Using the Vodka Method to Reduce Nitrates in Your Saltwater Aaquarium

A saltwater aquarium is something that you will find can really benefit from some vodka. If you find that you are having trouble keeping both the phosphate and nitrate levels down in your saltwater aquarium, then the vodka method can really do wonders for keeping them at a manageable and safe level for your fish. You will find that it is very important for you to be able to not only know what the vodka method is and what it can do for your aquarium and most importantly, how much or how little you will need to add to your aquarium to make it safe.

What is it?

Basically, the vodka method is a way that you can add an inorganic carbon that is in this case in the form of alcohol. This will help to cause the bacteria in your aquarium to grow. Whenever bacteria that is in your aquarium grows, the phosphate and the nitrate are incorporated by this new bacteria. This will in turn lower the values that are in your water. You will then simply be able to remove the extra bacteria easily. You can either remove this bacteria by skimming it out or by adding organisms that will do the job for you.

How Much to Use

The most effective way for this to work is to make sure that you are able to use the right amount of the alcohol so that you do not do more damage to your aquarium. Basically, you will need to use about 3 ml of ethanol that is 95% for every 600 gallons. Of course, not many people have a 600 gallon tank so this can easily be broke down to a more reasonable number. For instance, if you have a 100 gallon tank, then you will need to add .5 ml or 10 drops, this will equal out to 1 tsp. and .0168333 oz.


You do not have to use 95% proof whenever you are using the vodka. You can also use 80 proof as this is more easy to come by. This contains 40% alcohol and whenever you add this to a 100 gallon tank then you will need to use about 1.2 ml or 24 drops. This will also equal out to be about .238 of a tsp. or .04 oz. The measurements that you use are going to need to be very accurate. You will find that the more accurate that you are able to make them, the safer this experiment will be. Too much could do a lot of damage to your aquarium and to your fish while not enough will simply not make any kind of difference at all.


You will need to keep in mind that whenever this experiment took place that this amount was put into the aquarium once a day for 3 days in a row. You will need to check the phosphate and nitrate levels as you do this to see if it is making any difference.