Vodka

herkie

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A while ago we had some vodka treatment discussions and I wonder if we can now get a report on the results and maybe someone can explain the process in detail so more reefers who are interested can try it or make up their minds to stay away.
 
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iv been using for 3 months with awsome results!! reduction in 3 different algaes
 

herkie

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Hi Calvin please give us more info.(how and how much and what else should you do to get the desired results?
 
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all im doing is dosing 19ml per day in my 2500l system
 
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Vodka, vinegar, they are added to your system as a carbon source, main aim is to reduce nutrient build up in the tank, dosage varies i am dosing but very lightly 0.7ml on a 700l system, some folks are 1ml per 100l.
It is working for me but i am very controlled with this respective part of my tank, as it could lead to mono bacteria cultures and no nutrients in the system, witch could kill everything, and you dont want a mono culture.

Mono culture is prety easy to sort out , loads of cultivated bacteria available in stores and online.

The link below helped me alot just click on the cover and use the search option for Vodka, Eric Borneman has alot to say about this.
His article is called the old becomes new.

http://www.reefkeeping.com/

This is not something to take lightly, dosing vodka needs to be precise and constant.
Work out your needs and research it further, when you think you are happy then try it, or dont.

Guys like reef maniac and irie ivan would be able to explain better. my best advice to you is to make sure you know what you getting in to first.

Sorry if i sound like a preacher its just you could wipe out a entire system by been negligent and not knowing enough.

Oh and by the way herkie some guy's even dose brown sugar.

Good luck
 

herkie

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Thanks Tridan, I wanted to dose vodka and was scared out of it. I got a lot of my previous problems sorted and now wonder if this subject wont get rid of the algae probs I still have. I have a bit of hair algae and a bit of other algae that sits on some of the rocks. Thanks to you and Mekaeel for the help
 
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Rather try other products to lower your nutrients, I have been using Probidio Bio Clean for a month or two as I am not always able to does every single day. The Bio clean is dosed every second week...
 
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Even with vodka you will still have algae in your tank but it will go a long way to help, you will however still need to remove most of it manually as once something dies in your tank be it algae it will just release its nutrients back into the system, so the cycle will continue.

Dont get me wrong it will help but its not the cure, most reefers from my understanding attribute good sps color to low nutrient systems wich is true , but end up doing the vodka thing as a quik fix and blow there tanks up, from lack of research and crappy info. remember the key is research, I currently go through about 4 gigs a month just downloading and saving article's on everthing i can, and dude i tell you i know jack .

Good luck.
 

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Herkie i must agree with Tridan, this is something to be researched very carefully and started very slowly with small amounts been added every day. It is a carbon source for the bacteria and actually feeds them but build it up slowly other wise it could spell disaster. I use vinegar and Zeo start for a carbon source, and dose these every day as once you build up the bacteria they have to be maintained and fed regularly.
 

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Zeo start is the carbon and zeo bac is the bacteria.
 
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Guys like reef maniac and irie ivan would be able to explain better. my best advice to you is to make sure you know what you getting in to first.
I've never used vodka (well, not in my tank, anyway :whistling: ), so unfortunately I cannot help through personal experience.

I can confirm that Tridan's advice is sound, and concurs with what I've read on the subject.

Hennie
 
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yummy sweets, chocolates, donuts OR......health breads...

Guys like reef maniac and irie ivan would be able to explain better. my best advice to you is to make sure you know what you getting in to first.
Thanks tridan, and well said in post number 9.

Anyway, the vodka method as I understand it:

The method is based on the redfield ratio, which refers the need for all living organisms for Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous. In the case of our aquariums, this ratio refers to the need for those three nutrients for the growth of bacteria. As bacteria grow and multiply, they consume the above nutrients in a specific ratio.
In other words the nutrients are tied up in living biomass, in other words not available to fuel algae growth.
By using agressive skimming, or lots of coral's mouths, some bacteria with potential algae food in their bodies are removed from the water column.............permanently.

The reason for adding vodka, is because it is believed that our tanks are deficient in carbon relative to nitrogen and phosphorous. (phosphate and nitrate i.e. algae food)

This is the part where areas get a bit grey for me, hence my hesitancy to condone this method. I am not sure if our tanks are actually deficient in carbon........:
The article Tridan was referring to:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-11/eb/feature/index.php

My hunch is that even without adding sugars that the high density of fish and corals and inverts constantly releasing mucus in a closed water volume already has our carbon (as sugars) way far from normal
Adding or manipulating carbon is unquestionably something that can kill corals based on these papers that directly address the addition of carbon sources and concurrent changes in surfact biota to opportunistic pathogens or the shift to gram negatives.
Now, let me throw something else very significant into the mix. Corals photosynthesize like algae. In high light, many species can produce over 100% of their metabolic carbon needs. Now, the interesting part is that the majority of respired carbon is lost as mucus. So, coral mucus is a high carbon source, and we pack a lot of mucus producing species into small volumes of water. So, I would guess that reef aquariums are already highly aberrant in having elevated carbon. That should be looked at, and I plan to do this at some point.
Eric borneman http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic60528-9-1.aspx?Highlight=vodka

Also:
A study by researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and San Diego State University shows that elevated organic carbon levels (present in simple sugars) lead to a chain of events that adversely affects coral health. Findings were published in studies in the May 22, 2005 and June 9, 2006 issues of the journal Marine Ecology Progress Coral Series...........reef death has been attributed to a number of factors including declining water quality, pollution, global warming, over-fishing and reef-specific disease. Now sugars can be added to the list – possibly even as a major player in some parts of the world, said David Kline, PhD, a post-doctoral researcher at STRI.
from:
http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic60528-9-2.aspx?Highlight=vodka

Considering the above, as well as tens of thousands of Rands in corals in my tank, I am sure you understand my hesitancy to employ or advocate the method..........

BUT I have to ask, why does this method work?

According to Deelbek and Sprung, in The reef Aquarium, volume 3, Science, Art and Technology, the organics in our tanks are not freely available as a food source, and even though there are large reservoirs of nitrogen and phodphorous available (and from what I can understand from the above, a large pool of complexly bound carbon),
in systems with high levels of nitrate and phosphate, the supply of carbon to reach the redfield ratio of 100(C) : 1(P) may be a limiting factor in bacterial growth, and there for uptake of eg. PO4
In other words, algae food left in the water column.

It makes sense that simple refined sugars are more available in an aquaeous form than complexly bound carbon in for example the polysaccharide–protein like compound we know as coral mucus. Come to think about it, hmmmmm......... chocolate as opposed to eating fruit........ quick sugar fix from energy bar as opposed to slow release from low GI bread.............

Anyway, with a more ready available source of carbon, in the form of ethanol, bacteria will outcompete algae for available nutrients. This bacteria can be skimmed out or even better is avalable to corals as a very healthy, natural food source.... And less need for browning zooxanthellae and more of the corals color available for us to wow at.......

This always makes me think of Aged Salt's signature on zeovit.com: "There might be something to this ZEOvit"



BUT! when we encourage bacterial growth to increase at exponential rates, we are opening a nother can of worms all together:

Which strain of bacteria are growing, and how does this affect other strains of bacteria in the system. I read about the dangers of creating monocultures, and therefor adding a regular mix of bacteria to prevent this..........
Really too many variables that come into play, and with each system being different I would rather look towards one of the well established nutrient reduction systems when delving into things like dosing carbon sources and bacteria. (eg Fauna marin, Zeovit prodibio etc)


In closing, I believe there is merit to this system of adding a carbon source to help reduce alage, but there is a lot going on than I can even wish to comprehend. With thousands of Rands worth of corals in my tanks, great colours and healthy fish, some of the above facts simply just scare me!

SO, untill I can afford to run something like the zeo system, I will prefer running my system the way my mother/ nutrtion lecturer/ Men's Health taught me: Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and grains, (the way nature intended) and go sparingly on the sugars, fats and alcohol...........

Now if only I could apply that bit of wisdom to my eating habits !!
 
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Awesome Info Ivan :thumbup:

Ivan where do you see the ZEO system having an advantage over just normal carbon source feeding ?
The introduction of bacteria through ZEObac or the mulm in terms of food ?
 

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Just something else to add which I found while dosing vodka (I stopped temporarily due to this). It seems that Vodka also feeds cyanobacteria..... Causing it to grow as well.... My cyano is now receding as well...
 
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Ivan where do you see the ZEO system having an advantage over just normal carbon source feeding ?
The introduction of bacteria through ZEObac or the mulm in terms of food ?
:lol: I was hinting towards something like that..........

Firstly, the use of the zeolites as ion exchangers, rapidly stripping ammonia (the route of all evil) from the water column. In stripping the ammonia from the water and "attaching" it to the stones, you have a prime area for bacterial growth. (lots of nitrogen available)
Secondly, the addition of bacteria, combined with adding of a controlled carbon source, as discussed above....
Thirdly, the shaking/pumping of the media, flushing out attached bacteria, their stomachs filled with C,N,P into the water column, where they are available as a food source to corals, or to be removed by skimming. This also gets rid of dead bacteria, exposing the zeolite surfaces for attachment of new bacteria.
Lastly, the tried and tested formula of for example zeovit, combined with the increadible backup support of a forum dedicated to this methodology.
 

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