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BigJim
05/29/2014, 07:46 AM
I dosed vodka for a few years to reduce phosphates and it worked great. I stopped about 8-10 months ago b/c I started losing corals and clams, my thinking was that the low nutrients were the culprit. I had all of my clams die, lost a few green slimers, a large purple montipora and half of a chalice. The chalice came back when I stopped the vodka and the tips of two of the green slimers have started to regrow.

Recently I've noticed and increase in hair algae and my orange montipora have turned light pink. I figured I should start dosing vodka again. I started with 5ml to a 150g tank. So after 10 days, the chalice is starting to loose tissue and the green slimers have turned light in color, no change to the orange montipora. I also had an anthia die (may or may not be related). The hair algae looks the same.

It seems like dosing vodka causes more harm than good at this point in my tank. How do I balance everything? Phosphates measure zero but are clearly present due to algae. How do you keep phosphates low but not at zero? Should I stop with the vodka and maybe switch to vinegar? I have a small clean up crew, I could probably add more snails and hermits but which are better? I'm lost.

mos90
05/29/2014, 08:31 AM
starting out with 5ml might be the problem. 1ml would be a much safer starting point. then monitor n and p for changes. if either start to decrease maintain the current dose. if you notice an increase, increase dosage .5ml per week until you notice a decrease. then maintain. your tank may not need more the the start up dose.

i tried vodka,vinegar, zeovit, ect. my corals look and grow the best now that i stopped carbon dosing and returned to the basics. gfo/carbon heavy skimming. i wont every do vodka.vinegar again except for a fowlr tank. imo it does more harm then good.

remove the hair algae manually. you could up your cleanup crew some. i prefer turbos to crabs. algae fix works wonders.

madadi
05/29/2014, 02:03 PM
personally I wouldn't dose vodka without a hanna phosphate checker. it can work too well. Vinegar is safer if you plan to not test for phosphates. 5ml is way too much. I started with around .5ml in 150g system.

Randy Holmes-Farley
05/29/2014, 05:09 PM
Backing off seems like an appropriate plan. :)

BigJim
05/31/2014, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the info. I re-read the article on vodka dosing and you are all correct about 5ml being too much. I should have started with 1ml. I don't know why I had 5ml in my head as a starting point:hmm4: I'll give it a few weeks then start again with 1ml.

tmz
05/31/2014, 11:53 AM
I'd back off and restart slower,though 5ml is a relatively low dose for 150gallons after amping up.
I'd also take a look at P4 and NO3 levels. Dropping them quickly can cause the issues you noted.
Depending on the type of algae you have and the condition of the substrate and rock the response to nutrient limitations will vary.

CHSUB
05/31/2014, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the info. I re-read the article on vodka dosing and you are all correct about 5ml being too much. I should have started with 1ml. I don't know why I had 5ml in my head as a starting point:hmm4: I'll give it a few weeks then start again with 1ml.


why start dosing again if the results were so bad???? i had/having many of the same problems with carbon dosing, however, i never got no3 below 1 ppm. i'm not sure carbon dosing is causing my problems but i'm running out of alternatives. imo, it's not low nutrients that causes the problems it's the carbon source itself. i once thought clams were indestructible, now since carbon dosing they seem impossible.

reefwars
05/31/2014, 05:34 PM
imo, it's not low nutrients that causes the problems it's the carbon source itself.

no i dont think so alot of people using it for many many years and they do just fine , more than likely something else its hard sometimes to look past what we think is the cause.

Randy Holmes-Farley
05/31/2014, 06:01 PM
FWIW, I've had a clam for years during organic carbon dosing (vodka at first, then vinegar later). :)

CHSUB
05/31/2014, 06:25 PM
no i dont think so alot of people using it for many many years and they do just fine , more than likely something else its hard sometimes to look past what we think is the cause.

FWIW, I've had a clam for years during organic carbon dosing (vodka at first, then vinegar later). :)

hoping your right!!!! just got a new clam last week and keeping my fingers crossed. still dosing vinegar w/ no3 at 5ppm and po4 at <.03.

tmz
06/01/2014, 08:38 AM
imo, it's not low nutrients that causes the problems it's the carbon source itself

How do you think vodka or vinegar per se at moderate levels kill clams?I can't come up with a way for that to happen except associated drops in nutrients and perhaps some increased lighting intensity from clearer water.I know of many reports of calms knocked out by rapid drops in nutrients, particulary inorganic phosphate ,from heavy gfo or lanthanum chloride dosing but none I can recall attributed to organic carbon dosing per se. If it were to occur I'd bet on a nutrient plunge and or an increase in lighting intensity.
Exceess glucose or fructose might be an issue when using carbohydrates for an organic carbon source for corals and other photosynthetic organismslike atutrophic calms but neither ethanol(vodka) nor acetic acid(vinegar) contain or produce any.

Photosyntetic organisms like Tridacna clams don't use the acetate much if at all since they get most of the carbon they need via photosynthesis.

FWIW,I've klept my maxima for over 7 years in an aqaurium has been dosd with vodka and vinegar for over 5 years. The calm has grown to about 6 inches from 2 inches. Freinds of mine also keep a variety of Tridacna (DEras, maxima, and crocea) without any trouble while carbon dosing.

BigJim
06/02/2014, 09:12 AM
I had 5 clams die within a few months while vodka dosing. I didn't have any algae in the tank at that time. I think the low nutrients are what killed the clams. They were fine one day, dead the next. A few of those clams I had for several years. Other corals also started looking bad so I stopped the dosing. I switched to chaeto in my sump which grows well. I started dosing again b/c the chaeto alone couldn't keep up and I started getting algae in the DT. I don't have a hannah checker but my phosphates always read zero on the seachem kit.

How should I battle the algae if vodka isn't an option for my tank?

tmz
06/02/2014, 07:03 PM
Zero can be a problem, if it's a true zero.Are you using gfo or another phosphate remover as well as the organics? Waht is the nitrate level?

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/03/2014, 05:14 AM
Excessively low nutrients can be a problem no matter how you get there. Using less is always a solution, whether we are talking organic carbon, GFO, lanthanum, etc. :)

SantaMonica
06/04/2014, 03:01 PM
Certainly the rapid drop in nutrients must have been part of the shock to the clam. Similar to corals, a clam adjusts it's metabolism and structure to handle the average nutrients in the environment. If the nutrients go away to quickly, it will not have enough to time to re-structure itself.