Vodka Dosing In Reef Tank: Why, How Much & Other Answers

Having a reef tank can be a very creative and interesting hobby, but requires time and knowledge to get a more healthy ecosystem.

Sometimes, you may be surprised with solutions on how to keep it healthy and balanced.

In this article, we bring you some of the most creative solutions and answers on why to practice vodka dosing reef tank trick.

vodka dosing

How To Maintain Reef Tank

Reef tanks or saltwater aquariums are getting more popular thanks to easier and more available tools for maintaining. It is a beautiful spectre of colours and vivid movements thanks to both different plants and exotic fish. Since many species are discovered every day, it is interesting to keep it trendy and as a statement piece in the apartment.

There are some very important steps that you should follow regularly to ensure perfect conditions for fish to grow and evolve. The first is to check salinity regularly. There are many indicators that you need to use at least once a week. Second, change water weekly and be sure that the water is at the right temperature. Naturally, living creatures inside the tank produce bacteria which can cause low oxygen, so it is important to keep clean and fresh water with regular filtration. In the beginning, you may use a water changing schedule, especially if you notice signs of low oxygen in the aquarium. In the worst scenario, scrubbing algae from the glass will be necessary to keep it in a clean and healthy environment. Third, it needs fresh doses of saltwater which you can produce or collect in nature. It is possible to use seawater, but it must be tested and filtered to prevent any disease from spreading. Otherwise, you need to mix regular water with salt and other mineral preparation. Salt reef fish are very sensitive and water quality must be perfect to provide healthy conditions for all living creatures.

Another, and probably the most important work, is to take care of fish. This means daily feeding and taking care of the number of possible injuries. You need to combine species carefully and be sure they won’t attack each other to have diversity and enough of them. Be careful with adding plants, especially ones that spread quickly, since it takes precious oxygen from the water. Every change in fish behaviour should be checked and monitored until you understand or have time to react.

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Why Use Vodka Dosing In Reef Tank

Sometimes, it is difficult to maintain a reef tank and many have problems with elevated nitrates and phosphates in the tank. This is characteristic for saltwater tanks: since there are more minerals in the water, they start to settle on the bottom, so numbers might become higher. People who keep saltwater fish as a hobby or because of attractive looks, expensive and time-taking solutions are usually problems. To avoid sediments that can cause a lack of oxygen, reef tank lovers sometimes use vodka. Vodka should be used very carefully and after many years of practising, since new fish will be in shock from the first transition. What is more, it is the last solution, after you tried everything to lower the level of nitrates in your tank.

Vodka works as a portion of food for bacteria that are reproducing in a tank naturally. Vodka is full of carbon calories and additional food that pushes their growth. Good bacteria are the natural solution for removing nitrates and phosphates from water columns. If bacteria use only food from organic water, it may cause a lack of fish. Because of that, you can easily boost the ecosystem by adding additional food that won’t harm other species. Many aquarists have chosen vodka as a carbon calories dose, but it can be done with simple ethyl alcohol or natural and organic carbon. The same results can be achieved using only sugar, but you need to dissolve it before adding it into the reef tank. Both sugar and vodka are transparent and easy to dissolve, so they are a better option than maple syrup or any other option. Activated carbon in the aquarium is needed even if you have a small tank and if you want to have your fish for a long time.


Vodka Dosing Amounts

There is a lot of information you should learn before using a reef tank. Except for the quantity of water and how many goldfish in a 20-gallon tank, you should know the amount of vodka you should sip in your tank. The main goal is to feed bacteria, so you need to be extra careful not to hurt other living creatures. Also, vodka should be just a part of your ecosystem and shouldn’t cause problems. The idea is to feed bacteria that will destroy nitrates, so it is usually used in older tanks. The brand new aquarium isn’t appropriate for vodka dosing, so avoid adding it if there is no evident problem. Also, be sure that you have tried all other methods before. For older aquariums, the amount of vodka depends on the amount of water. When you start adding vodka, use small amounts to begin the process. As you continue to add it, you can increase the amount. Be sure that you leave enough time between each filling to see the reaction. A really small dose is just 0.1 ml per 25-gallon tank. You should adjust the amount due to its size. As vodka dosing is considered as therapy, you should continue with this amount for 2 more days. Then, add 0.2 ml per 25 gallons for another three days and finish with 0.5 per week until nitrate is completely dissolved. All changes should be gradual and when you check how the ecosystem reacts.

Positive Aspects Of Vodka Dosing

There are some positive aspects of vodka dosing and the main reasons why aquarists are using it. The first thing is easy dosing. You will only need 1 ml syringe for a small amount of dosing and quality 40% vodka. What is more, it is less expensive than other methods, like electrical devices or constant emptying. It can be easier if you use an automatic dosing pump which will ease your everyday manual job. Another positive aspect is the easy dissolving and organic approach to maintaining reef tanks.


Negative Aspects Of Vodka Dosing In Reef Tank

Even though it is a very simple solution for bacteria growth and dealing with nitrates, you should be aware that this organic approach is a bit slower and needs time to help bacteria grow. The biggest negative aspect that is stressed in uncertain circumstances. This means it is a very mouth-to-mouth experience and isn’t scientifically proven, so you need to test on your specific situation. Also, it is very efficient with nitrate, but you may have problems with phosphors.

Other Ways Of Dealing With Nitrate And Phosphors

There are other ways you can lower the nitrate level in the reef tank. First, you need to adjust the amount of food you give to your food. What is more, you need to change water constantly and be sure that it fits fish requirements. Also, it is recommended to use live plants that will increase bacteria life.

To Sum Up

Dosing vodka in a reef tank is a really easy and cheap procedure to keep your reef tank healthy and ensure a good environment. The main goal of that activity is to ensure food for good bacteria that will help lower nitrate and phosphorus level. Yet, be sure that you start with a small amount. If you want to buy some reef tanks for your fishes, chech the list of the best 10-gallon reef tanks and the best mixed reef tanks.

Joana has graduated in Linguistics in 2014. and began her work experience as a journalist and freelance writer. Her professional writing experience, as well as experience with pets, brought her to Petovly where she’s an editor. Working on the site, she collaborates with vets and animal shelter workers she has met when she was volunteering as a student. This experience made her an expert in pets’ care, breeds, and diseases.