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Old 09/18/2015, 10:38 AM   #1840
bheron
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Valley Forge, PA
Posts: 2,672
This thread has been a lifesaver for me, almost literally. I've been battling Dinos for years and havent known much about them or what I could be doing until I found this thread a few months ago. Last time (2014) I was about to give in after 10 years of this hobby and losing different battles, many times b/c of Dinos. Instead I completely broke down my 220g setup to start fresh one last time. I bleached, acid washed the tank and live rock, and put in a brand new deep sand bed.

Here's my experience so far:

- October 1 2014: launched new sterile tank with sterilized live rock, tank equipment and 330lbs of a brand new deep sand bed. Immediately began to cycle tank with some dead shrimp

- Mid October added my first fish: 7 small chromis and blue damsels

- November 1: added 200+ worth of life from Indo Pacific Sea Farms: copepods, amphipods, bristle worms, spaghetti (Terrebellidae) worms, comet stars, reef plankton, various snails, and live sand activator

Things went very well, lost a few chromis which is always expected. In March or so I added my first piece of life from a LFS, one I trusted and still do. I placed a piece of their Live Rock in my tank to help with biodiversity.

Then, in April, 6+ months in..DINOS ARE BACK!!!

At that same time I found this thread which has saved me in this hobby. I've learned so much. I havent been able to identify my type yet b/c my microscope isnt strong enough. Here's what I learned first:

1) I suffer from CTO (Clean Tank Obsession") I've had so many troubles in the past with algea and dinos and cyano. Always assumed all of them were 100% a result of excess nutrients. So back in 2014 when I had my last outbreak, the Dinos covered EVERYTHING! I have a crazy picture somewhere. I battled it with: excessive water changes and tons of GFO. Now looking back Im not surprised it got so bad. As a result Ive always been obsessed with keeping nutrients so low, removing any extra waste, skimming, skimming, skimming, and using GFO.

2) Now looking back I've gained some clarity. I started thinking right before the Dinos appeared and things were going so well, I noticed an excess of algae on my sand, some cyano. So the panic button hit and I immediately started doing a bunch of WCs and running GFO. I think right after that my Dinos appeared.

I now know better. Through this thread I've learned the importance of balance in nature and our tanks!

So in April, even though I couldn't identify my type of Dinos, I took immediate action:

1) shut off skimmer (it hasnt been on since)

2) stopped all water changes (havent done one since)

In a matter of days I noticed a difference! Progression halted immediately. And what I had started to die back. I'd say in a few weeks it was almost gone.

I was happy. Didnt do anything else. But then, a month or so later, they started coming back. So I began reading more and more on this thread. Now, six-eight weeks later, today they are virtually gone, I'd say 97% gone. Here's what I did:

1) no skimming
2) no water changes
3) no GFO
4) ran filter socks at night to catch dinos in column

Then I decided to follow the "dirty tank" method I learned here and did:

5) Excessive overfeeding - like 5 to 10 times more of the dry pellets I normally feed. Did this for weeks and still doing it. Have recently added frozen mysis shrimp

6) Added more life: i already had a fuge with chaeto and pods, etc. But now I feed the fuge and the pods are going nuts. I trimmed back the chaeto to allow new growth. and have since doubled my fish population. Also dosed phyto for about a week or so.

As of today I'm virtually dino free!!! Just some small matter that's brown and dying off I guess. And I've noticed an increase in activity from the small worms and stuff in my sandbed and fuge. And also more reproduction in my snails which had almost halted.

So next steps are to:

7) Add a few more fish

8) Purchase another package from Indo Pacific Sea Farms - worms, etc, to continue to populate my deep sand bed


Hope that's helpful and not too much detail. I really believe this thread not only saved my tank but single-handedly kept me in this hobby. I'm sure this isnt the last I will see of these horrible Dinos. But know I feel armed with a plan of attack. And as I mentioned, have a much better appreciation for balance in this hobby.


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Bryan

Current Tank Info: 220 since Nov 2005

Last edited by bheron; 09/18/2015 at 10:44 AM. Reason: update text
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