Safer and more effective alternatives to excel + reduces nitrates

uncclewis

Member
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
 

DoubleDutch

Member
What is the scientific base of this info?
 
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uncclewis

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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.
 

abrooks12376

Member
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

Member
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!
 

abrooks12376

Member
Prove it..
 
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uncclewis

Member
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
 

Grimund

Member
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

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

Member
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.
 

Grimund

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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

Member
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]
 

Grimund

Member
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

Member
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.
 

Grimund

Member
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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uncclewis

Member
Yep! But what is important in the reactor is that some water still flows through them, so that toxic substances are off gassed, before they accumulate (very minute amounts are formed because there are nitrate missing pockets). This is more like the natural environment. So, basically adding carbon would not affect this process, you still want to try to reduce pockets in your gravel because Hydrogen sulfide bacteria will go here instead. I was saying if those guys had pyvruate there instead from the added glucose, they would be a welcomed exchange for instead having sulfide bacteria.

Usually glucose cannot get there or energy sources, but sulfur is there. So these bacteria make toxic hydrogen sulfide here. If we could get ethanol producing bacteria here instead it would be much better, but both are not ideal. Basically try drinking a glass of 50 proof hydrogen sulfide solution or breathing one and living. I will give you one million dollars if you live.. Dont actually do it please, I don't want you to die. however you and many fish can live and drink 25% alcohol and live for short periods.

...From this overall, you would only have the anoxic conditions, if you add too much or have insufficient oxygen sources.

I forgot to say that these denitrifying bacteria are different- than other anaerobes (sulfur ones)-, but the problem is that at that some point in the gravel, there is no more nitrate either for these bacteria to denitrify. . ;-)

Anyway, we went off topic a little bit. Just be sure your fish have sufficient oxygen or the result will be fermentation and sulfur problems/ death and do not use more than the CO2 you want to introduce. So, in my planted tank, I do have an aerator and I use continuum too. I get good growth. Now, I use .0025% sugar and 1/2 dosage of continuum to-save money, but I have used full dosage of both. I found better growth with only continuum.

And NO fish have acted like they were at all hurting or in pain and I had no fish deaths. I first miscalculated and I used 6x dosage of sugar, and unlike seachem excel, it did not kill my fish. however, I do not recommend this. They did seem slightly slower just a little and my plant growth was NOT better.

Grimund said:
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
 

abrooks12376

Member
Yah but.... co2 is really just so simple.. glut really is just so simple.. yet so many aquarist can't seem to grasp these simple concepts and make them convenient. How would this concept of yours ever benefit anyone on a practical level while the tride and true methods are still baffling the masses?
 
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uncclewis

Member
This is the most true process, because nature uses it! If we introduced seachem excel into the environment, better plant growth is not what we would expect. We would expect massive extinctions. Actually, you can read about the issues with the substance reaching waters and ruining ecosystems, even in smaller concentrations.

Stick with nature, you will always do better. The continuum and sugar is how nature does it. Through conversion to CO2 from oxygen. If you are at all concerned about the safety, go with the continuum because the processing of the product will be extremely safe. Not all organisms can convert it, it will be more commonly plants and animals converting it to CO2. This equals growth for you, and far more than any other product with glut., and not a measly +2PPM CO2 from 13PPM. That is so little!

This is the only way continuum was able to get away with selling "sugar," at a profit, because it is the second processed sugar, after glycolysis version and is not available to fermenting bacteria to use. Otherwise, developing a sugar mix, would make no money. It also has intermediate enzymes that are required by the plants and animals, and some bacteria to process it. It was not previously done because they realized if they made this, people would make their own. These people were smart and made a form and combination that cannot be easily replicated.
 

abrooks12376

Member
I have to subscribe to read the whole article.. you're trolling.. half life...just half life.
 
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uncclewis

Member
Lol... I am not trolling. I cannot give you access to the article. I would lose my position in my PhD program. You can find it elsewhere. Sorry... We have known about these relationships since the 1920's when the citric acid cycle was discovered. However, it is not profitable to make a sugar/water mix, but, glutaraldehyde is profitable. They are businesses. However, continuum like I said is safer, and cannot be accessed by fermentation bacteria, and has these intermediates. No one thus far has had this amount of genius. That is why this product is very new. They made an unprofitable, effective thing, profitable.

here it is again from a more reputable site:
 

abrooks12376

Member
They say phosphorus is not needed in my aquarium, nitrogen is a only.kind of important? Kelp... really... kelp has about as much of a place in my aquarium as glut has in your lake. Just another fancy bottle with a big write up... troll
 
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uncclewis

Member
The main active ingredients are the following: Acetyl-COA, humic, and fluvic- all of these are required for the citric acid cycle. The other is fluff...some of the amino acids are essential, if they used the right ones

And what they mean is adding additional ones, because these are typically present at high enough amounts in foods
 

abrooks12376

Member
You've used this product?
Edit- sometimes I can't even get out of my own way. Bid you good day sir.
 
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uncclewis

Member
Yes, and I have used sugar dosing. It works well and the continuum works better, but, if you are cheap like me you mix them or use only sugar. However, I think in the future I will switch only to continuum. The benefit is that more nitrate is used because these organisms will then need sources of nitrogen and phosphorous to go along with more energy in building compounds necessary for survival, so do not be surprised if your nitrate dips a bit- especially with sugar.

EDIT: Ok. No worries... I have used them both. And I know that I am like one vs 500 on here. But, I am glad to help. This is some knowledge that I have kept from biology and I know this should work. If we had another biologist here, he would back up what I have said.

I wrote this article and others. I was premedical and majored in biology. the first 1/4 of it was the neurological support for the occurrence


I am running a study assessing cognitive components and biological markers.

I have published abstracts and I am working on a paper which proposes physiological mediators of Alzheimer's disease related cognitive dysfunction.
 

Grimund

Member
uncclewis said:
EDIT: Ok. No worries... I have used them both. And I know that I am like one vs 500 on here. But, I am glad to help. This is some knowledge that I have kept from biology and I know this should work. If we had another biologist here, he would back up what I have said.

I wrote this article and others. I was premedical and majored in biology. the first 1/4 of it was the neurological support for the occurrence



I am running a study assessing cognitive components and biological markers.

I have published abstracts and I am working on a paper which proposes physiological mediators of Alzheimer's disease related cognitive dysfunction.
That's fine and all, but it's an entirely different science involved. While Botany, Micro Biology, Marine Biology, and Human Biological Fields may have something in common, it doesn't mean that the shotgun approach will work.
 
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uncclewis

Member
Ok, well I stand by it! Well, at the very least it should work better than glutaraldehyde. It is not hard to beat 1-2PPM of CO2. But point well taken.

Here is my aquarium after continuum. And Flourish trace once weekly + flourish once weekly or every other week. My substrate is 1/4 flourite. 84 Watts of LED, 4-7 hours a day. 26 inches deep aquarium. 75 gallon . You can't see it but other plants are growing in the back below the wisteria too



My problem is too much growth. See I wacked everything to grow back and use nitrates.


Here is my aquarium with excel before overdosing (2-3x dosage) caused massive fish deaths. These effects are ph dependant.





Before excel



This was cloudy because of seachem clarity.
I didnt always overdose excel. I only started because it wasn't working that well. I don't know if you notice or not, but my plants are healthier without it. As were my fish! Grimund

Also. The first is with continuum/sugar... Definitely the best.
 

fisharegreat8962

Member
Are they paying you to advertise for them or something? Do you work for them maybe?
EDIT: Alright, I'm just gonna say this. I get where you're coming from, but many of the people tuning in to this thread (including me) aren't going to be convinced until real scientific evidence has been shown, not just an explanation of the occurrences of the reactions and then simplifying those reactions. Okay?

And speaking of that, it kind of seems like you're trying to write out reactions in a very scientific way. Which you are. Some people can understand it, such as Grimund and I, however, it may be more difficult for other people to comprehend, causing them to tune out from the thread entirely, which lets them lose out on a very interesting conversation that comes with a lot of controversy.

I did a presentation on these exact chemical reactions in like, 3rd grade, and my little 3rd grade mind made this as easy to understand for my 3rd grade friends as I possibly could. So maybe if you used layman's terms, more people could understand and try to contribute their opinions to the thread, and maybe it could become more of a community thing.

Keep it in mind that this is just a suggestion
 
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uncclewis

Member
I wish! Nope, I am a paying customer of Continuum too. I also advertise seachem products that I like, too. I am a diehard seachem fan, but, for this purpose, I do not think that Seachem has the superior product.

I have 6 liters of seachem excel sitting here wasted, and, I would otherwise use it

The fact that it would go to some lake is the reason I have not flushed it, but, I will probably eventually when I can bring myself to it
 

fisharegreat8962

Member
uncclewis said:
I wish! Nope, I am a paying customer of Continuum too. I also advertise seachem products that I like, too. I am a diehard seachem fan, but, for this purpose, I do not think that Seachem has the superior product.

I have 6 liters of seachem excel sitting here wasted, and, I would otherwise use it

The fact that it would go to some lake is the reason I have not flushed it, but, I will probably eventually when I can bring myself to it
Just edited that post I just made, you might have to refresh to read it.
 
  • Thread Starter

uncclewis

Member
Thank you! So, basically continuum and sugar directly feed the plant, so that it doesn't need to photosynthesize as much to make energy to grow; but since plants grow a lot, if they can, they will do their best at doing both- eating more akin to how we do and then using light to make energy, as well. However, to do this, the plants will require intaking more nitrate to grow, because it has to have the other compounds.

So, with the small amount of sugar introduction or with the continuum product, you are providing: plants, some bacteria, and fish,the energy to perform energetic processes like swim across the tank, when this happens, then it produces CO2- like we do when we breath out.

Well, we always need oxygen for this process to occur and if we want the energy to only be processed this way, and not toxic substances, then we need to control the dosage to be very low, so that the organisms do not run out of air to convert to carbon dioxide.

This is why if you add too much, then it produces toxic products- oxygen was depleted. Because we are directly feeding plants, and we are encouraging organisms to use more oxygen to make carbon dioxide, properly ensuring oxygen concentrations becomes very important. We are merely converting the energy and oxygen to carbon dioxide. If you want to ensure you do not overdose and want less bacteria to be able to grow and process the energy, I strongly recommend continuum- because this form of processed sugar, is not available to many bacteria to use (especially the more toxic substance making ones, which require there to be no oxygen). Because the continuum sugar is available to much less bacteria, the conversion will be more controlled (and with less spikes) and the concentration in the product is consistent and was tested. Thus, because only animals and plants utilize this processed sugar, and some bacteria, the continuum will more strongly be utilized by animals and plants.

However, this processed sugar is not what you think of in every day terminology, like high fructose corn syrup. This is Acetyl-COA, it is complicated, but it is a required step (for plants and animals) in making energy from sugars, that many bacteria cannot start here and go forward in producing energy from it. They cannot also go backward.

So basically, the seachem product, when it is broken down produces at most 2 molecules of CO2. Because the product is so toxic, we cannot introduce more than 1.5 parts per million in a final concentration, or we will have fish deaths. Therefore, we are introducing at most 3 parts per million of CO2, when typical CO2 levels are 15 to 30 parts per million.

For each molecule of sugar; it usually creates 6 molecules of CO2 (however some bacteria will produce slightly less, the ones for the continuum, could not produce less CO2); therefore, you do not need to use much at all; Because for every molecule you use of sugar, this is an additional 6 part per million of CO2. Each grain of sugar would have many molecules to be processed to each add 6 parts per million of CO2.

The reason fish would not die right away, is because while these processes are quick, the growing process, is not immediate. CO2 levels would look like a triangle on a graph, but the second half would be ever so slightly more flat, because the total energy requirements or breathing requirements have increased. This utilization would take 2-4 days for continuum, but it would be faster for sugar.
 

Grimund

Member
What is the basis of the Excel only offering enough carbon of say 1-3ppm?

What is the basis of regular CO2 levels being 15-30ppm?

Where is this Continuum product saying it feeds bacteria?

What would be the projected CO2 levels across a length of time, math provide please?
 

Aster

Member
I can't, for the life of me, find any reviews on this Continuum product. If it works so well, wouldn't more people have tried it?

And as for the sugar dosing:


Seems like a fine line to walk. I wouldn't risk it.
 
  • Thread Starter

uncclewis

Member
Every time I try to add that to aquarium plant wikipedia, someone in the industry deletes it. But I will refer you to the research. Glutaraldehyde is processed into glutaric acid, and, if you look at the two ends of the molecule, you will see that there are two potential CO2 groups {I also read that it was a linear CO2 release, but I cannot find that article, this means 1:1]. See if it is 1:1 one of the oxygens would bond in a circle with the other carbon and one CO2 group would leave. Therefore, there is only 1 or 2 at most. Assuming all of it is processed from aerobic like the other metabolism.
. Actually it was the first paper. It shows the first day there and this is how long it took for glut to be fully processed and during this time CO2 production was not that great, it barely moved. it was close to a 1:1 ratio.

If they provided higher than 2PPM, one would begin getting fish deaths, especially at high Ph (above 7). It increases its stability. If they used concentrations as low as .1% it does result in fish deaths (1000PPM); this its disinfectant form (they determine this based upon at what stage it kills a certain number). Therefore, they would use much lower. I found other research showing about 3PPM is when fish ill health is starting to be seen- but bacteria, sooner.
There is much research showing most fish die at 5 PPM

What they do is introduce a very controlled amount into farmed systems (to kill things) and they continuously measure the concentrations and build up of the toxin, they do NOT allow it to get above 2PPM and have a range of .1 to 2ppm. However, even this is not widely used.



2) Well it is around 2-3PPM in the atmosphere, and it almost always higher in the water. However, this is highly variable. I was giving an average, but, according to this research, perhaps 6-30PPM the range of expected values.

DF]


See when it gets low enough, it is more difficult for it to get to the plants. Just think of when you have more molecules bouncing against the wall, how much more quickly one would get to you, than if you have very few. That is why when it gets to some point, it is barely utilized.
3) They do not directly say that feeds bacteria, but, my knowledge of it would say that it would also. Because some bacteria do process sugar just like plants and animals do, but in different compartments and cell types. Here is their reference to it however:
BacterCleanF-product description: "Continuum also recommends that you consider using Flora•Viv Prolifera, along with the Bacter Clean•F, as an organic carbon source to accelerate the growth and increase the effectiveness of the bacteria in this product."

4) Now this is where my research is a bit murky and this is also why I have personally encouraged the use of continuum because him, being a marine biologist, he has had access to bacterial cultures and aquatic systems to test his concentration. I can give you a bacterial growth curve, this is how it would work for all organisms, but with more dips for animals and plant systems. We do not replicate indiscriminately, but have constant energy needs

My basis for the amount was based upon a 36 hour metabolism period.
.24 x 10^23 molecules in 1 tablespoon of sugar x 4 (average based upon number CO2)
1x 10 ^23 CO2 molecules. A lot of these will be incorporated into the cells, both plant, animal, photosynthetic bacteria, and algae. In fish, it will help form the acid-balance. However, much will be expelled. I was assuming that the system will react the same way as it does any time any other food is introduced, it would result in sequential increases, typically not exceeding safe values. However, because sugar provides more energy, I was being extra safe and using low values, so that the total caloric content would not be astronomical. And to be extra safe, I was using a maximum glucose concentration which is typically naturally occurring in lakes. I already gave that link

In contrast, this is acetyl-COA and why it would have more CO2 release. Look at the molecule...
 

Grimund

Member
That's actually assuming that Glutaraldehyde is the only carbon source available within excel.

What exactly is the carbon source in Flora-Viv Prolifera? I can't find any data other than the site stating natural.

The article is about an open ecosystem and therefore I have to discount it in regards to a closed system with a much (like astronomically) smaller surface for gas exchange. A little more relevance, please

The bacterial sugar breakdown generates acids and alcohols that tamper with pH, too.

Dosing sugar would be limited to higher KH tanks with low oxygen demand and a high to extreme plant density. The bacteria could easily out compete the plants for O2 during respiration, rendering the CO2 and sugars (related to the CO2) rather moot if it can't be utilized.

There's a slew of factors that keep getting added with more evidence and very little getting cut back in regards to sugar dosing. It's turning into a vexing theory.
 
  • Thread Starter

uncclewis

Member
The only acid would be CO2, there cannot be any others. This is just how cells work. If they produce others, it would occur whether they were growing with it or not. This you cannot avoid. They only produce alcohol in the absence of oxygen, but you do not want this to occur, however, if you do have this right now, you need to worry instead about hydrogen sulfide. The fish have higher demands for O2 than the plants, because plants do not have to always photosytheize or die, they can take in glucose from the water and use stores, but we can only use stores or we quickly die, we cannot also make it. If the O2 is allowed to get that low, you added too much. Keep in mind we are not adding more CO2 than would be otherwise if we fed the water fish food- without the nitrate and other ions in it. This is how it has minimal effects on water chemistry. If anything, all of the organisms will need to pull other molecules from the water, not add them.

If you are adding ANY CO2 it should be reserved for middle to higher range Kh, as such this system would be... that is because CO2 is our acid in any of them.

That is all the list on the label, they would put priopetary if it contained other things. And this is the photosynthetic intermediate to which they refer.

Continuum prolifera can only be utilized by non-fermenting bacteria. It has to be plants animals, and bacteria which process sugars like we do, which takes a huge chuck of them out of the ballpark.

These bacteria must also have an analogous structure to our mitochrondion which limits them further.

So, basically you are making the argument for continuum, and I do think that is a much stronger product! I was just saying for the extra cheeps you can probably get this to work if you use the right concentration.
 

DoubleDutch

Member
Since when is CO2 an acid?
 
  • Thread Starter

uncclewis

Member
You are right, in the traditional sense it is not an acid, however, when in aqueous solution it more commonly forms acidic compounds.

This is probably more than you want to know, but, it is because of its pKa value. It is a weak acid. I had to recall this it is taking me a minute but this explains it better. There are two types of acids, one is a proton donor and the other is one that can form a pair with its electrons. These are the oxygen. And this is how it forms more acid compounds in water.

I remember only because of blood, I do like chemistry and I took both organics, but my heart was not in it. So, I remembered how blood works and that is how I knew right away, even though I remember there were two types of acids but I could not remember how to explain them right away.
 

Grimund

Member
Here's the thing, how much is too much? It's not like there's a study with sugar available. You could very well be flirting with the edge of disaster in low amounts. A study that limits sugar to be the only factor in the changes, no other conditions can be or have been different

I'm also factoring the fact that not every bacteria is non fermenting, as there will be some that do because of its current environment or other circumstances.

I'm not promoting this product at all, I'm asking what the natural organic carbon source it's boasting actually is.
 

Grimund

Member
DoubleDutch said:
Since when is CO2 an acid?
CO2 will turn into carbonic acid inside water, which is why CO2 injected setups will see a drop in the pH while it's running
 
  • Thread Starter

uncclewis

Member
Well right now in the tank, sugar is the limiting factor, and that is why you have nitrates. Otherwise, the organisms will use it. When you add food, it adds these other compounds... And you do not have sufficient conditions to convert it back to nitrogen gas. So, it just sits there, waiting.
You are adding sugar, so that the excess stuff is used. In the instance of continuum, much less bacteria can process it and the ones that do will be like most bacteria and not pathogenic. They change hypoxia inducible factors and other hormones if oxygen gets too low. If you want the safest product, get theirs, which all of these arguments are mostly relevant to the sugar done yourself induction because it is a less controlled induction and the CO2 would have more spikes because of more bacterial processing and less organisms are going after the same resources with continuum causing drops. With the continuum product, it is primarily targeting plants and animals, as we more extensively process this molecule. Actually, I looked up, in bacterial genomes only 19% of them can process acetyl-COA, and far fewer are able to live or do well in the conditions of your aquarium. Considering that only 5% of bacteria are pathogenic, I would NOT be concerned, if you added the continuum product whatsoever.

Yes, if you use the continuum product, you should not worry about it being too much, because acetyl-COA is processed by animals and plants and when they are generating too much CO2, then they cut back on energy production. In contrast, bacterial cells do so less commonly. However, there are not a ton of bacterial cells which can use the product. If you are worried about it causing issues, you need to consider what you would do when your fish and plants are growing a lot, and for plants this is add trace elements once per week and flourish once per week or every two weeks.

I am not sure what this means: "I'm also factoring the fact that not every bacteria is non fermenting, as there will be some that do because of its current environment or other circumstances."
Fermentation requires anoxic conditions and if you have them right now, then you will have either denitrification if there is nitrate, or there is not and not glucose, then you will have hydrogen sulfide production. So, if your addition of this adds glucose there and creates ethanol there instead, you should consider yourself quite lucky. However, I doubt that glucose will get there to change it.

Yeah for the bacteria that can switch processes, they choose aerobic respiration over anaerobic, they always will choose aerobic and non-fermentation processes because otherwise it is like throwing money away. It would require errors in bacterial systems that make it uncompetitive to survive (and die). They would have to first spend energy to make the compound less energetic, and then get only 1/10 of the amount of energy out of it through the inefficient processing, and then lose efficiency to be able to soon use more energetic processes. So this does occur, but the frequency of it is extremely low, that it is does not have an appreciable affect on the system.

EDIT: Also these bacteria are much less common!

EDIT: I think I know what you mean, it was a comment I made a while back! I need to clarify, the pure fermenting bacteria (anaerobic) can never process acetyl-COA in continuum. However, there is a chance that some anaerobic bacteria will occasionally, but very infrequently form ethanol from table sugar you add*. I needed to definitely clarify that! This would have a bigger effect on the system than the other.
 

clk89

Member
Alright so I can't understand half of this post, but as far as the last part. I thought having some nitrates was good thing in cycled tank, as well as not having nitrates in a cycle tank. As long as the tank is cycled I didn't think either were so terrible. Both can show a healthy tank. Also some algae shows up when you have zero nitrates so I'm not sure that should always be the goal. It's more of a balance act.

Also I don't use CO2 at all. All I use are liquid ferts, and root tabs. My plants are growing just fine, and I actually don't have nitrates because my I am moderately planted in a ten gallon with low bioload (one betta and nerite snails). That doesn't mean that all CO2 is bad for plants, nor does it mean only low tech can grow healthy plants. Basically I am trying research this specific product and I'm not coming up with anything but the personal story you have given uncclewis on your own tanks.

This is all coming from someone who is cautious about using excel or CO2 in general. Just because I have heard of people overdosing both and killing their fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

uncclewis

Member
Yes, this is the most controlled administration of it, because biological systems do a better job at regulating CO2, if you do not make critical errors, like adding too much to allow the bacteria to create anoxic conditions. Continuum prolifera makes it hard to mess up. It is a safe concentration and is one most commonly used by plants and animals.

Nitrate isn't necessarily bad, but in this instance we want plant growth and that growth will require using that nitrate, the reason it is not is because it is lacking sugar, it can either get this from the water or from photosynthesis and typically this is usually just minute amounts from the water [what I mean they are not self-sustaining to be fed from the roots, without light, unless they are sprouting]

Also, the humic increases the intake of the energy with continuum and utilization of it from the roots, I didn't mention this I just said it provides more energy for citric acid cycle for plants, but this is how
 

Grimund

Member
O2 isn't present in every part of the aquarium, there will be low O2 events, especially in larger bacteria colonies and low/no flow volumes of the tank. There will be fermentation, just an unknown amount at the junction.

There is no control point for dosing purely sugar. There's a multitude of factors when trying to compare the effects of sugar in a tank that's had a multitude of other things happening that aren't consistent across the board.

You would need a control, then a few other tanks with varying ppm dosages of sugar. Each would need the exact same circumstances without a CO2 booster/injector to eliminate the other possibilities of sugar not actually causing these effects.

Measuring CO2 levels, KH, plant growth (weight), pH, livestock effects, and water clarity, just to name a few relevant numbers that adding sugar could change.

This conversation has shifted from continuum to sugar for me, Sorry.
 
  • Thread Starter

uncclewis

Member
Well if you have these anaerobic areas, then sulfur bacteria will have precedence here, because they produce toxic stuff that quickly kills other bacteria... Unless glucose is there, then they are severely outcompeted. Processing glucose is so energetic and they will quickly outnumber the more toxic bacteria, and surround them with cells that limit the sulfur ones- if glucose is available. Until the colony is almost nonexistent... If you use continuum, purely fermenting bacteria cannot access the product (this processed form of sugar) whatsoever. So this means that only non-fermented bacterial processes, and primarily plant and animals can use it. Still, table sugar only allows the potential for small fermentation, however, it is still not high if you use very little. Also, I just bought 2 liters because I was thinking that this might increase the price and I want to buy it before then lol... Amazon has it extremely low, until reviews come in... A+ for me, my fish act no different with it. I know this sounds bad, but I also tested in my fish with less fish at 10x dosage for one week and 5x for an additional and he survived, albeit seemed a little slower, and wanting more oxygen. I know not purely scientific, but it is enough for me. There is not much aeration, I mean I had an air pump but not a lot of flow, in that tank. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't harming them. I didn't want to sound bad and say that.

I only tested a max of sugar of what I said, I was pretty sure that would kill him or cause damage to my nitrifying bacteria if I did much more. But, I do NOT know the limit of that.

EDIT: I did NOT use the expert version of the continuum because it is too much stuff.

If you want I will send you photos of what fish look like at 2x dosage with seachem excel, I doubled the first dosage too. I did NOT know that the bioaccumulated at all. The label does not say that.



Looks like some I put on here and not my phone, but I was near crying

I lost about 15-20 fish and 4/5 of my shrimp. They were all kinds of messed up, all of them. So I learned if I ever put a product in there like that to try it on less.
 

Grimund

Member
Well, it's adding glucose that is the troubling part, not the continuum. Glucose isn't broken down into the form that this product provides, before entering the column.

In not talking about no oxygen environments that sulfur needing bacteria require, I'm taking about low O2 in certain areas of the tank that would allow fermentation in the presence of glucose, not acetyl-CoA
 

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