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Re: [APD] Bleach sterilisation

I don't agree with all the points you've listed.

Excel is detirmental to some algae and some bacteria and the MSDS will list some cautions about inhalation and skin and eye exposure. I doubt that at roughly normal doses it's going to "sterilize" plants in an aquarium algae and algae spores like a pre-rinse can do. Well, maybe if you did a rinse in straight excel -- I haven't seen any reports on that.

But in any event, one should at least factor into the considerations whether one wants to expose oneself to the chemicals in excel. Of course, the same goes for the chemical one would us in a chlorine bleach or potassium perm rinse.

----- Original Message ----
From: Richard J. Sexton <richard at aquaria_net>
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:09:49 AM
Subject: Re: [APD] Bleach sterilisation

>Excel is not intended to, not is it likely to be a thorough algacide. I've
heard all kinds of wonderful reports on the incredible things excel does
beyond what the maker claims. I doubt all of it except what Dr. Morin has
confirmed -- iirc, promotes plant growth, slighlty antibacterial. Insofar as
it promotes plant growth, it can indireftly prevent algae outburts.  I've
heard of folks adding excel and witnessing an algae die-off. I've also seen
excel added without any algae die-off.

You're not asking Dr. Morin the right questions.

He will not say it kills algae. He can't, by law. To be an "algicide" it has
to go through FDA testing
which is a 6 to 7 figure deal. So, according to the US govt Excel is not an

But, if you ask Dr. Morin if Excel works for "moss balls" (Cladophora algae)
he'll tell you
they do poorly and die if you use excel.

While I have seen one or two andecdoral cases of excel not killing algae
(frankly in some
pretty suspect tanks) the overwhelming majority report that if kills algae.

I spent years messing with bleach and peroxide to kill algae. They work but
the side effects
are poor to disasterous.

Bleach - pro: it killls algae outright. 4-7 minutes diluted 1:20. Con: half
the plant
may die and it may take a month to get going again. Anubias seem to be badly
affected by
it. Any existing leaves die off and given the rate of growth of this plant
it is to me
a non starter. Crypts don't fare as badly but do take much longer than
normal to get
growing again. I've never used it on stem plants, buying new ones is just
too easy. I
spent about 3 years messing with this stuff to no good end really. By the
time the 
plant had revovered from the bleach the algae had grown back by that point.
The secret
is t

Peroxide - pro: kills algae. Con: and everything else. There may be a sweet spot
where it kills only algae but I looked for a year for this and never found
it. It
must be a very very fine line. H202 is superb at killing the good bacteria in
your tank and is absolute death on certain plants.

Copper and permanganate kill algae too. While copper sulphate is a very nasty
poison it's the one I'd use to kill algae if excel didn't exist.

So, with all of the above you have something to gain but something to lose
as well.

With Excel you have nothing to lose, it won't kill plants, fish, bacteria,
shrimp or snails. And it has killed every scrap of algae it's ever come
in contact with here in a dozen tanks over a couple of years. I mean every
threat algae, spot alage, staghorn algae you name it. And plants grow bigger 
in tanks treated with excel.

I really see no point in using nasty poisons on plants when by feeding them
instead yields the same result.

A more cynical view would have it that you don't need any of these things,
and that a properly fertilized tank with good rapid pant growth will outcompete
algae. In the presence of food plants will outcompete alage in every case in
my experience.

Keep in mind too algae needs a very stable water chemistry to grow, and you
can shock it by making lots of massive water changes, which the plants will
respond well to also.

I actually quit the hobby for 7 years because unfertilized, with the water here
you can grow the most amazing staghorn algae.

Bleach and peroxide were at best very short term solutions at best and plant
killers at worst.

What finally made things click was proper fertilization. Excel just helped
along by killing the algae in a couple of days without needing to uproot the
And that's at a the dose liste don the package. According to Dr. Morin there is
a large amount of headroom for overdose, so you can dose at at least twice the
suggested dosage with impunity, if not more. But you don't need to.

Of course the most spectacular algal deaths occured with a water change, excel
and addition of the proper fertilizers. This in at least one case here caused
a mass of staghorn to turn white overnight and go away.


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