Vodka????

sbeane

New member
I have seen various people talking about putting vodka and vinegar in their tanks. What do they do for the tank and how much would you put in? I have a 75 gallon tank.
 

strtrodreefer

New member
I understand it to be a carbon source for bacteria, which ultimately help in reduction of nutrient and phosphate levels. I don't see it being species specific, however it needs to be thoroughly understood and entered into carefully as the reading indicates. Read all you can.
 

Peter Eichler

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14130846#post14130846 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sbeane
So after reading the thread, its mainly for SPS corals right? All i have is LPS and soft corals

If all you have is LPS and sofies there's little reason to be dosing a carbon source (some would say that regardless of what corals you have). If you think your nutrients are elevated and hampering the progression of your tank invest in a better protein skimmer, decrease fish load, and or do larger water changes.
 

sassafrass

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14131155#post14131155 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Peter Eichler
If all you have is LPS and sofies there's little reason to be dosing a carbon source (some would say that regardless of what corals you have). If you think your nutrients are elevated and hampering the progression of your tank invest in a better protein skimmer, decrease fish load, and or do larger water changes.
I have to respectively disagree for the first time in years my nitrate stays at zero and no matter what you have in your tank it is all healthier . The coral colors are brighter , algae and cyano have disappeared . I know there are other ways to achieve this however none of those ways are as easy and cheap. I dose vodka only when I tried vinegar I got bacterial mats that were ugly and no other benefit from it . A quart of cheap vodka costs about $7 and lasts about 2 months for my 150 gal. If you can show me a better and cheaper way please do !!!:D
 

btb72

New member
sassafrass... what is your NWV and what have you settled on for your mainting lvl for dosing? (what do you dose every day)
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
It may work for some with caution. . It provides ethanol which is a pure carbon source. Bacteria eat it and consume nitrate and phosphate. The bacteria in theory are exported by the skimmer which can not otherwise export nitrate and phosphate.

Two unanswered issues which may be a problematic are:

Are the bacteria that bloom due to the extra carbon beneficial, benign, harmful or all three .?

Is there good reason to believe that the skimmer will export at least all of the extra carbon added to the tank? This is important since high levels of total organic carbon cn be harmful.
 

eros

New member
I've been dosing my 75 gallon for a while and starting to see some results. I didn't get any improvement in nitrates until I got to 3cc's.
 

Fireworm

New member
I am thinking about doing this as well. I have all the material I could find on the subject, but have not had the time to sit down and read it yet. How long did it take for you eros to get to 3 cc's?

Is there any negative effect if you decide to stop doing the vodka, do you have to put your tank on a 12 step program or anything?
 

chimmike

oxygen abuser
I dose by mL measurements.

in my 65g (about 100g total displacement) I started at .5mL, then a week later, went to 1mL, a week later, 2mL, and now I'm at 3mL daily. No problems with white tips on my SPS. Colors are all great, fish are happy, no algae blooms anywhere, and water clarity is better than I've ever achieved before.
 

Fireworm

New member
Is there one type of Vodka that works better than others? I know you can't use flavored stuff, don't want to turn the fish on to drinking at such a young age.

Does this effect pod population at all?
 

Pheeshes

New member
you should use juut regular cheap vodka, the fish will never know...

before you just jump into dosing vodka there is alot or research and prep to do. it can crash your tank big time if you don't know what you're doing. it's not a miracle cure regardless of what some people will tell you. i'm also not saying it doesn't work, it definitly can, just make sure you know what you're doing before you start.
 

Fireworm

New member
I agree, the homework has to be done to make it safe. I printed off the first 100 pgs of the thread listed above, as well as a few articles and threads from other forums. I want to make sure I know what I am getting into first. Just sounds like a neat idea to make the tank work better, and cheaper than doing zeo.
 

eros

New member
ml's and cc's are the same measurement. What chimmike says is the same way I did it. There is a table in one of the articles that I followed, just make sure you go slow, if you go fast I have read that you can deplete oxygen and basically kill the whole tank.
As far as what brand, I use Smirnoff because it is inexpensive, distilled, and I know it does not contain flavor additives like many other Vodka's do(even most "unflavored" vodkas contain flavor enhancers). Others are using the cheap charcol filtered stuff without problems, but I think the extra few dollars is worth the peace of mind. Besides that it tastes good too.

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14136309#post14136309 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Fireworm
I am thinking about doing this as well. I have all the material I could find on the subject, but have not had the time to sit down and read it yet. How long did it take for you eros to get to 3 cc's?

Is there any negative effect if you decide to stop doing the vodka, do you have to put your tank on a 12 step program or anything?
 

notabun

New member
I'm sugar dosing to help aid in the reduction of nitrates in addition to responsible feeding and water changes. I'm not dosing much (1/8 tsp a day for 45g tank) but it's working and my nitrates went from around 15ppm down to 5ppm in a week or so.
 

Fireworm

New member
So it will not effect pods at all then? I am not going to loose my whole fuge right?

How much difference, if any, did you notice in your skimming?
 

chimmike

oxygen abuser
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14138791#post14138791 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Fireworm
So it will not effect pods at all then? I am not going to loose my whole fuge right?

How much difference, if any, did you notice in your skimming?

I've lost no pods, and lately my skimmer has finally been doing what I've wanted it to for so long! skimming the snot out of the water! It's doing a great job.....
 

Peter Eichler

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14131550#post14131550 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sassafrass
I have to respectively disagree for the first time in years my nitrate stays at zero and no matter what you have in your tank it is all healthier . The coral colors are brighter , algae and cyano have disappeared . I know there are other ways to achieve this however none of those ways are as easy and cheap. I dose vodka only when I tried vinegar I got bacterial mats that were ugly and no other benefit from it . A quart of cheap vodka costs about $7 and lasts about 2 months for my 150 gal. If you can show me a better and cheaper way please do !!!:D

I haven't had measurable nitrates in a tank for over 15 years and it has nothing to do with vodka or any other carbon source. There's really no trick to it other than lots of live rock, a good skimmer, and if that's not cutting it a sandbed and/or macro algae for additional export. Besides, the nicest softie and LPS tanks I've seen are often not the most pristine tanks but ones that have a little higher nutrients than most would want with an SPS tank.
 
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