Does Flourish Excel Kill Algae? Unveiling the Truth Behind Aquarium Treatments

If you’ve been struggling with keeping your aquarium clean, you’ve probably come across various treatments and supplements that all claim to help. One of these is Flourish Excel, a widely-used product in the fishkeeping community. Among the many discussions surrounding its use, a common question arises: does Flourish Excel kill algae?

Well, the answer is not as straightforward as a simple yes or no. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the topic and explore the truth behind Flourish Excel and its effects on algae. Buckle up, and get ready for a deep dive into the world of aquarium treatments!

Does Flourish Excel Kill Algae?

Yes and no. Flourish Excel is primarily a liquid carbon source, designed to provide aquarium plants with the carbon they need for photosynthesis. While it is not specifically marketed as an algae killer, it can have a detrimental impact on certain types of algae due to its secondary attribute – it contains a chemical that may inhibit algae growth in some cases.

A Magic Potion or a Double-Edged Sword?

One should not view Flourish Excel as a magic potion that will rid your tank of algae overnight. Its effectiveness in this regard is variable and is dependent on the type of algae and other environmental factors in your tank. For some aquarists, they’ve found success in using Flourish Excel as a means to curb algae growth, while others may not achieve the same results.

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Pros of using Flourish Excel

  1. Liquid carbon source for plants
  2. Can inhibit certain algae growth
  3. Easy to dose

Cons of using Flourish Excel

  1. Not a guaranteed solution
  2. May be harmful to some aquatic life in high doses
  3. Does not target all types of algae
  4. Requires consistent dosing

Other Algae Combatants

While Flourish Excel might not be the miracle solution to your algae problem, there are other approaches you can take to manage algae in your aquarium. Let’s look at a few of the most effective methods.

A Balanced Ecosystem

Achieving a balanced ecosystem in your aquarium is key to limiting algae growth. This includes proper lighting, appropriate nutrient levels, and well-maintained water parameters. Here are some tips to maintain a healthy balance in your tank:

  1. Ensure adequate lighting (not too much, not too little)
  2. Regular water changes
  3. Avoid overfeeding
  4. Maintain proper pH and water hardness levels
  5. Keep substrate and decorations clean

Algae-Eating Critters

Incorporating algae-eating critters, such as snails, shrimp, and specific species of fish, can help keep algae in check. These creatures will munch on the algae, preventing it from taking over your tank. Here are some popular options:

  1. Amano shrimp
  2. Otocinclus catfish
  3. Siamese algae eaters
  4. Nerite snails

Chemical Treatments

There are chemical treatments specifically designed to target algae growth. However, these should be used with caution, as some can adversely affect aquatic life. Always follow the product guidelines and instructions to ensure safe usage. It is also important to keep in mind that treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the algae growth will not yield long-lasting results.

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The Verdict

So, does Flourish Excel kill algae? The answer is not black and white. It can potentially inhibit the growth of certain types of algae, but it is not an absolute solution. For best results, focus on maintaining a balanced ecosystem in your aquarium, consider employing algae-eating critters, and use chemical treatments with caution if necessary.


  • Can Flourish Excel harm my fish or invertebrates?
    • In high doses, it can potentially cause harm. Always follow the recommended dosing instructions and monitor your aquatic life for any adverse effects.
  • How often should I dose Flourish Excel?
    • Follow the dosing instructions provided by the manufacturer. Typically, it can be dosed daily or on alternate days depending on your aquarium’s needs.
  • Can I combine Flourish Excel with other treatments or supplements?
    • Yes, you can, but always consult the product guidelines and ensure compatibility with other treatments or supplements your aquarium is receiving.
  • How long does it take to see results with Flourish Excel?
    • It varies depending on your tank’s conditions and the severity of the algae growth. Some aquarists notice improvement within a week or two, while others may need more time to see noticeable effects.
  • Is Flourish Excel an alternative to CO2 injection?
    • Flask Excel is not an equivalent substitute for CO2 injection, as it provides a different form of carbon than what is found in CO2 gas. However, it can be a beneficial supplement for aquariums that don’t have CO2 injection systems in place.

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