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Seachem's 'Flourish Excel' / Dosing Pump

Zach K wrote <<I saw (on your website, I think) that you are using 'Excel'
in your tank. I'm wondering if you have any observations on what effect it
may be having?>>

I think SeaChem estimated that used alone, Excel can provide roughly
one-third the boost of CO2. I got positive results from Excel on two 10-gal
growout tanks. They were converted to fry tanks soon after, so it was a
short trial with Excel without CO2. I use Excel on our 135-gal planted tank
with pressurized CO2. It's added to our liquid fertilizer mix (we use a
LiterMeter dosing pump). SeaChem also claims that Excel helps keep iron in
a reduced state, favoring uptake. 

A few months ago we went to nighttime aeration, since with our heavy fish
load, the O2 was getting much too low by morning. The aeration lowered the
CO2 concentration. I noticed that our green barclaya grew without holes for
the first time (it's one plant that shows signs of excess CO2). Rather than
increase our bubble rate, I found we are getting superb growth generally
with about 10-12 ppm CO2. Of course I don't know how much is due to the
Excel -- our fertilizer mix is rather rich: Flourish, Flourish Iron,
Flourish Excel, Natural Gold, magnesium sulfate, potassium sulfate and
boric acid (nitrate provided courtesy of our fish). 

Over the months I've used the dosing pump, I've arrived at the proportions
and amounts for our tank. I make up a weekly batch of diluted fertilizer in
a gallon container (I dose 0.5L/day for convenience). The pump doses round
the clock -- this makes for very accurate dosing and steady concentrations
in the tank. It also takes away the temptation to "squirt in a little more"
when dosing manually. I don't bother with extra doses after our water
change every two weeks; I just let it all "average out". I was lead to the
dosing pump by the very good results I was getting with frequent dosing of
small amounts. Before the pump I would miss a dose, or think on the spur of
the moment that I needed a little more of this or that, making it difficult
to keep track of the amounts used. Also, with frequent manual dosing, you
need to measure very precisely to change the dose of an ingredient
precisely by a small amount weekly. The only drawback to a dosing pump is
the expense. But then again, for big tanks there are many expenses. The
more ingredients you put in, the more there is to keep track of and the
greater the convenience and precision of a pump.


Jared Weinberger                    jweinberger at knology_net  
______    http://www.knology.net/~jweinberger/     ________