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rsucre
08/12/2017, 05:06 PM
Hello....

I have been dosing Vinegar + Vodka to my tanks for quite some time (about a year). Nitrate and Phosphate levels are very low (NO3 0.6ppm, PO4 0.02ppm).

My DIY recipe is 37.5ml Vodka + 50ml Vinegar + 12.5ml RO water for a total of 100ml bottle. This is a 20 gallon nano tank with a 10 gallon sump. I estimate that the water volume could be around 22 gallons.

So my recipe is basically 50% vinegar, 37.5% vodka, 12.5% RO.

I'm currently dosing 2ml/day. That's 1ml vinegar and 0.75ml vodka (and 0.25ml RO water).

But I'm getting some cyanobacteria on the sand. I read in different posts that switching to Vinegar only could help reduce the cyano. Some posts from Randy.

Also, I would like to switch from manual to auto dosing in the future, so it would be easier if I could just dose Vinegar.

How do you recommend the switch? Should I just start dosing vinegar (take away the vodka) from a given day on? How do I calculate the vinegar-only equivalent? is it just a matter of replacing the 0.75ml of vodka with 8 times that of vinegar?

If so, according to my calculations, I should be dosing around 7ml Vinegar only instead of the 2ml Vodka+Vinegar+RO mix that I'm currently dosing. Makes sense?

bertoni
08/12/2017, 09:35 PM
You can convert that 37.5% vodka to vinegar slowly or all at once. I'd probably go halfway for a few days to see how that goes, and then finish the change. Yes, just multiple the volume by 8, assuming you're using 80 proof vodka.

rsucre
08/12/2017, 09:46 PM
Thank you.

Do you know why is it that vodka is more prone to causing cyano than vinegar?

bertoni
08/14/2017, 04:16 PM
I am not sure that it is. Different tanks seems to react differently. I think it's worth trying the switch, but I'm not sure what will happen.

rsucre
08/14/2017, 04:35 PM
Another benefit for me is that with vinegar only I can auto dose. With vodka in the formula I run into the issue of alcohol evaporation and maybe other issues.

Thanks for the feedback!

bertoni
08/14/2017, 04:46 PM
You're welcome. Good luck!

hkgar
08/17/2017, 04:23 PM
Why do you add RO water to your dose? I dose 50/50 vodka/vinegar at 32 ml /day (165 gallon system)

tmz
08/18/2017, 01:13 PM
Thank you.

Do you know why is it that vodka is more prone to causing cyano than vinegar?

I don't think it is based on 8 years of dosing it.

rsucre
08/18/2017, 06:07 PM
I don't think it is based on 8 years of dosing it.

Do you think there is any difference between vodka and vinegar other than concentration (that vodka is 8 times stronger)?

tmz
08/18/2017, 07:40 PM
Yes, vinegar is acetic acid and water ;vodka is water and ethanol which oxidizes to acetic acid. So vodka takes one more step on the way to acetate and doesn't dump a bunch of CO2 initially like vinegar does.

rsucre
08/19/2017, 07:17 AM
Yes, vinegar is acetic acid and water ;vodka is water and ethanol which oxidizes to acetic acid. So vodka takes one more step on the way to acetate and doesn't dump a bunch of CO2 initially like vinegar does.

Thank you!

tmz
08/19/2017, 10:33 AM
You are welcome.

rsucre
08/23/2017, 07:20 PM
I don't think it is based on 8 years of dosing it.

Hi Tom,

Have you seen this article from Randy Holmes-Farley?

Reduce Cyanobacterial Growth

Scientific research has found that cyanobacterial growth does not increase when dosing vinegar (acetate), where it was found that ethanol dosing will increase cyanobacterial growth. Cyanobacteria produce PHA to store energy when needed. PHA is an ingredient in some biopellets. So cyanobacteria can utilize some if not all of the biopellets. Hobbyists who have dosed vinegar have reported less cyanobacterial problems compared to dosing biopellets & ethanol. This was my experience as well.

http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/116-vinegar-dosing-methodology-for-the-marine-aquarium

bertoni
08/23/2017, 07:41 PM
That's interesting. I had forgotten (or never read) that part of the article. So vinegar might not encourage cyanobacterial growth the way that vodka can. I wish I knew what the references said in detail. There are other pests, like dinoflagellates, that might react differently. Still, very interesting.

rsucre
08/23/2017, 07:46 PM
That's interesting. I had forgotten (or never read) that part of the article. So vinegar might not encourage cyanobacterial growth the way that vodka can. I wish I knew what the references said in detail. There are other pests, like dinoflagellates, that might react differently. Still, very interesting.

Jonathan, I already switched from DIY Nopox (Vodka+Vinegar) to Vinegar only. I'm currently dosing 7ml vinegar daily to my 20 gallon tank (my estimated effective total water volume). This is a nano tank with a lot of rock, sand bottom and a sump. PO4 is almost zero (0.02 ppm with Phosphate ULR ppb Hanna Checker) and Nitrate is 1 ppm.

I'm having cyano and hair algae. Not out of control, but I would like to reduce it a some more.

What is your recommendation? Should I increase the vinegar dose? Do you have a recommended chart, procedure, etc.?

bertoni
08/23/2017, 09:36 PM
I'd increase the dose slowly. The article in the link above has a dosing schedule that you could try. We don't have a lot of data points on various dosing schedules. Increase 10-20% per week should be safe enough if you watch the tank carefully for signs of trouble.

tmz
08/24/2017, 11:29 AM
Yes, I read the article many times. It's 8 years old btw,coincident when many started carbon dosing and anecdotal evidence was sparse.

While Randy contributed to useful sections like the table ,most of it was authored by the co author and ;his conclusions are dubious and not supported by scientific research as claimed ;ergo no citations .
Ethanol and acetic acid both produce acetate. In fact ethanol turns into acetic acid as it is oxidized. The process for PO4 reduction can be fast and early in many cases . Ammonox bacteria have nothing to do with carbon dosing. These are a few of the problems in the article. If you wan't to go back and search 2009 and the subsequent year or two , you will find lot's of discussion. Randy did endorse vodka dosing along the way.

I've tried both vodka and vinegar. Both seemed to contribute to cyano early on ; I think this is a start up issue since the heterortophic bacteria encouraged by either vodka or vinegar may have a stronger initial competitive effect limiting cyanos comeptitors for needed elements than it does cyano early on; but once the bacterial populations are established and the mix of organics settles in the cyano wanes. Simply put I don't have any cyano and have only obveserved small spots a few times over the years.

hkgar
08/24/2017, 02:44 PM
I dose a 50/50 mix at the rate of 32 ml/day (equivalent of 147 ml/day of vinegar or 18 ml/day vodka) and about every 8 weeks I run Chemi Clean as Cyano is always growing some where.
Last test NO3 5, PO4 .02

I feed a lot! Oh, and I also have a ATS

tmz
08/25/2017, 10:33 AM
I dose a mix of vodka and vinegar equivaent to .45 ml per gallon of vinegar( 36 ml 80 proof vodka plus 60 ml of 5% acetic acid vinegar) .

rsucre currently doses .35 ml vinegar per gallon .

Gary doses .87 ml vinegar equivalents per gallon .

For more anecdotes on dosing levels and carbon dosing in general , this thread may be of interest:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2134105&highlight=organic+carbon+dosing

For a 20 gallon tank using only vinegar ,slow dosing is required to avoid a precipitous pH drop; say 1 to 2ml per hour max.

hkgar
08/25/2017, 12:32 PM
I dose a mix of vodka and vinegar equivaent to .45 ml per gallon of vinegar( 36 ml 80 proof vodka plus 60 ml of 5% acetic acid vinegar) .

rsucre currently doses .35 ml vinegar per gallon .

Gary doses 1.42 ml vinegar equivalents per gallon .

For more anecdotes on dosing levels and carbon dosing in general , this thread may be of interest:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2134105&highlight=organic+carbon+dosing

For a 20 gallon tank using only vinegar ,slow dosing is required to avoid a precipitous pH drop; say 1 to 2ml per hour max.

Maybe my math is bad but here is how I compute the equivalents:

a 50/50 mix at 32 ml/day is 16 ml vodka and 16 ml vinegar. Vinegar is equal to 2 ml vodka (16/8). therefore the vodka equivalent would be 18 (2+16) and the vinegar equivalent would be 144 ml (18*8). My system is 165 gallons so my vinegar equivalent would be .87 per gallon (144/165)

rsucre
08/25/2017, 01:24 PM
Thanks all for your feedback. I will go from 7ml to 10ml and see if NO3 goes down from 0.75 it currently is. PO4 is at 0.02, so I think that I have to pay attention not to get passed some threshold. I installed a doser and dosing in 2ml increments. Due to some limitations in my doser (a cheap Jebao DP-4) I had to tweak-calibrate the pump head in a way I can only dose 2ml accurately at a time. So, it will go from 10ml to 12ml or down to 8ml, etc...

Besides the NO3 at 0.75, my other issue is some cyano on the sandbed and a little GHA on the rock, which seems to be receding in the last week.

tmz
08/27/2017, 10:30 AM
Maybe my math is bad but here is how I compute the equivalents:

a 50/50 mix at 32 ml/day is 16 ml vodka and 16 ml vinegar. Vinegar is equal to 2 ml vodka (16/8). therefore the vodka equivalent would be 18 (2+16) and the vinegar equivalent would be 144 ml (18*8). My system is 165 gallons so my vinegar equivalent would be .87 per gallon (144/165)

Thanks for picking that up. I used the 210 system volume and then mistakenly divided it by the total dose when I should have divided the dose by the system volume. I'll edit my post accordingly

tmz
08/27/2017, 10:43 AM
Thanks all for your feedback. I will go from 7ml to 10ml and see if NO3 goes down from 0.75 it currently is. PO4 is at 0.02, so I think that I have to pay attention not to get passed some threshold. I installed a doser and dosing in 2ml increments. Due to some limitations in my doser (a cheap Jebao DP-4) I had to tweak-calibrate the pump head in a way I can only dose 2ml accurately at a time. So, it will go from 10ml to 12ml or down to 8ml, etc...

Besides the NO3 at 0.75, my other issue is some cyano on the sandbed and a little GHA on the rock, which seems to be receding in the last week.

You are welcome.
I wouldn't worry about 0.75 ppm NO3;0.02ppm PO4 sounds fine too.

rsucre
08/27/2017, 11:03 AM
You are welcome.
I wouldn't worry about 0.75 ppm NO3;0.02ppm PO4 sounds fine too.

Measured NO3 (Red Sea Kit) and PO4 (Hanna Colorimeter) last night and they were NO3 0.75 - 1.0 ppm, PO4 0 ppm.

Today, cyano still forming on the sand. Wonder if I should keep the dose at 10ml per day or keep increasing it...

tmz
08/27/2017, 11:26 AM
Personally , I'd leave it there for a while or even reduce it a little,given the 0 PO4 and siphon out any detritus that may have accumulated in the sand.

rsucre
08/27/2017, 11:47 AM
Personally , I'd leave it there for a while or even reduce it a little,given the 0 PO4 and siphon out any detritus that may have accumulated in the sand.
Thank you buddy! I have been restraining from feeding. Maybe I can leave the vinegar dose there, not reduce it, and start feeding a little (just a little) more given the zero phosphates? Now the thing is the NO3 that I would like to see a little lower.

hkgar
08/27/2017, 04:26 PM
Thanks for picking that up. I used the 210 system volume and then mistakenly divided it by the total dose when I should have divided the dose by the system volume. I'll edit my post accordingly

Not a problem at all. We all do make a mistake from time to time. I get 165 by deducting for rocks and sand and the sump is 4 inches from the top for flow back from the DT. Found a calculator around here once.
:fun4:

rsucre
09/04/2017, 05:53 PM
Hi. Following up. I have been dosing 10ml per day of Vinegar for a week now (up from 7ml per day). Still have Cyano on the sandbed. PO4 is now at 0.03 ppm and NO4 is up at 3 ppm.

What do you recommend? Should I increase the dose?

Just as a reminder, the tank is 20 gal. with 10 gal. sump aprox. 22 gal. water volume total.

bertoni
09/04/2017, 07:03 PM
Increase the dose a bit should be fine. How are the corals (if any) doing?

rsucre
09/04/2017, 07:45 PM
Increase the dose a bit should be fine. How are the corals (if any) doing?

Hi Jonathan,

Overall, the coral are doing well. They are coloring up a bit in the last couple of weeks. For instance, my red montipora capricornis was pale and now it is bright red. But still, I think that most of my coral have too much brown (zooxanthellae?) color in them. A mystic sunset frag that was not doing well is also coloring up and growing.

Also, I think that the green hair algae is becoming weaker.

bertoni
09/04/2017, 09:35 PM
I think that increasing the dose should be fine, but I'd keep watching the corals for signs of problems.

Horace
09/06/2017, 12:42 PM
i used to use vodka too, and yes i did also get a bit of cyano. What I have read recently is that studies have shown that Vodka and its associated carbon source encourages cyano. But more importantly is it INHIBITS the bacteria that converts Nitrate to Nitrogen gas. For that reason alone I would say it should be avoided. Since Vinegar does NOT promote cyano, and it also ENCOURAGES growth of the types of beneficial bacteria we want to convert NO3...there is really no reason to use any vodka. The only downside to Vinegar is if you have issues with low pH. Otherwise, its the preferred choice from everything I have read lately.

rsucre
09/06/2017, 01:01 PM
i used to use vodka too, and yes i did also get a bit of cyano. What I have read recently is that studies have shown that Vodka and its associated carbon source encourages cyano. But more importantly is it INHIBITS the bacteria that converts Nitrate to Nitrogen gas. For that reason alone I would say it should be avoided. Since Vinegar does NOT promote cyano, and it also ENCOURAGES growth of the types of beneficial bacteria we want to convert NO3...there is really no reason to use any vodka. The only downside to Vinegar is if you have issues with low pH. Otherwise, its the preferred choice from everything I have read lately.

Thanks for the feedback Kurt. Can you share how do you decide how much vinegar to dose? What do you monitor and whats the logic behind increasing or decreasing your dose.

hkgar
09/06/2017, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the feedback Kurt. Can you share how do you decide how much vinegar to dose? What do you monitor and whats the logic behind increasing or decreasing your dose.

Use this guide (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-08/nftt/). Just multiply by 8 - the amount of vinegar to equal 1 unit of vodka.

I start you must be patient and follow the program. It took almost 12 week before NO3 started to come down for me.

rsucre
09/06/2017, 08:32 PM
Thanks Gary. I know the guide from Genetics. I wanted to know if you had an alternative methodology. I have been carbon dosing since early stages of this tank (about 1 year). Started with NOPOX, then DIY NOPOX (vinegar - vodka blend) and now switched to vinegar only. Dosing via dosing pump.

bertoni
09/06/2017, 09:24 PM
The guide is very conservative. You could try ramping up the carbon more rapidly. I'd be careful to watch for bacterial slime buildups, though.

tmz
09/06/2017, 10:18 PM
i used to use vodka too, and yes i did also get a bit of cyano. What I have read recently is that studies have shown that Vodka and its associated carbon source encourages cyano. But more importantly is it INHIBITS the bacteria that converts Nitrate to Nitrogen gas. For that reason alone I would say it should be avoided. Since Vinegar does NOT promote cyano, and it also ENCOURAGES growth of the types of beneficial bacteria we want to convert NO3...there is really no reason to use any vodka. The only downside to Vinegar is if you have issues with low pH. Otherwise, its the preferred choice from everything I have read lately.

What have you read?

The carbon source from vodka and vinegar is the same ;it's acetate.
Neither has any direct relationship to the bacteria that take oxygen from nitrate leading to nitrogen gas formation . The bacteria that use the acetate for a carbon source limit the supply of nitrate since they take ammonia preferentially for nitrogen in a once step process without ammonia oxidation and nitrate production; they may also use some nitrate for the nitrogen not the oxygen.

Both vodka and vinegar reduce pH at about the same rate long term but viengar/acetic acid causes initial precipitous drops in pH when it is dosed. Vodka/ ethanol does not since it needs some time to oxidize to vinegar/acetic acid.

Need to go add my nightly vodka dose .

hkgar
09/07/2017, 08:16 AM
I dose me with vodka and the tank with vinegar - the fish just can't handle their alcohol.

Actually I dose a 50/50, but had to say that.

tmz
09/07/2017, 11:10 AM
When you self dose vodka the tank and parameters just look better.

rsucre
09/07/2017, 11:12 AM
Yep... the effects of self dosing with vodka... :)

hkgar
09/07/2017, 12:59 PM
Yup everything can look better but if you over dose than things look pretty bad in the morning. Always dose responsibly.