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allen 09-30-2006 10:54 AM

glutaraldehyde instead of excel
Hey guys

Last week I have been using glutaraldehde in place of excel.I'm using a 2.8% solution.It's suppose to be about the same as excel but alot cheaper.I paid $16.95 a gallon.

I tried it in two tanks,a 10 gal. planted and a 60gal. planted.
It had a different effect in each tank on some of the same plants.Below I'll list each tank with the dose and effect I noticed.

60gal.,192 watts,11hours lights on,co2 injected,ferts daily,plants are red tiger lotus,rotalia indica,sword,ludwigia,anubias,hair grass and crypts,34 fish.

I dosed 30ml 9/23/6 after a water change then 10ml daily.
On 9/25/6 the angelfish spawned so it seems to have no effect on the fish.
9/27/6 the sword plant started growing fast.3-4" growth of new leaves daily.this plant has not grown much in the last 3 weeks.

It's been a week so far,water is clear,plants are growing fast and the little bit of algae I had is gone.

riccia is ok.

Now for the 10gal.,30 watts 8-10 hours,no co2,ferts daily,plants are sword,red tiger lotus,ludwigia,and bolbitis,tiger barb fry,cherry shrimp and alot of hair algae.

I dosed this tank heavier to see what would happen.
5ml daily.
9/23/6 dosed at 10:00am and by 7:00pm algae shows signs of and shrimp are fine.

9/24/6 riccia is dying off.All the algae are fine.water is a little cloudy.

9/25/6 water is clear.I have a few strands of moss in this tank.I think it's java moss.It is growing very fast.

9/30/6 moss has grown around 10" this week.this moss has been in here for 8 months without much growth.The bolbitis is a little darker green and the leaves have widened.Looks healthier then it ever has.

Other than the riccia dying and the water turning cloudy one day it seems to work well.

If I notice anything else I'll add it to this post.


Gomer 09-30-2006 11:27 AM


Originally Posted by allen (Post 233893)
Other than the riccia dying...

You say that like it is a bad thing LOL. That would have been a MAJOR bonus while spending months eradicating it from my tanks. One spec and it keeps going LOL.

dennis 09-30-2006 12:07 PM


That sounds good. Where did you get the glutaraldehyde?

egementt 09-30-2006 02:03 PM

I'm really shocked by this. I mean I know that glutaraldehyde is a strong disinfectant used in hospital etc. It's also toxic. I'm really shocked that it doesn't harm the aquatic life. It's probably about the doses. This really interests me. Thank you and I'll be waiting for your next posts.

dennis 09-30-2006 05:55 PM

I was reading some companies MSDS sheet for it and it mentioned something like 'toxic to aquatic life in at .1 to 1.0mg/l for the most sensative species'. They never mentioned the species but a guess is that the cloudy water some get with high doses of excel is due to a die off of bacteria.

If I have done the math right (I probably have not;) ) then a 30 ml dose of 2% solution in 60 gallons is .26mg/l, pretty low on their "toxicity scale". That would lead me to belive that the most sensative organisms would be affected. Higher dosing woudl robably affect shrimp or snails, and lastly fish.

Using the same math, 5ml in 10 gallons is about .3mg/l. As I said though, I may not have converted to mg in a 2% solution correctly. I based my figuring on 100g/mol, or 10^5 mg/mol and assumed that one could figure a 2% mol solution in 1liter H2O. Please tell me if I am wrong.

bigstick120 09-30-2006 06:24 PM

I remember reading some where about a guy that dose glutaraldehyde to a 100 gallon tank every day, just a few drops, I dont know the concentration but he said his tank was crystal clear and completly algae free, and he did this for sometime. Maybe BS. I think it was somewhere on this site

hoppycalif 09-30-2006 06:33 PM

Sorry, in advance, but here is another testimonial: An argument settled at last
This was posted at APD last week.

dennis 09-30-2006 07:11 PM


not sure if I follow how that relates, though it is amusing. If you are refering to using Excel as an "algae repellent or algaecide, that's not my intention. I really like excel but is very expensive in any quantity. If glutaraldehyde is an economical substitute, I'm all for it:)

sarahbobarah 09-30-2006 07:14 PM

Is this why I shouldn't breathe in the smell of excel? Makes me kinda woozy.

5380 09-30-2006 07:59 PM

I thought about doing this last summer, but I decided against it thinking that they glutaraldehyde polymer would be much less pungent smelling than normal glutaraldehyde, usually aldehydes, amines, and sulfur containing chemicals stink. On a scale of 1-10 how bad is the smell? A pharmacist can order this for you, the product PDcare is available in the compounding catalogs.

The wooziness is probably a direct result of the irritant on the cells your nose. There is a review article that goes into the effects it can have on medical personell that use the stuff all the time, and have high exposure.

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