Our fish get crunk when we vodka dose....

Posted by Christina // 10 Replies

Recently, Tim and I had a bit of a nitrate problem.
We did some research and kept coming up with a very strange remedy.

Vodka dosing.
This perfect drawing found right here.

Let me tell you that the night T came to me and said he wanted to put vodka in our tank with my beloved fishies, I was a little more than leery.

I did my research right away since like most men, he couldn’t wait more than five minutes to get started.

Since we are still officially “youngins” we did happen to have an extra bottle of vodka just lying around, but before he started popping bottles pouring away…I had to get my facts.

I have heard stories of haters pouring nasty bleach in their enemies tanks to kill everything in the tank…..so mean.
If you ever want to break my heart, just threaten that above sentence.

I did what any caring fish mama would do….I made a pun.
Then I got my research on and found out where this crazy idea came from.

Charles Delbeek, M.SC. who is a marine biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium explained that: “the “vodka method” is a means to add inorganic carbon in the form alcohol to cause bacteria to grow. In boosting bacterial growth, nitrate and phosphate are incorporated by the bacteria, lowering these values in the water. The excess bacteria are then either removed through skimming or are consumed by other organisms, such as sponges.”

There were a few debates over this method but the general consensus was it works really well but is a little bit of a shock to your tank so don’t dose alcohol everyday or anything.  Which is fine by us because we don’t want to host an A.A. meeting in our tank every Monday.

I gave Timbo the go ahead and he poured in the dose he already had preportioned and waiting.

We are by no means recommending this, because we haven’t done it enough.  I will say that we have seen a drop in the nitrates and maybe it’s just in our heads but the colors seem to really be popping!

Check out what my phone thinks…

We shall see…I will keep you posted.

Don’t you love learning new things about your hobbies!

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Written by Christina and Tim

10 thoughts on “Our fish get crunk when we vodka dose….

    1. Christina Post author

      Hahaha Andrea, your comment made me laugh like a weirdo in the middle of Taco Bell. You don’t even know though girl, we have been working on a rendition of that rap song “Rack City”….it’s gonna be insane 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!!!!

    1. Christina Post author

      Haha hi Sarah! We haven’t noticed any dance parties or fishie hangovers yet…but we have our eye on them!!! We gotta get on starting a drinking game…it will be all the rage.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  2. Jenn

    Now I am appearing to be a stalker.. but I feel like we are living the same life 2 dogs 1 being a pit (my husband calls says he is an american bulldog but is there even a difference?), saltwater tank, referring to children as another name (I call them cheetins). HA I’ll try not to creep you out. Now to my question how is your vodka dosing going? My husband brought it up a few weeks ago and I researched it and I chickened out.

    1. Christina Post author

      Hahaha I love it! I think we need to be BFF forever…I mean we would have enough to talk about just with the pups.

      The vodka dosing went really well. I’m putting Tim in charge of answering this in more detail because he is the water tester 🙂

      Oh T…are you out there dear?

      1. Tim

        Hi Jenn! The vodka dosing is actually going quite well. We have seen reduced nitrates and great coral growth. We started off very slowly as I was a bit scared myself. I plan to do a full write-up once we have some photographic evidence of the advantages to vodka dosing. If you need any tank advice just let me know, I am always happy to help a fellow reefer!

  3. Jenn

    Thank you very much for responding. I will redo my research and hopefully soon start the dosing. I just haven’t had the chance to actually ask someone if it really worked before I started pouring vodka in the tank. But hey, I like to have a good time, why not my fish too? I’m sure they could use a drink after losing their pals. On the bright side at least Foxy, my Foxface (original name, huh?) lived. I’m glad I’m not the only one on the planet who names their fish.

    Don’t even get me started on asking for tank advice, I’d keep you up for days asking questions. :p
    –Your new BFF fo’ Life

    1. Christina Post author

      I know it has a lot of mixed reviews and I am sure you already know that EVERYONE has their own opinion 🙂

      We started in super low doses just to kind of test the waters (pun totally intended). I love that you name your fish! Our weirdest one is “river fish” because I think he looks like a little rainbow trout. He is actually a melanurus wrasse!

      And lookie here girl….we LOVE talking tanks so you just ask away or…talk away we are listening haha.

      Peace, love, and cookies!!!


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