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View Full Version : Year long struggle with dinoflagellates.


Sackson
04/07/2017, 06:28 PM
I tried everything, resetting my tank, hydrogen peroxide (at 2x doses, mind you), removal of sandbed, abstinence from water changes, 2 week black out, heavy kalkwasser dosing, checking my RO/DI filters, nothing. These things are so resilient and persistent I cannot get of them. It's been over a year since these hellish things found their way into my tank.

Is there any other thing I can do short of nuking my tank with some malignant substance?

I was looking at Dino X, but since all those other methods did not work, I have a hunch it'll be a heavy waste of money if I do end up buying it.

The dinos are fairly benign, they aren't of the toxic variety, but they're disgusting and I hate looking at them.

Michael Hoaster
04/08/2017, 01:27 AM
Sorry to hear of your troubles. I bet there are some other threads on the subject. Good luck!

taricha
04/08/2017, 06:40 AM
The dinos are fairly benign, they aren't of the toxic variety, but they're disgusting and I hate looking at them.


If they don't seem very toxic then an approach based on predators/grazers could be really effective.
Post tank pics? Or even better microscope pics/vids.

Edit: maybe continue this conversation in the huge dinoflagellates thread in the reef chemistry forum. More eyeballs familiar with the subject there.

SantaMonica
04/08/2017, 10:44 PM
None of what you did will help. This might:

Nutrient Export

What do all algae (and cyano too) need to survive? Nutrients. What are nutrients? Ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and urea are the major ones. Which ones cause most of the algae in your tank? These same ones. Why can't you just remove these nutrients and eliminate all the algae in your tank? Because these nutrients are the result of the animals you keep.

So how do your animals "make" these nutrients? Well a large part the nutrients comes from pee (urea). Pee is very high in urea and ammonia, and these are a favorite food of algae and some bacteria. This is why your glass will always need cleaning; because the pee hits the glass before anything else, and algae on the glass consume the ammonia and urea immediately (using photosynthesis) and grow more. In the ocean and lakes, phytoplankton consume the ammonia and urea in open water, and seaweed consume it in shallow areas, but in a tank you don't have enough space or water volume for this, and, your other filters or animals often remove or kill the phytoplankton or seaweed anyway. So, the nutrients stay in your tank.

Then, the ammonia/ammonium hits your rocks, and the periphyton on the rocks consumes more ammonia and urea. Periphyton is both algae and animals, and is the reason your rocks change color after a few weeks from when they were new. Then the ammonia goes inside the rock, or hits your sand, and bacteria there convert it into nitrite and nitrate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

Also let's not forget phosphate, which comes from solid organic food particles. When these particles are eaten by microbes and clean up crews, the organic phosphorus in them is converted into phosphate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

So whenever you have algae or cyano "problems", you simply have not exported enough nutrients out of your tank compared to how much you have been feeding (note: live rock can absorb phosphate for up to a year, making it seem like there was never a problem. Then after a year, there is a problem).

So just increase your nutrient exports. You could also reduce feeding, and this has the same effect, but it's certainly not fun when you want to feed your animals :)

Sackson
04/08/2017, 11:17 PM
I have researched some other methods I may try. I think all the methods I've used including the tank reset destroyed my biodiversity.

I'm quite the defeatist so this is very difficult to overcome. Even cyano was a weeklong issue at best.

Brieninsac
04/08/2017, 11:20 PM
How long are you running your lights a day?

Sackson
04/10/2017, 02:04 AM
8 hours a day. I've done blackouts for up to 2 weeks straight every now and then.

taricha
04/10/2017, 06:54 AM
8 hours a day. I've done blackouts for up to 2 weeks straight every now and then.
Yeah, when I beat my non-toxic sand bed dinos (amphidinium), I ran full bright light including some sunlight, dosed N&P, grew algae, and put blobs of chaeto right on the trouble spots on the sand.
It was a pretty thorough victory.

falcona2552
04/12/2017, 03:13 PM
I am having success with increased DT flow, reduced LED intensity, and manual removal with a toothbrush. None of these provided any success until I brought my carbon and gfo reactors down to a crawl. Im talking just enough to turn over the system volume twice in a day. Maybe I was running my reactors way to strong to begin with, but this has had a very positive impact.

hotelbravo
04/12/2017, 07:36 PM
I struggled with a battle of thick Dino that would not go away under normal means. I ended up dosing the tank with 3ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide per 10 gallons every 12 hours for a month. They Dino had disappeared after only a week but I wanted to be safe and continue dosing. I did not lose and fish or coral from dosing this.

6-line
04/18/2017, 06:35 PM
My saving Grace was pulling out all or most of my rock and shaking them off in saltwater until they came out clean and then returning them. It removed the solids that had accumulated inside and outside of the rock.


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hotelbravo
04/22/2017, 11:53 AM
My saving Grace was pulling out all or most of my rock and shaking them off in saltwater until they came out clean and then returning them. It removed the solids that had accumulated inside and outside of the rock.


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In a large tank that would be a nightmare. The hydrogen peroxide dosing I suggested will work and no need to pull everything out and deal with that nasty headache

falcona2552
04/22/2017, 01:41 PM
In a large tank that would be a nightmare. The hydrogen peroxide dosing I suggested will work and no need to pull everything out and deal with that nasty headache

This. I battled dinos and just gained the upper hand, they are all but disappeared. Turkey basting the rocks and toothbrushing off large areas until detritus stopped coming off followed by the peroxide dosing while this is suspended in the water column every day over the course of a week will have a huge impact. I notice during the peroxide dosing period the algae really just sloughs of the surfaces. Persistance is crucial. Reduced lighting and feeding helped as well, I still kept one Kessil a160 on over a 36Lx16Wx13T tank I just dialed it back to a peak of 50% blue spectrum during this period. My acan frag is the only one truly ****ed off by all of this, blue maxima clam and plating sps are the most sensitive specimens I keep and they were unaffected.

Sackson
04/22/2017, 08:26 PM
I just tried that. I have a small tank, so I shook all the rocks in a bucket during today's water change. My tank is a 12g long Mr. Aqua tank, lit by a single Kessil A360w. I dialed down the kessil to 40% intensity and to full on actinics. My tank consists of zoas, ricordeas and some euphyllias and a small lobo, so nothing too delicate.


In addition, I've heard that the use of Seachem stability or Microbacter7 (or any similar product) will give the beneficial bacteria an advantage, slowly allowing them to outcompete dinos (and supposedly cyano and hair algae as well, which I've dealt with easily in the past through other methods.)

Thanks, everybody. I'll see how this goes.

hotelbravo
04/23/2017, 01:29 AM
I just tried that. I have a small tank, so I shook all the rocks in a bucket during today's water change. My tank is a 12g long Mr. Aqua tank, lit by a single Kessil A360w. I dialed down the kessil to 40% intensity and to full on actinics. My tank consists of zoas, ricordeas and some euphyllias and a small lobo, so nothing too delicate.


In addition, I've heard that the use of Seachem stability or Microbacter7 (or any similar product) will give the beneficial bacteria an advantage, slowly allowing them to outcompete dinos (and supposedly cyano andCyano is a bacteria to so the logic there makes no sense. Anything that hurts or benefits good bacteria will do the same to Cyano hair algae as well, which I've dealt with easily in the past through other methods.)

Thanks, everybody. I'll see how this goes.

Sackson
04/23/2017, 03:18 AM
I don't personally believe it, that's just what i heard searching for info. What it's supposed to do is raise the population of beneficial bacteria to outcompete the malignant population. I've tried chemiclean, which I used to successfully alleviate myself of cyano twice, but I've used it numerous times in the past with dinos to no avail.

falcona2552
04/23/2017, 12:34 PM
I don't personally believe it, that's just what i heard searching for info. What it's supposed to do is raise the population of beneficial bacteria to outcompete the malignant population. I've tried chemiclean, which I used to successfully alleviate myself of cyano twice, but I've used it numerous times in the past with dinos to no avail.

I believe replacing beneficial bacteria is very important, one note I would suggest is running a week of peroxide dosing with rock basting and reduced lights, once it starts looking like you have the upper hand then stop the peroxide dosing and introduce your good bacteria. I think floating in the water column most of the new bacteria would be neurtralized by the peroxide before it has a chance to find the live rock and really settle, while also contributing to more slough that has to be removed by skimmer or mechanical filtration. Just my .02$

hotelbravo
04/24/2017, 08:32 PM
I believe replacing beneficial bacteria is very important, one note I would suggest is running a week of peroxide dosing with rock basting and reduced lights, once it starts looking like you have the upper hand then stop the peroxide dosing and introduce your good bacteria. I think floating in the water column most of the new bacteria would be neurtralized by the peroxide before it has a chance to find the live rock and really settle, while also contributing to more slough that has to be removed by skimmer or mechanical filtration. Just my .02$

Peroxide dosing has little effect on bacteria. Dino are not bacteria like Cyano

Sackson
04/26/2017, 01:03 AM
Peroxide dosing has little effect on bacteria. Dino are not bacteria like Cyano

Yes, peroxide has done nothing to alleviate the type of dinos I'm dealing with. Even at much higher doses, it seems to do nothing good or bad for the tank in general.

falcona2552
04/26/2017, 08:45 PM
I believe replacing beneficial bacteria is very important, one note I would suggest is running a week of peroxide dosing with rock basting and reduced lights, once it starts looking like you have the upper hand then stop the peroxide dosing and introduce your good bacteria. I think floating in the water column most of the new bacteria would be neurtralized by the peroxide before it has a chance to find the live rock and really settle, while also contributing to more slough that has to be removed by skimmer or mechanical filtration. Just my .02$

***My post is wrong, subsequent post are correct. H202 is not anti-bacterial.

falcona2552
04/26/2017, 08:47 PM
I believe replacing beneficial bacteria is very important, one note I would suggest is running a week of peroxide dosing with rock basting and reduced lights, once it starts looking like you have the upper hand then stop the peroxide dosing and introduce your good bacteria. I think floating in the water column most of the new bacteria would be neurtralized by the peroxide before it has a chance to find the live rock and really settle, while also contributing to more slough that has to be removed by skimmer or mechanical filtration. Just my .02$

Peroxide dosing has little effect on bacteria. Dino are not bacteria like Cyano

*** hotelbravo is correct, my post is wrong and should be ignored regarding H202 affecting bacteria

Sackson
04/28/2017, 07:02 PM
Using pure actinics have helped slow the dino growth dramatically, but they still grow back (albeit at a much, much slower rate. They covered an area in a week that would have taken them mere hours before) I'm thinking of dosing microbacter 7 now.

yeah
05/02/2017, 10:04 AM
Dino x worked for me.. Tired every methods possible, with no luck.. dino x was my last resort before I was gonna tear down my tank due to months of dino.. Lost some sensitive sps and fish, but I managed to save 80% of livestock and been dino free for months

Sackson
05/03/2017, 11:45 PM
Using reduced actinics, the dinos seem to have vanished. I'm far too afraid to go back to my light cycle, no matter how slowly. I'm afraid they're going to be dormant forever and wait for the perfect moment to come back to bite me in the rear again. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I don't know for sure. I might have a several day blackout and continue running actinics reduced for a week or 2 afterwards just to be sure. Thanks for all your help. I'm pretty sure the beast is just recuperating and hidden, but I think it can be dealt with now. You have no idea how good it feels to have any progress nonetheless. Taking down my tank and everything else did nothing.

Sackson
05/07/2017, 11:16 PM
Knock on wood, but I think they're dead, or at least no longer dominant in my system. The green algae that used to grow on my rocks and glass returned, and I haven't even seen a small patch of dinos on my sand or rocks. I'm still going to remain cautious, but the method involving the use of only actinics was genius! Thank all of you so much. I'll be on high alert for at least a few weeks, and if I'm lucky my plague may have finally faded away! You have no idea how long I've been frustrated over this.

Michael Hoaster
05/08/2017, 10:12 AM
Glad to hear of your success! Way to hang in there and figure it out! Your story is encouraging. It's nice to see this type of thread have a happy ending!

Sackson
06/06/2017, 03:54 PM
They're back. After I readjusted my lights to around the 15,000k range, the dinos returned after a month or so. Back to square one.

taricha
06/07/2017, 02:14 AM
They're back. After I readjusted my lights to around the 15,000k range, the dinos returned after a month or so. Back to square one.
Pics?

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SantaMonica
06/15/2017, 10:11 PM
What is your current export?

MGP
06/25/2017, 09:29 PM
Not sure how most people feel about this but I was struggling with a brown, what I assume were dinoflagellates, for many months. I recently added a UV sterilizer to my sump and have it running 24/7. Now when I suck up the algae with weekly water changes it doesn't grow back. I think a lot of the Dino was getting into my water column when I was cleaning and settled on every surface, hence why I could never get rid of it.

Now my tank is much better and macro algae is taking the opportunity to grow since the Dino's are no longer stripping my water of all nutrients. I'm hoping the macro algae will now outcompete and put an end to my Dino problem once and for all.

Only side effect is most of my filter feeding worms have died, guess the UV sterilizer killed the food they filtered from the water column