Dosing vinegar want to also add vodka ....

BrentH

New member
I've been dosing vinegar on my 600 gallon system for about a month with still no results I'm at 200 ml a day via dosing pump that delivers the vinegar 12 times throughout the day I know tom does both vodka and vinegar what would he a safe starting dose for vodka?my no3 at 20 po 4 0.06
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
I'm not sure whether you'll notice any difference between more vinegar or adding vodka, but starting at 5 or 10 mL of vodka per day sounds good to me. :)
 

BrentH

New member
Cool I'll start the vodka tonight instead of adding more vinegar I know what r saying as it not being more beneficial doing vodka versus adding more vinegar hmmm? Vinegar alone is working fine for u right randy?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Yes, but I have no specific goal for it. It is part of a many-fold nutrient export method (macroalgae, vinegar, GAC, GFO, skimming, big refugium of rock, etc.).

I also don't aspire to pristine, ULNS, water. :)
 

saltyair

New member
I hope this isn't a stupid question but isnt vodka and vinegar dosing exactly the same only using more vinegar per dose
 

madadi

ReefOG
I am at .5ml vodka per 30ml of vinegar. So far and I see a huge improvement in skimming compared to doing 60ml of vinegar alone. My tank volume is only at 150gal though.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Yes, it is. Probably different species of bacteria, but not otherwise all that different. I prefer vinegar (I seemed to get more cyano with vodka), but that preference may not extend to other tanks and I sometimes use vodka if I run out of vinegar.
 

saltyair

New member
Yes, it is. Probably different species of bacteria, but not otherwise all that different. I prefer vinegar (I seemed to get more cyano with vodka), but that preference may not extend to other tanks and I sometimes use vodka if I run out of vinegar.

I have only dosed with vinegar and have had great results once I got the alk under control.
Different bacteria but does the same thing? Or is one bacteria more efficient than the other?
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
I think they are about the same and use just vinegar on some smaller tanks.

Although I use vodka and vinegar on the main system ;it's laregly because I started with vodka .In the large system it suits my routine and there may be some advantage to dentirification when bolus dosing the organic carbon source as I recall from a study Randy shared years ago.

I don't think vodka has any significant intrinsic advantage over vinegar or vice versa. There might be small advantages of one over the other but folks use either or both successfully.


Initially, I used only vodka; got some cyano as many do when starting to dose organic carbon of any type;decided to switch off to vinegar as some anecdotal reports suggested switching the source might result in less cyano.Reduced vodka dosing by about 25% and made it up with some vinegar at 8 times the vodka reduction . When I went for a second 25% switch cyano increased significantly, probably due to the change over or perhaps coincidentally. So, I went back to the roughly 75% /25% organic carbon mix of vodka and vinegar and have stayed in that neighborhood for the last 5 plus years. Almost never see any cyano and when I do it's a small patch near where two corals are touching or over a patch of unatended detritus. Tried some small amounts of sugar a few times with significant coral stress issues. (Currently 36ml of 80 proof vodka and 80 ml of 5% acetic acid vinegar per day)

My inebriated fish breed a lot but then so do those in tanks without the vodka.:celeb3::spin3:
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Different bacteria but does the same thing?

Different species, but the same consequence.

One bigger difference might be which other creatures in the tank can use it directly (corals, anemones, etc), but we do not have very much data on that.
 

BrentH

New member
I'm not sure how accurate this is but from what I've read it seems like people get faster results wih vodka .... Probly not also seems like people act like it's better to have different carbon sources for some reason ? But u veteran carbon dossers say there's no real difference
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
I've never really understood the rational for thinking that multiple carbon sources would be better. :)

Not sure on the speed thing, whether one is faster or not, but I can't really see why it would be, unless people ramp up the dose of vodka faster. :)
 

BrentH

New member
Ok thanks guys still learning here.... Love it!! Carbon dosing to me is pretty interesting concept .. It does add another level of commitment to the tank..which isn't really that. Big of a deal. ....the only benefit could be like u said one carbon source could feed something beneficial that something else doesn't but not a huge or noticeable difference
 

madadi

ReefOG
It doesn't really complicate things too much in my opinion. Think of it as the new Randy 4 part recipe. :) Luckily my doser has 6 channels and I can dose calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, carbon, Kalkwasser, and liquid food :)
 

saltyair

New member
I have personally found using vinegar works to bing down no3 only (fantastic)
But also have found that after you have maximize the dose it is best to maintain at a lower dose
eg. Max out @ 50ml maintain (200 gal) @30 mls or lower depending on bio load
My biggest challenge has been keeping alk @ 8 any thing over 8 I get burnt tips on sps
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
I've kept mine in the 9 to 10 dkh range for many years without burnt tips which can be attributed to a number of causes related or unrelated to organic carbon dosing when they occur. Keeping alk steady at a level to your liking withing the 7 to 11 dkh range is one key to sps health IME. I like the 9 range to provide a margin of error for potential shortfalls.It also works out to that level for me with calcium hydroxide( kal) dosing 24/7.


Bacteria take up inorganic phosphate and dissolved nitrogen;both are exported with the bacteria.
In my case without gfo or other PO4 removers organic carbon dosing results in low PO4: .02ppm to .04ppm and NO3: <0.2ppm. The system houses oveer 50 fish, hundreds of corals and is heavily fed.
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
I'm not sure how accurate this is but from what I've read it seems like people get faster results wih vodka .... Probly not also seems like people act like it's better to have different carbon sources for some reason ? But u veteran carbon dossers say there's no real difference

It's not accurate .IME nor in the accounts I've read. It can take months for either to have an effect on high initial nitrate levels.

There are some differences between the two sources(vodka/ethanol and vinegar/acetic acid ) but I don't think they would effect the speed of nitrate or PO4 reduction significantly.

Ethanol is oxidized to acetic acid usually by acetobacteria which are ubiquitous in the air and water ; then the acetic acid from the vodka will convert to acetate at pH over 5.5 as will the acetic acid from the vinegar. Acetate is the organic carbon source for the facultative heterotrophic bacteria that take up nitrogen and phosphate and are heavily exported via skimming. The acetobacteria will also use some nitrogen and phosphate and may also be exprted by skimming .

I don't know about the potential for direct uptake of either ethanol or acetic acid by organisms. Not sure the acetate is directly beneficial to organisms via direct uptake othert han the bacteria that use it but it is likely so,imo. There may also be alternative pathways for ethanol but I haven't found any.

I think,the extra step to get to acetic acid with ethanol slows down the initial H+release that occurs when acetic acid goes into high pH water. It takes some time for the ethanol it to oxidize to acetic acid. This makes it easier to bolus dose vodka vs vinegar which must be dosed slowly preferably during photosynthetic periods Vodka is harder to dose on small systems or via auto dosing given it's relatively high concentration of organic carbon,8 times as much vs vinegar.

There is no proven benefit to using different types of organic carbon sources;the opposite may be true as with sugars for example;in the end it's acetate . No reason to encourage so called bacterial diversity ,imo. The soluble organics primarily vodka and vinegar are closest to the acetate, using them limits the variety of bacteria involved in acetogenisis.
 
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