Liquid CO2 as an algaecide?

emilymg

Member
Just have a quick question for everyone on here. I was recently battling algae pretty bad in my 5.5 gallon, but I think I have got it under control enough so it isn’t overbearing. I was curious if anyone had recommendations for liquid CO2 as an algaecide, because I want to make sure I don’t go through a bad patch again (and I still have a tiny bit of algae). I have italian vals in there, and I’ve seen things saying flourish excel isn’t good for them. Any thoughts on API CO2 booster? Let me know :).
 

Leeman75

Member
I love to watch my fish eat...it's probably my favorite thing to do in the hobby. Therefore, I tend to go through phases of overfeeding. Typically, the way that I end those phases is by noticing an algae outbreak, which I know is mostly caused by my overfeeding.

Algae is typically caused by an imbalance of nutrients and light. It can be caused by overfeeding, too much fertilizer, too much light, not frequent enough water changes, or a combination of all. Since I keep my lights on timers, I know that the lights are not the culprit. I also do weekly water changes of at least 50% on all of my tanks, so I know that I'm not out of whack there.

So, it's typically that I'm feeding too much. I adjust how much I'm feeding...sometimes adding a fast day or two. This will typically end the algae. In situations where I get some black beard algae, I may also dose Flourish Excel for 5-7 days. Long enough to see the BBA go red.

It's a feel thing. Once you deal with the algae a time or two, you'll notice what combination and degree of response is needed.
 

Leeman75

Member
I meant to say, I much prefer dealing with the root cause of the algae than try to add things to the water that at best will just mask it for a while. I imagine the API CO2 would function similarly to the Excel.
 

Pfrozen

Member
I wouldn't bother. I overdosed my tank with Excel 10x, then 5x, then 5x again, then a week at 3x daily.. it wasn't working so I dosed 20x and almost killed my fish. Some of the black beard algae died but it grew back within a few days. I was running with low low lights and no ferts too. I literally soaked the algae in Excel directly with a qtip and still nothing
 
  • Thread Starter

emilymg

Member
I guess I’ll just have to wait it out to find a balance. I do hate adding unnecessary things to my water but I also hate dealing with algae lol. So far I’ve seen improvements with my tank so I’m hoping that means a balance is around the corner. My lights are on around 7 hours a day and there’s no change of overfeeding since I feed my betta pellets which she eats right up. Still wondering what caused my previous breakout but I may never know.
 

Silister Trench

Member
emilymg said:
I guess I’ll just have to wait it out to find a balance. I do hate adding unnecessary things to my water but I also hate dealing with algae lol. So far I’ve seen improvements with my tank so I’m hoping that means a balance is around the corner. My lights are on around 7 hours a day and there’s no change of overfeeding since I feed my betta pellets which she eats right up. Still wondering what caused my previous breakout but I may never know.
Unless I overlooked it, what type of algae appeared during this outbreak? Determining which type as best you are able to is the easiest way to determine the root cause. if you're asking about liquid Co2, then I assume you dealt with Co2 related algae such as Black Beard Algae? Typically when dealing with Co2 related algae, I find it essential to determine where it is growing in the tank in order to determine how or why it is growing.

There's usually two set causes in my experience. The first, which is an imbalance as was already posted above, I'll add this, however, that how intense your lighting limits how long you are able to have your lights on. 7 hours of intense LED lighting - a Finnex 24/7 cc on max settings, for example - would cause BBA without Co2 in many small tanks vs a Finnex stingray, which is designed for low-light planted tanks. Shortening your photoperiod from 7 hours to 6 and looking for a change in algae growth and plant health is a simple way to see if lighting is an issue. Lighting and Co2 issues are often indicated by excessive green algae, hair algae, BBA that can and usually does appear on the plants as well as the hardscape. The second cause is due to high levels of dissolved organic materials - fish waste, rotting plant matter, etc... - and is usually first observed as BBA sprouting up at the outlet of a filter before following the flow of water throughout the tank and indicates the filter needs to be cleaned,or in hairy tufts over substrate that has a high levels of fish waste or decomposing organic matter, which would indicate that it needs to be cleaned.

Reducing the level of total dissolved solids/organics and fine-tuning the duration of a photo-period will almost always resolve Co2 related algaes, except in some cases where it grows from driftwoods.

And the answer to your question... Excel and the like (such as API Liquid Co2 Booster, etc...) all have the same ingredient: . One brand to the next doesn't matter much. When using with plants that are prone to melting start dosing at a reduced amount, such as 1/4 the directed dose for the volume of your tank for the first week, then increase to 1/2 the directed amount the second week, and so on. If you notice your plants reacting poorly to your dosing you can always reduce the amount or discontinue. I find liquid co2's real benefit never came from dosing the entire water volume of a tank, but from using a syringe and spot-dosing troublesome BBA when it appeared, but I'm also pretty good in terms of balance in my tanks.
 

Silister Trench

Member
Pfrozen said:
I wouldn't bother. I overdosed my tank with Excel 10x, then 5x, then 5x again, then a week at 3x daily.. it wasn't working so I dosed 20x and almost killed my fish. Some of the black beard algae died but it grew back within a few days. I was running with low low lights and no ferts too. I literally soaked the algae in Excel directly with a qtip and still nothing
Spot-dosing is more beneficial with excel than overdosing the water column, and should kill most algae in a few days. If I had to guess, the underlying problem you were having that caused the algae was bad enough that the symptoms of it sort of outpaced the treatment you were trying if it regrew so quickly. Sometimes too little of on thing such as very low lighting can wreak just as much havoc when it comes to algae as it can when lighting is too intense, albeit more slowly. Low low lights and no fertilizer could have limited your plants growth and as the plants health deteriorated helped to cause algae growth. My second guess is that there may have been a much higher TDS (total dissolved solid/oraginc material build-up that decomposes) than you thought. For example, I use conditioned tap water in all tanks and I have virtually no BBA during summer months because water is cycled much better and my TDS levels are usally at 110 PPM, but in the winter months my TDS level rise to 150 PPM - 160 PPM and BBA will appear in small amounts throughout a heavily planted tank that is Co2 injected and dosed with an automated system. During the winter months treatment will killed patches of BBA, but tufts will always appear here and there across the tank until the summer months. Tanks that have less decomposing organics usually have virutally zero, or very very small amounts of troublesome algae.
 

Pfrozen

Member
Silister Trench said:
Spot-dosing is more beneficial with excel than overdosing the water column, and should kill most algae in a few days. If I had to guess, the underlying problem you were having that caused the algae was bad enough that the symptoms of it sort of outpaced the treatment you were trying if it regrew so quickly. Sometimes too little of on thing such as very low lighting can wreak just as much havoc when it comes to algae as it can when lighting is too intense, albeit more slowly. Low low lights and no fertilizer could have limited your plants growth and as the plants health deteriorated helped to cause algae growth. My second guess is that there may have been a much higher TDS (total dissolved solid/oraginc material build-up that decomposes) than you thought. For example, I use conditioned tap water in all tanks and I have virtually no BBA during summer months because water is cycled much better and my TDS levels are usally at 110 PPM, but in the winter months my TDS level rise to 150 PPM - 160 PPM and BBA will appear in small amounts throughout a heavily planted tank that is Co2 injected and dosed with an automated system. During the winter months treatment will killed patches of BBA, but tufts will always appear here and there across the tank until the summer months. Tanks that have less decomposing organics usually have virutally zero, or very very small amounts of troublesome algae.
yea I actually soaked the bba with excel and cotton physically as a spot treatment with the water drained, it still did nothing. I also tried every combination of lighting intensities and fertilization methods... i tweaked things for weeks, tried things for weeks, it was all very tiring and nothing helped. My cities tap water is moderately soft and usually under 100 PPM TDS. I found out later that my locality has high phosphates which is something I never tested for. But that didn't make sense either because I had green spot algae and dosing extra P eradicated it within a week. nothing in that tank ever made sense so I tore it down and so far my new setup is pretty normal
 
  • Thread Starter

emilymg

Member
Silister Trench said:
Unless I overlooked it, what type of algae appeared during this outbreak? Determining which type as best you are able to is the easiest way to determine the root cause. if you're asking about liquid Co2, then I assume you dealt with Co2 related algae such as Black Beard Algae? Typically when dealing with Co2 related algae, I find it essential to determine where it is growing in the tank in order to determine how or why it is growing.

There's usually two set causes in my experience. The first, which is an imbalance as was already posted above, I'll add this, however, that how intense your lighting limits how long you are able to have your lights on. 7 hours of intense LED lighting - a Finnex 24/7 cc on max settings, for example - would cause BBA without Co2 in many small tanks vs a Finnex stingray, which is designed for low-light planted tanks. Shortening your photoperiod from 7 hours to 6 and looking for a change in algae growth and plant health is a simple way to see if lighting is an issue. Lighting and Co2 issues are often indicated by excessive green algae, hair algae, BBA that can and usually does appear on the plants as well as the hardscape. The second cause is due to high levels of dissolved organic materials - fish waste, rotting plant matter, etc... - and is usually first observed as BBA sprouting up at the outlet of a filter before following the flow of water throughout the tank and indicates the filter needs to be cleaned,or in hairy tufts over substrate that has a high levels of fish waste or decomposing organic matter, which would indicate that it needs to be cleaned.

Reducing the level of total dissolved solids/organics and fine-tuning the duration of a photo-period will almost always resolve Co2 related algaes, except in some cases where it grows from driftwoods.

And the answer to your question... Excel and the like (such as API Liquid Co2 Booster, etc...) all have the same ingredient: . One brand to the next doesn't matter much. When using with plants that are prone to melting start dosing at a reduced amount, such as 1/4 the directed dose for the volume of your tank for the first week, then increase to 1/2 the directed amount the second week, and so on. If you notice your plants reacting poorly to your dosing you can always reduce the amount or discontinue. I find liquid co2's real benefit never came from dosing the entire water volume of a tank, but from using a syringe and spot-dosing troublesome BBA when it appeared, but I'm also pretty good in terms of balance in my tanks.
A had a mixture of hair algae, and some sort of green algae on some pieces of my fluval stratum (still have some here and there, I never identified it). I use the Nicrew ClassicLED Plus Planted for 7 hours a day. I had issues in the past with circulation of water, so I added an air stone and better filter. I definitely have less algae, and my tank is almost 100% clear. I just feel like I am always worried my tank will break out again so it would be nice to have it finally balance lol. Also to add, I did a four day blackout which pretty much solved my problem...except I lost my pearlweed in the process. I just heard of using liquid CO2 as an algaecide, but it is nice to know that it would only really help me if I had algae like BBA. Anything else you suggest for my situation would be greatly appriciated! Thank so you much for the clarification on the algaecide :).
 

Pfrozen

Member
emilymg said:
A had a mixture of hair algae, and some sort of green algae on some pieces of my fluval stratum (still have some here and there, I never identified it). I use the Nicrew ClassicLED Plus Planted for 7 hours a day. I had issues in the past with circulation of water, so I added an air stone and better filter. I definitely have less algae, and my tank is almost 100% clear. I just feel like I am always worried my tank will break out again so it would be nice to have it finally balance lol. Also to add, I did a four day blackout which pretty much solved my problem...except I lost my pearlweed in the process. I just heard of using liquid CO2 as an algaecide, but it is nice to know that it would only really help me if I had algae like BBA. Anything else you suggest for my situation would be greatly appriciated! Thank so you much for the clarification on the algaecide :).
Lol I have been very confusing, my bad. the algaecide actually will get rid of hair and green algae. ALL the algae in my tank died except the BBA. I assumed you had that for some reason, sorry
 
  • Thread Starter

emilymg

Member
Pfrozen said:
Lol I have been very confusing, my bad. the algaecide actually will get rid of hair and green algae. ALL the algae in my tank died except the BBA. I assumed you had that for some reason, sorry
Thanks for the clarification! After reading some of the other responses I hope to target the root problem of my algae issues instead of adding more stuff to my tank. :)
 
Top Bottom