I only keep low maintenance plants in my tanks - java fern, java moss & anubius - but would like to get some wisteria. Maybe even venture out to one more.
Plants are ok - they grow slowly, but I was wondering if I should get them some ferts and, if so, what kind? I see the Seachem Flourish line is very popular, but don't know exactly which one/ones I should get.
Excel is simply C02. Honestly it's just cheaper to do a DIY C02 system because for excel to be really effective you'd need to do a dose daily or every other day depending on your plants. I dose my tank twice a week just because I don't want to run out but it really doesn't have much effect on my plants that I can see.
Comprehensive has trace minerals and elements for plants. Its pretty good for floating and not root based plants. For rooted plants I would also look into root tabs.
I've been using Excel every other day and while my plants are doing well, they'd probably do just as well with any number of other products. The one effect I have noticed is Excel seems to retard the growth of algae. I've also heard Excel is not recommended for use with Anacharis. And, you need to pay close attention to how much you add as you can kill your fish with an overdose. There are plenty of posts on various forums discussing fish that became ill or died from too much Excel.
I just picked up some Flourish Comprehensive and I'm going to try an experiment, using the Excel in one tank and the Comprehensive in another to see if I notice any difference between the two.
Comprehensive will probably do the trick as long as the tank has enough nitrates. If you see any particular deficiencies in your plants, then you might want to get another fert that satisfies that deficiency. If you have plants with a lot of red pigment in them, you might want to use Iron, too.
I like Excel, personally, because it doesn't have the dangers of DIY CO2. With DIY CO2 you can get bursts of CO2 and you can also get rapid decline of CO2, you're at the mercy of your yeast. I really want to do pressurized, lol, but it's hard to find a reasonable regulator that fits a paintball CO2 canister. Personally, I dose Excel twice a day. I find that half the recommended amount twice a day instead of one larger dose a day seems to create more growth and better color.
Oh.. and about the overdose of CO2.. I don't think that is a problem for bettas. That would be an issue for fish that get their oxygen solely from the water. A good filter and airstone would counteract that.
But if you run an airstone with DIY CO2 you're just outgassing all your CO2 :o You mean when you overdose, put the airstone in? Either way I feel safer just plopping in a little Excel, and you don't have to maintain your CO2 bottles. Different strokes, I guess. :)
No.. sorry I badly worded it. Someone said something about fish getting sick from too much excel, I meant that if the fish were getting sick from too much C02 it's probably because either there wasn't a filter or airstone to aerate the water, or there weren't enough plants to take in all the CO2 and replace it with oxygen.
Either way as long as you properly dose the Excel you shouldn't have any problems with fish getting sick from it.