Excel for a nano

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by jonny_ftm, 13 Jun 2009.

  1. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Member

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    Hi,

    I'm going to setup a low tech nano shrimp only tank: 11gal tank with 2x11W PC light. It will mainly grow crypts/swords.

    I ordered some excel hoping to use it instead of CO2. I'm not used to liquid CO2 ferts at all. Will excel be enough CO2 on such a tank or no? If I plan not to do waterchanges, will excel accumulate and kill my shrimps/plants?

    Also, is it better dayly or every otherday to dose it?

    Many thanks for your help
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,
    I think you have your definitions confused. Adding liquid carbon products is the same as adding CO2. It's simply a matter of degree. Therefore this cannot possibly be considered a low tech tank. Therefore you cannot implement the "No Water Change" policy on a CO2 enriched tank, otherwise you court disaster. It's not necessarily that the Excel will build up and kill your shrimp, it's that the organic waste will build up, will kill your shrimp and will contribute to algal blooms. If you want a low tech tank with zero water changes then eliminate the Excel addition and cut the lighting by 50%. If you insist on using Excel and that much light then you'd better have plenty of Excel and plan on doing water changes because 22 watts T5 on a nano is a heck of a lot of light.

    Cheers,
     
  3. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Member

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    Many thanks ceg for your info.

    Indeed, it seems I'm confusing it all. It's the first time I run a nano and plan on those lights. I have running a 60gal with EI/T5/CO2 and great success.

    The lights on the nano will be those small compact fluorescent tubes, G23:
    [​IMG]

    Are you sue they are T5? I asked here in another thread before buying them and I was told two of them will be ok for a nano.

    For a low tech non CO2 tank (so no excel as you say), how much of those lights I can use?
    And is a low tech non CO2 tank compatible with some sort of stem plant to enhance the general aspect?

    Many thanks again for your help
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, not really sure about those particular bulbs, but "PC" by convention refers to T5 Compact Fluorescent bulbs although I suppose this is changing. I guess it depends on the type of ballast. If it's a magnetic ballast then it's likely a normal bulb and if it's an electronic ballast there is a higher chance it's a T5 or T6. What's the diameter of the tube? If it's a 5/8th inch diameter then it's T5. Someone else might have a better grip on these bulbs.

    Either way 22 watts is a lot because the distance from the bulb to the plant is so short. This means a higher energy input to the leaf which accelerates CO2 demand. Whichever way you go, Excel or non-Co2, I would start off with a single bulb, no question.

    Just about every plant, including stems is a low tech plant. In their natural habitat the lighting is often very diffused during the wet season due to murky waters and shading of the upper branches of trees or bushes. When plants are in a low light environment they adapt and become more efficient in that light. We disrupt that mechanism by throwing mega-wattage at them, so this is the beginning of the troubles - we then have to pump huge doses of CO2 into the water column in order to support the increased CO2 demand. If you keep the lighting reasonable you can choose almost any plant you want. They simply won't grow as quickly, that's all. Light is an accelerator. In low light the rate of growth is slow, in high light the rate of growth is fast - but only if the nutrient/CO2 demand is met. If you create a high nutrient/CO2 demand without actually providing sufficient levels then growth fails and algae attacks.

    You need to decide your goals and objectives. Can you tolerate a dim tank and slow growth while not having to do a lot of maintenance, or would you prefer a bright tank with more dynamic growth with the penalty of more problems to solve? Choose the technology, most plants (with some exceptions) will adapt to either scenario.

    Cheers,

    Cheers,
     
  5. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Member

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    Location:
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    Many thanks for all the info,

    The bulbs in question are just 1/2in diameter. I heard, from most people expierienced in nano, that the WPG rule is obsolete. These tanks need in fact much more WPG than a non nano to achieve a minimal growth rate for most plants. It could be partly due to the less efficient bulbs (PC fluorescents especially) or to some other reason. Also U shaped form will result in double inter-bulb reflection/light lost.

    Also, the problem with low tech aquariums is to maintain a minimum, yet stable CO2 level. In a nano it would be even more difficult I assume. Providing CO2/nutrients as a non limiting resource while light is still a limiting factor would solve this issue and guaranty a constant growth, at the rate of light intensity. It is easier in my case to control light intensity. That's why I opted for CO2.

    As you say, I also don't like a dim aquarium and should install the lights when the aquarium is started to see if the visual rendering suits me. Than I'll start progressively and see how I go depending on plants growth/general aspect

    A final question: should I dose excel every day, every other day or every week depending on other nutrients fertilization? Dosing once a week like EI in a low tech is possible or the Excel isn't enough stable in water?
     
  6. gratts

    gratts Member

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    As you said, Excel isn't stable enough to be dosing once a week. That'd be like switching your pressurized CO2 on for one day a week!
    Seachem state that it has a half life of no more than 24 hours, so daily dosing is the best for good results :)
     
  7. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the info,

    I missed that half-life note. So really annoying more than CO2 after all since I can't leave for one day without putting an automated pump

    I already ordered 2x500ml, so have to go with them and see
     

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