VSV/Straight Vodka? Prodibio?

Jay1982

New member
I've been reading up on Vodka dosing for about 2 months now, and last week decided that I had a firm enough grasp on why I am dosing Vodka and the risks/rewards that come with such a regime. I'm now starting my 2nd week of dosing and so far everything seems to be doing great. I don't have a dip on NO3 yet, but I think I'll be working my way there shortly.

I came across VSV dosing last Wednesday, and I came across http://glassbox-design.com/2008/the-vsv-method-faq/ where there is a recipe for dosing VSV. I've read up on dosing VSV and why one would want to dose VSV (to promote diversity amongst the denitrifying bacteria); however after completely reading this thread Who's dosing Vodka? Why? and following the link to UR where a mod there used Ultrabio to combat high Nitrates I started to wonder if using Vodka and then using a Prodibio product would yield the same results as dosing VSV.

I've read members views on Vodka, such as Melev and the wonders of Vodka if done properly. However I would hate for a monoculture to develop within my aquarium and it end up having nitrate problems in the end. Would it be wise to just switch to VSV, if so, is the link I provided the best recipe for dosing VSV or is there something better that I haven't uncovered? Could I use a combo of Vodka and Prodibio?
 

Shane Hoffman

New member
Dont expect drops in your readings until weeks go by if your dosing vodka slowly enough...or should I say correctly....
 

seapug

Premium Member
I went through 2 bottles of vodka over a 6 week period using the method outlined in an article on Advanced Aquarist and saw no drop in my nitrate levels so I used AZ-NO3.

Nitrate went from 60 to 0 in about 3 weeks and had no ill effects from it. Worst part was having to empty my skimmer cup every day. That stuff makes your skimmer go nuts.
 

Jay1982

New member
Yeah, thats what everyone is saying. My skimmer cup hasn't gone crazy yet, I'm seeing the same type of skimate as before.
 

seapug

Premium Member
Yeah, that's why I gave up on Vodka and went with a product designed for nitrate reduction on a reef tank. One bottle of AZ-NO3 was cheaper than the 2 bottles cheap vodka I went through and did the job in a fraction of the time.
 

Jay1982

New member
Seeing as how I'm only on my 2nd week, I'll give Vodka dosing some time to see if it works. Its not for all tanks, could it be that maybe the bacteria that was consuming the carbon wasn't beneficial to the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium?

Essentially this is my concern with dosing Vodka, I don't want Cyano or other bacteria to dominate over the bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle. Which is why I'm asking if combining Vodka WITH prodibio would be better. Or if I should just try VSV. Hopefully I can get a few more people to chime in....
 

ccradr

New member
I have tried Prodibio and Vodka for the last 8 months. It worked great for me. Nitrate dissappered quickly...Po4 stays arouns .03. If you give vodka and prodibio a chance, it will make your tank look really good!
 

melev

In Memoriam
Your questions are good. I don't have the answers.

Using VSV does provide three different strains of bacteria in your tank. I didn't really want to delve into that with my tank, but was very curious and hopeful that vodka would help resolve some water quality issues that I'd been battling for a long time. It took seven months of dosing before the nitrate began to drop, but then it dropped quickly to zero and stayed there for about two months. (They crept back up because I reduced my vodka dosing and started feeding more again, but I've increased my dosage accordingly and the NO3 is dropping slowly. )

If you wanted to add more bacteria to your tank with products like Zeo, Prodibio, or Reefresh, that's fine. I think that every time we introduce a new coral, invert, fish or macro algae to our tank, it introduces more bacteria to the total system.

When you consider that my tank is essentially full, it would be more likely that mine would suffer from a mono-strain because I don't put new things in much at all. I'm trying to watch closely to see if there is anything amiss, such as the need for Prodibio.

I do get a cyano bloom in my tank with heavy Vodka dosings, but that's to be expected. Cyano bacteria is always present, as it is part of nature in our oceans (according to one show on National Geographic I was watching), but when it turns into that red ugly blanket on the sandbed, that is when we see it and grumble. When it is invisible, we don't care. When it gets bad in my tank, I'll siphon it out or blow it off whatever it is on.
 

KJAhp098

New member
Sorry to hi-jack your thread, but if somebody who wasn't using the vsv method took a piece of liverock from somebody's tank who was using the vsv method, would the bacteria with the vsv strains spread to the live rock in the new tank...basically switching that tank over to the vsv method? Sorry for any confusion...
 

melev

In Memoriam
Let's put it this way - you aren't going to catch VSV from that rock. But that rock may be pretty darn clean with the bacterial count running so high. It should help reduce the trapped waste in the rock some, as the bacteria is consuming it. That's the theory.

Don't mistake dosing to "cooking live rock", which is a method that helps the rock shed years of trapped muck within, basically recharging the rock so it can again assist with natural filtration.
 

underseaworld

New member
Marc as you know i am new to this website. But this vodka dosing has got my interest. I have a 300 gl tank with 90 gl sump. 5 inch sand bed. Can you help me out with this dosing with vodka? I never heard of this. How much do or should I use in my tank?

thanks ed
 

melev

In Memoriam
Hi Ed. Please take your time reading this article. It is something you should fully understand. Your Hobby Experience listed 30 years, so you shouldn't have too much trouble grasping the concept, but you definitely should know what you are getting yourself into:

Notes from the Trenches - Vodka Dosing... Distilled!
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-08/nftt/index.php
 

Jay1982

New member
Thanks for your input Marc. I will definitely keep a close eye on how Vodka dosing effects my nitrate levels.

I'm currently pulling out my chaeto bit by bit (I had pruned it 3 weeks ago by removing half of my chaeto, and when I removed more yesterday I noticed I had double of what I originally had before being pulled out 3 weeks ago, PLUS I now have grape caulpera which I had no idea I had in my sump and its growing like mad) so that I won't have too much die off from that starving of macro algae. If in a few months time I don't see a reduction in nitrates I'll make the move to VSV.
I'm trying to find a Canadian vendor for Ultra-bio. Does anyone know of any other good biologically diverse additives I could use?
 

btreadwell

New member
I am new to this forum and fairly new back to saltwater I am about 3 months into a 90 gallon reef tank that I bought used with rock and livestock reused everything 1st mistake. No3 has been over 25 ppm for a monthPo4 was .36 for a month , three weeks ago I started using Biodigest and two weeks ago I started dosing VSV. Today No3 is down to 15 ppm and Po4 is at .18 all inhabitants look better than ever, everything is still to high but it is making a differance , water is crystal clear , I do have some nuisance algae that is slowly dying off I do weekly water chances and mechanical remove as much as possible. I do dose very conservitable for NWV. But I do see changes. Just my thoughts on VSV , I got the advise from another and tried and is working for my tank very slow and steady.
 

Cujo

New member
I am in Canada and have been using Prodibio BioDigest and Bioptim for a few years now. Once established and with good skimming I never have No3 or Po4 issues. Canadian Amazon is where I order them from.
 
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