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Old 02/22/2016, 09:18 AM   #3176
DNA
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Yesterday I opened the Calcium reactor up to twice as much flow as usual.
At the same time I fired the Kalk reactor up again.

This is a followup to my recent desaturation test,but backwards.
Only twelve hours later the results are in with noticeable more dinos on the sand and rocks.

This leads to a conclusion that it's the main elements we add that fuel the growth, not the small amounts of numerous trace elements.
I find it most likely to be alkalinity, rather than Calcium or Magnesium that is also supplied with my Ca reactor.
There could be a twist with added CO2, but pH stays buffered.

These are repeating results so they are getting pretty solid.


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Old 02/22/2016, 05:11 PM   #3177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNA View Post
This leads to a conclusion that it's the main elements we add that fuel the growth, not the small amounts of numerous trace elements.
I find it most likely to be alkalinity, rather than Calcium or Magnesium that is also supplied with my Ca reactor.
What do we think your ostis are doing with all the alkalinity?
Doesn't seem like they'd have much use for it.


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Old 02/22/2016, 07:11 PM   #3178
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On the other hand, the reactor media might be contaminated with phosphate, for example. It's possible that the higher dKH makes it easier for the dinoflagellates to take up inorganic carbon, though.


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Old 02/22/2016, 07:25 PM   #3179
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It's been a couple of weeks since I did the 3day blackout. It really knocked them back. Ive been keeping my ph above 8.4, no water changes since last week of December or first week of Jan. I've been dosing phyto feast and phyco for those two weeks and I must say I finally have a true turning point. I see pods for the first time since I could remember. I only saw 1 dead Dino after collecting samples and viewing on the microscope.


I will keep y'all posted.


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Old 02/22/2016, 07:33 PM   #3180
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Can anyone give me a hint what I'm growing here in my "green tea"?
This is what my skimmate, set in sun/2700k LED bulb with an air bubbler, looks like after a few days.


It's not just one organism obviously, but the water is 99% this thing....
1000x mag.
https://youtu.be/3uiOcmCVoQY

They zoom around pretty fast.
100x
https://youtu.be/g6joZta_fTc

Not direct dino predators, but I've had no luck identifying them, and maybe figuring out their relation (if any) to dino deaths with "green tea" would be easier with an ID.


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Old 02/22/2016, 11:53 PM   #3181
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I think it looks like a common ciliate protist: paramecium caudatum? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramecium_caudatum





we can go to class:



I prefer this class:




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Old 02/22/2016, 11:57 PM   #3182
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has anyone looked at the phyto they feed under a microscope?

Maybe it's not the phyto alone, but the protists that are cultured along side them unintentionally that end up killing the dinos?

Maybe home cultured phyto and home cultured "green water" are related in the ciliates that live there?


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Old 02/23/2016, 12:27 AM   #3183
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Feeding by heterotrophic protists and copepods on the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Azadinium cf. poporum from Western Korean waters

https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._Korean_waters


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Old 02/23/2016, 10:18 AM   #3184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karimwassef View Post
has anyone looked at the phyto they feed under a microscope?

Yes, I keep mine fairly pure


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Old 02/23/2016, 05:14 PM   #3185
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No contaminating ciliates?


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Old 02/23/2016, 08:20 PM   #3186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNA
Two months ago I had Ca at 350 and Alk at 5 and almost no dinos left.
Now it's Ca at 380 and Alk at 7 and the dinos are blooming again.
This is quite a thin line.

The levels took only a week to reach where they are now and they have hit the titanium wall.
Looking at my logs for the last 4 years the only times they have peaked across the wall is with chemicals on top of my oversized Calcium and Kalkwasser reactors.

I measure my Calcium reactor occasionally and last time it read:
Alk at 29 and flow 30ml/minute

Is anyone able to solve this mystery?
Chemistry isn't my thing, but this has been at the back of my mind for a while, so I'll take a stab at it.

Given that you haven't reported precipitates in your system or your sand bed turning to concrete, the only other sink for all the missing calcium that I can think of would be biological... Are you still getting the dusting of tiny shells and calcareous debris you previously reported, or the barely visible haze in the water that you thought might be coccolithophores?

Biological calcification has evolved again and again in algae because the following chemical reactions tie the calcium cycle to photosynthesis, allowing primary producers to alleviate CO2 limitation...


calcification (requires an alkaline environment)
Ca2+ + CO2 + H2O ----> CaCO3 + 2 H+

bicarbonate conversion (requires an acidic environment)
2 H+ + 2 HCO3- ----> 2 CO2 + 2 H2O

photosynthesis ("CH2O" represents sugar)
CO2 + H2O ----> CH2O + O2


combine the above 3 reactions and the CO2, H2O, and H+ all cancel out
Ca2+ + 2 HCO3- ----> CaCO3 + CH2O + O2


There are dinos that can calcify, but they only seem to do it on special occasions -- some pelagic dinos can form calcareous dormant forms that seem to be their version of the cysts formed by benthic and shallow water coastal species, and some cyst-forming species form calcareous cysts. In both cases, the point of the exercise seems to be to up-armor the dinos when they're dormant and unable to flee or defend themselves.

But generally speaking, dinos aren't calcifying organisms, which means that they must be escaping CO2 limitation by using bicarbonate for photosynthesis:

H+ + HCO3- ----> CH2O + O2

Trouble is, the H+ required for this normally comes from H2O or HCO3- which leads to surplus OH- and CO3- and rising pH. And of course, drawing down CO2 levels raises alk by triggering the dissociation of HCO3- into OH- and CO2 as the system maintains carbonate equilibrium.

My guess is that the dinos are creating a high-alk microenvironment around them which favors calcification, and judging by the amount of calcium you're pumping into your system and the tiny shells you're seeing, there are organisms taking advantage of it. When you draw down alk far enough, you put this part of the dinoflagellate holobiont out of business. Without calcification reactions releasing protons (H+ ions), the dinos lose a major source of protons for bicarbonate photosynthesis and must rely more on CO2, limiting their growth.

Interestingly, even though photosynthesis creates the high pH conditions, calcification has been observed to persist in reef sands in the wild for up to 7 hours after photosynthesis ceased due to darkness. In the morning, it only took about an hour for the chemistry in the surface layer of the sand to tip back to an alkaline environment favoring calcification.


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Old 02/23/2016, 11:56 PM   #3187
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Just to avoid possible confusion in the photosynthesis equation you gave, CH2O is formaldehyde, but it's a simple carbohydrate that works for a general explanation, but I am not sure that's what photosynthesis typically generates.

Dinoflagellates generally don't affect the alkalinity appreciably because they don't calcify in most case, as you stated. They will consume a bit temporarily if they take up carbonate or bicarbonate as a carbon source, but the alkalinity is released after the carbon is taken.

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-10/rhf/index.php#6


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Old 02/24/2016, 05:16 AM   #3188
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file this under theories that connect dots.
Vitamin B12, Cyanobacteria, Cobalt, and Dinos.
Dinos are needy (auxotrophic). One crucial thing that Dinos can't make for themselves, but are dependent on is vitamin B12.
"the vitamin B1, B7, and B12 requirements of 41 strains of 27 HAB[harmful algae bloom] species (19 dinoflagellates) were investigated. All but one species (two strains) of harmful algae surveyed required vitamin B12." The one species in the study that doesn't: symbiodinium!

B12 levels have also been shown to correlate with dino bloom events and B12 depletion with the end of blooms,

Dinos are in competition for B12 with most of the rest of the algae kingdom too: "many algae are rich in vitamin B12, with some species, such as Porphyra yezoensis (Nori), containing as much cobalamin as liver"

So where does this vitamin B12 come from? It's rare, breaks down in sunlight, is needed by eukaryotes, but only prokaryotes make it, which makes it quite a valuable commodity. One of the most important producers of B12 - you guessed it - cyanobacteria. "the cyanobacterial contribution to the oceanic B12 supply may be ~ 50 times higher than the contribution of heterotrophic bacteria."

And to make B12, you have to have Cobalt. In some areas of the open ocean, Co has been found to limit the production of B12. Cobalt is also contained in soil, and in our salt mixes - 6 of 9 salt mixes tested above the detection limit which was significantly higher than NSW concentration of Cobalt.

  • Dinos need B12
  • Coral doesn't need B12
  • algae competes for B12
  • Cyano makes B12 out of Cobalt
  • salt water changes replace Co


on a separate note -
I turned off my skimmer 3 days ago, and I've looked through the microscope for hours and taken samples from all over my system: water column, deep dino territory, on the margins, healthy sand, all varieties of skimmer mixes etc.
I have not seen any microscopic dino grazers - or any evidence of them. I see live dinos and dead dinos, but no microlife eating dinos.
(I am aware that the presence of some bacteria can make dinos stop functioning, and I wouldn't be able to see that.)
I was really hoping to find an oxyrrhis or gyrodinium munching on some amphidinium. nothin.


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Old 02/24/2016, 06:06 AM   #3189
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I feed a lot of nori. About 4 full size sheets per day.
My ATS grows nice and thick though, with some patches of cyano here and there.
No dinos though (still running nighttime UV).


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Old 02/24/2016, 02:55 PM   #3190
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I do have high amounts of small floating particles, but those are mix of various decaying matters that have clumped up and would sink to the deep in the ocean as marine snow, but we have skimmers acting as one. A good portion is highly reflective indicating it's calcium based. There is no doubt that there is calcareous matter on the lose, but I can't tell for sure if it's my sandbed breaking down into ever smaller pieces or something forming in my tank. Many had shapes though that could hardly be caused with erosion. Not rounded, but stick like etc.
Some reefers with ostis report Calcium levels at 450 while myself and a friend have constant low levels.

I introduced the Coccolithophores to the readers of this thread a couple of years ago, but nobody seemed to be interested.
They are a major player in the bloom business and it would be silly to think they are not present in all reef tanks.
How one estimates the amount in our small tanks is not easy and then try to figure out how much is normal.
Nobody ever talks about them in these forums and even though diatoms, another big player get's spotted in our microscope I don't recall anyone having dino and diatom blooms at the same time.


Role in the food web
Coccolithophores are one of the more abundant primary producers in the ocean. As such, they are a large contributor to the primary productivity of the tropical and subtropical oceans, however, exactly how much has yet to have been recorded.

Dependence on nutrients
The ratio between the concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus and silicate in particular areas of the ocean dictates competitive dominance within phytoplankton communities. Each ratio essentially tips the odds in favor of either diatoms or more other groups of phytoplankton, such as coccolithophores. A low silicate to nitrogen and phosphorus ratio allows coccolithophores to outcompete other phytoplankton species; however, when silicate to phosphorus to nitrogen ratios are high coccolithophores are outcompeted by diatoms. The increase in agricultural processes lead to eutrophication of waters and thus, coccolithophore blooms in these high nitrogen and phosphorus, low silicate environments.

Predator-prey interactions
Their predators include the common predators of all phytoplankton including small fish, zooplankton, and shellfish larvae. Viruses specific to this species have been isolated from several locations worldwide and appear to play a major role in spring bloom dynamics.



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Old 02/24/2016, 08:39 PM   #3191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bertoni
Just to avoid possible confusion in the photosynthesis equation you gave, CH2O is formaldehyde, but it's a simple carbohydrate that works for a general explanation, but I am not sure that's what photosynthesis typically generates.
Note that the equation I gave is identical to the one at the beginning of the article you linked to. It's the standard simplified representation of photosynthesis, which is why I said CH2O represents sugar.

This is another way to write the equation for photosynthesis:

6 CO2 + 6 H2O ----> C6H12O6 + 6 O2

The product is glucose, the most common plant sugar. Divide everything by 6 and you get:

CO2 + H2O ----> CH2O + O2


Quote:
Originally Posted by bertoni
Dinoflagellates generally don't affect the alkalinity appreciably because they don't calcify in most case, as you stated.
Dinos doing weird things to alk is a persistent, albeit minor, theme in this thread. DNA first mentioned it in post #1:

Quote:
06/24/2013, 01:55 PM #1
DNA

Ca, Alk, Mg, Nitrates.
My tank has both had periods of low alkalinity and low calcium and at that time I though that had something to do with it, but having perfect parameters does not make dinos grow any less.
Photosynthesis normally tends to raise alk because it consumes CO2, which when drawn down will cause HCO3- to dissociate into CO2 and hydroxide. That's why the persistently low alk and Ca levels reported by DNA and others demand an explanation -- like I said, this has been at the back of my mind for a while...


Quote:
Originally Posted by bertoni
They will consume a bit temporarily if they take up carbonate or bicarbonate as a carbon source, but the alkalinity is released after the carbon is taken.

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-10/rhf/index.php#6
I don't see where that link provides evidence that marine primary producers consume alk when they're CO2 limited and running on bicarb -- in fact, the link you provided lands on a description of how bicarbonate is broken down and hydroxide generated outside the cell so that the resulting CO2 can be consumed... Perhaps you meant to link to Direct Uptake, as those reactions take place inside the cell, though again they indicate that hydroxide is being generated, not consumed. In any event, the reaction diagrams given for the Carbonic Anhydrase and Direct Uptake pathways are essentially identical, and both are consistent with this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by 34cygni
Trouble is, the H+ required for this normally comes from H2O or HCO3- which leads to surplus OH- and CO3- and rising pH.
Just add water at the beginning to balance the reactions, and tack on photosynthesis at the end...
HCO3- + H2O ----> H2CO3 + OH- ----> CO2 + H2O + OH- ----> CH2O + O2 + OH-

Subtract the OH- common to each step...
HCO3- + H+ ----> H2CO3 ----> CO2 + H2O ----> CH2O + O2

Skip the intermediate steps and you get the simplified equation I originally gave...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34cygni
dinos aren't calcifying organisms, which means that they must be escaping CO2 limitation by using bicarbonate for photosynthesis:

H+ + HCO3- ----> CH2O + O2
But this was interesting:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Holmes-Farley in 'Photosynthesis and the Reef Aquarium'
Three marine bloom-forming (red tide) dinoflagellates, Prorocentrum minimum, Heterocapsa triquetra and Ceratium lineatum, have been shown to take up bicarbonate directly. They show little carbonic anhydrase activity, yet bicarbonate accounts for approximately 80% of the carbon dioxide they use in photosynthesis. It is believed that these dinoflagellates are not carbon limited in photosynthesis due to their efficient direct bicarbonate uptake mechanisms.
--

Quote:
Originally Posted by taricha
file this under theories that connect dots.
You rock. I missed this completely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by taricha
on a separate note -
I turned off my skimmer 3 days ago, and I've looked through the microscope for hours and taken samples from all over my system: water column, deep dino territory, on the margins, healthy sand, all varieties of skimmer mixes etc.
I have not seen any microscopic dino grazers - or any evidence of them. I see live dinos and dead dinos, but no microlife eating dinos.
(I am aware that the presence of some bacteria can make dinos stop functioning, and I wouldn't be able to see that.)
I was really hoping to find an oxyrrhis or gyrodinium munching on some amphidinium. nothin.
That kind of predation can often go in either direction in dinoflagellate food webs... In all likelihood, the amphidiniums so outnumber the heterotrophic dinos and other potential predators/grazers that they're eating them faster than they're being eaten. And just because you don't have toxic dinos, that doesn't mean that your dinos aren't producing toxins -- maybe they're better targeted at the microfauna and hostile bacteria that are actual threats to the dinos, so we don't register them as "toxic dinos" in our heads because they're not killing animals we care about.

Skimmers collect and concentrate coral mucus and other detritus, so maybe they support a micro-ecosystem dominated by secondary producers that's biologically distinct from the dino holobiont. Like a wildlife refuge surrounded by farmland -- take it away, and the creatures that were living there don't have anywhere to go.

--

Quote:
Originally Posted by DNA
I introduced the Coccolithophores to the readers of this thread a couple of years ago, but nobody seemed to be interested.
I am. That's why I quoted your introduction and put some information about cocos in the megapost on page 101.

I recently stumbled across a hint that the heterotrophic species oxyrrhis marina prefer eating armored E. huxleyi cocos to naked E. hux. Weird, eh? Maybe naked cocos have more effective chemical defenses. Unfortunately, it's just a reference to a paper that doesn't seem to be online anywhere, so I don't know that it's true or why it might be so.


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Old 02/24/2016, 10:56 PM   #3192
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Note that the equation I gave is identical to the one at the beginning of the article you linked to. It's the standard simplified representation of photosynthesis, which is why I said CH2O represents sugar.
Yes, I was commenting for others.

Quote:
Photosynthesis normally tends to raise alk because it consumes CO2, which when drawn down will cause HCO3- to dissociate into CO2 and hydroxide. That's why the persistently low alk and Ca levels reported by DNA and others demand an explanation -- like I said, this has been at the back of my mind for a while...
Consuming carbon dioxide does not change the alkalinity. Neither does adding it. Hydroxide has one unit of alkalinity, as does HCO3-, so it's a net zero.

Quote:
I don't see where that link provides evidence that marine primary producers consume alk when they're CO2 limited and running on bicarb...
You are correct that running on bicarbonate does not consume net alkalinity. That's not what I was trying to say. I was referring to the period between the uptake of bicarbonate and the release of the OH-, which is going to be fairly small, but might affect the alkalinity. There's also some possible consumption into organics into the cell itself, which is going to be small.

Quote:
Subtract the OH- common to each step...
HCO3- + H+ ----> H2CO3 ----> CO2 + H2O ----> CH2O + O2
This is the equation that shows that photosynthesis doesn't change alkalinity. The HCO3- is balanced by the H+.

From:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/2/chemistry

The definition of total alkalinity:

TA = [HCO3-] + 2[CO3--] + [B(OH)4-] + [OH-] + [Si(OH)3O-] + [MgOH+] + [HPO4--] + 2[PO4---] - [H+]


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Old 02/25/2016, 03:27 AM   #3193
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Total black out . I will do it for 3 days , sick and tired to fight Dino or whatever it was!





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Old 02/25/2016, 06:42 AM   #3194
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Regarding coccos, I can think of a couple of observations that might show weak evidence for them in my tank.
My water is completely clear under normal light, but under blacklight it's hazy. This kind of scattering indicates particles at least the size of the wavelength of light 375nm, so ~.4 microns and large. Additionally they must be strongly fluorescent to be visible under UV blacklight. Calcium carbonate is, as is paper, and a million other things.
Additionally if I skim dry and put vinegar on the dry skimmate scum and get bubbles, would that indicate CaCO3? Haven't tried it.
Now to the part that strongly suggests I have virtually no cocco activity in my tank - or at least I didn't for months.
My calcium tested around 485 (+- 15)
And my alk at dkh 10 (+-1)
(Mg high too)
...consistently in test after test for like 4 months despite no additions of any of those.

Having said all that, I'm still grasping at the suggested connection between coccos and dinos. Do we think they are competitors? are the coccos dino food?
Does the presence of one indicate water parameters unfriendly to the other?


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Old 02/25/2016, 11:23 AM   #3195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taricha View Post
Regarding coccos, I can think of a couple of observations that might show weak evidence for them in my tank.
My water is completely clear under normal light, but under blacklight it's hazy. This kind of scattering indicates particles at least the size of the wavelength of light 375nm, so ~.4 microns and large. Additionally they must be strongly fluorescent to be visible under UV blacklight. Calcium carbonate is, as is paper, and a million other things.
Additionally if I skim dry and put vinegar on the dry skimmate scum and get bubbles, would that indicate CaCO3? Haven't tried it.
Now to the part that strongly suggests I have virtually no cocco activity in my tank - or at least I didn't for months.
My calcium tested around 485 (+- 15)
And my alk at dkh 10 (+-1)
(Mg high too)
...consistently in test after test for like 4 months despite no additions of any of those.

Having said all that, I'm still grasping at the suggested connection between coccos and dinos. Do we think they are competitors? are the coccos dino food?
Does the presence of one indicate water parameters unfriendly to the other?
Some small bits...

Here is what skimmate consists of.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-12/rs/feature/

With the haze it's a matter of reference or contrast.
During the day there is no or poor blackpoint. The background is bright.
A very bright beam from a LED flashlight to an unlit tank will bring out the best in tank viewing for particles.

We have all mixed salt to RO water so we know how much stuff goes in there and that a slight haze is normal.
I've dived on the reef and most of the longer bandwidths are gone at 15 feet. (5 meters).
For a reference here is a healthy tank measuring that and you can see how the corals in the back all look cyan.
https://youtu.be/2pxTBHtnl-s?t=359
I don't know how if we can or should try to eyeball the coccos, but I'd welcome them or the diatoms if it would lead to the demise of the dinos.

Coccos are around 10 times smaller than dinos so they will not be eating them alive, but their blooms are massive and they block sunlight. When these organisms die off they break down and will become a feast despite of armor or toxicity.

I just read through local shellfish monitoring logs.
What they do is simply taking a sample from the water column and measuring densities.
This will govern if they rule shellfish from the area edible or not.

I also found out for the first time that diatoms can also cause shellfish poisoning.


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Old 02/25/2016, 03:02 PM   #3196
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Good points on the light scattering in water.
This article http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/2/aafeature about the contents of skimmate covers a lot of similar territory.
It concludes 44% of insoluble dried skimmate was CaCO3, but because the system was running a calcium reactor, the article just says it could be forams, coccos, or particles ejected from the reactor.
Since I don't run a reactor, haven't added new salt mix in weeks, have large grained sand, I'd conclude that most anything calcium carbonate in my skimmate was from coccos or forams.


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Old 02/26/2016, 06:42 AM   #3197
taricha
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A point on the "dirty" method that I haven't seen discussed much:
If elevated N and P are the definition of "dirty" then it may be harder to do than people think.
Putting in 5x the food as normal and turning off skimming and exporting nothing for weeks - P was up (.16) but my nitrates were still undetectable.
So I dosed nitrates in addition to heavy feeding no skimming no export, green film took off for a couple of days, then slowed. So of course tests showed nitrates up (20+ppm) but phosphates as low as they've ever tested in my tank (.039)
I guess one takeaway is that in my tank at least the dinos did not particularly seem to care whether the tank was N limited, P available or P limited, N available. No significant difference when the tank was in either condition for over a week.


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Old 02/26/2016, 08:07 AM   #3198
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My phyto turned into sheets of green gel.

 photo E18217E6-CF2F-413F-BD44-A0520BD7F882_zpskwupuboh.jpg

I still think I can feed it to my reef.

Thoughts?


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Old 02/26/2016, 08:07 AM   #3199
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It's stuck to my curved bubble wand


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Failure isn't an option It's a requirement. 660g 380inwall+280smp/surge S/L/Soft/Maxima/RBTA/Clown/Chromis/Anthias/Tang/Mandarin/Jawfish/Goby/Wrasse/D'back. DIY 12' Skimmer ActuatedSurge ConcreteScape
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Old 02/26/2016, 09:33 AM   #3200
tastyfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taricha View Post
A point on the "dirty" method that I haven't seen discussed much:
If elevated N and P are the definition of "dirty" then it may be harder to do than people think.
Putting in 5x the food as normal and turning off skimming and exporting nothing for weeks - P was up (.16) but my nitrates were still undetectable.
So I dosed nitrates in addition to heavy feeding no skimming no export, green film took off for a couple of days, then slowed. So of course tests showed nitrates up (20+ppm) but phosphates as low as they've ever tested in my tank (.039)
I guess one takeaway is that in my tank at least the dinos did not particularly seem to care whether the tank was N limited, P available or P limited, N available. No significant difference when the tank was in either condition for over a week.
The presence of high nitrate means that algae and other organisms can uptake PO4 more readily. Certainly in my case, PO4 was feeding the Dinos. I didn't go about raising the NO3 levels using the dirty method. Mine was in contrast the "Ultra Clean and Dark" method.


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