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Old 01/19/2011, 08:18 AM   #1
t4zalews
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dino experiment

I'm posting this is the chemistry forum because I've read the most about Dino's in this forum.

I've been dealing with Dino's for about 6 months. The battle has waned but I need to get rid of them. My problem is the I suck up all the snot algae that it produces...but my sand and live rock still release bubbles when the halides come on...and these in turn keep the brown snot algae coming back.

I raised my alk up to 9..and recently got dosing pumps to keep it steady at that level. My Ph ranges from 8.1-8.3. On Jan. 3rd I set up some BRS biopellets, about a cup...so its been two weeks so they'll probably start kicking up the bacteria. I run a XP-1000sss skimmer. I'm thinking perhaps uping the skimmer to a xp-2000 to get as much crud out as possible. Would this increase the pulling of organics and the biopellet effluent? I've yet to start running carbon again because I wanted the biopellets to activate (btw, I had no bloom when using the biopellets because I have the outlet going exiting straight in from of my skimmer intake.)

As for the most efficient way of getting the brown algae crud out of my tank...My sand bed gets it the worse, flow doesnt seem to be the problem as I have 2xmp40w running at bout 65%..was at 75%, but I wanted to lower it a little. I can see the snot algae just blowing in the current. for the sand I got a gravel cleaner and really go down into the sand and remove any particles I can. The rocks on the other hand are harder to get the algae off of. I currenly just use a toothbruch and brush the rocks suspending the algae into the water column where i hope it goes into the overflow. I'm thinking about adding a filter sock to the end of my overflow pipe to catch any particles suspended in the water. but besides this...how do other people get the algae off their rocks?

I've tried the 3 days out, elevated Ph, running GFO and ROX carbon. This helped when my tank was fully blown up with Dino's, but at this stage does little to make it go away. I'm taking the approach to just aggressivly remove as much as I can...heavy water changes...and more "efficient" skimming to remove the organics that, what i read, dino's leave in the water column.

Any other types of suggestions regarding Dino success would be appreciated as I've read most of the threads about Dino's in RC and other's seem to be having the same problem. Thanks


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Old 01/19/2011, 10:32 AM   #2
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Many of the pests we are faced with take time & aggressive action like you are currently taking to eliminate or perhaps control the pest. Adding a filter bag will help collect the dinos and other organic debris. You will want to clean the filter bag at least weekly (as soon as significant material builds-up in the bag) so the collected material does not brake down and add nutrients back into your water column.

Lights out for several days in addition to your current cleaning may help and can be repeated after giving your coral time to recuperate from any prior episode. Persistent removal by scrubbing the rock is important and if you can remove the rock, you will be able to do a better job and prevent from spreading the dinos in the tank water.


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Old 01/19/2011, 10:45 AM   #3
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Some species of dinos will grow and multiply faster when the pH is increased higher then 8.5, so if you elevated the pH above 8.5 this may have increased problems for your particular specie of dino. I would try the lights out with normal pH this time and see what happens.

Randy indicates this possibility in this article:

Problem Dinoflagellates and pH
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-11/rhf/index.php#2

From it:

"It should be noted, however, that one species of dinoflagellate, the planktonic toxin producer Alexandrium catenella,2 was found to grow optimally at pH 8.5 in lab cultures. So raising pH is not a panacea for all dinoflagellate species that might be a problem."

FWIW, there is new scientific research that has been completed since Randy's article that has found that many more dinoflagellates tested will bloom at a pH level higher than 8.5.


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Old 01/19/2011, 02:07 PM   #4
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I wouldn't remove the live rock from the tank, as it's a lot of work and might interfered with the filtration capacity of the rock, etc. Spending a few minutes every day or maybe every working siphoning out as much of the slime as is easy to get can be useful. Reducing feeding can help, sometimes, too. I might stop feeding for a week, and see what happens.

How much GFO is being used, and how often is it being changed?


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Old 01/19/2011, 03:04 PM   #5
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I try siphoning out the algae from the rock..but its suck on there...so when I scrub it off, it just goes into the water column, and makes it difficult to syphon out. I currently am not using GFO because I am running the biopellets right now. I was testing levels of .03 from a hanna photometer (although it also read my RO/DI) water at .03 phosphate after all my filters were changed. So I'm assuming this is the variance (+-.04) and that I have low phosphates.

I have ZERO hair algae or any other nuisance algae...corraline algae grows all over. The problem isnt the algae itself...its the bubbles that cause the algae that come from my sandbed and live rock.

I've tried the lights out period with normal Ph, the Ph level stayed around 8.05 during this time (APEX). The algae after this time period looks "wounded" and its not snotty, rather it looks dusty on the sandbed.


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Old 01/19/2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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I don't think that the bubbles are the problem, but more likely a symptom. They could be nitrogen from the sandbed, but more likely, they are oxygen from photosynthesis. They appear first before the film grows large enough to see, IMO.

I think nutrient control is the best approach, and can't add much to what you've said so far. I might get a more precise phosphate kit of some sort, but it might not help much. Some people battle such problems for a long time without results. I might try stopping feeding altogether for a week, and see what happens.


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Old 01/19/2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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do dino's in fact get worse from phosphate levels? if so, maybe there is phosphate that got sucked into the rock...have had the rock for 4+ years. my understanding is that when you continually suck po4 out of the water it eventually comes out of the rock? I ask this because I went all the way down to only feeding 3 times a week. and all I fed was a nori sheet.

from my original post...would it benefit me to upgrade to an xp2000 from my xp1000? or would it not make enough difference to purchase a bigger skimmer....I want to upgrade my tank, but I want to get the dino's cured in this tank as I will be transfering all contents from my current tank to the new one. Looking at a 180g.


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Old 01/19/2011, 05:31 PM   #8
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im not sure on treatment but i had a bout with dinos that turned pretty nasty, i found it went away with reduced feedings(less wasted food) and twice a week 10% water changes. This is by no means scientific but reducing nutrients and being more diligent with water changes has worked for me, also had bad hair algae which is receding more and more every day. I was ready to go the chemical route but decided to wait it out and im glad i did.


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Old 01/19/2011, 05:40 PM   #9
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I'm happy to hear a success story..thanks dohc97. I'm going to try and only feed spectrum pellets and pick up on the water changes. Bout to order some pellet GFO from BRS and get my phosban up and running again. Just tested my Po4 and it was .12, wierd...it usually reads .03.

I literally find the only frustating thing this hobby is all the maintenance and testing..do all your research and spending a lot of time on your tank...and then have a problem like this...it almost wants you to just drain the tank and stop. But I remember the good ole days of colorful corals and no brown algae. sigh..


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Old 01/24/2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t4zalews View Post
.... My Ph ranges from 8.1-8.3.
That is not high enough. 8.4 to 8.6 is what Randy mentions in the article found here
I am battling Dinos as I write this. I have an apex controller so reading my ph is easy. At 8.3 Dinos grows , at 8.4 it goes away.
Get it higher by using a lime water slurry added near a power head. Mrs Wages pickling lime works great !
Once my ph was over 8.4 my dinos was almost gone the next day! Nearly unbelievable. When my ph drops below 8.4 the Dinos comes back.
I stopped doing water changes except to replace what water is lost due to siphoning dinos manually. Water changes feed more nutrients into your water that feed the dinos. I also cut my lighting period down from 12 hrs a day to 8 hours. That's all the steps I have taken.
I 'm just not sure how long it takes to get rid of this beast for good.
Good luck


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Old 01/28/2011, 07:39 PM   #11
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FINALLY...after many many different methods and hundreds of dollars...I finally found something wrong with my tank. I ordered an ORP probe and my ORP is 150. NSW runs between 350-450 pending my research on RC. The dino's in my tank are probably being produced by the mass organic particles in my tank. My P04 is .02-.03 (hanna) and zero phosphates...Alk 8, Ca 420, Mg 1300. My probe has been running for 4 hours, and I'll wait til tomorrow to see if it raises anymore. I'm going to take the GFO out of my TLF reactor and load it up with ROX tomorrow to try and eliminate my organics. I've been reading a lot about ozone and if the ORP doesnt rise signifcantly I will order an ozone unit. The end might be insite. I've read that ozone usually works for dino problems. Pictures will come tomorrow to show progress


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Old 01/28/2011, 08:44 PM   #12
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fascinating, my ORP ranges from 148-153...so my skimmer can manage 5 ORP with equilibrium. I need to eliminate organic as much as possible.

Side note, I added a gig anemone to my system about 8 months ago, ever since my dino situation happened. Everyone said add carbon to your system as gigs add a lot of bioload to a system. I didnt heed the advice and im at the certain situation.

Can a mod please change the name of this thread to "Dino Experiment"


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Old 01/28/2011, 09:29 PM   #13
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thanks!


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Old 01/29/2011, 09:09 AM   #14
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Gross....you can see the brown snot algae all over my sandbed and starting to accumulate on my rocks. My sps color has suffered as well.






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Old 02/02/2011, 05:26 PM   #15
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Isnt that cyno on the sandbed?


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Old 02/02/2011, 05:41 PM   #16
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you can see my snot here: http://www.youtube.com/twebinc#p/a/u/0/H381nKsw8K8

I just started dosing hydrogen peroxide 2 days ago to see if it helps....

my orp was about 280 ... the peroxide tanks it to 220 every time I dose (1 ml per 10 gallons) ... and after 2 days it keeps coming back higher and higher.. now at 321 and climbing after todays dose. It was 340 before I dosed today.


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Old 02/03/2011, 08:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Isnt that cyno on the sandbed?
No, that is not cyano. I've had cyano before and I know what that looks like. If you look at the tank from below you can see thousands of bubbles coming from the brown algae. That and it goes away during night time, at about 10 am it starts to come back as light comes in from the window.


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Old 02/03/2011, 08:38 AM   #18
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My ozone unit comes today, so I'll hook it up when I get home from work. I did put a 1.5 cups of ROX in my TLF reactor and my ORP went up to ~300. Bubbles and dino's are still present in the tank. Hopefully the ozone will destroy all the dino toxins and the tank will be fun to look at again.

FWIW, dont buy ORP recalibration fluid if you are using an APEX controller cuz it wont work. Thank god I only ordered 5 fluid packets. In the owners manual, Neptune claims that you wont have to recalibrate the ORP sensor.


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Old 02/04/2011, 07:40 AM   #19
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only have an a Gen1 iPhone for a camera...but you can kind of see shooting lower the bubbles that come off the algae-->


My ozone unit...I bought too much ozone safe tubing oh well, and am removing the T so all the air gets sucked through the ozone unit.



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Old 02/04/2011, 07:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Gross....you can see the brown snot algae all over my sandbed and starting to accumulate on my rocks. My sps color has suffered as well.



That looks more like diatoms than any thing else. Its still a nutrient issuse and you need to reduce them. I run NP Biopellets, GFO and have a small amount of Carbon in a surface skimming HOB filter all to reduce nutrient levels. As well as run my protein skimmer 24/7.


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Old 02/04/2011, 08:23 AM   #21
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kzoo...go broncos..little shout out to my alma mater.

You can see in the later picture the bubbles coming off the algae, I was trying to capture a picture of the stringy algae too but it wouldnt capture it on my phone. I run BRS biopellets. The biggest sign that I know it's dinos is because my snails stopped moving one time and some started dying off.


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Old 02/04/2011, 09:25 AM   #22
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You could have both. The youtube video someone linked too was an excellent example of dinos.

I had a long time outbreak of diatoms that looked just like yours. They would dissapear at night when the lights were out and return as soon as the lights came back on. And they had bubbles coming from them and I read on here somewhere that diatoms didn't produce bubbles, which didn't make sense as they are a photosynthetic algae. I verified they were diatoms by looking at them under a microscope.

Treatment is the same as for all algae, reduce the nutrient load.

I've had freshwater aquariums since I was 6, I lived in GR most of my life and never had problems with diatoms till I moved to Kalamazoo. Difference in the water chemistry is GR has silica of 1 ppm and Kalamazoo has 13 ppm. Now with my reef aquarium the silica isn't coming from the water source, I use 18 ohm DI from work, but from the sand bed. I haven't been able to get a good reading as the method I use doesn't work well in saltwater. But you can limit its growth by limitng the other nutrients it needs, nitrates and phosphate. My nitrates are usually around 1 - 0.5 ppm and my phosphates run between 0.01 and 0.10 ppm. This has kept the diatoms in check as well as any other form of algae.


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Old 02/04/2011, 03:00 PM   #23
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This is my story and how I beat it:

It started off when I had to hypo my display due to bad QT practices. Lesson learned, never again. I was "lucky" in that I was able to remove all of my inverts and corals. I will tell you all this - hyposalinity does not help in the slightest with dino control. At first, I thought it was just a really nasty cyano outbreak since I'd never dealt with dino's before. I started vodka dosing which only made things worse. I ran my skimmer (SRO1000 INT) as wet as I could and stopped any waterchanges...

After my hypo was over, I decided to drain and sell the 2 fish I had left that survived the QT and start over. At that time, I was still fighting the dino's so I turned off my lights altogether since there was nothing in there except rock and sand. It went through a 2 week period of lights out, then I would turn them back on to see, and the dino's would come back after a few days. I decided to go barebottom since the dino's were pretty much locked up in the sand...

Then a fellow reefer told me about a peroxide thread floating around, which I read and re-read. I thought "what the hell - I've got nothing to lose". This is how I won:

1.) Lights out - period.
2.) Started dosing peroxide at 1ml / 10 gallons of water.
3.) I sucked out the entire top (maybe 1/4" - 3/8") layer of sand and anything I could find in the rock (which was minimal).
4.) As I sucked out the water, I strained the water and returned it to the tank so I actually didn't do a water change.
5.) I added a small UV, which I don't know if it helped or not, but I like it, so I like to think it helped a little
6.) I sucked more sand and water out another time, replacing it with strained water again.
7.) after about 1-1/2 to 2 weeks, it was gone.

Now - I ended up getting a small cyano bloom afterward which the peroxide took care of.

Peroxide chief - peroxide.


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Old 02/06/2011, 06:17 PM   #24
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I've kept my ph up over 8.4 for 2 weeks and there is absolutely no sign of Dinos in my system. All my lighting is on schedule without any lights out period. Not sure if my tanks are cured, but Dinos is definitely gone for now. I will stop dispensing Mrs.Wages slurry this week and see what happens.


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Old 02/07/2011, 09:55 AM   #25
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Been having issues hooking up my ozone unit. purchasing a sacrifice skimmer to use as an ozone reactor. There is not enough dwell time I believe in my current skimmer so it was releasing ozone into the air to much. Hopefully have it up and running at the end of the week.

Dino's suck


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