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Old 03-20-2004, 10:53 AM   #1
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Seachem Flourish Excel Vs Co2 Injection

I'm looking to avoid getting a Co2 unit immediately as that adds $129-$400 to my budget depending on semi-or automatic setups. Flourish Excel claims that the carbon they add can be used with or without injection. Does anyone have experience with this? Isn't the ultimate bottom line to keep your Co2 levels to a certain level and it truly doesn't matter how you accomplish that as long as it is achieved?
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:36 PM   #2
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I'm in the exact same boat as you. I could'nt afford pressurized CO2 when I started up my planted tank a month ago. At this point, it looks like it might be a while, so I'm going to build a DIY yeast system for now.

Anyway, I have been dossing with excel for carbon, seeing how I don't have any CO2 set up. Heres what I have noticed.

My java moss, and stem plants such as ludwigia, cobomba etc... are pearling and doing great. Having to cut them back weekly (well not the moss, its a slow grower ).

The radican, marble leaf and amazon swords are not thriving, but they are obviously showing signs of new growth. The swords also have a vibrant green color, no brown or yellowing leaves after a month. Swords are also heavy root feeders, so I think the eco complete and ferts in the substrate are helping a lot.

My only problem is my micro swords used for foreground. They are slowly yellowing. They are very slowly showing signs of new growth, but dieing faster than it's growing. I'm not sure if 2.6 wpg of lighting is'nt enough or lack of CO2.

Keep in mind, this is my first planted tank, so I'm no expert by any means. IMO if you have good lighting, filtration, substrate, ferts, water para's etc....... you should be able to keep most plants (depending on species and needs) until you can get a CO2 system. Just do frequent water test and adjust accordingly.

Just thought I would share my observations, seeing how we are in the same boat. Hope this helps
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Old 03-20-2004, 01:14 PM   #3
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i think it works great for small tanks like 5 gal, 10 gal, 20 gal. but a DIY system is so easy, its worth considering. When I was using it, I got best results when I dosed it daily or every other day... the problem with that was I kept forgetting how big is your tank? what are the water parameters (esp. kH and pH)? how much light do you have? what plants are you keeping or plan to keep?
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Old 03-20-2004, 01:28 PM   #4
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As i know, carbon in other form other then co2 would not benefit the plant grow.

If your wpg is below 1.5, you would not notice any different with or without co2 as the plant need light in order to utilise the co2 in water.

for 29gal, you could try dyi or Hagen yeast co2 set (which is rated for 60gal n below). i got my Hagen co2 set for ~usd$8 (during some promotional sales).

i tried dyi before using coke bottle but imo the hagen is much more simple to maintain.

HTH
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Old 03-20-2004, 02:15 PM   #5
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I use diy co2 with the hagen bubble ladder, no problems here. Every two weeks I change out the mixture and forget about it. Also on a daily fert. program and have at minimum 3.6 wpg on the tanks. Plants grow like crazy.
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Old 03-20-2004, 11:08 PM   #6
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What about Carbo Plus?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...Np=1&N=0&Nty=1

Or Hagen's Natural Plant Sytem

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...1&N=2004&Nty=1
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:53 AM   #7
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The carbo plus will cost you way more than a pressurized system in the long run, due to the cost of the replacement carbon blocks.

The hagen system works great, but making your own diy co2 is pretty dern easy. The best part about the hagen system, imo, is the bubble ladder, which allows maximum contact time for the co2 bubles to dissolve into the water.
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:45 PM   #8
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I'm concerned with safety. The tank will be in my office, so it's not just my saftey I must be concerned with. God forbid the tank was filled incorrectly and/or malfunctions and decides to go flying out of the stand...

How would I make a DIY CO2 system similar to the Hagen?

Also, with teh carbo plus - I'm told it can potentially last 6 months - at $39.99 a block, that's 6.67 per month... How often do you recharge your 10/15 gallon tank and how much does that cost?
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Old 03-21-2004, 01:44 PM   #9
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The Hagen Nat Sys is the one i am using.

the refill pack is about usd$2.50 per pac. Each refil can last 25-35 days (depend on ur ambient temp).
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:08 PM   #10
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I have heard stories from some very unsatisfied customers who purchased the Carbo Plus system. The plates gunk up and it is just too much trouble.

The Hagen system is wonderful, but I personally had much better CO2 concentrations running the tube into my filter intake, rather than using the ladder. I would definitely start with that, because of the ease of use and the tight-fitting yeast fermentation canister. With DIY it is sometimes hard to get the bottle and tube sealed up so the CO2 gets into your tank, and for a tank that size you can get great results with the Hagen. I think you will be much happier putting CO2 gas into your tank versus spending the $ on the Flourish - it doesn't hurt but is not quite the same, IMO.

Here is a DIY link for you: http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html

When you look at the schematic on this page, note that many aquarists simply use the soda bottles (or juice bottles) and the airline tube with an air stone on the end, or run the tube into their filter, or even use it with a ladder diffuser. There are bell-diffusers that suction cup to the inside of the tank and the bubbles collect under the bell to be in contact with the water as long as possible, so you don't have to buy a power reactor, necessarily. I skipped the gas separator but it is a good idea.
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