View Full Version : Vodka dosing, in low nitrate tanks

05/01/2010, 11:39 AM
Hi all,
Well, I started Vodka dosing and am on my 3rd week. When I started, I did test my nitrates. They were at a very low 5ppm or lower. I don't have a phosphate test kit and need to get one. I use Salifert Test kits.

At the time of starting, I was having to scrape algae from the glass on a daily basis. My main reason for dosing Vodka, wasn't so much for nitrate reduction, as a means of being able to feed the tank more, scrape algae less, and boost my bacterial population.

Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized maybe this hasn't been such a good idea. With already low Nitrates, how do I know when I've reached my "maintenance dosage?"

I have noticed an increase in skimmer efficiency and output, over the past 2 weeks. So, this increase started a week into dosing. Skimmer sludge seems to possibly be slightly thinner, but just as "dark" and smelly. I still need to take a toothbrush to the collection cup, to clean it...lol. I used to empty and clean the skimmer cup ever 3-4 days at about 1/3 full. Now I'm emptying it every 2 days at about 1/2 full.

I guess my concern or question is;

Should I have even started dosing Vodka, with a very low nitrate level? At times, I get a nitrate result of 5 ppm, but usually, I have undetectable levels.

05/01/2010, 12:51 PM
5ppm is nothing.

05/01/2010, 01:06 PM
5ppm is nothing.

I realize that, hence the question.

The procedure for figuring out your dosing levels, and a final "maintenance level," is determined by noticing a DROP in nitrates, with a subsequent drop to near zero levels, from a previous high level. So, my problem is, how do I determine my "maintenance level," since I started with near zero nitrates?

Oh, I also forgot to mention, while I used to have to scrape a film of algae from the glass almost daily, that need has reduced to about every 2 or 3 days now.

05/01/2010, 02:24 PM
Just gauge vodka input based on the appearance of algae on your glass. I would get a green film over two days prior to dosing and afterwards would get a light white dusting after a few days. Watch your corals for adverse signs that you need to use less.