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Old 01/23/2016, 08:12 AM   #2778
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Iceland
Posts: 1,513
Here is how I got rid of ~99% of my dinoflagellates.

In October 2015 I had noticed the CO2 had come close to be depleted so I decided to do a test to see the effect of not supplementing any calcium, sodium-bicarbonate or CO2. Nothing was added to the tank besides from food.
For 8 weeks the dinos kept doing their thing, but then in the next two weeks they receded so much I was afraid to lose them so I did a 20% water change and dinos started to come back very slowly over a weeks time.
During this week my corals showed the first sign of stress so it was the logical thing to get parameters back to normal for the next round so I fired up the Calcium reactor to go upwards from Ca of 350, alkalinity of 5 and Mg at 1300.
Steadily the dino population grew and now it's about the same as usual.

The big con is that in the last two weeks the corals have gone from looking fine to really bad so it was the much faster way up than down that hurt them the most.
Of course they must have been stressed already living in sub par conditions, but at a glance it seems that going to fast to the reccomended lowest parameter levels did the most damage.
It's also possible that increased dino toxicity had an effect.
Some trace elements got replaced in the water change, but to me it seems like the calcium reactor really got them going again.

Years earlier I had done this same experiment with very good results, but in the meantime I did a test taking the calcium reactor out, but replacing Ca and Alk with Kalkwasser.
At that time I thought CO2 was likely to be a big player, but this test showed me it is not. That leaves Calcium and alkalinity as essential elements for dinos.
On a sidenote most of the cyano left as well.

At the time when there were almost no dinos left and SPS corals looked fine I had high hopes, but was quite sure there would be a twist. It's turning out to be a deadly one for my SPS.
Having done this twice with very good results and a third to rule out CO2 is a step in the right direction.

The plan is to do another round with an improved method, but with less corals left it will take even longer.

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