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Old 08/18/2015, 08:11 PM   #1562
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by karimwassef
UV kills dinos and bacteria in the water column.
The dinos are free floating in the dark, but set up farms in the light.
The nitrifying bacteria are predominately not free floating. They're resident in sand beds and inside rock structures.

Every night, the dinos float kills them. The skimmer and nitrifying bacteria export/consume their remains. This strengthens the good bacteria.
I agree that UVS can effectively control a dino population, but it doesn't wipe them out, and some fraction of the DOC released when a dino (or any microorganism) is killed by UVS may be absorbed by the dinos' food bacteria. And some of it will go to feed bacteria we consider beneficial, as well. And some of it will be captured by still other bacteria, of which there are a great many in reef tanks. No one group of bacteria will have a monopoly on the DOC released by a UVS.

For some insight into the microbiology of coral reefs, I urge any interested reefer to read the book Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas by Forest Rohwer. It's accessible, engaging, and short, but it introduces readers to some hardcore science, and ULNS reefers may find some of what Dr. Rohwer has to say to be of particular relevance to their slant on the hobby.

Originally Posted by karimwassef
I wonder what adding a large volume of nitrifying bacteria would do. Something concentrated like TurboStart900 would create a significant rebalance of bacteria.
Originally Posted by 34cygni
It looks to me like heterotrophic bacteria are the foundation on which ostis build. These bacteria are rich in phosphorous. Dinos are P-rich organisms, as well, but less so than the bacteria, so there's excess phosphorous in their diet. This waste phosphorous is used to recruit cyano, which is also P-rich, but less so than the dinos. And now the dinos have access to P from the bacteria and N and Fe from the cyano. Sky's the limit.

I thought Montireef outcompeted the ostis' bacteria by triggering a minicycle when he added LR. A cycling bacterial biofilter is basically a series of overlapping bacteria blooms, during which nutrient demand is very high.
I agree that our best bet to outcompete the ostis is to outcompete their food supply with, as you put it, "a significant rebalance of bacteria". I'm looking for a bigger gun than just the nitrogen cycle bacteria, though...

Originally Posted by PorkchopExpress
as soon as i saw them i sucked them up and immediately started feeding the tank like crazy to get NO3/PO4 up which has worked
Don't forget DNA's cautionary tale:

Originally Posted by DNA
I raise nitrates and it makes a considerable dent in the dinos.
Algae moves in and covers much of my rocks.
Dinos move back in and sit comfortably on top of the algae.
Cyano really gets going and covers the dinos.
You know, that's almost haiku...

I raise nitrates, it
makes a considerable
dent in the dinos.

Algae moves in
and covers much of my rocks.
Dinos move back in

Comfortably on
top. Cyano gets going,
covers the dinos.

So close! One line is a syllable short... Okay, so the bad news is that O. ovata is known to be epiphytic, which is Science for "it grows on algae". The point of that observation being that what you guys are seeing is normal behavior this organism exhibits in the wild, and it's another reason why ostis can never be outcompeted by algae.

Originally Posted by PorkchopExpress least for me the UV approach is no longer working by itself, it requires me dirtying up my water as well...i believe my dinos will lay dormant for some time and bloom at opportune moments...i don't believe i'll ever get rid of them
Sorry the problem recurred in your new tank. Sorrier still to tell you that you're right: they will lay dormant for years, bloom at opportune moments, and you'll never be rid of them. Out in the real world, that's pretty much their job. Dinos are survivors. They have to be because they're a keystone of marine ecosystems, responsible for generating vast amounts of biomass, and an entire suite of organisms has evolved to take advantage of this food resource, and another to take advantage of the organisms taking advantage of it, and so on up the food chain.

Short of a miracle fix -- I like to imagine multiple high-speed micrographic video cameras at different angles localizing individual dinos, and a green laser blowing them apart (I bet dinos fluoresce at certain wavelengths, making them easy to see in the dark) -- all we can do is try to keep them in check.

Originally Posted by PorkchopExpress
the next time they decide to bloom, the UV and dirty water may no longer work...i might have to take a poop in my aquarium at that point
If "the clean method" really has stopped working for you and you're resorting to "the dirty method" with the UVS on, I can only guess that the UV is working against you by killing other protists and bacteria that circulate through the sterilizer. Perhaps that's why you have to let things go so far to make it work. Next time, consider taking the UV offline when you "go dirty", or perhaps turn the UV off during the "day" when the dinos are settled down to give other microorganisms a chance to move around. Be prepared for an explosion in the dino population -- this looks like it could be one of those "it's going to get worse before it gets better" situations. See if the dirty method works faster with UV only at night or with UV completely off. Then turn the UVS back on to slow the rebound of the dino population after you knock them back and tidy up. In theory, it's the best of both worlds. Food for thought, anyway.

Speaking of dinos developing resistance, though, it also crosses my mind that even if Montireef's probiotic power-up works, the dinos might be able to adapt to that, as well. The problem is that pretty much the same menagerie of microorganisms is going to be coming out of the skimmer every time, and the dinos may eventually find the right mix of toxins to repel them, or at least to repel the most rapacious species. But on the other hand, maybe some of the organisms in skimmate tea are heterotrophic dinoflagellates, and we're fighting fire with fire.

Originally Posted by Quiet_Ivy
I'm discouraged.
I don't know if you were actually born there, but you are a true Canadian. I would be waaaay beyond discouraged at this point if I were in your shoes.

Originally Posted by Quiet_Ivy
Where's the green algae? Diatoms?
Remember DNA's warning... You may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you dose nitrogen to grow green algae.

Originally Posted by Quiet_Ivy
Looking at my monthly tank shots I see that my sandbed is becoming less and less alive. There aren't any hair worms along the front at all anymore. No spaghetti worms in the sandbed. Pod population has come back to normal, and seems to hang out on the glass in the dinos. Sandbed is clumping into little hillocks, oddly.
Yes, your sand bed appears to be dying. My guess is that the clumps are made by bacterial biofilm goo gluing the sand grains together. Your sand bed "clogged", meaning there's no longer enough infauna to turn the sand and break up the biofilm goo, and it crusted over. The crust somehow got broken up a bit, and now you have clumps.

Dinos killing a sand bed is interesting... How was yours set up? Did you follow Shimek's list of "DSB safe" livestock when stocking your tank? If not, what were your livestock choices, in particular for your sand bed CUC and your CUC in general? How long was your sand bed in place before your dino outbreak? Did you have the usual very low or undetectable N and P at the time of your outbreak, and if so was that normal for your system? Have you ever seen offgassing from your sandbed? If so, have there been more bubbles or fewer bubbles over time? Thanks for any information you care to share, and if anybody else has dinos and dead or dying sand, same questions. Sand is on my mind ATM.

Quiet_Ivy, if you intend to try probiotic dosing and want to try to turn your tank around -- and I'm guessing you do, as you haven't torn it down and started over -- I suggest you consider collecting skimmate from other hobbyists, as yours is coming in slowly, and your tank's ecosystem seems to have slid so far that you may lack some of the microfauna you're trying to cultivate. An infusion of new life at the bottom of the food chain would probably do your tank some good. And the sooner, the better.

Originally Posted by Quiet_Ivy
I'd really like to know what was going on in Montireef's cultured skimmate. Were conditions anoxic/anaerobic?
No -- if you put it in a sealed container and it goes anaerobic, everything dies except anaerobic bacteria, which would then die in turn when dumped into oxygenated tank water. Not that you would be at all inclined to dump that reeking bottle of foulness into your tank...

12/31/2014, 03:13 PM #594
Just place some GAC on your filter/mesh to remove the bad stuff and release the stinky waters back to the tank, I'm sure you will be surprised.

12/31/2014, 03:38 PM #597
And this is the outcome:

No trace of ostreopsis ovata (probably the worst dinofalgellate I have ever come across) after a few days.
Which is not to say that it won't smell bad. I mean, y'know... Skimmate. Plus, a small anoxic zone will almost certainly develop among the larger bits of gunk that settle to the bottom, but this shouldn't be disturbed as a trickle of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, is coming out of it as the gunk decays, and this helps keep the system going as it "matures".

Originally Posted by Quiet_Ivy
Did the bottle contain the motherload of n-fixing bacteria? Or was it the protozoan predators?
Remember where we stole skimming technology from: the wastewater treatment industry (but fair's fair: they got the idea from us in the first place). Skimmers excel at removing colloidal organic carbon, a squishy, somewhat nebulous intermediate phase between dissolved organic carbon (individual molecules floating around in water) and solid matter. The reason the wastewater treatment people were interested in such a thing, and the reason the technology came full circle and returned to the aquarium hobby in new and improved form, is that there's quite a bit of colloidal organic carbon in poo.

Bacteria love colloidal organic carbon, the fresher the better. It's solid enough for them to colonize, but soft enough that the enzymes they release can get into it and break down the individual molecules -- fragments of old proteins -- that it's made of into smaller pieces that the bacteria can consume. And where there are bacteria (and oxygen) there are things that eat bacteria, some of them single-celled and some of them multicellular...

Basically, I theorize that Montireef's reported success was the result of millions of these microscopic rafts of colloidal organic carbon, all of them carrying bacteria and perhaps also other hungry things, sticking to the dino mucilage and contaminating it with exactly the sort of organisms the dinos are trying to exclude. If so, it would reasonably follow that DNA's reported failures happened because he left his skimmer on and removed the colloidal organic carbon before it could do any good.

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