapt, things might not goes as well as you might think at first, but should recover. You can make the transition easier vai slowly tapering off of the dosing of Excel.

If you want the faster growth, you can always go back to Excel+ water changes-or no water changes).
Note, the lower rates of growth using Excel vs CO2 will allow the ADA As to last much longer, perhaps 3-10X longer depending on the plant species.
You can dose, but at a much reduced rate(see the non CO2 article for more there). If you keepo doing the Excel dosing, then you might consider doing 2-3x a week dosing at that non CO2 rate, up from 1x a week as per the non CO2 method.
Rational: as the CO2/carbon supply is increased, some proportionally are the nutrients. you get about 200-300% more growth, so the dosing reflects that for nutrients.
This does not imply adding more light is required however. Stability is much easier to achieve by setting good nutrients for non CO2, then if you still want more growth, add Excel or CO2.
Only then, after these are are not able to achieve the growth rates desired, would an aquarist consider more light intensity.

I think this method will allow very nice non CO2 low maintenance scapes that are nice looking and not that hard to set up if you use a fusion of 1-2 methods.

Give this one a try.

Regards,
Tom Barr



Hi Tom,

Many thanks for this method. Good to see that it works, but...I have a question:
is there any hope to achieve the stunning Dutch Aquascaping tanks (e.g. like some of your tanks) with daily liquid carbon dosing (i.e. no CO2 gas injection)?

Thanks.

Regards,
Davide