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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 38g tank with 2wpg of t5-ho. I noticed some of the plants aren't doing so well so I was looking into EI dosing with dry ferts. I will also possibly be adding another light to the tank to get about 4wpg. My question is, can I run JUST excel to provide the necessary carbon levels to my plants? Or will i need to run diy co2 along with the excel?

(At this time i cannot afford a pressurized system.)
 

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How long have you had this tank running? How old are the light bulbs? What do you mean by plants not doing well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How long have you had this tank running? How old are the light bulbs? What do you mean by plants not doing well?
tank has been up about a year now and the bulbs are only a few months old. As for the plants im seeing pin holes in the leaves and some plants such as my crypt wendtii have yellow looking leaves.
 

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tank has been up about a year now and the bulbs are only a few months old. As for the plants im seeing pin holes in the leaves and some plants such as my crypt wendtii have yellow looking leaves.
Definitely sounds like a nutrient deficiency, dry ferts should help with that. I wouldnt add the second light, 4wpg is asking for problems even if you have co2. I would add the co2 and dry ferts first and see how everything looks.

BTW, if you are looking for dry ferts I have some for sale, PM me if you are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Definitely sounds like a nutrient deficiency, dry ferts should help with that. I wouldnt add the second light, 4wpg is asking for problems even if you have co2. I would add the co2 and dry ferts first and see how everything looks.

BTW, if you are looking for dry ferts I have some for sale, PM me if you are interested.
The question here is, would excel be enough carbon on its own? or do i need to have a gas form along with it?
 

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I would definitely do a DIY C02 before doing just Excel. You could also use them together of course.
 

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I just run DIY on my tank, I've used Excel. I find it best for algae control just my opinion. There shouldn't be any problems with using both together.
 

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To answer your original question, YES, excel by itself should provide enough carbon for your plants.
obviously you won't need as much excel if you also DIY C02, but excel by itself works fine.
 

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Natural bodies of water "breathe" on a 24 hour cycle. They have (relatively) the least CO2 during the peak light cycle and most during the peak dark cycle. Conversely they have the most O2 during the peak light cycle and the least O2 during the peak dark cycle.

Poor Man's approach to enhancing CO2 in heavily planted aquaria:

-increase aeration during the light cycle. Especially fine bubbles are great.
-do water changes during the mid light cycle.
-aerate water that sits before a water change.
-if using liquid supplement such as Excel, use it in the late a.m.
-if using CO2 injection, just run during mid light cycle.
-some say adding one or more shadded cloudy periods to the light cycle helps, I'm uncertain on this but it does seem to reduce algae.

From my experiences, the best bang for your buck if you cannot add CO2 injection is to get a good little air pump to run one or more fine bubble curtains, instead of buying liquid supplement. It also gives the fish a little extra oxygen boost in the night to promote healing and development.

-Any chance you are running an under gravel filter? A little ceramic plate or flat rock under the roots to protect from excessive current may be very helpful.
 
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