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question on excel dosing

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by botb2, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. botb2

    botb2 New Member

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    I've been reading a ton on excel and EI dosing and just have a few questions to make sure I'm doing this correctly. Firstly I started off low tech with no excel at all but because I decided to raise guppies (have no breeders tanks) and have a lot of fry, it's forcing me to do water changes hence I'm switching to the excel method (allows for weekly water changes due to high bio load).

    When I started I tried a low tech EI dosing regimen that Tom posted. I'm using Seachem fertilizers and it wasn't until this week I realized I've been dosing incorrectly as 1/8 KNO3 isn't the equivalent of dosing 1/8 Seachem Nitrogen. I've popped on Wet's calculator to double check and got some interesting numbers.

    Firstly my tank is 29 gallons 30x18x12, I have two T5HO 24 watts bulbs sitting 4 inches above the tank. Not sure what my GH is as I do not have a tester for it. I'm also using fluval stratum as my substrate in a heavily planted tank. My current bioload is 6 ottos plus 8 guppies and fry ( both guppy and otto fry not sure how many now estimating 10).

    I read the post where Tom suggested that excel is 1/4 dosing to 1/3 dosing of a regular EI dosing. I plugged in the products and noticed that for phosphorous in using Seachem Phosphorous to hit the target dosing I need to dose 35ML 2-4 times a week. So if this estimate is for CO2 tanks, for a excel tank I divided 35 ML by 4 and dose this 4.25 mL 2-4 times a week? Does that sound correct?
     
  2. rjordan393

    rjordan393 Guru Class Expert

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    Its best to follow the manufacturer's directions when using Excel. On the initial dose or more then 40% water change, it is 5 ml per 10 gallons and then 5 ml per 50 gallons per day or every other day. To determine a dose for 29 gallons takes some minor math. For daily use, 5 divided by 50 = 0.1 and this will be your multiplyer.
    29 gallons X 0.1 = 2.9 0r 3 ml per day or every other day.
    If you want to be more precise in the actual tank capacity, measure the inside dimensions, length X width and for the height, measure from the top of the gravel to where you keep your water line. Then divide the result by 231 will give you the actual capacity of your tank.

    But take a look at the warning below the directions of Excel and you may not want to use Excel for raising fry. It is listed as a hazardous substance. Some hobbiest's have dosed 2 to 3 times the recommended dose to kill algae and had success. I tried that once and my adult fish loss most of their appetite. So I stopped using it. But there's another reason; it promotes the ferrous state of iron which is more easily taken in by the plants. But there is a tradeoff. It is the ferrous state of iron that Iron bacteria consume also and they leave behind the red sludge as a result on the inside of your water lines, pumps and filters. Ferric iron will also cause this sludge but less of it over time.
    However, for adult fish and a tank with plants, you should be ok. Its just that I am not sure what will happen to fry.
     
  3. tgenega

    tgenega Lifetime Members
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    I also have not had great experiences with Excel - my platys became noticeably distressed - even with a bit less than manufacturer's dosing recommendation - and I didn't notice much benefit to plants... so I also stopped using it...
     
  4. botb2

    botb2 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm going to do a test run for a month and gage how the fish and tank goes. I don't live a lifestyle financially and time wise to make pressurized co2 doable. And with my current bioload I can't keep the tank completely low tech. I guess the last option is to change fish but I do love my live bearers and another tank is out of the question. So I guess the best thing to do is to test it out then re evaluate.
     
  5. mernany

    mernany Junior Poster

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    Whenever I use excel I do not do the first big dose after a large water change. I only use the daily dosing part. I have seen it help the plants even skipping that part.

    Whenever I followed the instructions step by step, putting that initial does in, is when I see my fish and even some plants react negatively.
     
  6. cuban007

    cuban007 Junior Poster

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    I would not use it on a tank with fry. Most of mine died after using it and I did not see any changes in my plant nor the algae.
     
  7. Crom

    Crom Junior Poster

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    I bread guppies and rams in a highly planted excel tank, didn't have any problem. They were conieved and born into that environment....... so maybe that had something to do with it. I didn't take them from a non-excel tank and put them into it, however- it was all they knew.
     
  8. D-Gray

    D-Gray Junior Poster

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    Glad to see I am not the only one who has had problems with Excel. I think the main problem with it is the one dose fits all. How heavily planted makes a great deal of difference as well as just starting out with room to grow. I backed mine down to 1/2 suggested dose 3x a week, but if the DIY CO2 setup I am going to try works out I hope to stop using it all together.
     
  9. Crom

    Crom Junior Poster

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    I have been using Excel for years and have found it a nice alternative to CO2 for "most" plants. Excel doesn't last that long, so I think for it to be effective you do have to use it everyday, though the above poster said every other. I think you might have better results cutting it in half, but every day at first. In a 29 gallon tank, that is less than a capful a day.


    I do not use Excel as an algaecide, I think your odds of something going badly aren't worth it. But if you just use Excel in the recommended dose, keep your algae in check by balancing your phosphates, having enough plants, not overdoing the lights etc... I have grown just about everything but the really high light plants in tanks before.
     
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