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Old 01/19/2016, 09:22 AM   #2725
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Originally Posted by justthewife View Post
I don't think anyone is really looking for a miracle cure. A miracle, maybe, miracle cure, no. Everyone is just very frustrated in dealing with this prehistoric organism. In my case, we have done everything since last April to get them to back off. It was getting very frustrating. I believe we had our outbreak due to a change from crushed coral to sand. Even thought we did it very slowly and carefully, it still reaked havoc on the tank. In my opinion it is more a matter of keeping them at bay than getting rid of them. I am starting to wonder if a species are actually present in all tanks (actually they are, the good kind anyway, live in corals) and with a wrong mix of circumstances they just get out of hand. So anything anyone can do to keep them under control is a plus for the health of the tank and knowledge to other reefers . I am sure everyone here will agree there is always an underlying cause, but sometimes finding it when you are doing everything right and things are still going bad is very hard and frustrating. Just like any illness.
They will certainly be present in nearly every system - of this I'm sure. From my experience of successfully (so far) eradicating them, a multi-pronged attack to kill and remove most of them whilst dealing with the underlying issue and culturing a competing population of organisms will work.

Originally Posted by PorkchopExpress View Post
Reef Diva - since you have UV, and a particularly strong one, i would also suggest you do a 3 day blackout...force the dinos into the water column, that will give you the best chances of pushing the dinos into the UV which won't kill them all but will strongly inhibit their ability to reproduce...that is, afterall, the primary function of a UV sterilizer...of course at 400gph on an 80w it should be strong enough to actually kill them

here is a chart of max flow rates for a given UV sterilizer wattage...i would aim for under that number:

manny - same advice for a 3 day blackout to kick them back a bit...right now your tank is infested with dinos and it'll take a lot more work for the other algaes to take a foothold with the dinos covering your rocks and the 3 day and then continue feeding heavy whilst dosing zooplankton and phytoplankton...if you're NO3 limited, then yes dose some but otherwise you can get the extra nitrates by feeding heavy and maybe even introducing more fish...if you're PO4 limited, NeoPhos can raise it up...take the skimmer offline
Don't do a 3 day. It wont work. Others who have tried this have even witnessed the dinos coming back together in the water column when the lights come back on.

8 days minimum (I think I did 10) *complete* blackout (including sump, grow lights etc) with the tank covered, then slowly bring in blue-lights only over the next two weeks before introducing white WILL kill off nearly all of them.

Don't do half measures. at 4/5 days, I still had dinos clinging on, they were certainly in the water column past this time.

Originally Posted by karimwassef View Post
Also. Killing the enemy isn't enough. You need to repopulate with healthy organisms before the dinos recover from the blow.
Very good advice - you have to ensure that their food source is removed and they cannot spring back so in addition to fighting nutrient levels and introducing competition, you must constantly remove the dead/dying dino's to reduce the chances of them springing back and also stop them adding to nitrate/phosphate levels.

Clean your skimmer DAILY. Use a wet-skim and siphon up the dead dinos from the sump. I had 5-8mm of them on the bottom of my sump.

I posted my full method below. When the tank came out of blackout it was SPOTLESS. As clean as it was when I first filled it. Touch wood, no dino's 8 weeks later.

Originally Posted by tastyfish View Post
That doesn't look like Dinoflagellates to me. Having recently been plagued and (so far) having dealt with them, however I am not an expert and there are many species.

This is what mine looked like (a small sample of what was in the tank):

After speaking with some very helpful (and much more experienced reefers than me), I decided to employ a multi-pronged strategy to defeat them (this was performed in a relatively new tank, with only a few SPS frags) This consisted of the following:

1: Remove:
- Siphon to *waste* all the dinoflagellate mass I could with as little as possible water change (replacement water used TMC Pro Reef synthetic salt to ensure no organics) Do NOT try to pass through a filter sock or floss, they will pass through and re-form.

2: Create a hostile environment:

- 8 Day Total blackout (sump and tank wrapped in black plastic) followed by Blue-only lighting for 5 days before introducing whites gradually

- Maintain very low phosphate and Nitrate (Double Rowa amount, changing every 3/4 days)

- Double carbon media, replacing every 4 days

- Raise pH using Air stone to maintain 8.2+

- Wet Skim and clean it constantly - you need the skimmer at peak efficiency to remove dinos in the water column

3: Outcompete:
Create nutrient competition with good profile of microfauna/flora (Initial 10 x dose of FM Ultra-Bio, followed by daily top-ups of normal dose with UltraBak

Remember: Siphon Dead/Dying Dinoflaggelates to waste!
The reason for removal of as much of the dinoflagellate mass as possible prior to blackout and during is two fold: Firstly, they will break down and provide more free nutrients (you are trying to reduce this). Secondly, even if they are not toxic when growing in the tank (as mine were not), they can release toxins when dying off. I ost two conches who started to feed on an area of dying dinoflagellates on the sand.

The good news is that 6 weeks later, and they have not returned and the tank is (as far as I can tell) free of them.

A word on this approach, however - it is not for the faint hearted. Fortunately for me, I did not have a big stock of SPS. (Hammerheads, Acan, soft corals and LPS were fine).

However in my case, it did trigger a massive issue with the fish stock. As they were in the dark, they retreated to the rock and did not feed. This lowered their immune system and allowed a protozoan infection (probably Crytpocaryon) to take hold (I believe this came into the system on some macroalgae from another reefer previously).

So this method is certainly effective, and much more so than miracle in a bottle chemicals, however some care needs to be taken.

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