vodka rather then excel - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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vodka rather then excel

I was told that you could use a cheap vodka rather then excel. Is this true, will it harm the fish,will it work the same.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:00 PM
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you must be joking? vodka will kill your fish. people use it for culling fish also.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:05 PM
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^ vodka is actually used by alot of people as a carbon source in the saltwater reef hobby, the dosage is really small so it is not harmful to the fish. You can also use vinegar. They use it to provide a carbon source for bacteria to help reduce nitrates and phosphates in the tank. I have tried it in my reef tank and worked well.

I have never heard of it used in freshwater tanks though, I am not sure how well plants are able to uptake the carbon from this source.


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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe im mistaking vodka for another form of alcohol.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:13 PM
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I've never heard of such a thing... i'm appalled. Why would you ever want to put vodka in there. You know you can drink that stuff right
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking shot for me, shot for tank
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:16 PM
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It was a one for the tank one for me kind of deal haha. It works though and it is well documented in reef forums to help reduce nitrates.

The dosage is incredibly small, you start of at 0.1ml per gallon and slowly increase the dosage until you begin to see the nitrates drop. I would imagine you would have to dose more in freshwater tanks... I have no evidence, but my inclination is that bacteria are more efficient at using the carbon than plants are.

Glutaraldehyde works well in planted tanks though and dosages are well established so I think it is probably better to use that than vodka.


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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:20 PM
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Vodka is good for disinfecting stuff, and can even be used as a fuel in a pinch. So, does it follow that it would be a good carbon source for aquatic plants? If so, I'm really missing something. Plants are a good source of carbon too, so why don't we put plants in our tanks to supply carbon to the plants in our tanks?

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:22 PM
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Vodka is a source of bioavailable carbon, just like vinegar, just like glutaraldehyde.

C-O-H chains can be broken down so that the carbon becomes available...some chains are more easily broken down than others making some carbon sources more useful than others.


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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O ok cause i was using excel and it was working great but ran out so i was talking to a friend and he suggested the vodka. Soi figured i ask around here before i just did it. He said the dosage was the same as excel.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:31 PM
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The plants may not be as efficient at breaking down the alcohol as they are with glutaraldehyde so you can't say that the dosage will be the same.


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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Vodka is good for disinfecting stuff, and can even be used as a fuel in a pinch. So, does it follow that it would be a good carbon source for aquatic plants? If so, I'm really missing something. Plants are a good source of carbon too, so why don't we put plants in our tanks to supply carbon to the plants in our tanks?
well on that argument Excel(glut) is also a good disinfectant. It is actually used in cold STERILIZATION of surgical instruments like endoscopes that cannot be autoclaved.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 01:23 AM
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Plants don't break down glutaraldehyde. Glut breaks down through reaction with the atmosphere of your tank and provides bioavailable carbon.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 02:03 AM
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Well, I use vodka-but on me, after working on my tanks...

29g heavily planted SA: driftwood, rocks, Angels, Corys, Rasboras.
8g Nuvo: Pineapple SuperDumbo, driftwood, java moss and crypts. A jungle.
10g 3x divided Betta planted with Blue Mustard Gas, Red Double Tail HM, Blue/Red Fire Dragon and snails.


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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossett View Post
I was told that you could use a cheap vodka rather then excel. Is this true, will it harm the fish,will it work the same.
Vodka is used in tiny amounts to feed anaerobic bacteria in denitrators.
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