Amphidinium Dinoflagellate Treatment Methods

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skp

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It's even more amazing than that. These Large Cell amphidinium are a ghost in the scientific lit. They barely get a mention, they never get nailed down by species, and there isn't a single paper I'm aware of that talks about a bloom in the wild of this type.

Si dosing is a good move though, especially in your situation. Your system is overall fairly happy at the current nutrient levels, so IF you adjust them, I wouldn't adjust them much. Si dosing creates a strong competitor for the exact same requirements of nutrients, space etc even if you don't change nutrients. Diatoms have a growth rate that exceeds dinos, and over time, they will replace. Diatoms are more widely edible to snails crabs etc, and are less annoying to hobbyists.


Like I said, your system sounds mostly happy, and your dinos seem to be just an annoyance. That means your treatments should be very conservative and minor. I'd add Si, and a little PO4, and then make sure NO3 doesn't zero - but I really wouldn't move it much if my acros were happy and I'm just dealing with some brown sand.
The question is, is dosing Si the current best contender because diatoms are the best competition against dinos or is it that sterile systems that can support dinos cannot support much of anything other than dinos, cyano and diatoms. I guess in either case for me the answer is to increase the diatoms but then I still will need to add something else to not revert back to the dinos right? My current plan is to dose microbacter clean and microbacter 7 while syphoning out and filtering out as much of the dinos as I can, and dose nitrates and phosphates (and try to find some sponge excel) until I can see the dinos losing ground (if they do) and then add some coral or rubble to try and introduce some biodiversity.
 
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thedon986

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The question is, is dosing Si the current best contender because diatoms are the best competition against dinos or is it that sterile systems that can support dinos cannot support much of anything other than dinos, cyano and diatoms. I guess in either case for me the answer is to increase the diatoms but then I still will need to add something else to not revert back to the dinos right? My current plan is to dose microbacter clean and microbacter 7 while syphoning out and filtering out as much of the dinos as I can, and dose nitrates and phosphates (and try to find some sponge excel) until I can see the dinos losing ground (if they do) and then add some coral or rubble to try and introduce some biodiversity.
You can get cheaper sources of Si like water glass or I got sodium silicate from a pottery supply store, one gallon for like $30 and this is WAY more concentrated. You should also definitely be adding all the diversity you can, I added some aquacultured live rock, lots of MB7, Dr Tim’s, and time. I still have small cell in a few spots 8 months later. Dr Tim’s Dino method also helped, adding Refresh and Waste Away. I wouldn’t wait to add live rock. I added 18lbs I didn’t really have room for but wanted it all. I have slowly been taking it away but I can see the huge diversity gains from it.
 

skp

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You can get cheaper sources of Si like water glass or I got sodium silicate from a pottery supply store, one gallon for like $30 and this is WAY more concentrated. You should also definitely be adding all the diversity you can, I added some aquacultured live rock, lots of MB7, Dr Tim’s, and time. I still have small cell in a few spots 8 months later. Dr Tim’s Dino method also helped, adding Refresh and Waste Away. I wouldn’t wait to add live rock. I added 18lbs I didn’t really have room for but wanted it all. I have slowly been taking it away but I can see the huge diversity gains from it.
The thing is, unless I try something drastic like double my rocks, the dinos are just going to cover the rock that I add and smother it out. Unless I add it to my sump but then it's probably not much different than adding bacteria no? I really want to know what the dark brown (almost black) stuff is. I have a feeling that they're dinos in the cyst stage or dead dinos. When I did the paper towel test I was left with the dinos that regrouped in the water. I added a few drops of dinox just to see what it would do and after a few hours most of it disappeared and I was left with some black bits and green bits.
 

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taricha

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The question is, is dosing Si the current best contender because diatoms are the best competition against dinos or is it that sterile systems that can support dinos cannot support much of anything other than dinos, cyano and diatoms.
Because diatoms grow in the same niches, use the same nutrients (except Si is different), but grow faster and are less harmful. New tanks can grow all kinds of things: corals, macroalgae, sponges etc - but those aren't good competitors in the dino niche, especially not the sand-hugging dinos.


but then I still will need to add something else to not revert back to the dinos right?
In some tanks it seems that way. As in "something photosynthetic will grow on the sand bed. You just get to choose what it is". There are other systems where this doesn't hold, it's complicated.

Unless I add it to my sump but then it's probably not much different than adding bacteria no? I really want to know what the dark brown (almost black) stuff is. I have a feeling that they're dinos in the cyst stage or dead dinos. When I did the paper towel test I was left with the dinos that regrouped in the water. I added a few drops of dinox just to see what it would do and after a few hours most of it disappeared and I was left with some black bits and green bits.
Without microscope, or at the very least better magnified pics under white light, I can't guess what you are referring to about the black bits.

DinoX is an algicade and acts on all algae (including dinos) over a time scale of days. Watching an overdose in a beaker over a few minutes or hours probably isn't very informative for the normal action of dinox.

A bottle of bacteria has a lot of bacteria, but only a few (or maybe one) strains. A rock has smaller numbers of hundreds of bacteria. Opinions differ on which if any is more effective. If I were doing rock, my personal opinion, I'd wait until I had whacked dinos down to essentially invisible then add rock for the reason you state.

You can get cheaper sources of Si like water glass or I got sodium silicate from a pottery supply store, one gallon for like $30 and this is WAY more concentrated.
true, for those new to Si dosing, I'd say use brightwell spongexcel because it's got dose instructions/calculations right on the bottle to help you figure it out. Then you can get bulk cheap Si.
But people probably ought to get a working kit (hanna low range Si, or hach work well) before they start adding concentrated Si without knowing the uptake rates for their system.
 

skp

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Without microscope, or at the very least better magnified pics under white light, I can't guess what you are referring to about the black bits.

DinoX is an algicade and acts on all algae (including dinos) over a time scale of days. Watching an overdose in a beaker over a few minutes or hours probably isn't very informative for the normal action of dinox.

A bottle of bacteria has a lot of bacteria, but only a few (or maybe one) strains. A rock has smaller numbers of hundreds of bacteria. Opinions differ on which if any is more effective. If I were doing rock, my personal opinion, I'd wait until I had whacked dinos down to essentially invisible then add rock for the reason you state.
Could the black and green be cyano? If it is, then that would explain the sand being clean in the morning with nothing but bits of the black slime. However, if that's true then that would mean that the dinos live in the cyano. Could they be helping each other out with the dinos helping the cycano by creating a suitable environment and the cyano helping the dinos by keeping them from being swept away?

I live in Canada and we can no longer source any rock from the ocean. We can only get man made rock that's been cured or rock that was once from the ocean but have been sitting in tubs for years and probably reused and gone through tank transfers and dry outs. Looking back, the easiest healthy tanks that I have had were the ones where I got live rock directly from the ocean and cured via soft cycle. My only option now is to purchase wild coral that will come on rock but then I wonder how affective that would be at seeding. Wouldn't a handful of strains become dominant eventually in our closed systems? To my understanding, the bottled bacteria in microbacter 7 and microbacter clean are not the kind that live in the ocean so they eventually get outcompeted and die thus the need to continually dose. I think that the benefit of adding them is to break down and consume organics while they are alive, paving the way for long term bacteria.
 
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I’m 99% Dino free and the only thing I did was LRE last three days. Prior to this for a month went through quite a bit of things. None of it had an impact for my tank. I will add though fighting Dinos isn’t a one method helps everyone. Different things work for different people and no one knows why one works for one tank and not the other. It’s worth a shot IMO.
What is LRE?
 

BitReef

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I just discovered my tank has Amphidinium dinos . I have a refugium, but have not started any macroalgae yet. I was waiting for nutrients to start going up. Should I go ahead and add chaeto now as part of my battle with amphidinium? I intend to start dosing nitrates and phosphates and probably raise my tank temp.
 

Dlucero

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I just discovered my tank has Amphidinium dinos . I have a refugium, but have not started any macroalgae yet. I was waiting for nutrients to start going up. Should I go ahead and add chaeto now as part of my battle with amphidinium? I intend to start dosing nitrates and phosphates and probably raise my tank temp.
Has your tank only been running for a while? When I beat mine just recently, I had my refugium lights off. I only yesterday turned them back on. IMO I wouldn’t add anything that is going to keep your system unbalanced. I will add though one method mentioned 24 hr on to help deplete co2. I believe it’s the Cruz elegant corals method. I ran a modified version initially of it didn’t get any results. I ended up spreading it everywhere using the micro bubbles IMO.
 

Jedi Knghit

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The thing is, unless I try something drastic like double my rocks, the dinos are just going to cover the rock that I add and smother it out. Unless I add it to my sump but then it's probably not much different than adding bacteria no? I really want to know what the dark brown (almost black) stuff is. I have a feeling that they're dinos in the cyst stage or dead dinos. When I did the paper towel test I was left with the dinos that regrouped in the water. I added a few drops of dinox just to see what it would do and after a few hours most of it disappeared and I was left with some black bits and green bits.
I would agree with thedon986. I first had Dinos sprout up around Feb 2020 as I ramped up my lights preparing to move my first couple of corals into my 4 month old tank. My nutrients were never low, but the tank was started with dry rock, CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade Sand, and Dr. Tim's bottle bacteria. I turned the lights back down to their original settings, but the dinos stuck.

I tried the patient method of reduced water changes, letting the water get a little dirty, and frequent removal. The GHA started dying off and the couple corals in the tanks started to suffer, so I upped my water changes. The GHA came back and the dinos got worse.

After seven months, I decided to try something different. I tired MB7, H2O2, blackouts, Dr Tim's and blackouts, pods, and phyto. Every attempt knocked them back initially, but they always came back. I had dinos covering the sand and GHA on my rocks.

Around 10 months, I got frustrated and decided to give it one more effort before draining and selling the tank. I threw the kitchen sink at it.

1. I added UV even though it isn't effective against Amph
2. Cleaned as much up manually as possible.
3. Did another 72 hour blackout/Dr Tim's
4. Replaced about 5 of 50ish pounds of rock with 15 pounds of rock from KP Aquatics
5. Added a mix n match special from IPSF including wonder mud, live sand activator, amphipods, ulva, etc.

Initially, the dinos stayed, but they were no noticeable dinos on the new live rock or areas of the sand bed where the IPSF items went. I had failed numerous times trying to grow Chaeto and Red Ogo in the sump, but the Ulva took off. Over the next few months, the GHA slowly dies off as my nutrients stabilized, and the dinos started to recede. Somewhere around the 14 months, I went to perform weekly maintenance and the sand was still white. from the previous. I gave it about a month and ramped my lights up to where I wanted them slowly over the next month.

They may not be 100% accurate, but my takeaways from the experience are:

1) You can have Dinos with normal to high nutrients ( Nitrates 10-35, Phosphate .1 -.3)
2) Transplanted diversity is at least somewhat resistant to dinos, if not fully responsible for my tank turning the corner.
3) Going to light for too long on water changes was a bad idea. The GHA died off, an acan receded and died, a candy cane receded, and 2 of 6 polyps bailed. It had no noticeable impact on the dinos in the long run.

I credit getting the nutrients under control and adding diversity for finally tackling the problem. I am a convert and will never start another tank without a decent mix of live rock/dry rock.

The tanks looks so much better,, the coraline has really started to take off on the original dry rock, the candy cane has recovered and a couple of the heads are splitting now. I have a bunch of cool hitchhikers from the rock. A ruby mithrax crab, spaghetti worms, a tunicate, an army of micro brittle stars, a chiton, and a pistol shrimp. I started a frag/qt tank with rock from the DT , it's been up for about 3 weeks zero cycle, no dinos, and about 30 frags and some CUC reinforcements getting ready to go into the DT in another 24 days.
 
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thedon986

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The thing is, unless I try something drastic like double my rocks, the dinos are just going to cover the rock that I add and smother it out. Unless I add it to my sump but then it's probably not much different than adding bacteria no? I really want to know what the dark brown (almost black) stuff is. I have a feeling that they're dinos in the cyst stage or dead dinos. When I did the paper towel test I was left with the dinos that regrouped in the water. I added a few drops of dinox just to see what it would do and after a few hours most of it disappeared and I was left with some black bits and green bits.
I don’t think established rock additions would get smothered out. Are you sure it’s Dinos on the rocks? If so, then you might have another strain mixed in there. My amph have never touched rocks. On my upgrade transfer, 1/3 of my rock was established and didn’t blink an eye at all the dry rock issues the other rock had with algae, etc. I also have a bubble algae outbreak on my new 2/3 of rock where my established has like one or two spots of bubble algae. Established rock resists a lot of nuisances in my experience.
 

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I just discovered my tank has Amphidinium dinos . I have a refugium, but have not started any macroalgae yet. I was waiting for nutrients to start going up. Should I go ahead and add chaeto now as part of my battle with amphidinium? I intend to start dosing nitrates and phosphates and probably raise my tank temp.
I put some chaeto in my sump to see if it would help out compete amph dinos. Dinos just grow on top of it.
 

Zoajohn

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I’ve already tried the kitchen sink so why not one more thing. Got some Live Rock Enhance yesterday and did first dose this morning. Noticing something I’ve not seen with any other bacteria I’ve tried - bubbles all over the rock and glass where brown dust (amphs) are present. Could be an oxygen related thing, though my pH is still up and hasn’t dipped. Pics attached and will continue to update.
 

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attiland

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I’ve already tried the kitchen sink so why not one more thing. Got some Live Rock Enhance yesterday and did first dose this morning. Noticing something I’ve not seen with any other bacteria I’ve tried - bubbles all over the rock and glass where brown dust (amphs) are present. Could be an oxygen related thing, though my pH is still up and hasn’t dipped. Pics attached and will continue to update.
These pics are too blue to see anything. Did you ID it with a microscope?
what is the things you have tried?
 

Zoajohn

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These pics are too blue to see anything. Did you ID it with a microscope?
what is the things you have tried?
Yes, it has been confirmed amphidinium under microscope for some time now. I removed my sandbed and they migrated to the rocks after. And I have tried every treatment known to man so far.
The pics were just to document the bubbles that were present after LRE dose.
 
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attiland

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Yes, it has been confirmed amphidinium under microscope for some time now. I removed my sandbed and they migrated to the rocks after. And I have tried every treatment known to man so far.
The pics were just to document the bubbles that were present after LRE dose.
Silicate dosing worked for me for large cell amphidinium and uv + filter floss in high flow for small cell
I have also added a few new live rocks , mud, different bacterial products like Fauna Marin rebiotics
my overall fight was about 6 months. I kept my nitrate and phosphate high too
 
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taricha

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I put some chaeto in my sump to see if it would help out compete amph dinos. Dinos just grow on top of it.
This is a common attachment point for dinos. Fortunately a ball of chaeto is really easy to rinse in saltwater and return. Easy dino cell export.
 

RMS18

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After almost a year of trying so many things, doing nothing worked the best. I've been out of the clear now for over a year. I have even bottomed out nutrients once, I'm heavily dosing kz products and aminos. No sign of them. It's hard to let them do their thing for weeks then months. But it was well worth the wait and the system did it naturally. I didn't have to dose, change, remove, or anything of such. FWIW mine were so bad they were growing on my fish's fins!
 
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ScottB

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After almost a year of trying so many things, doing nothing worked the best. I've been out of the clear now for over a year. I have even bottomed out nutrients once, I'm heavily dosing kz products and aminos. No sign of them. It's hard to let them do their thing for weeks then months. But it was well worth the wait and the system did it naturally. I didn't have to dose, change, remove, or anything of such. FWIW mine were so bad they were growing in my fish's find!
For those with newer systems (<18 months or so) this is what I generally recommend. Just let it ride. General husbandry, stable parameters, and time. Maybe add some live rock/rubble. Wait it out.

Shockingly few (new) reefers are able to take this advice.
 

Reef and Dive

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The question is, is dosing Si the current best contender because diatoms are the best competition against dinos or is it that sterile systems that can support dinos cannot support much of anything other than dinos, cyano and diatoms. I guess in either case for me the answer is to increase the diatoms but then I still will need to add something else to not revert back to the dinos right? My current plan is to dose microbacter clean and microbacter 7 while syphoning out and filtering out as much of the dinos as I can, and dose nitrates and phosphates (and try to find some sponge excel) until I can see the dinos losing ground (if they do) and then add some coral or rubble to try and introduce some biodiversity.

I’ve demonstrated in my YT channel great success with Crus Arias / Elegant Corals method for amphidinium…

https://elegantcorals.com/blog/
C9D50871-76FC-46BD-871B-B0CEB85FCA7A.jpeg


Dinoflagelados - Protocolo de Cruz Arias / Elegant Corals
 
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