0.06 phosphate = Dinos? Algae? It's everywhere and it's my fault. Lots of pics.

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Willbiker

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I installed a 35w uv in my sump a few weeks ago and it has helped however the dino I had clings to the sand and doesn't go waterbound at night. However I now seem to have the same as you, waterbound dino when lights are off. My koipond uv packed up so I had an excuse to buy a new 55w UV but I just installed it temporarily on top of my tank with its own pump which is sitting on the sand bed in the display tank. I'm hoping the the fact its drawing right from the sandbed will help me swoop the buggers up and blast them. I will let you know how it gets on! It might prove that uvs are the key or it might not help! We shall see.
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Starting dosing microbacter7 yesterday and now have installed a 30 dollar UV from Amazon. How long should I run this for? Keep skimming (no cup) entire time? This thing is a monster by the way.
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I’ve placed it in the front of my display where the dinos look the worst right now. Again, first thing in the morning my sand bed is crystal clear, and then night crazy brown. Weird little buggers.
 

Willbiker

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Nice one! Run it until they 100% clear up and then keep running it for another 2 weeks. Ive read so many cases where they clear up and people stop the treatments causing them to come back as bad as before.

Keep skimmer cup off until nutrients hit 10ppm nitrate and 0.1 phosphate. Then put it back on if nutrients rise above this. You may have to test daily to keep it balanced.

I've just done the same as you, added a massive uv directly to my display.
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But my dino doesn't all clear up overnight so mine won't be as affective as yours as you seem to have 100% water bound dino. Your uv should resolve your issue in a few weeks.

I've also recently started dosing microbacter7 every day instead of weekly as per instructions and it has stripped my phosphate back down to 0. So be careful not to do this. If you want to dose lots of microbacter7 every day then you will probably have to dose phosphate and nitrate solutions too. I'm using neonitro nitrate solution and have just ordered neophos phosphate solution too. I'm hoping this allows me to pile the bacteria in daily and also keep nutrients elevated.
 

Paullawr

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It’s really worth spending some time identifying the strain or closest to it before throwing money at your tank.


Cheap microscope and review basic taxonomy here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/dinoflagellate-identification-guide.671466/

You could have Coolia or Prorocentrum in which case the former May respond to UV the latter won’t.

The wattage / type of UV is also important. These protists have an armour which will prevent less powerful UV on the market working.

I’d recommend something like the jabao 55. It’s huge but for a few months it’s worth putting up with it. Plumb direct to main tank (in and out).

dosing mb7 won’t affect them or outcompete. It’s been done to death.

dont assume once most has gone but not all you were fighting the same strain. It’s common to have two or three strains present. Where UV is affective at one it’s not with others.

I’ve found red x works for smaller outbreaks https://static.faunamarin.de/Werbung/HTUs/FM_HTU_RED_X_EN.pdf

Careful with use of a turkey baster. It can damage corals and does help distribute them. Would be too late now if it’s a sand dwelling strain.

take offline and phos reactor or nitrate remover. There were lots of studies about dosing those salts but to be honest I never saw much change, for others it did improve. Though there could of been other changes which had an effect.

good luck
 
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I can't believe how much it takes to raise nitrate and phosphate. Just tested this morning and still zero nitrates and zero phosphates on the Hannah checker and salifert test kits. I've been skimming without a cup for about a week now. No water change in two weeks and been feeding frozen cubes multiple times a day. I assume it's all the coral thats sucking in the nutrients. I don't really have other means of nutrient export, other than the skimmer which isn't collecting at the moment, and then a few bricks or bio media that breaks it down. I do have Neonitro that I have just started adding, but I hate to keep having to buy more additives to keep the right levels for nutrients.
 

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I had exactly the same issue. My nutrients just wouldn't rise and then all of a sudden they rushed up. My phosphate rose before my nitrate did but it took 2 weeks for any nitrate to be detected.
 

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Dinoflagellates will soak up mass amounts of nutrients. Your findings are typical of a protist bloom. I wouldn’t bother dosing nitrate and phosphate just do what your doing. What your waiting for is a shift where you seen algae and cyano. Once those have bloomed and mostly gone the Dinos will subside (if lucky).
 

Brett S

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Dinoflagellates will soak up mass amounts of nutrients. Your findings are typical of a protist bloom. I wouldn’t bother dosing nitrate and phosphate just do what your doing. What your waiting for is a shift where you seen algae and cyano. Once those have bloomed and mostly gone the Dinos will subside (if lucky).

This is encouraging. I’ve been dealing with a bit of a dino (coolia, I believe) issue in my tank. It started with cyano and I realized that while I had detectable phosphates I had no nitrates. I started dosing nitrates, which brought the nitrate level up and the phosphate level down (although there were still phosphates) and the cyano disappeared, but it was replaced by dinos. I’ve been working to get rid of the dinos and they seem to be in decline, but I’ve started seeing some cyano coming back.

I guess this is just the natural progression and hopefully they will both be gone soon.
 
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Paullawr

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This is encouraging. I’ve been dealing with a bit of a dino (coolia, I believe) issue in my tank. It started with cyano and I realized that while I had detectable phosphates I had no nitrates. I started dosing nitrates, which brought the nitrate level up and the phosphate level down (although there were still phosphates) and the cyano disappeared, but it was replaced by dinos. I’ve been working to get rid of the dinos and they seem to be in decline, but I’ve started seeing some cyano coming back.

I guess this is just the natural progression and hopefully they will both be gone soon.
This is a typical nutrient cycle which you are seeing. Don’t do anything with the cyano as it will outcompete space with the protists. You will or should start to see clumps of algae growth. Leave it be, its what you now need.
Once this developed it will literally be a case that dinos are there one day and gone the next, or at the very least leave nothing more than a tan stain on the sand.

you can then go back to using denitrifying bacteria such as mb7 or prodibo for ex. Just use it less often. Change out the carbon, syphon and do all those tank things. Just don’t fret about hitting low phos and nutrient levels. My tank hadn’t had a water change in 9 months, carbon replaced two months ago. No nutrient export other than some strange algae which sprouted from rocks and then detaches and forms balls (ID wanted). I just leave it in display for now whilst waiting for tank upgrade.

ive battled dinos for a decade now. Always won even with underhand tactics such as ph swings. I do recommend red x though it does help control.

give it time. Good luck and happy new year.
 

Brett S

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This is a typical nutrient cycle which you are seeing. Don’t do anything with the cyano as it will outcompete space with the protists. You will or should start to see clumps of algae growth. Leave it be, its what you now need.
Once this developed it will literally be a case that dinos are there one day and gone the next, or at the very least leave nothing more than a tan stain on the sand.

you can then go back to using denitrifying bacteria such as mb7 or prodibo for ex. Just use it less often. Change out the carbon, syphon and do all those tank things. Just don’t fret about hitting low phos and nutrient levels. My tank hadn’t had a water change in 9 months, carbon replaced two months ago. No nutrient export other than some strange algae which sprouted from rocks and then detaches and forms balls (ID wanted). I just leave it in display for now whilst waiting for tank upgrade.

ive battled dinos for a decade now. Always won even with underhand tactics such as ph swings. I do recommend red x though it does help control.

give it time. Good luck and happy new year.

Thanks Paul. Luckily neither the cyano, nor the diatoms has gotten to the “taking over the tank” point, but was definitely enough that it was unsightly and I wanted to stop it before it got to that point. In an effort to combat the diatoms I’ve been dosing MB7 daily. Should I continue to do so at this stage?

I haven’t seen a lot of excess algae growth, but frankly, I have a lot of tangs and they tend to eat anything that pops up, so I’m not sure I would see if even if it is happening.

As far as nutrients, I’m definitely not trying for high nutrients, but I am wanting to keep some nutrients in the water. Right now with my nitrate dosing I seem to have stabilized at about 5ppm nitrates and .1ppm phosphates. So I don’t think that’s really getting in to the high nutrient level.
 

Paullawr

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Morning.
From recollection people with diatoms saw a downturn in dinoflagellates. I’m not sure how far the experiments went but there was testing to see if silicon dosing to encourage more Diatoms would hold back the dinos.

Hopefully in your case this is also happening.

Your nutrient levels are spot on. I’d just keep doing as you are, seem to have this on point and in control.

RE the MB7, it maybe having an effect on you nutrient export but if your maintaining the level by dosing then by all accounts carry on.
The one problem we find is tweaking and that in itself can lead to problems so if it’s working then just continue as is.

they are a pain but not impossible to beat. It’s all part of reefing and are pretty much in every tank. It’s just keeping that tank stable and preventing a bloom.

other tips - keep an eye on temps during summer. Warmer temps always caused a bloom to appear in my tank. I could guarantee if it were a hot day returning to the aquarium would show signs of that horrid bubbly snot!

don’t dose aminos it’s like crack to them.
 
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