2 Part question, Vodka/Vinegar Dosing & Algae

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by HiFidelity, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hi Gang,

    So The first question I had is for those who dose vodka or vinegar, what is your experience like? I've been dosing vodka for several months now in my 40ish gal aquarium, I've reached a balance at 5ml/day and it seems that this is keeping my Nitrates at .15 & Phosphates are undetectable, this has caused all my softies to stop growing so I may end up cutting the dose down to strike a balance between the desires of my sps & softies...

    I guess my question is if the results differ between vodka & vinegar? or are they essentially going to be the same.

    My other question is algae, I have a few clusters of hair algae that don't quite grow at an insane rate (some areas of high flow I do have to trim & pluck) but for the most part it stays tamed, in one corner of the tank I've let an algae ball grow and it seems to be harboring a good amount of copepods & amphipods. Now how is this algae managing to grow (granted at a slow rate) when I have 0 phosphates & .15 nitrates? I've confirmed these measurements with 2 different test kits from different brands.
  2. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    From experience my softies (and I had a lot!) stopped growing, stoped polyp extension, and started to decline when I introduced GFO to control PO4.... I had to cut back on the GFO and allow a small amount of PO4 to accumulate in the tank. Once that was done the softies responded by renewed growth and polyp extension.
  3. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    The thing is I've never had PO4 in my tank, even before the vodka dosing. I started vodka dosing mainly to control nitrates and now I don't know how low to keep them in order to keep all the corals happy....
  4. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Maybe the PO4 you had was at an undetectable level for your test kit... don't know. But the reaction of my softies to the drop in PO4 in my tank was immediate and severe. After searching for some time I was able to find references on the net to others with the same experience.

    As to the differences between vodka and vinegar..... from the research I've done it appears they act the same way results wise. However, there are schools of thought that using a single carbon source will promote only one bacterial culture or mono-culture with in your ecosystem. Hence many use a combination of vodka, vinegar, and sugar to promote a diverse bacteria base....I have not seen any scientific data/studies to support this belief. For the record I use only vodka.

    If you haven't read the following article I recommend it.


  5. you cant drop your phosphates too quickly because softies are extremely sensitive to that. Also some softies even like to have a little 'dirtier' water, in fact some softies like xenia grow utilizing phosphates. too low levels will keep them from ggrowing as rapidly as they do. For example, i have a 120g sps dominated tank so my phosphate levels need to be extremely low say >.05. I put pulsing xenia in the back corner of my tank in order to grow and frag and for 3 months now i have barely seen any growth(if any).
  6. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I've found xenia don't like too much flow
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  7. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    do all softies like being at the bottom of the tank? I have a few sitting very high in the tank and they don't seem to mind the strong light but I'm wondering if they would do better with less light on the sand bed!
  8. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I think there are plenty that do well with high light levels. Toadstools, most leathers.
  9. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Yup.. I had to cut back on the GFO to allow some PO4 in the water for the softies... wasn't too hard as I had anthias that were fed constantly.......

    Nope.. can be at the top of the tank....my 70gal softie tank had 6 T5s on it with a selection of sinularia, nepthia, and other assorted softies at the very top.....some, like the Fiji yellow toadstool, really need that high light source... most will take much lower light as well.... In the early days (early 1990's lol) I had a mix of softies growing under NO florescents....

    The best success was achieved when I started using RN OF to feed the tank... all the softies exhibited feeding response. The growth rates really increased and the colors got much more vibrant.


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