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Dosing with Vodka???

JamesM

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17 Apr 2008
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The BIG End, South Wales
People do this to bring down NO3 and PO4 levels though, so plants would starve.

Lemonade might work though! :D My mother uses it all the time for house plants :D
 

The Green Machine

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We believe that vodka is pretty good when algae is a problem.

It doesn't really remove the algae but makes the user not quite so bothered about it.
 

LondonDragon

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The-Green-Machine said:
We believe that vodka is pretty good when algae is a problem.
It doesn't really remove the algae but makes the user not quite so bothered about it.
Hahaha so true ;) maybe you guys should stock a few bottles for when someone comes in complaining about algae, "go home, drink this all in one go and then look at your beautifull algae free tank" ;)
 

Joecoral

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Vodka is used because it's a realtively cheap and available form of ethanol, which is a carbon source for the nitrifying (nitrate-reducing) bacteria in a nitrate reactor
 

Joecoral

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sanj said:
I was wondering whether vodka would be an accessible form of carbon for plants... hey ho, it was just a passing thought. :D

I think the effect of the ethanol on the fish may outweight the benefits of the additional carbon for plants.
Although, saying that, products such as EasyCarbo must be along a similar line so maybe not, im not sure.
I'm sure Clive will point us in the right direction
 

ceg4048

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The only form of carbon plants can use is CO2. This law can't be broken. Excel\Easycarbo are broken down and converted to CO2 internally, not used directly. So in order for any product to have similar effect it must either be converted internally or be involved in some external reaction which produces CO2. Normally however, the only way to generate CO2 from ethanol is to burn it.

In animal liver tissue Ethanol is typically broken down via enzymatic reactions first by oxidation to acetealdehyde and then further oxidation to acetate.

Additionally, Ethanol is antiseptic, and would therefore negatively affect the bacterial populations in the tank. Ethanol has the effect in water of reducing the waters surface tension because of it's polarity. Plants (at least terrestial ones) depend on the surface tension of water to move water throughout the vascular tissues so this sounds like bad news to me.

There is limited data available regarding the effects of Ethanol on aquatic plants but on the surface I can see no reason at all to dose the tank with this unless it can be shown that there are external or internal mechanisms to extract CO2 from ethanol without combustion. You'd be better served it seems dosing yourself with Vodka and then looking at your tank. This will have a much better effect. :idea:

Cheers,
 

tiger15

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14 Mar 2018
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Any carbon source that requires oxidation to turn into available CO2 to plants will deplete oxygen. Depending on the oxidation reaction of the carbon source (ethanol, vinegar or sugar), you need roughly one ppm of O2 to exchange for one ppm CO2. Say if you want to generate 10 ppm CO2 from dosing ethanol, you can achieve it by completely deoxygenate the water (saturated at about 10 ppm O2) to the detriment of all aerobic fish, micros and bacteria.

What makes the difference with excel as a carbon source is that carbon is made available by breaking down internally in plants without consuming O2 I assume. Nevertheless, Seachem recommends only 0.4 ppm excel dosing daily, so if all that turns into equivalent CO2, the amount of available carbon is just a minuscule 0.4 ppm at the maximum.
 
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