Tank died…still vodka dose?


Active member
I’ve had a 400G reef tank (primarily SPS) for 8 years. 4-5 years ago I started vodka dosing and it was very successful: it took 4 months to slowly raise the level, but I finally drove nitrates to zero.

3 weeks ago the tank died. I don’t want to go into detail: I know what happened and how. Suffice to say, total death in about 24 hours.

I’ve cleaned the tank out (so sad throwing away giant dead SPS colonies grown from a frag), and I went through a mini cycle. Ammonia and nitrites are back to zero, but nitrates are elevated (25+).

I plan to rebuild shortly, but I’ve left the vodka dosing going in the hopes that it’ll kick back in. Hasn’t happened yet. It’s a 400G tank so the dosing is around 60ml a day spread out around the clock.

Will it kick back in and drive nitrates back down? Do I need to redo the ramp up (my god that was tedious)?


Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
While I know the Vodka dosing has been around, I’m not familiar enough with the idea but @cody6766 may be able to help more as I know he’s been vodka dosing recently.

That said, I don’t think it would need to be re-ramped up but I honestly don’t know.

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
Nowadays nothing we test for regularly should be -0-
Anything above 10 is frowned upon.
It will kick back in though.


Crab Free Zone
Premium Member
Would starve in zero nitrate, essential for life.
It’s Ok to provide an additional carbon source, but only to a level which keeps nitrates low, but steady and always available.
Same with phosphate, but, at a much lower concentration, say .1ppm area.
I’ve carbon dosed for more than 5 years, from 50ppm to 10ppm, but that’s about as low as I go in a mixed reef.


Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
To clarify the above, with my understanding, many tanks run 5-10 nitrate and .03-.1 phosphate. Ammonia and nitrite should still be 0 as long as you have steady nitrate.