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Organic carbon

I had a very interesting email conversation with Greg Morin of Seachem, (who
is no stranger to this list) about Flourish Excel, and I thought I would
post it here to give other people a chance to comment on it, expand on it,
question it..or whatever before I post it on my WEB site. (Only my
conversation with him will appear on my WEB site, I do not post anything
from this list..) Let me also make it clear that I do not sell any Seachem
products, so this has no commercial motivation from me...

>1. How does Excel add carbon to the water?
As a simple, low molecular weight organic compound.

>2. Can you please define photosynthetic intermediates and explain the

Photosynthetic intermediates includes compounds such as ribulose
1,5-bisphosphate, 3-phosphogylcerate, 2-carboxy-3-keto-D-arabinitol 1,5
bisphosphate. Although the names are complicated, the structures are quite
simple (3, 5, & 6 carbon chains). Flourish Excel does not contain these
specific compounds per se, but one that is quite similar. It is in its
structural similarity that Flourish Excel is able to be utilized in the
carbon chain building process of photosynthesis. Simple chemical or
enzymatic steps can easily convert it to any one of the above named
compounds (or a variety of others).

>3. Does this affect the pH as CO2 gas does?
No, it does not affect pH.

>4. Does Excel's added carbon work enough to provide plants what they need
without the need of CO2 injection?
That depends on your definition of need ;-) We have been using the product
here for several years (during the testing phase) and all of our planted
tanks have been doing extraordinarily well. We do not use any CO2 injection.
We usually have to cut and trim every few weeks or so. However, if your goal
is to have the kind of growth where you
would need to cut and trim weekly (because the plants grow out of the tank
every week) then you're not going to see that with Flourish Excel as the
sole carbon source. But using Flourish Excel as the sole source of carbon is
certainly not going to leave the plants lacking for carbon by any stretch.

Note: I presume the demand would be much higher in brightly lit tanks than
moderate or low. I am curious how effective this product is under intense

>5. Does Excel offer additional benefits to a planted tank?
It helps to maintain iron in the ferrous (Fe+2) state which is more easily
utilized by the plants.

Note: I presume this statement is targeted to the use of Flourite, laterite,
and other clays which provide ferric iron, and that the conclusion is that
using Excel will improve the effectivness of such substrate materials. Am I
on base here?

>6. Are there any enviornmental factors in the tank that either
>impede or increase Excel's effectivness?

The use of a skimmer will tend to remove it, especially if the tank is
somewhat "dirty" (i.e. hazy looking, lots of detritus floating around etc).

>7. Can algae feed on Excel?
No. I'm sure this may raise a few eyebrows ;-) since at face value this
would be a reasonable expectation. But, for reasons Uncle Sam won't let us
discuss, all I can say is that algae can't feed on Excel and I will leave it
as an exercise to the reader to deduce why this is the case (big picture
folks, no chemistry involved ;-).

OK, I am a little dense, but I am not picking up the inference here...can
somebody point it out to me?

Robert Paul H
RK Aquaria Plant Forum moderator
Open Directory Editor, Humans do it better!
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