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Flourish Excel got rid of all my algae

451972 Views 286 Replies 134 Participants Last post by  tiger15
Well I finally found a local source of Flourish Excel. I was in the process of adding it into my tank when my little girl ran into me from behind. Needless to say I dumped quite a bit in. At least 5 times the recommended doseage. 2 days later my bba, spot, and green fuzz algae is gone. No sign of it anywhere. I think I like this stuff!
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So the level of glutaraldehyde in Excel must be less than 0.9mg/l? I'm guessing of course but as Seachem don't say it stops algae I assume its less than this.

Seems awfully low for such a strong smelling liquid.
but what do I know? ;-)

Do we know how long a 3x dosage of Excel takes to kill Algae?

I'm amazed at the low price of Excel in the USA.
A 2L bottle in the UK costs the earth - £42 ($79 US)! whilst in the USA it costs $23.99 or £12!

So I'm keen to find out if I can get it cheaper or is there a substitute chemical?
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I've discovered a supposingly safer alternative to glutaraldehyde - Succinic dialdehyde (succinaldehyde or SDA). See picture.

ref: Toxic Substances Bulletin May 2003 Issue 51

Trade names of glutaraldehyde - Wavicide-01, Cydex.
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Just a thought....

If Excel is suppose to be a kind of 'liquid co2' where does the Carbon come from?

The above image clearly doesn't have any Carbon in it.

And polycycloglutaracetal doesn't seem to have C either.
The molecular formula for glutaraldehyde is C5H8O2. There's carbon and oxygen in there. =) In the picture above, each "bend" in the line represents CH2.

It eventually ends up as carbon dioxide as a product of biometabolism.
Many thanks for the answer, it was puzzling me why the formula diagram appeared to show no carbon in it. :)

I'd last done O level Chemisty in 1976 and I'm sure they didn't cover jaggy lines representing other elements back then! :rolleyes:

So what does the two lines attached to the oxygen represent?
WRT Excel, does anyone know of a supplier who will ship Excel to UK at wholesale prices? - the cost in the US is much cheaper than here - I'd even be willing to import a fair quantity of it and either keep it long term or take a punt on selling any excess here - maybe an opportunity if any supplier/member is interested?

e-mail or pm me if interested or know a potential source.
Consider me as a interested party as I use Excel.
I'm in the UK.

Seachem list UK suppliers on their web site.
Shipping liquid is expensive I'm told from the USA.

So time to hit those German and French Aquarium selling web sites?

I suggest emailing Seachem and asking them for their conditions.

Like I said, they may well ship it over as dry powder and the distr. adds distilled water over here?

Alternatively, has anyone looked at its equivalent chemical I mentioned earlier in this thread?

Succinic dialdehyde

this is suppose to be safer than glutaraldehyde and Seachem did say they used a less toxic version of glutaraldehyde didn't they? ;-)
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Yes I've heard of this. I got contacted by a one of those companies a year ago. They're developing an Ultrasonic device small enough for the average tank.

Hmm I wonder if those tiny fog making devices we can buy would do the same job? They use ultrasonics to vaporise the surface water to make fog.
Maybe someone could put one under the water and see if it develops algae or not?
Hmmm I've got one somewhere, maybe I'll give it a try. I'll point it at a glass wall of algae and see if it kills it.
I accidently put in the 'inital' dosage twice in the same day to a 50L tank and within 24 hours most of my Corys were dead, all my mountain minnows were dead and I lost a few zebra loaches.
My glowlight tetras were fine though.
So I'm extra careful of dosages of Excel.
I also wanted to add one thing about CO2 injection. I prefer Excel because when I was using DIY CO2 I could never keep regular constant levels and I had algae worse than I had before I added CO2. The Excel allows for fairly constant levels. The plants may not use it all but with regular 50% water changes the levels should stay below lethal levels just like EI dosing works.
Excel is short lived in the aquarium (24 hours).
So dosing every other day is usually OK.
I put in one cap worth into my 250L tank and the plants seem to like it.

It's far too expensive in the UK to put in 2x dosages!
When people say double, triple dose is that?

*Double the initial 5ml for every 10 gallons, or
*Double the daily dose: 1 capful for every 50 gallons

If you do the initial dose twice you'll kill most of your fish/invertebrates.

I did that once. Never again. The fall-out was horrible. :Cry:
I've been adding 5ml of Excel daily to my 50L planted tank and noticed some BBA growing on the red LED lamps near the surface.

I upped the dosage to ~8-10ml a day and the BBA started to wither. Then I noticed my 2 Amano shrimp have disappeared. #-o

So I'm back down to 5ml a day. Certainly makes my Frogbit grow.
I used double the initial and double the daily dose of Excel to rid my tank of algae problems in about 8 days. I did not lose any fish. See Permalink #193, page 20 this thread for the play by play details.
Yes but I wasn't talking about fish was I? :rolleyes:
Yes Hydrogen peroxide kills algae. But not really surprising as this is the active chemical released naturally when you place barley straw into a pond to get rid of algae.

Of course it'll come back if the reason it happened to grow in the first place isn't addressed. :)
Oddly enough I've recently discovered the same problem in my 25L Walstad tank.

Thread algae on my Riccia!

I was about to add some Excel too.

Excel as you know is very poisonous if too much is added. But the standard dose is fine with all fish.
It tends to kill off first bacteria and algae, small creatures like Cyclops, etc. leading up to shrimps and snails and then your fish.

We don't have a list as such as every species has different tolerances. Just 'suck it and see'. I'd add x2 dosage and see how it looks after a week.

You may also wish to look into 3-9% Hydrogen peroxide. (Pond owners add straw to their ponds and this decays into H2O2 which kills off algae.)

This when drip dosed over a few hours every day does much the same job as Excel plus it only decays into water and oxygen. I have a small plastic bowl with a tiny hole in it. Which I add a solution and it drips slowly into my tank.

Cheaper and probably safer than Excel too. Just watch the dosage of course.
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Thank you Seattle_Aquarist and quatermass for your help. :)

Although I will admit that I don't like the thought that Excel kills off cyclops. I have a lot of them in the tank and that's my betta's live food source. He loves hunting for them.
Same here, my Galaxy fish use them in my Walstad tank. It's odd having a tank in which you hardly need to feed them is it? :D
At increased dosages it will. But I've never experimented with dosages to see what level does.

As for the peroxide, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that bad for a fish's gills? I thought it could seriously hurt the gills of a fish.:confused:
Again, it's about dosages. I've put in 30ml of 9% into a 200L tank over 24 hours and the community tank of small and large fish have all been fine. No distress at all.
Obviously if you put in too much it'll kill, just like any chemical from a shop.
Follow the levels on the link here on H2O2 and you can't go wrong.

Remember the 1st thing to be broken down will be the TDS in the water. So it may take a while initially for any H2O2 to actually get to the algae. :)

I've started today with 1ml of 9% H2O2 into my 25L Walstad tank and I'll be adding this once every 12 hours. It has 4x Galaxy (Danio margaritatus) and 3 Dwarf Otos and Cherry shrimp.
I'll be keeping an eye out for the Cyclops and Hydra I have in the tank.

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Yesterday, I took the time to read through this thread to see what other types of experiences people have had with Excel as well as doing a search on the internet and it has made me nervous. I've heard of people who ended up losing plants and fish from just the normal doses!

Call me a chicken s*&t if you want but I think I'm just going to try adding more floating plants to see if they can compete against the algae and I'll save Excel as a last resort. I'm also going to remove the Riccia, which I think is the real reason why some of my stem plants are getting a bit of algae in the first place. Could be wrong though.
Of course another course of action (apart from using Hydrogen peroxide) would be to add a fish that eats thread algae like a young Siamese Algae Eater?

btw, that is a great looking tank, quatermass! What is that bushy looking green plant in the back corner of the tank to the right of the phone? I like the looks of it.
That's my Riccia. I placed small clumps of it in between my Java fern leaves when I set it up and it's grown into those 'rounded lumps'. Every couple of months I have to remove it as it grows huge. I have a mere 11W overhead light on it. I sell the lumps to my local club. :)
I also have a bit growing on top of my filter outlet, Riccia turns a different shape leaf which looks rather nice when it's just out of the water. You can see this here - Riccia pics (Those are of my 250L tank with Riccia in it).

I also like the way the Frogbit grows its roots down so it touches the substrate.
I had 3 young SAEs once in my 72 gal. They never touched my thread algae. Barely touched my BBA too. Finally got rid of them. What a nightmare catching them was. I'll never do that again.
Where you sure they were SAEs? My 6 SAEs are always eating my BBA.

A lot of shops can't tell the difference between a Flying Fox and a Siamese Algae Eater.

See link for pictures.

I bought my seventh SAE yesterday, shop tried to tell me it was a Flying Fox.
Pretty obvious it wasn't.
They had 3 or 4 Flying Fox in the very next tank and even they couldn't tell the difference. I couldn't believe it as their body colours are so different!
When I pointed it out, he went 'oh'.
Very different diet requirements between the two.
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Lots of reasons!

Perhaps your CO2 system is inefficient?

Perhaps your plants lack key nutrients?

Perhaps your water circulation system isn't well distributed?

Perhaps you have too much light or for too long a on period?

Perhaps you do not have enough filtration and have levels of ammonia?

Have you measured your Redfield Ratio
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