My 1st Excel Tank


Prolific Poster
Dec 27, 2006

About 4 months ago I setup a 10 gallon with trimmings from my CO2 29 gallon tank. I decided to use Excel as the only carbon source in the 10 gallon. The 10 gallon has 28 Watts of PC lighting and I dose EI once a week, micros twice a week. I am using florite, HOB filter for a 29 gallon, and a single RIO 180.

Now... things are looking pretty good. Very little algae. Nice growth, although a little smaller than the CO2 tank. In doing this I realized a few things....

1) I enjoy trimming the plants less. The excel tank has MUCH slower growth and it doesn't get "wild" looking so quickly.
2) The 10 gallon is very densely planted. I think this looks nicer and contributed to the success of the tank.
3) I can neglect the 10 gallon now and again w/o any obvious setbacks. I miss a micro dose or excel dose here and there. I still do weekly water changes which are a breeze on the 10 gallon.

Given this I am "correcting path" on my 29 gallon (w/ 65 watts of PC lighting) a little bit.
1) Dropped the photo-period down to 8 hours per day (from about 9.5). I would like some slower growth.
2) Re-scaped the entire tank with more dense plantings and some additional species.
3) I still plan on doing the daily dosing via EI and weekly water changes. This is pretty easy for me, it is the trimming and pruning that is bothersome.

Just wanted to share. In general, this is my 4th scape. Each scape has used LESS light and MORE plant density.

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
Some snobs like fast growth:)

I like the virtues of slow growth as much as faster growth and higher light.
Most get tried and may not like the work though.

So if you have several tanks, try one of each.

Tom Barr