Amphidinium Dinoflagellate Treatment Methods

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae (including bacteria)' started by taricha, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. taricha

    taricha Well-Known Member

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    This thread is a spin-off from the @mcarroll very successful Dino thread
    The purpose is to discuss methods for removal and fighting against a particular strain of dinoflagellate - Large Cell Amphidinium. It seems to make up about a third of the cases of dinos.
    The reason this strain gets its own thread is that it hugs the sand while all the other known kinds of dinos go into the water column at night, and therefore individual cells are easily targeted by UV or small micron filtration.

    Reasons for splitting it off from the Dino thread:
    1. Other dinos have a reliable method for direct cell removal / killing - so this information is not necessary for the 2/3 of hobbyists in the dino thread who have other kinds.
    2. This kind seems to be the least toxic, in some cases not noticeably toxic at all - meaning some things that may work for this kind won't work on the others.
    3. Some of this info is speculative and there may be missteps and dead ends, so best to keep the other thread with proven advice.
    4. The Dino thread is huge, and digressions that don't affect most users there only make it less readable.

    So if from the other Dino thread you have microscope confirmed amphidinium, first - adopt the nutrient recommendations from that thread. They absolutely apply to this kind as well. Then when you are tired of siphoning brown patches out of your sand all the time, consider giving these a try and documenting how it goes.

    Treatment Methods
    Best candidate: Silica dosing. The concept is that by dosing Si - which is virtually always depleted under normal tank conditions - we can grow diatoms to compete with the dinoflagellate.
    Maybe the diatom bloom depletes another needed trace element, or perhaps the diatoms generate chemicals that directly suppress the dinos.
    For details see this post with fairly to-the-point instructions [Several people have recently reported issues with Salifert Si test kit - beware]
    For more background see this run-down of the paper it's based on.
    And for general Silica reef tank discussion see Randy's article.

    other ideas: Macroalgae Crowding. I have been able to chase out amphidinium outbreaks on more than one occasion by placing blobs of Chaetomorpha right on top of the brown dino patches.
    for details, see my account here and also here

    other ideas: Macroalgae Chemical Warfare. The seaweed Dictyota dichotoma has been found to emit chemicals that suppress dinos and force ostreopsis live cells to retreat entirely into cyst stage over the course of 20 days. The seaweed is itself considered a pest, and it may not be sensible to introduce it to chase out amphidinium which may not be very toxic at all.

    Status quo: Nutrients and siphon. Handle nutrients as outlined in dino thread, vacuum out the brown patches every few days and wait it out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  2. taricha

    taricha Well-Known Member

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    @Bebow @Bret Brinkmann @zachxlutz any how has the Si dosing gone for you guys? I dosed a little myself. I don't have dinos, but I'll post later about what grew in my tank sand bed in response to the Silica.
     
  3. JaimeAdams

    JaimeAdams Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you for this thread. Reading through the almost 200 pages of the other thread was daunting and I would lose my place easily or not be able to refrence back to where I had read something. Thank you
     
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  4. taricha

    taricha Well-Known Member

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    here's what's growing in my tank as I dose Si very lightly. Well under 0.1ppm Si.
    Salifert test kit not working. Will order Hannah Si colorimeter.
    On the glass finally got a brown film patch that was...
    [​IMG]
    Almost a mono culture of what looks like cylindrotheca diatoms
    [​IMG]
    A couple other diatoms, but very little variety.
    In the sand, I see no diatoms, likely because they are being eaten by some pods I dosed a week earlier. Check video of sand.

     
  5. Zbryant

    Zbryant Member

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    Thank you for the separate thread. I’ve read the entire other Dino thread and stay updated on that one. I too am fighting amphidinium. I look forward to seeing the silicate test results!
     
  6. bdub22rhp

    bdub22rhp Member

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    Just confirmed amphidinium dinos today. They are just in the front right corner and back left corner of my tank as of now. My tank is less than a year old so I'm sure there's not much biodiversity to compete with them. I am adding Fiji mud to my fuge to try to help and possibly go silicate route of that doesn't work. My mandarin will tank me if I do. 20180307_155614.jpg
     
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  7. bh750

    bh750 Active Member

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    Re-posting from the main dino thread and will continue follow up here....

    I've been battling Large Cell Amphidinium for some time now (along with Cyano at the same time). Someday I hope to have a formula down to share with everyone. Even though I know UV isnt really effective against Large Cell Amph (b/c they dont enter the water column) I still wen out and purchased a system. Inspired by Tarciha's recommendations here's what I've been doing:

    1) Running UV with the pump in the display tank, near the sand. @ 175 GPH through two 25W UVs rated for 180g each (I have a 300 g system)
    2) Every few days siphoning both Cyano and Dinos off both sand and rock
    3) Running siphoned water through an NMO rated 10 micron sock. Did some research here and believe (hope) 10 microns is small enough.
    4) after the sock the water goes back into my sump (avoiding water changes)
    5) Sand is discarded to be cleaned and used some day down the road. This is where I diverted from Taricha's plan. Am thinking complete removal of the siphoned sand is even better Maybe?
    6) Of course keeping NO3 and PO4 elevated to about ~12ppm and ~.18 ppm respectively.
    7) Actively feeding and pods and other critters in my fuge(s) along with growing chaeto for them to live in. I dont seem to have any shortage of life, coraline algae, etc.
    8) Running skimmer.

    Ive definitely seen the dinos stay in check, but they have been for some time even before I started this approach. Maybe, just maybe, they've receded a bit.
    To an earlier post, I've even tried stirring the bed to see if it would "kick up" some dinos into the water column long enough to be caught. Sounds like that wont work.

    Hoping some others who are doing some Si dosing will result in more good news as not sure what else I can do.

    Fingers crossed :)
     
  8. Javamahn

    Javamahn Active Member

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    Still Fighting Amphidinium after 4 months. Honestly for the past year all those times I thought I had a diatom problem, I now believe it was dinos. They never got to the snotty stage but always patches of rust on the sandbed.
    1. In addtion to the 36 watt UV on my return, I plumbed in a 55 watt UV into the DT and I am continuing to blast the the rust off the rocks with turkey basters, siphoning into a 10 micron sock and brushing.
    2. I put ozone back on my skimmer and running it 24/7 with no ill effects but no real progress.
    3. I have been dosing NeoPhos and the Hanna Low colorimeter is pretty steady between .06 - .12 ppm Phosphates. I have not done a 15-20% water change in almost 3 months but only 5 gallon replenishing as I continue to remove the sand bed so my Nitrates are on the high side at 25ppm.
    4. "Reef Stew" has all kinds of algae, pods, rotifers,brine shrimp so I put a cup or 2 of that in the tank every 2 weeks.
    5. There are small hints of green algae here and there but no GHA in the DT. The refugium however has GHA and what looks to be some turf algae but I still have a heck of time keeping cheato. Yellow and Blue Regal Tang are grazing on the glass which has spots of green and brown.
    6. All the corals look decent actually with no tissue loss except for the orange Fungia that was on the sandbed and the Caulestra that has dinos on it. I would appreciate any comments on the following steps which I have yet to try or retry as this is all starting to feel like deja vu:
    • Walt Smith Fiji Mud
    • DinoX
    • Lights out
    • keep doing what i'm doing
    Thanks for any feedback. Have not yet given up but the tank sure is not fun right now.
     
  9. CDavmd

    CDavmd Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I had previously added my battle with Amphidinium in the other thread but I am very happy to see this new one dedicated to Amphidinium.

    When I last updated the last thread, I had stopped the Dino-X which was starting to hurt all my corals. I resorted to siphoning once a week with a 5 micron filter, re-started my water changes, continued regular feedings and keeping my Nitrates and phosphates at appropriate levels. Basically I was just waiting it out. Things only looked good after a siphon for 2-3 days and by weeks end they were back with a vengeance. During this time my corals started recovering nicely and I FINALLY started seeing film algae on the glass again and the beginnings of some turf on my vortices and rocks. Still not a lot but clearly growing. I resigned myself to the fact that this was going to be a long process and that eventually things would balance out.

    So....this past Thursday at 2am we lost power due to the Nor'Easter hitting New England. My house temp fell drastically and my little backup for the tank died in a few hours. The tanks sat without light, flow, or temperature control for the next two days. Power was finally restored early this morning.

    Observations during this time of no power.....expected loss of a few SPS. LPS looked stressed but still ok. Lost a royal gramma but my clowns and anthias survived. Dino's looked horrific by the end of the first day with no power. The sand looked browner than ever before and some areas looked like just a muck of dinos. There was some sunlight hitting the tank for a few hours and they seemed to be moving towards that patch of sand.

    Tank temperature dropped to as low as 64 and stayed there for probably a good 24+ hours.

    When the power came back on, it took several hours for the temperature to reach 78 once again, and currently the LPS and fish look no worse for the wear. The interesting thing is that the Dino's are not visible. Usually by this time of day with the lights on they are reaching their peak appearance for the day. As of this moment I see no evidence of them anywhere on the sand. Very curious. I'm wondering if the temperature drop killed a significant portion of the population or if some have encapsulated and gone dormant. I will report back on what happens over the next few days now that flow, temperature and light have been restored.
     
  10. bdub22rhp

    bdub22rhp Member

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    Fiji mud is in. Been in fuge about 18 hours. Will keep updated. No real difference today good or bad. I read alot about peroxide. Anybody tried that yet for these?
     
  11. Zbryant

    Zbryant Member

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    I’ve heard this a few times. I personally am trying to slowly lower the temp of my tank. (.5 degrees every few days) I will also keep you posted on results. Currently down to 71 degrees with no difference.
     
  12. Javamahn

    Javamahn Active Member

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    I did 3% Peroxide for 3 weeks dosing 10 ml daily. ORP increased but because the amphinidium were not in the water column there was no lasting change for me.
     
  13. bdub22rhp

    bdub22rhp Member

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    Good to know. Was thinking when dosing to spot dose on top of where they are in the sand. Mine are still very localized.
     
  14. Jaysin13

    Jaysin13 Member

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    I was directed here from the main big post. Looking for some wisdom to guide me. I think I have amphidinium dinoflagellate. Can anyone confirm this? If so, from reading the other thread, I plan on getting my N and P up to the recommend level because they have tested 0 for the last 6 months. Anything else I should know or do? Ps I did start dosing b-ionic recently. 20180308_212725.jpg 20180308_212245.jpg 20180309_162100.jpg 20180309_162107.jpg
     
  15. taricha

    taricha Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Amphidinium hug sand so tightly that I suspect they are protected from oxidation and other chemical attacks by the organics that surround them. The fact that at night they move down slightly into the sand, means they can even increase their protection, and might do that in response to chemicals.
     
  16. Jaysin13

    Jaysin13 Member

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    So can anyone confirm from my bad photos that I am in the correct place??
     
  17. taricha

    taricha Well-Known Member

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    Not being able to grow chaeto is your indicator that tank chemistry is still not all the way healthy yet. Continue with nutrient advice from the other thread. Do water changes if elevated P & N remain in place, but no chaeto growth.
    No- DinoX - poor coral health side effects usually reported.
    No -Lights out - not effective. I've kept Large Cell Amphidinium in darkness for 14 days and found them swimming happily. (they go heterotrophic).
    Interesting - Fiji mud - diversity like this can help push system slightly away from dinos. Sometimes it's enough, sometimes not. let us know how it goes.
    Yes - Keep doing what you're doing - the increasing green sprigs are moves in the right direction.


    Other dinos are known to form cysts under temps in the mid 60s, these kind I have seen no evidence of cyst formation - so I'd be curious what happens under low temp. Some strains of amphidinium aren't even tropical, so I seriously doubt that mid 60s wipes them out. But I dunno.


    that one cell in the 2nd pic looks like a decent match.
    see http://www.algaeid.com/identification/ for pics and vids of movement.
     
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  18. Jaysin13

    Jaysin13 Member

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    Thank you. I will confirm if I can. I am confused about a few things.

    First, I have tested 0 N & P for about 6 months but I do have a green haze on the glass after 2-3 days and algae growing on a scrubber. There must be N & P in the system right? I guess I'm nervous to dose these 2 things if I'm not in the same position as everyone else.

    Second, should I stop running my algae scrubber? Skimmer?

    Third, I recently started dosing b-ionic in small doses to try to stabilize my alk and cal. Is this bad? Or making something worse?

    Last, I see vacuuming them out frequently is a good idea but that would cause me to do more water changes perpetuating my low N & P. How do you handle this?
     
  19. Zbryant

    Zbryant Member

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    As far as vacuuming them out, you have 2 options. Either vacuum them through a 5-10 micron sock and put the water back, or vacuum them out with a small diameter hose,to minimize the amount of water that is removed, and only replace the amount of water that is removed. From what I’ve read, water changes haven’t been proven to increase Dino populations. However, I wouldn’t do large water changes. Smaller and consistent water changes seem to help with stability.
     
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  20. Jaysin13

    Jaysin13 Member

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    Yeah, I wasn't ever testing any readable P or N so I decided to stop doing water changes and start dosing b-ionic.... Idk if that's hurting anything. I did it to save time and money. If I want to have readable P and N then water changes seem counter productive.

    I guess my plan is to keep dosing. Start dosing P and N to get to .03 and 5ppm. Then add more pods and feed some phyto. Start siphoning them off ever couple days.

    I hope that sounds like a good plan. Still don't know about the algae scrubber or skimmer.
     
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