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Vodka/glucose/vinegar dosing. Who does it?
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

PostPosted: 2009.07.16(Thu)22:20    Post subject: Vodka/glucose/vinegar dosing. Who does it? Reply with quote

Well I haven't been active on AoA for quite some time but I've been quite active in the marine hobby enjoying my 4ft tank and working on setting up another tank as well. Anyhow I thought I'd start this thread to start some discussion on AoA about dosing vodka/glucose/vinegar to control phosphate and nitrate levels in marine aquariums. This article pretty much explains it all: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-08/nftt/index.php

A few weeks back I built myself a skimmer for my 4fter which to my surprise worked great. I then decided to try dosing the tank with glucose due to my continued issues with algae issues which though I hadn't tested the tank for phosphate was most likely due to phosphate (nitrate readings were zero so I hypothesised that my phosphate levels were high). Anyhow it's been several weeks since I started and I have to say I'll most likely never stop dosing my tanks (the ones with protien skimmers)with glucose. The results have been fantastic. My few corals and polyps in the tank have responded extremely well and algae growth has been greatly slowed. I currently dose very lightly daily using algae growth on the front glass as my indicator as to how much I need to dose. I've also increased the amount I feed my fish and have added a lovely Bicolour Angelfish. I'm also dosing a tank with some live rock I'm cycling with the same results, nuisence algae growth is minimal and the hitch hiking polyps (most likley some sortof star polyp)are multiplying happily.

So who else doses?

Andrew
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2009.07.19(Sun)9:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, welcome back it's good to hear from you...
that is great news about your success!

Can you provide some more detail on exactly what you are using for a glucose source (I take it this is a simple mix of sugar and water) and how much you are using... I know you are being careful, are you using ozone to avoid oxygen depletion?

I had been reading about organic carbon addition over at WWM... the article you posted focuses mostly on ethanol dosing which as I understand can be quite dangerous. I can't imagine adding something like alcohol or acetone to an aquarium to reduce nitrates and phosphates but I know people have been doing it for years (at least until it starts burning the corals). It seems in the end they are using bacterial increases to temporarily deal with the symptoms as opposed to the cause
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

PostPosted: 2009.07.24(Fri)10:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I had before and after shots but the tank had big issues with diatom algae so I wasn't too keen to photograph it. This picture shows the algae I
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: 2009.08.02(Sun)14:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did dose only vodka (no sugar no vinegar) to get down NO3 and PO4 and works like charm, but I didn't do it on regular bases only when PO4 and NO3 go up too much. I did this on my zoo shops 1600 lit. show tank.

Many dose vodka these days especially those with SPS reefs.
One has to be very careful not to overdose (oxygen depletion)

That article is the best so far on vodka method and I use it as reference.

Regards, Dusko
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TOO BIG DAN
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Joined: 07 Nov 2011
Location: Penn Valley Ca

PostPosted: 2011.11.07(Mon)11:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad I had help setting up a 600 gal saltwater, coral, anemomies, fish, inverts, Cortez Ray ect. He has since abadoned me and now I have a problem. I had to repair a pump in my sump ( I have two pumps) half the bio balls were out of water several hours. After the pump repair the nitrates started to rise rapidly the next 2-3 days and are now way out of hand. I do not have a skimmer. Can I still use the vodka method to lower the nitrates?
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2011.11.17(Thu)10:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

TOO BIG DAN wrote:
Sad I had help setting up a 600 gal saltwater, coral, anemomies, fish, inverts, Cortez Ray ect. He has since abadoned me and now I have a problem. I had to repair a pump in my sump ( I have two pumps) half the bio balls were out of water several hours. After the pump repair the nitrates started to rise rapidly the next 2-3 days and are now way out of hand. I do not have a skimmer. Can I still use the vodka method to lower the nitrates?

Wow that's a big system, and it sounds like you lost your mentor which always makes things more difficult. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on carbon dosing; I know some hobbyists have had good results with it, but you better have some good test kits and know what you are doing to avoid deadly oxygen depletion. Overdosing with vodka can cause serious stress with your livestock so you need to observe things carefully during what can be a very slow process.

Since you are already having stability issues with your biological filtration due to the faulty pump, do you really want to get into manipulating bacterial increases to temporarily deal with the symptoms as opposed to the cause? For right now, I would suggest keeping things simple for a month or so with more traditional methods of reducing organic compounds; try adding an over-sized, powerful skimmer to remove wastes before they can be converted to nitrates, and doing some water changes while you are researching carbon dosing techniques.

Start your research with the article Andrew posted above, please notice that article states clearly that adding a skimmer is an "absolute must" before attempting carbon dosing. Below is another link that may help. Hope you get it sorted out and I do wish you the best of success.

Vodka Dosing - Why?
http://www.melevsreef.com/vodka_dosing.html
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