Safer and more effective alternatives to excel + reduces nitrates

uncclewis

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Hello gang.

I want to say that seachem excel and similar products use a chemical called glutaraladehyde. This chemical is a great disinfectant, however, it is very toxic, and is a very, very poor method of CO2 induction into the aquarium. CO2 is produced when the fish breaks the toxic molecule apart (1 molecule of CO2 per molecule of toxin). However, it would do damage before getting there.

There are two cheaper and less toxic alternatives, but, there are some caveats to one of them. The side effect is that with both of these, you can get away with less lightning, and have a nitrate reduction. This is better than the toxic product, too.
1) Cheapest product. Sugar, or glucose liquid (can buy on amazon). Do not use too much of the sugar! You will end up killing both your fish and your plants (e.g. acute toxicity is probably like greater than 5-10% per volume of water; chronic toxicity is probably lower, e.g. 2%); it will encourage the wrong kind of bacteria growth, kill your nitrifying bacteria, and cause toxic intermediate buildup because the bacteria died. You want a concentration of glucose of about .005-.01% per volume of liquid in the aquarium. Each molecule of glucose will give you 6 molecules of CO2; but at the same time, a smaller amount of bacteria will be using the CO2 and making things. Therefore, if you look at the normal PPM of CO2 at 15-30PPM, this will increase it by up to a theoretical 400PPM (because fructose produces slightly less), and then this bacteria will use some of it and plants. This is above the level at which gases can be held in water, but, it will not be all at one time, it will be within one day or so peak. However, because bacteria and plants will be using more of it, it should not get lethal. Still, because this method provides so much CO2 and because plants will be photosynthesizing less, a water aerator is strongly recommended- this is regardless of whether O2 levels are OK. The aerator will help drive off excess CO2 and provide oxygen exchanges.Too much CO2 competitively binds O2 for hemoglobin.
Dose this NO MORE than every 3 days because it is un-necessary and it may allow the buildup of intermediates when they normally are not allowed to build up and stay in the bacterial cells.

Adding a sample calculation: Say your aquarium is 75 gallons and you want the maximum dosage of .01%.

75 gallons x (.01/100) = .0075 gallons = almost 2 tablespoons.

2) More recommended method: Continuum's product. This is an already formulated version of an energy source, so that toxicity worries are alleviated and there are additional components in the product (enzymes) to promote specifically animal and plant growth, however, it would help certain bacteria to grow; typically not bad bacteria.

Below is the product.

Both of these methods would decrease nitrate through similar mechanisms, however, the first method would have the strongest impact on nitrates (because more bacteria can access this form of energy). In both of these methods, plants, fish and many bacteria would directly take in the energy from the water.

Both products increase the CO2 and increase the food that plants have to grow.

KEEP IN Mind; to occasionally dose trace elements for these bacteria and your fish. You can do this in the form of fresh trace or flourish, or other ways, But it is best to do anyway.

@CindiL @TexasDomer
 
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uncclewis

uncclewis

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A) You can find everywhere on google scholar that the chemical is toxic in seachem, however, what degree is required for death is up for debate and is organism specific.

When adding the sugar, keep in mind your current CO2 levels and goal CO2.
For the first product: When glucose is broken down, it produces, CO2, water and energy. Some fermentation processes will produce ethanol and lactic acid byproducts too, but, if you do not overdose, bacteria will then use any of these products formed and further convert them to have more energy. However, these fermentation products are not always produced. If you overdose, it will allow intermediates to be produced in large amounts (e.g. ethanol) and not broken down, because oxygen gets too low.

The ratio is for every glucose it is 6 parts of CO2. So that is how I derived the PPM, but for fructose it is 30% less, this is how I derived the sugar PPM. Which reminds me, if you use pure glucose, you might want use the half dosage!

. glucose + water = CO2 + usable energy.





Also, look at the citric acid cycle one for more information on the second product!

"Two carbon atoms are oxidized to CO[SUB]2[/SUB], the energy from these reactions being transferred to other metabolic processes by GTP (or ATP), and as electrons in NADH and QH[SUB]2[/SUB]." Wikipedia link above for citric acid cycle... But if you read on, you will see that more CO2 is produced... In both cases you are providing liquid energy for most organisms in the tank.

So in a sense you are using natural biological processes present in nature, to convert sugar and oxygen into CO2. This is also another reason why especially for this system, but also the other, aeration would enhance plant growth and health.
 

TexasDomer

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As stated many, many times before, Excel is safe to use when used in proper dosages. I use it, with no harm to my fish or inverts. Please don't scare people away from it because you overdosed it and had a bad experience.
 
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uncclewis

uncclewis

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The product is toxic, and, ineffective. I am telling people more effective, and, less toxic methods, also usually cheaper. It is a win-win. Plus, these have the benefit of reducing nitrates, too.

Some say that as low as 2PPM is lethal, but, I would imagine that they do not have it that high. So, here, if you did not kill your fish at that dosage, that is barely any CO2 at all... That is nothing. The others would be much more beneficial. The ratio is 1:6 as opposed to 1:2, and you can use more because it is not highly toxic.

TexasDomer said:
As stated many, many times before, Excel is safe to use when used in proper dosages. I use it, with no harm to my fish or inverts. Please don't scare people away from it because you overdosed it and had a bad experience.
 

TexasDomer

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I'm not going to debate this with you. Thousands of people use it, with no harm to their fish and with benefit to their plants. Adding sugar to your aquarium is definitely not the same. Your links and evidence are faulty. Unsubscribing.
 

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What?!? By nitrate reduction?? An increased uptake by plants with the added carbon source?? It's no big secret in the hobby, metricide 14 is the way to do it. Yes it's not great to get in your eyes and stuff. I've been dosing at .75ml/gal for years. Even smells the same as excel.
As for the sugar and citric acid? They're effective when used in generators, like a sugar and yeast setup? Diy co2..
And one more thing... excel and like products are safe when used correctly. Certain plants and shrimpies do not respond well, fact! I have a few delicate fish that have no issue with the daily dosing. I believe that newer aquarist will tend to blame a loss on a product over lack of knowledge and care of the tank. I was there.. Oh a fish died?? Something must have killed it! Nothing I did/didn't do.. everything in this hobby is relative. The instruction may say so many ml/gal, really though. What sense does it make dosing a lightly planted med light tank the same as a densely planted high light tank?? Hmmm. I've found that when introducing a new chemical, do it slowly and gradually, same with lighting levels. It's all relative.
 
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uncclewis

uncclewis

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Some people are so hard-headed and think sterilizers are safe to ingest, this is what you are doing. Plus you are ignoring the fact that they require the dosage to be so low, that it is not effective and there are more effective natural means that nature uses! I am showing you how to mimic them! Glucose is naturally present in lakes. Glutaraldehyde is not! At least not unless it is contaminated.

Glutaraldehyde is broken down into 1-2 molecules of CO2, which depends upon the organism. For aerobic metabolism, it is first broken down into glutaric acid, then two CO2 molecules.

For the processing of glucose, which you can easily see from all of the links, is that 6CO2 molecules are formed. Therefore, your ratio is 1 glucose:6 CO2. Aquatic plants use photosynthesis to intake glucose. They then use this glucose to respire and grow. However, what is more, is that plants can directly intake the sugar from the water, and bypass some photosynthesis requirements in order to grow. Plants take in the glucose through facilitated diffusion. In addition to the greater CO2.

And that is not citric acid, that is the citric acid cycle! That is a cellular process which is the second in energy processing and it is how CO2 is produced and energy is obtained through sugar. You are merely feeding your tank, nothing more or less, you guys are acting like it is poison when I am telling you what you are doing is poison but this is not!

We are not trying to just make the CO2, we are trying to feed the plants energy, too. They can take this in directly and do not need the CO2 then to grow, but can use it to grow more. And we are not trying to cause fermentation. We are merely trying to have cellular respiration and DO NOT want the ethanol. This would occur if you use too high of concentrations and then oxygen gets low, WE DO NOT WANT THIS!
 
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uncclewis

uncclewis

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At 2PPM it is lethal for sensitive fish, at 5 PPM it is for most fish. Therefore, you realize that at most you are adding a few PPM to your 15 CO2. I am showing you that you can add much more and it is less toxic this way. Also I edited please look over what I added

So I guess a natural response is: so why if I am just feeding them, does it reduce nitrates and do this when adding my normal food does not? Adding any food increases CO2 through breakdown of eating it. But not Nitrate because sources of nitrogen are strong in the foods. and they build up in your tank, but your glucose was limiting growth, when the plant or organism grows or replicates, it then intakes the nitrogen sources and glucose and in the process creates more CO2 because this usually requires it.

If you add too much, CO2 gets too high and then O2 gets too low and then you end up with fermentation processes. This is why you use so little. You want normal cellular respiration, which is akin to you breathing the O2 in the air and putting out CO2
 

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We're looking for solid numbers within studies or controlled experiments that back up what your saying. From my viewing angle, it seems more like a theory with tidbits of articles that loosely show it's possible.

I'm not asking about how toxic Excel is here, just more substance on what you're saying.

I'm also still interested in the ingredients within this Continuum product as well
 

clk89

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I'm just marking this so I can lisen in as it were. It's an interesting discussion,
 
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uncclewis

uncclewis

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Well, I cannot give you a study on this, but, I can show you that website that shows you that for every one molecule of glucose there is 6 CO2 that are outputted. That is hard to refute. This is just normal cellular respiration that we are mimicking. It also shows you that fermentation is anaerobic. This means as long as you do not allow your tank to get too low in oxygen, fermentation cannot occur and it will be cellular respiration.

But, if you add too much, you end up with fermentation processes, and then you have really screwed up. You turn the tank into something that normally, it is not. This is a different process. I didn't mention this before because it can still occur in like 1/1millionth the frequency, and is not going to make an appreciable effect. Some can still, and this is how they are able to survive overall, even if they cannot usually perform in oxygen.

Sugar sources are naturally usually added to lakes, but in aquariums they are not. This is how one study showed that it was naturally present in 10-100. But see, this is utilized quickly in most lakes. The sugars usually come from runoff, fruity trees, grasses, and are used quickly for these processes... But our tank gets processed water and is a closed ecosystem.
 

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uncclewis said:
Well, I cannot give you a study on this, but, I can show you that website that shows you that for every one molecule of glucose there is 6 CO2 that are outputted. That is hard to refute. This is just normal cellular respiration that we are mimicking. It also shows you that fermentation is anaerobic. This means as long as you do not allow your tank to get too low in oxygen, fermentation cannot occur and it will be cellular respiration.

But, if you add too much, you end up with fermentation processes, and then you have really screwed up. You turn the tank into something that normally, it is not. This is a different process. I didn't mention this before because it can still occur in like 1/1millionth the frequency, and is not going to make an appreciable effect. Some can still, and this is how they are able to survive overall, even if they cannot usually perform in oxygen.

Sugar sources are naturally usually added to lakes, but in aquariums they are not. This is how one study showed that it was naturally present in 10-100. But see, this is utilized quickly in most lakes. The sugars usually come from runoff, fruity trees, grasses, and are used quickly for these processes... But our tank gets processed water and is a closed ecosystem.
But that's what I'm getting at. There's no harder evidence, other than facts that could present a theory. We aren't working with an open eco here. We've limited to far less and that increases the potential for a disaster, because we don't know what is exactly happening or impacting these sugar levels
 
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uncclewis

uncclewis

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Yes, well, it is not really a theory without evidence, there is evidence on the links, I just do not have a study which shows this application of it. But that is how glucose is processed, it does not matter if its in water or not. This is why fish process sugar like we do, as animals.

In our stomachs fermentation occurs because it is anoxic. But some is unfermented and crosses as glucose directly. same with fish, but fish either drink the water with it in there or it can cross the gills. However, what most fish cannot do is live where it is fermenting... You added to much and we do not want that sort of process. We want organisms just "breathing" and using the glucose to do something, along with the nitrate.

I do recommend the second one, because it encourages it to primarily occur with fish and plants, and this would reduce chances of fermentation and overdose. But it works the same way, it also introduces potentially the most CO2, so I would imagine the PPM is lower of it.
 

fisharegreat8962

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Without a study, however, there are truly no hard solid facts that you can present. Your evidence is just a pile of loose terms with no hard cold scientific base. If you could present us with a study or two, something that shows real scientific evidence, then your case would be more convincing. Until then, I will continue using these products.

clk89 said:
I'm just marking this so I can lisen in as it were. It's an interesting discussion,
I agree.
 
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uncclewis

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This shows photosynthesis. How plants convert this to sugar. But they can also just use sugar from the environment. Through the receptors on the other link. Fish take in sugar with other receptors. some bacteria can do both photosynthesis and take in sugar with different receptors.

This is what we are mimicking from wikipedia:

Aerobic respiration requires oxygen (O[SUB]2[/SUB]) in order to create ATP. Although carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are consumed as reactants, it is the preferred method of pyruvate breakdown in glycolysis and requires that pyruvate enter the mitochondria in order to be fully oxidized by the Krebs cycle. The products of this process are carbon dioxide and water, but the energy transferred is used to break bonds in ADP as the third phosphate group is added to form ATP (adenosine triphosphate), by substrate-level phosphorylation, NADH and FADH[SUB]2[/SUB]
Simplified reaction:C[SUB]6[/SUB]H[SUB]12[/SUB]O[SUB]6[/SUB] (s) [glucose] + 6 O[SUB]2[/SUB] (g) → 6 CO[SUB]2[/SUB] (g) + 6 H[SUB]2[/SUB]O (l) + heat
ΔG = −2880 kJ per mol of C[SUB]6[/SUB]H[SUB]12[/SUB]O[SUB]6

This is why ensuring that you have sufficient oxygen is good because if plants can use this to grow, they will and O2 will be more limiting.[/SUB]



Fermentation: takes place when the electron transport chain is unusable (often due to lack of a final electron receptor, such as oxygen), and becomes the cell’s primary means of ATP(energy) production.[SUP][1][/SUP] It turns NADH and pyruvate produced in glycolysis into NAD[SUP]+[/SUP] and an organic molecule (which varies depending on the type of fermentation; see examples below). In the presence of O[SUB]2[/SUB], NADH and pyruvate are used to generate ATP in respiration. This is called oxidative phosphorylation, and it generates much more ATP than glycolysis alone. For that reason, cells generally benefit from avoiding fermentation when oxygen is available, the exception being obligate anaerobes which cannot tolerate oxygen.The first step, glycolysis, is common to all fermentation pathways:
C[SUB]6[/SUB]H[SUB]12[/SUB]O[SUB]6[/SUB] + 2 NAD[SUP]+[/SUP] + 2 ADP + 2 P[SUB]i[/SUB] → 2 CH[SUB]3[/SUB]COCOO[SUP]−[/SUP] + 2 NADH + 2 ATP + 2 H[SUB]2[/SUB]O + 2H[SUP]+[/SUP]Pyruvate is CH[SUB]3[/SUB]COCOO[SUP]−[/SUP]. P[SUB]i[/SUB] is inorganic phosphate. Two ADP molecules and two P[SUB]i[/SUB] are converted to two ATP and two water molecules via substrate-level phosphorylation. Two molecules of NAD[SUP]+[/SUP] are also reduced to NADH.[SUP][2]

While it doesn't say that there are two outcomes of this, when pyruvate is separated byproducts can be lactic acid or ethanol. We want these anaerobes to stay dormant and not have anoxic conditions, or if they do have any oxygen deficient areas that, they are very limited.

I didn't want to bombard you with reading, it does say it further down, but I was summarizing it.

So if the amount added is really, really, small, e.g. .005-.01%, only aerobic breakdown occurs, and no toxic byproducts are formed and if they are, it is very low. I recommend .0025 or .005 personally, because it should be plenty CO2. However, it would still result in large CO2 production because of how much is produced through the process. The reason this occurs is because no anoxic conditions are allowed to occur, plus you are not introducing much more sugar, than are present in lakes. [/SUP]
 

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I have another question; how does sugar reduce nitrates?

You're proposing that the sugars will increase plant uptake? Uptake occurs because it needs the nitrogen in the photosynthesis process, but plants are naturally adapted to using one source of Nitrogen, predominately ammonia(ium), and it takes a bit to start the uptake of nitrates in these plants.

Another problem I see with the theory is the excess organic carbon in low flow, denitrate setups. The anaerobic bacteria that are responsible for returning nitrate to nitrogen can produce other toxic substances in the right conditions with excess organic carbons. Mostly in deep sand beds, but it could theoretically strike the right conditions with the sugars.

^^while a theory, there's evidence in a complete nitrogen cycle article. I've read it too long ago for my phone to have stored it in the history
 
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uncclewis

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yeah, well see, these organisms only being limited to gravel beds are fine, however, it is still not ideal... What is much more toxic is hydrogen sulfide and the reason it is processed is because there is no glucose and oxygen at the gravel bed OR light. So these guys use sulfur to make energy So you just want to be sure that you do not have anaerobic conditions, like you would all the time. But these sort of organisms require very specific conditions and you do not want to add to much to make the tank anoxic. The reason you can do it easily is because so much CO2 can be produced. So you want to use very little.*

Sugar and nitrates are indirectly related. All organisms require nitrogen, glucose, and phosphorous sources because of proteins, DNA and etc... Because you are adding sugar, these organisms then need these other elements from the water. This is where they will get it. They will convert the nitrogen sources into usable forms, for their body for structures and DNA, using the glucose as energy to do it. This occurs even for organisms, that can even only at the ammonia phase, before it ever even gets to the later forms. Aquatic and all plants can take in all forms of nitrogen, they just preferentially take in the most energetic form of it (ammonia/ium).

These organisms with excess carbons would primarily be non-pathogenic and the byproducts of the glucose metabolism would be only CO2 and somethings that it discards.Unless you allow fermentation to occur, then you do not have to worry about toxic stuff. But the good thing is with bacteria, nearly always there are others that intake what one discards.
 

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uncclewis said:
yeah, well see, these organisms being limited to gravel beds are fine. What is much more toxic is hydrogen sulfide and the reason it is processed is because there is no glucose and oxygen at the gravel bed OR light. So these guys use sulfur to make energy

Sugar and nitrates are indirectly related. All organisms require nitrogen, glucose, and phosphorous sources because of proteins, DNA and etc... Because you are adding sugar, these organisms then need these other elements from the water. This is where they will get it. They will convert the nitrogen sources into usable forms, for their body for structures and DNA, using the glucose as energy to do it. This occurs even for organisms, that can even only at the ammonia phase, before it ever even gets to the later forms. Aquatic and all plants can take in all forms of nitrogen, they just preferentially take in the most energetic form of it (ammonia/ium).

These organisms with excess carbons would primarily be non-pathogenic and the byproducts of the glucose metabolism would be only CO2 and somethings that it discards.Unless you allow fermentation to occur, then you do not have to worry about toxic stuff. But the good thing is with bacteria, nearly always there are others that intake what one discards.
They are limited to sandbeds because of the lack of oxygen, something a low flow reactor imitates to achieve the denitrification. That's why these reactors and setups remove the nitrates, because they remove the oxygen for the bacteria
 

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