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Old 07-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Flourish Excel, corys and shrimp

I started using Flourish Excel in my planted 20 gallon tank a few weeks back at the recommended dosage and my little corydoras habrosus just went nuts--he acted like he wanted to jump out of the water, did rolls and dives. I had to remove him to my hospital tank where he now resides with very red gills. I tried reintroducing him after a 50% water change but he still went nuts--and was in definite distress. My shrimp all seemed fine, until Sunday night when I came home from vacation and all of them were obviously ill (I had a neighbor feeding fish daily and add Excel once during the four days, just the recommended dose which she insists they got--no more). I removed all of them that I could find from the tank and put them in fresh water. This morning, they are all dead.

None of my other fish showed any signs of problems, but I did a 50% change nonetheless. Before doing the water change, I tested the water and got these results (nothing unusual for my tanks):
Ammonia-0
Nitrite-0
Nitrate-5
pH-8.2
phosphate-0
GH-12, KH-14

I have heard others say Excel doesn't harm their cory cats or shrimpÖ. so what is wrong? I am reluctant to continue using it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #2
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How much did you dose into the tank? Also, what kind of shrimp were they?
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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They were red cherry shrimp. I dosed at the initial use 10 ml (two capfuls) since it says to use one capful for every 10 gallons. After that, I dosed to the first thread on the cap every other day (supposedly that is about 1 ml). My plants look awesome, the tetras and danios are active and healthy. I did not use an extra dose at any time, even after larger water changes. Does water hardness or pH have an effect on this? I noticed after the initial large dose that my pH was up to about 8.4 a few days later, but since then has stabilized at 8.2 (which is what all three tanks have from my tap water.) I won't be replacing the RCS--can't stand to see animals acting like they are suffering.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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I have both cory cats and approximately 50 neocaradina which are the wild version of RCS and neither of them could care less about the flourish excel that I add to the tank.

Also, the initial dose is unnecessary on the excel. It is rendered completely ineffective after a 24 hour period in the tank so it's just a way to get you to use more than you would otherwise.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #5
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Hello Artist...

The Excel product is pretty potent and can damage some forms of Vallisneria, ferns and mosses. If it has the potential to damage plants, it seems like some fish may not tolerate it. If you have a reasonably stocked tank, you really don't need added fertilizers. The fish will provide the best, long term ferts. Corys prefer a neutral pH (7), but most will adapt to public water as long as the pH is pretty constant.

Don't fret over the pH, hardness or any of that, aquarium fish will adapt. Knowing the specifics of our tap water it's really important for a successful tank. You just need to use the standard treatment. Large, weekly water changes of half the volume of the tank will be the starting point for a healthy tank.

A 20 gallon tank is pretty small. There's not much water to dilute a sudden change in the water chemistry. Corys are very sensitive to even slight changes in the water and this may have happened. They're tanks require large, frequent water changes to keep the water properties stable.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for your responses. I guess my biggest question is whether anyone knows if my very hard water is somehow making the Excel more potent. Wisconsin water is notoriously hard. Also, wanted to know if people are successful using the product with corys or shrimp in the tank. If so, what PH are you at?

BBradbury, Excel isn't a fertilizer; it is a liquid form of carbon. As far as my corys and RCS, I had no problems with them before I started using Excel. I am not using CO2 in my planted tanks so was hoping this product would work well with the plants--and it has.

As far as water changes, I do a 25%-33% water change weekly on all of my tanks.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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Mebbid, what amount are you dosing per gallon?
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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I have used liquid carbon in very high amounts in high production tanks with corys, shrimp, and other delicate fish with no issues. Liquid carbon breaks down 100% in water within 12-24 hours so if you did a large WC and it was over 24 hours since you had dosed it and the cory still was having issues there is most likely something else that is causing a problem. Do you use any type of ferts? When was the last time you checked your filters? Was anything used around the tank that could have added a pollutant? Have you added a little carbon to your filter to remove anything toxin wise that could have gotten into your tank? How long had you been using Excel before you went on vacation?
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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I have used API Leaf Zone aquarium plant food twice (Soluble Potash and Iron) but not recently. There are three Seachem Flourish tabs in the substrate near the root zones of a mass planting of crypts, as well. They have been in the tank for about two weeks.

I completely rinse out my filter media in siphoned tank water each time I change my water (weekly). There are no dead critters in there--and like I said earlier, my water parameters have been excellent since this tank was set up.

I've been using Excel for almost a month, but the cory cat came out within a week of using it. I tried putting him back once but got the same reaction. He acts normally in the quarantine tank. The shrimp seemed fine until Monday.

I don't have any carbon in the filter.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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The shrimp wouldn't have trouble with Excel unless there was a severe overdose after they had been fine with it that long. I suspect something else is their problem. That particular cory or cory species "might" be having an issue with the Excel or something in that tank if its fine in the other tank and has issues in the dosed tank. Have you had any changes in your ph/gh/kh? Just throwing some ideas out of things that can affect fish/shrimp.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:16 PM   #11
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Using Flourish Excel

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtistGardener View Post
Thanks for your responses. I guess my biggest question is whether anyone knows if my very hard water is somehow making the Excel more potent. Wisconsin water is notoriously hard. Also, wanted to know if people are successful using the product with corys or shrimp in the tank. If so, what PH are you at?

BBradbury, Excel isn't a fertilizer; it is a liquid form of carbon. As far as my corys and RCS, I had no problems with them before I started using Excel. I am not using CO2 in my planted tanks so was hoping this product would work well with the plants--and it has.

As far as water changes, I do a 25%-33% water change weekly on all of my tanks.
Thanks Artist for clarifying the term for me. Actually, any natural or man-made compound that's used to aid the growth of a plant is a fertilizer. Just splitting hairs here, I know.

I used this liquid a number of years ago in my planted tanks and there was a question at that time as to whether or not the trace of "Gluteraldehyde" that's in this product was the problem. I understand "Glut" is used in combination with another chemical to sterilize medical instruments. Not my first choice of something that I'd want to put into my tank water. However, some people have good luck using it.

B
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:42 PM   #12
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Oh my god! I just learned that the little scissors I use for trimming plants was used to cut the tip off of a vial of flea/tick killer for my dog! That was done a week ago, and I didn't know it was used for that. When I came home from vacation, I did some plant tidying and minutes later noticed the distressed shrimp! How awful! Could residue from that chemical come off the scissors and poison the shrimp that quickly? This news has made me sick--that I am inadvertently to blame for killing my little RCS! *%$#@!!!

My fish all seem fine (I had done a 50% change of water right away) but I think I will do another water change, just to be safe.

As far as my cory, after reading online, it seems others have had problems with corydoras habrosus and Excel--as well as anything that makes water other than pristine, so I am guessing he just can't take it there.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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Yes that could have been your shrimp problem! Add some carbon to your filter for a week just to clean the water good. It won't hurt your plants. Accidents happen and I learned about 30 years ago to have my own aquarium tools and to keep them where they can't be used for anything else. Glad your fish are fine.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:49 PM   #14
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Thanks!!!! I appreciate your help.
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