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>People report that Seachem Excel does have an effect on algae. Now that
may be attributed to the carbon source in Excel, 
>which makes me genuinely curious about the chemical compound. For my part
I don't care if the nutrients are defined as >"chemicals" or not. I don't
have algae problems thanks to EI, and I know there are ways of dealing with
them other than using 
>BS and Excel, but that doesn't ease my curiosity.

No, I did not mean Excel.
One's curiosity would be better suited to design, aquascaping,
fish(remember these?), overall enhancement of the placement on the tank,
rock designs or where that next piece o driftwood will go.
Neil Frank, myself, many other have poured all sort of chemicals on plants
and algae to see what happens.

I'll tell you this much, I do herbicide test on invasive weeds, it's my job
to pour chemicals on plants and note the effects.
This is something I know more about than I ever thought I'd ever know or
would want to.

Nice algae free growth, execution of a nice scape etc is something far more
fruitful for aquarist than trashing their tanks or noting no effect.

Often times the aquarist does not have good control over their parameters,
then they really cannot effectively test these various snake

So they are not the best group to test these products now are they?
I'm not trying to discourage you or anyone from doing this and trying these
products out but their is no proof that they work, it's like selling snake
oils without the science to back it up.

I've tried it under controlled conditions, I know how to induce certain
species of algae.
Now few will trash their tanks and fewer yet will induce algae purposely.

I know how much control is needed to perform these test. It's not a small
thing to attempt and see with certainty.
I'm not saying it's impossible, but it does require a lot more than most
every new person ever thought.

>From the information available on the internet, and the few papers that 
>non-biologists like me can read, I can't find anything that says BS
doesn't work in the same way as Excel does. 

I doubt it does. Some have said the BS works via increasing rotifer
populations(herbivores), some from UV intense sunlight + BS broke down into
H2O2. We can and have added H2O2. That's something far less mysterious and
A LOT CHEAPER!Thus it is easier to test. Even these are speculation, as of
this time and date, no one has said what precisely causes it and is able to
reproduce the effect seen in ponds.................
There are NO CONTROLLED STUDIES on aquatic planted tanks with respect to
algae in FW systems other than copper and few other herbicides.Certainly
not either of these.

The specific case of our tanks is not tested and comparing a pond outside
or a lake etc is not the same thing, the sun light, the lack of CO2, large
scale issues with the substrate, runoff and many other issues exist. They
are not impossible to test for.......
But out of the dozen or so papers I've read on the topic, I've yet to see
any real conclusions as to why it works or not.
It seems to work for Green water in some ponds. Did these ponds have
plants? Did not say. I doubt it. 

I have not found Excel to kill algae personally.
I have tried it on BBA, I have tried it on Cladophora, BGA etc.
No effect at all.
Others have reported it worked, others not.

I can tell you, if it does in fact kill algae, at least these species, why
has this not occurred at 2-3x daily dosing amounts for over 8 weeks?

>After all, I can't see that anyone really understand how any of them work?
The active ingredient in Excel is, according to 
>Seachem, "polycycloglutaracetal". A Google-search "polycycloglutaracetal
-excel" returns no hits. A search on ISI Web of 
>Science produces nothing. I can probably do very well without both Excel
and BS, but that doesn't stop me from being 
>inquisitive :-)
>Best regards,

Yep, there is a lot to be said about that.
I got a little too inquisitive and got the plant bug bad.
If you do not "know" the mode of action of an algicide, we really do not
know what is going on.

Both Excel and BS are subtle at best in this respect and the possibly of
secondary modes of action are extremely great with subtle effects. I have
not found either to be any more corrective in their effects on algae than
simple good routines and dosing, most often, CO2 related.  

If something is assumed true, whether it be PO4 excess= algae, Excel kills
BBA or BS kills green spot algae, then I should be able to add it and see
the same effect.

If I do not observe this and repeat the test over time and in terms of
trial runs and replicates, how can the hypotheses possibly be correct?

Where is my algae if adding PO4 excess = algae?
It's easy to prove something is not true. Proving what it is, is far more

They __speculate__ what it might be. We have a great deal of speculation in
this hobby, that is something I have tried to stop and instead focus on the
basic observations and that is mainly looking at the plants and algae.

Even if you do not have the ability to test what it is.............you can
test what it is not rather easily. 
Spend your $ elsewhere, maybe come to Florida and see the plants in person
and ask them.

Tom Barr

3rd annual Plant Fest July 8-14th 2005!
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