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  • Excel and BBA

    It appears my BBA is coming back full force. My nitrates dropped back down to 5 for some reason.

    I read on the back of the excel bottle to add one capful per 10 gallons after a greater than 40% water change and then one captful for each 50 gallons daily thereafter. Am I the only one that hasn't been doing this? I do the capful for my 47.5 gallon daily but have never added 5 capfuls after a large water change. I do at least 50-60% water changes weekly and wonder if I might need to be following the directions more accurately even though the idea of adding that much excel at once makes me extremely nervous.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    I saw that too and decided against it, it just seemed excessive though I've only been using Excel a couple months, I dose a capful a day for my 55g. Wc or no.
    __________________________________________________ _____
    Try not to be a man of success but a man of value. -Albert Einstein

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    Say what you mean and do what you say. -Alot of people
    110G, 65G, 10, 300G Pond

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    • #3
      In a high light setup the loading dose is often required to keep the algae under control. Apparently Matt's tank is fine without it, buy Amber's is not.

      I had to use the loading dose in my tank or I grew algae faster than plants.
      - Dena

      All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
      Walt Disney

      The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
      Socrates

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      • #4
        Originally posted by amber0107 View Post
        It appears my BBA is coming back full force. My nitrates dropped back down to 5 for some reason.

        I read on the back of the excel bottle to add one capful per 10 gallons after a greater than 40% water change and then one captful for each 50 gallons daily thereafter. Am I the only one that hasn't been doing this? I do the capful for my 47.5 gallon daily but have never added 5 capfuls after a large water change. I do at least 50-60% water changes weekly and wonder if I might need to be following the directions more accurately even though the idea of adding that much excel at once makes me extremely nervous.

        Thoughts?
        Yup, that is how it reads. When you do a 40% or more WC, the dosage is 1 capful for every 10 gallons. I have been doing that since I've stared dosing with Excel and then I thought I killed everything in my tank for doing so. Daily dosage for me is 2 capfuls (10mL).

        You can always try half the recommended dosage after a WC greater than 40% then work your way up (that is how I did mine until I was at 100% dosing). However, I don't use Excel in my shrimp tanks anymore.

        Are you spot treating your Excel?

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        • #5
          Yes, I've been spot treating excel on the obvious bba spots and trimming off any leaves I could where I noticed it. Problem is, I wasn't looking very closely at the plants on the back glass (especially behind the driftwood) and since I rearranged everything I can see the beginning signs of BBA on those plants too. So, now I'm trying to get everything back under control. I only have this issue in my fluval 47.5 tank. I used to have it in my 20H, but for some reason that's all faded away on its own.

          I do not use it in my shrimp tanks. I'm even nervous dosing ferts in those tanks at all....I have been dosing, just a bit under what I should have in those tanks.
          Question: How do I raise nitrates quicker? I've already dosed flourish twice since my last water change and my nitrates are still at 5. I'm trying to overfeed a bit as well but it's not increasing. I could always order more stuff, but it wouldn't get here for a while. Right now I'm seeing green beard algae EVERYWHERE and black beard algae as well. Tiniest spots of green spot algae, but that's minor compared to the others. I'm starting to get a bit freaked out by how much algae I'm seeing. Didn't think it would spread this quickly. I'm also double dosing excel the past three days trying to get this under control before I have to pull plants and bleach dip them. I hate doing that. This is what I get for being lazy checking nitrates.
          Last edited by AlyeskaGirl; 04-29-2015, 09:38 PM. Reason: Merged posts, cleaning up old threads

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          • #6
            You would need to purchase Flourish Nitrogen.

            Sorry you are having algae issues. I hope you get it under control soon.
            Christine

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            • #7
              I use Flourish Nitrogen for nitrates.

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              • #8
                Wish I would have ordered that when I ordered my other stuff earlier in the week. Grrrr...

                Ok, here are some pics of what's going on. In some of my pics you can see where my oto's are "helping" me clean algae off my swords after I spot treat it and it simply tears up those leaves. I'm going to have an amazon twig by the time this is all over.

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                Let me know if I'm ID'ing these types of algae wrong. I also have ramshorns I can stick in this tank if I get desperate, although I'm not sure they'd eat this algae or not and I dislike the idea of my "show tank" having tiny snails everywhere. I might get more nerites for this tank as well. (I have two already.)

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                • #9
                  Yep, you have a nasty case of BBA and GSA.

                  All forms of algae are triggered by an imbalance between lighting, fertilization and CO2. The key is to figure out what that imbalance is.

                  BBA is almost always caused by low CO2 and high light. I would try running a single tube in the light fixture, if it will still run, or raise the fixture by 6 inches or more; and run the lights a max of 6 hours per day. Additionally, continue to dose Excel at full strength if not double strength for a week. You have also mentioned a concern with using extra Excel. So, another option for you to consider would be to dose Excel at full strength; and to spot treat with hydrogen peroxide at no more than 2 ml per gallon of tank water. All the critters that are supposed to help eat BBA will be unable to keep up with your tank spiraling out of control like it appears to be currently.

                  GSA is caused by low phosphates. So, you will need to find a product to help in this department.

                  The issues you are experiencing are honestly quite common with high light and Flourish Comprehensive. Comprehensive is designed to be supplemented with their other products (Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potassium, Iron, etc). As a single fertilizer product it is only good in a low to low moderately lit tank. In order to combat your low nitrogen in addition to your other issues noted above, you will need to purchase Nitrogen, Phosphate and potentially more products as other deficiencies rear.

                  Instead of purchasing these products I recommend switching over to dry ferts. Your plants would get the correct nutrient balance they need, plus you have the ability to customize the dosing to meet the demands of your tank. This would also allow you to continue to use Excel as your carbon supplement, but it has to be dosed at full strength, including the 5x loading dose with water changes.

                  I'm sorry your tank is giving you fits, but this pattern will continue until the root cause has been dealt with.

                  Best of luck!
                  - Dena

                  All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
                  Walt Disney

                  The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
                  Socrates

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, I've been looking at dry ferts online trying to figure it all out. I'm pretty sure that's the direction I'm going to go. I'll just use my liquid ferts on my other tanks so they won't go to waste.

                    Any advice on which dry ferts to get? I'm clueless. Also, what other test kits do I need to track everything. I have the API master test kit, a gh/kh test kit, but that's it.

                    EDIT: My brain hurts. Should I be looking at EI dosing or PPS? This is all greek to me.
                    Last edited by amber0107; 03-01-2013, 10:48 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by amber0107 View Post
                      Thanks, I've been looking at dry ferts online trying to figure it all out. I'm pretty sure that's the direction I'm going to go. I'll just use my liquid ferts on my other tanks so they won't go to waste.

                      Any advice on which dry ferts to get? I'm clueless. Also, what other test kits do I need to track everything. I have the API master test kit, a gh/kh test kit, but that's it.

                      EDIT: My brain hurts. Should I be looking at EI dosing or PPS? This is all greek to me.
                      Yeah, I'm in the beginning stages of dry ferts myself. I am planning getting Dry ferts from GLA:

                      http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquari...rtilizers.html

                      I'm getting the Green Fert Pack comes with Micro and Macros...as in terms of dosing, I'm still investigating what method.

                      Test Kit wise, I asked a similar question a while back ago:

                      http://www.everythingaquatic.net/for...a-Planted-Tank

                      What I have in test kit wise:

                      API Master Kit
                      GH/KH
                      Seachem Iron
                      API Phosphate

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                      • #12
                        Great! Thanks for the help. I'm tired of fighting this battle. My light can't run with only one bulb and it's permanently attached to my tank, so I've added a bunch of floating plants to act as a light-filter....problem is, I think they're sucking up all my nutrients too. I like the idea of being able to know exactly what I'm lacking and dose specifically for that instead of this crazy guessing game.

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                        • #13
                          Looks like CJ has you covered. I can help with the dosing. Regardless of which plan you decide to follow your tank will dictate the dosing.

                          I prefer to work toward the target ranges, hence the test kits. There are far too many variables for a generic planned program to work for everyone. And, you already are battling algae.
                          - Dena

                          All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
                          Walt Disney

                          The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
                          Socrates

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