dino battle- stop skimming? dose nitrates?

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LesPoissons

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Hi all,
battling dinos.
My nitrates are at 1, phos is 0.03
I dose phyto plankton 200mls per day
do i need to dose nitrates? stop dosing phyto? stop skimming?
thoughts?
thanks
 
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Nutrient bottom out is a symptom of dinos (bc its absorbing all of it), not a cause. Adding nutrients only only works if you have a diverse array of other biological organisms (algae, coral, other beneficial bacteria, even cyano) that can absorb those nutrients and outcompete the dino. The lack of diversity is whats causing dino. Without it, adding nutrient will make it worse.

Try to add some microbacter 7. Stop cleaning the film algae, and let your gha grow out on the rocks.
 
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LesPoissons

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The tank is 5+ years old with fish corals inverts etc with a sand bed and 200# of live rock. I had gha for months that ive been fighting, i just scrubbed all of it off ALL the rocks over the weekend and did a 50% water change. so im thinking the dinos didnt absorb all the nutrients in 24 hours. the nutrients are just low due to the huge water change and removal of all the gha.
so in that scneario, shoudl I dose nitrates or will dosing bacteria and dosing phyto should outcompete dinos?
 

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u'd be surprised at how fast nutrient are absorbed - especially by these simple organisms like dino and bacteria - that's why they explode so quickly. looks like your tank has a decent bioload that's constantly producing nutrient (fish and invert poop). I think what's happened to your tank is this: before the dinos - the tank probably has reached an equilibrium between rate of nutrient production vs the rate of nutrient removal of which your GHA was a big part. After this weekend when you got rid of GHA, its likely that it left a sudden nutrient removal vacuum that was big enough to tip the scale. Dinos, being a very fast and efficient nutrient absorber, quickly exploded and filled up the void left by the removal of gha.

So, assuming your nutrient production rate stays the same (not sure you will want to starve your fish to make them poop less), the issue your tank has isn't that your have "too low nutrient", it's that your "nutrient absorption" capacity has been temporarily reduced and Dino's picking up the slack. To fix, you will need to reintroduce additional other nutrient absorption capacity - the more the merrier - of any non-dino type (bacteria, refugium/chaeto, more skimming, even filter socks) while at the same time remove dinos to recreate that vacuum to force these other players to pick up the slack. It's often difficult b/c these other players don't absorb nutrient as fast as dinos that's why battling dinos is harder and takes time. Adding nitrate adds nutrient that ALL the "absorbers" need, so it really boils down to a math game of what currently has a bigger "absorption capacity" between dinos and everything else and will require constant manual removal of the dinos to reduce its "absorption capacity" while waiting for the nitrate to feed and increase the biomass of everything else so that eventually they will be able to outcompete.

This is the general direction for combatting dinos so if whatever you do is inline with this general direction it will work with enough time and persistence. Bacteria and phyto should both help if they are live. If dead then they will just rot and add to the nutrient load. Also the more variety the better b/c the nutrient isn't just 1 thing - its poop, dissolved organics, amino acids, rotting biomass, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc.. although most will eventually break down into No3/Po4, different organism prefer to target different pieces of this pie that's why "biodiversity" is the name of the game for nutrient control.
 

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200ml of phyto = 8ozs

I'd increase your phyto to 16ozs to outcompete

It needs to be LIVE phyto you are brewing. Anything over 30days old is dead

Any and all changes in dosing needs a far amt of time to see the direction

Quit yinning and yanging your tank. Take a definite step and stick with it for 30-45 days
 
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Also - you have to realize that even phyto/bacteria doesn't REMOVE nutrient from the system - the simply locks it up in the biomass. However, even that eventually have to do SOMEWHERE. ie - nutrients absorbed by bacteria/phyto will be eaten by pods and travel up the food chain that will be eventually locked up the fish/coral meat as they get bigger, BUT a big part of that will be pooped back out again and restart the cycle. so really the "true" nutrient absorption /removal capacity is only from things that you will take out of the system - refugium, skimmer, socks, etc.
 
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LesPoissons

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u'd be surprised at how fast nutrient are absorbed - especially by these simple organisms like dino and bacteria - that's why they explode so quickly. looks like your tank has a decent bioload that's constantly producing nutrient (fish and invert poop). I think what's happened to your tank is this: before the dinos - the tank probably has reached an equilibrium between rate of nutrient production vs the rate of nutrient removal of which your GHA was a big part. After this weekend when you got rid of GHA, its likely that it left a sudden nutrient removal vacuum that was big enough to tip the scale. Dinos, being a very fast and efficient nutrient absorber, quickly exploded and filled up the void left by the removal of gha.

So, assuming your nutrient production rate stays the same (not sure you will want to starve your fish to make them poop less), the issue your tank has isn't that your have "too low nutrient", it's that your "nutrient absorption" capacity has been temporarily reduced and Dino's picking up the slack. To fix, you will need to reintroduce additional other nutrient absorption capacity - the more the merrier - of any non-dino type (bacteria, refugium/chaeto, more skimming, even filter socks) while at the same time remove dinos to recreate that vacuum to force these other players to pick up the slack. It's often difficult b/c these other players don't absorb nutrient as fast as dinos that's why battling dinos is harder and takes time. Adding nitrate adds nutrient that ALL the "absorbers" need, so it really boils down to a math game of what currently has a bigger "absorption capacity" between dinos and everything else and will require constant manual removal of the dinos to reduce its "absorption capacity" while waiting for the nitrate to feed and increase the biomass of everything else so that eventually they will be able to outcompete.

This is the general direction for combatting dinos so if whatever you do is inline with this general direction it will work with enough time and persistence. Bacteria and phyto should both help if they are live. If dead then they will just rot and add to the nutrient load. Also the more variety the better b/c the nutrient isn't just 1 thing - its poop, dissolved organics, amino acids, rotting biomass, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc.. although most will eventually break down into No3/Po4, different organism prefer to target different pieces of this pie that's why "biodiversity" is the name of the game for nutrient control.
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation!
 
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LesPoissons

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200ml of phyto = 8ozs

I'd increase your phyto to 16ozs to outcompete

It needs to be LIVE phyto you are brewing. Anything over 30days old is dead

Any and all changes in dosing needs a far amt of time to see the direction

Quit yinning and yanging your tank. Take a definite step and stick with it for 30-45 days
Ok double the phyto. It’s all live, I grow 2 different cultures. There’s not much yin and yang, I try to keep things mostly smooth and give it time. The GHA bloom started, I tried to vibrant for three months with manual removal. It had no effect on the GHA growing tho and it beat me. I introduced phyto 2 months ago to try and outcompete, The GHa continued to grow more and cover the coral and the corals started to die. So this weekend I spent hours and hours and hours pulling all the rock scrubbing to remove the GHA. Everything went back in the tank, and then the dinos came. I don’t mind things taking time but if I can get ahead of the problem that makes it easier.
 

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Nutrient bottom out is a symptom of dinos (bc its absorbing all of it), not a cause. Adding nutrients only only works if you have a diverse array of other biological organisms (algae, coral, other beneficial bacteria, even cyano) that can absorb those nutrients and outcompete the dino. The lack of diversity is whats causing dino. Without it, adding nutrient will make it worse.

Try to add some microbacter 7. Stop cleaning the film algae, and let your gha grow out on the rocks.


I believe phosphate bottoming out is the cause and not a symptom. Nearly every single person on this forum who gets dinos has it happen after phosphates bottom out and then are able to fix it by raising phosphate
 
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If phosphate bottoming out is a cause then every ULNS would have dino problems. The presence of PO4 does not inhibit dino growth. Whats more likely happening is an imbalance in both the total nutrient in/out rate as well as an imbalance between the relative N and P concentrations and the dino growth is caused by a specific favorable dino growth condition as a result of a lack of other things that can absorb N and P at a specific rate to equalize the rate of N and P generation in the tank. Also there is mixed opinions on the specifics of now much N/P ratio should matter in a home aquariums so i dont with to get too much into it.

Suffice to say that for the cases where increase PO4 worked, it worked bc the increased nutrient caused a better competiton and caused a more favorable growth condition for the competitor organism specific to those tanks. But for that to work one has to make sure that the "competitor" is a better absorber of P than dinos. One has to also make sure N is sufficient level since either can act as limiter for the other for different organisms.

OP has PO4 at 0.03. I have PO4 of less than 0.01. However, I have no dinos but started getting them AFTER I tried to dose PO4 to try to raise it. I probably dosed it too fast and upset my tanks NP balance. After I brought down PO4 back to 0.01 by adding more temporary filtration via sock + microbacter 7 + coral snow, dinos went away.
 

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This has helped many fight the battle: Prepare by starting with a water change and blow this stuff loose with a turkey baster and siphon up loose particles.
Turn lights off (at least white and run blue at 10-15%) for 5 days and at night dose 1ml of hydrogen peroxide per 10 gallons for all 5 nights. If you dont have light dependent coral- turn all lights off.
During the day dose 1ml of liquid bacteria (such as bacter 7) per 10 gallons.
Clean filters daily and DO NOT FEED CORAL FOODS OR ADD NOPOX as it is food for dinos.
Day 5,, you can start with blue lights - ramping up and work your white lights up slowly

Dinoflagellates are protists organisms -those that do not fit within the three natural kingdoms: animalia, plantae or fungus- with ability to move with rotating movements. All dinoflagellates have the common feature of having two flagella located at right angles allowing them to perform such rotational movement which makes them easily recognizable (although some species such as the genus symbiodinium they are virtually immobile).
There are about 2.400 species which have a highly variable size ranging from 20 and 300 µm in the most common ones and up to 2 mm in the case of species such as noctiluca. In the marine aquarium species are usual smaller as symbiodinium and Amphidinium, While some like ostreopsis are large and can be seen without a microscope (with good lighting and visual acuity).
The problem arises when conditions in the aquarium break the biological balance and some dinoflagellate species spread uncontrollably, smothering the rest of the aquarium inhabitants. If the dinoflagellate species in question has the ability to produce toxins (usual in ostreopsis, gambierdiscus and prorocentrum to name a few)
The problem often arises when we try to bring cleanliness it to the limit, in order to improve its appearance and color of corals.
They tend to occur suddenly when the aquarium water reaches an extraordinary cleanliness, in which most microorganisms perishes for lack of food. With no other organisms that can stop them, this type of dinoflagellate can multiply so fast that when we realize it's late and we will find an aquarium full of brown and ochre slime suffocating fish and invertebrates. These dinoflagellates possess chloroplasts enabling them to synthesize their own food even under a minimal amount of light. Some species can form cysts called pellicles which allow them to remain in the aquarium for months although we have completely sterilized or kept in complete darkness. Once the light or the right conditions come back, they will reappear and thus problems.
Most of these dinoflagellates have a very curious behavior, typical of pathogens and parasites. With the presence of light they secrete mucus which adhere to any surface, including algae, coral and fish. They spend hours synthesising food and extending vertically in search of the light source (if we turn off the pumps in the aquarium we can see brown filaments grow towards the surface). When the light source disappears and can no longer synthesize food, it begins to diminish to none.
 

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If phosphate bottoming out is a cause then every ULNS would have dino problems. The presence of PO4 does not inhibit dino growth. Whats more likely happening is an imbalance in both the total nutrient in/out rate as well as an imbalance between the relative N and P concentrations and the dino growth is caused by a specific favorable dino growth condition as a result of a lack of other things that can absorb N and P at a specific rate to equalize the rate of N and P generation in the tank. Also there is mixed opinions on the specifics of now much N/P ratio should matter in a home aquariums so i dont with to get too much into it.

Suffice to say that for the cases where increase PO4 worked, it worked bc the increased nutrient caused a better competiton and caused a more favorable growth condition for the competitor organism specific to those tanks. But for that to work one has to make sure that the "competitor" is a better absorber of P than dinos. One has to also make sure N is sufficient level since either can act as limiter for the other for different organisms.

OP has PO4 at 0.03. I have PO4 of less than 0.01. However, I have no dinos but started getting them AFTER I tried to dose PO4 to try to raise it. I probably dosed it too fast and upset my tanks NP balance. After I brought down PO4 back to 0.01 by adding more temporary filtration via sock + microbacter 7 + coral snow, dinos went away.


ULNS is different. Those function via heavy nutrient input and heavy waste export. Constant energy input allows it to work (just how reefs survive with nearly 0 nitrate and phosphate in the wild. Most tanks do not function as ULNS for the very reason that you have to constantly provide energy input (hence why companies like red sea tell you to dose much more of their food product in an ULNS than in a standard system).

I have worked with dozens and dozens of people who had dinos, and every case is resolved by raising phosphate.

The reason why it is feasible to say phosphate is the cause is that I have worked with several VERY different setups (ranging from 16 gallon biocubes to 800 gallon commercial systems). Every time the phosphates are bottomed out for a little while, dinos appear. Every time the phospahte is raised back up, the dinos dissapear. This any nearly every other dino case that pops up on here follows this same trend. This provides decent evidence that phosphate at 0.00 is causal and not correlational as there is nearly never a case where dinos are the first of the two to appear. The ONLY time I have found that was when a biofilter was severely disturbed. This may be the same reason why 0.00 phosphate seem to cause dinos. Organisms need phosphate, and a tank with 0 is likely killing some of the microfauna if there is no constant input of phosphate resources. Killing off (or removing) much of a microbiome is in a way the same as starving out a microbiome.

The case of yours where you raised phosphate and then saw dinos is not suprising. You likely were on the cusp of dinos and dosing phosphate was not going to be an immediate help because the microbiome in your tank had already been upset and dinos were already starting to thrive (even if you didn't see a large enough amount of them to be visible at that point). Then you started dosing competitive bacteria and food, adding fuel to the microbiome in the tank and pushing back against dinos who seemingly have little competition with 0.00 phosphates (again 0.01 is the same as 0.00 with hobby grade test kits).
 
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I believe phosphate bottoming out is the cause and not a symptom. Nearly every single person on this forum who gets dinos has it happen after phosphates bottom out and then are able to fix it by raising phosphate

Disagree. Most dino problems i see are cause by zero nitrates.

Every dino bloom I've had were caused by nitrate bottoming out and phosphate being fine.

Raise nitrate, cut light time and siphon out as much of the snot as you can with airline tubing attached to a stick.
 
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LesPoissons

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Okay, i ordered bacter 7 to be here in 2 days.
will dosing peroxide affect fish, corals or inverts? I have a 1 of nitrates and a 0.03 of phos so it doesnt seem to be completely bottomed out- even with the dinos im still getting a reading for both so there is enough that they are not consuming all of it.. so wouldnt that indicate that raising either wouldnt do much? (with the gha all I had were 0s for days- I use Nyos and Hanna tests) Im not trying to start a war- just gain understanding. If i still have testable phos and nitrates is that normal with dinos or do you typically only see 0's?
I appreciate all the help. Its with everyones experiences that we can gain the most knowledge.
 
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LesPoissons

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This has helped many fight the battle: Prepare by starting with a water change and blow this stuff loose with a turkey baster and siphon up loose particles.
Turn lights off (at least white and run blue at 10-15%) for 5 days and at night dose 1ml of hydrogen peroxide per 10 gallons for all 5 nights. If you dont have light dependent coral- turn all lights off.
During the day dose 1ml of liquid bacteria (such as bacter 7) per 10 gallons.
Clean filters daily and DO NOT FEED CORAL FOODS OR ADD NOPOX as it is food for dinos.
Day 5,, you can start with blue lights - ramping up and work your white lights up slowly

Dinoflagellates are protists organisms -those that do not fit within the three natural kingdoms: animalia, plantae or fungus- with ability to move with rotating movements. All dinoflagellates have the common feature of having two flagella located at right angles allowing them to perform such rotational movement which makes them easily recognizable (although some species such as the genus symbiodinium they are virtually immobile).
There are about 2.400 species which have a highly variable size ranging from 20 and 300 µm in the most common ones and up to 2 mm in the case of species such as noctiluca. In the marine aquarium species are usual smaller as symbiodinium and Amphidinium, While some like ostreopsis are large and can be seen without a microscope (with good lighting and visual acuity).
The problem arises when conditions in the aquarium break the biological balance and some dinoflagellate species spread uncontrollably, smothering the rest of the aquarium inhabitants. If the dinoflagellate species in question has the ability to produce toxins (usual in ostreopsis, gambierdiscus and prorocentrum to name a few)
The problem often arises when we try to bring cleanliness it to the limit, in order to improve its appearance and color of corals.
They tend to occur suddenly when the aquarium water reaches an extraordinary cleanliness, in which most microorganisms perishes for lack of food. With no other organisms that can stop them, this type of dinoflagellate can multiply so fast that when we realize it's late and we will find an aquarium full of brown and ochre slime suffocating fish and invertebrates. These dinoflagellates possess chloroplasts enabling them to synthesize their own food even under a minimal amount of light. Some species can form cysts called pellicles which allow them to remain in the aquarium for months although we have completely sterilized or kept in complete darkness. Once the light or the right conditions come back, they will reappear and thus problems.
Most of these dinoflagellates have a very curious behavior, typical of pathogens and parasites. With the presence of light they secrete mucus which adhere to any surface, including algae, coral and fish. They spend hours synthesising food and extending vertically in search of the light source (if we turn off the pumps in the aquarium we can see brown filaments grow towards the surface). When the light source disappears and can no longer synthesize food, it begins to diminish to none.
Am I continuing to dose phyto here or will the peroxide kill it?
 

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Dr Tims Waste Away (2/3 recommended dose)
Dosed my version of two part with MB7 and MB Clean (twice each over two weeks- half recommended dose.)
Phyto 10ml nightly (this is a standard dosing for me regardless at this moment)
Only ran blue spectrum lights for 2 weeks (no reds, greens, whites)
Ran an air stone 24/7
Swapped out my filter floss daily
Ran my skimmer
Bought two Turbo Snails - big advocate on using natural methods like these snails as they are like magic erasers as they cruise the tank.

My phosphates stayed stable per usual at .1
My nitrates actually went from 7, to roughly 3 during this time, and are still low.

Took two weeks and my rock work and sand bed look like they did when I first placed them in the tank, with no changes two weeks later (no more dosing)
 

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This has helped many fight the battle: Prepare by starting with a water change and blow this stuff loose with a turkey baster and siphon up loose particles.
Turn lights off (at least white and run blue at 10-15%) for 5 days and at night dose 1ml of hydrogen peroxide per 10 gallons for all 5 nights. If you dont have light dependent coral- turn all lights off.
During the day dose 1ml of liquid bacteria (such as bacter 7) per 10 gallons.
Clean filters daily and DO NOT FEED CORAL FOODS OR ADD NOPOX as it is food for dinos.
Day 5,, you can start with blue lights - ramping up and work your white lights up slowly

Dinoflagellates are protists organisms -those that do not fit within the three natural kingdoms: animalia, plantae or fungus- with ability to move with rotating movements. All dinoflagellates have the common feature of having two flagella located at right angles allowing them to perform such rotational movement which makes them easily recognizable (although some species such as the genus symbiodinium they are virtually immobile).
There are about 2.400 species which have a highly variable size ranging from 20 and 300 µm in the most common ones and up to 2 mm in the case of species such as noctiluca. In the marine aquarium species are usual smaller as symbiodinium and Amphidinium, While some like ostreopsis are large and can be seen without a microscope (with good lighting and visual acuity).
The problem arises when conditions in the aquarium break the biological balance and some dinoflagellate species spread uncontrollably, smothering the rest of the aquarium inhabitants. If the dinoflagellate species in question has the ability to produce toxins (usual in ostreopsis, gambierdiscus and prorocentrum to name a few)
The problem often arises when we try to bring cleanliness it to the limit, in order to improve its appearance and color of corals.
They tend to occur suddenly when the aquarium water reaches an extraordinary cleanliness, in which most microorganisms perishes for lack of food. With no other organisms that can stop them, this type of dinoflagellate can multiply so fast that when we realize it's late and we will find an aquarium full of brown and ochre slime suffocating fish and invertebrates. These dinoflagellates possess chloroplasts enabling them to synthesize their own food even under a minimal amount of light. Some species can form cysts called pellicles which allow them to remain in the aquarium for months although we have completely sterilized or kept in complete darkness. Once the light or the right conditions come back, they will reappear and thus problems.
Most of these dinoflagellates have a very curious behavior, typical of pathogens and parasites. With the presence of light they secrete mucus which adhere to any surface, including algae, coral and fish. They spend hours synthesising food and extending vertically in search of the light source (if we turn off the pumps in the aquarium we can see brown filaments grow towards the surface). When the light source disappears and can no longer synthesize food, it begins to diminish to none.
Hi. When you say dose hydrogen peroxide I’m just confirming you mean something like this with the 3% concentration? Or do I need to look for something else? Thank you!
 
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