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Old 01/18/2016, 12:07 AM   #2699
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 54
There is a cure for dinoflagellates

There is a cure that Randy Holmes Farley came up with to eradicate aptasia and majano anemones. I hate dinoflagellates with a passion and have made it a personal challenge to gain control over them. So this is what I do that works following the formula given by Randy with some liberal interpretation.

You will need the following items: a large horse syringe, sodium hydroxide flakes, lab grade and kalkwasser powder. The hard-to-find item is the horse syringe. I don't know what else to call it. What I use is an actual, very large syringe with a metal needle. With the plunger pulled back, the entire syringe is 13" long and the needle is about 1 1/2" long. I don't know what gauge the needle is. The bigger the needle is, the better this would work. Dilute the sodium hydroxide in some RO or RO/DI water while wearing safety glasses and gloves. Mix it in a container with kalkwasser while wearing safety glasses and gloves. This stuff gets hot and can burn your skin. So keep a rag on hand. The proportions don't seem to matter that much. I usually make it about a 60-40 mix with more kalk than sodium hydroxide.

It seems to matter more that you make the mix as thick as you can make it
while you can still get it up the horse syringe. Fill the syringe as much as possible. Now, turn off all of your pumps and leave them off for 3 to 4 hours. Even turn off your Sea swirls. What you want to do is slowly and carefully apply pressure to the syringe to target areas where the dinoflagellates are growing. The mix should be thick enough that it does not float away at all. It should remain right where you put it. This mix will kill anything you cover so if you want to get rid of any mushrooms, just inject them. The same for aptasia, majanos, etc. You can apply this thick formula near the edge of the base of an SPS coral without losing the whole coral. This has been my experience. Because the mix is so thick it is fairly easy to control where you put it. That is why you don't want a mix that is very watery. After you have targeted all the areas you want, walk away. Let the mix burn the dinoflagellates for a good 3 hours. Since the mix is thick, the fish don't stir it up very much (a little bit sometimes which is not a problem) and they do not try to eat it.

Before you turn your pumps back on, you must get some vinyl hose and suck out all of the white mix you put on the dinoflagellates. It is very easy to see because it is bright white and thick. If you fail to remove a little bit, it should be okay. Try to get every bit you can. After you have sucked out all of the white mix of sodium hydroxide and kalkwasser, make sure to add some new saltwater to replace what you took out. Then just start up your pumps again and Sea Swirls. It would also be wise to turn off your lights for the 3 to 4 hours of treatment. The entire treatment will probably need to be repeated at least 2 more times. Also it is not a good treatment when dinoflagellates are very advanced and have covered most of the rocks. It is just very labor-intensive if you are treating many rocks. It is a very effective treatment when you can catch dinoflagellates early on.

In my experience, the alk is not affected. I have used this same treatment at least 15 times since 1997 to treat various different things (dino, majanos, mushrooms, aptasia) in a 350 gallon SPS dominant reef with no ill effect to fish or corals.

My current reef has over 70 SPS colonies and over 50 fish. Good luck!

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