Dinoflagelates. A disruptive treatment

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Thank you for the write up.

heterotrophic bacteria can become limited if N C or P becomes limited, allowing for dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria to take over as this particular bacteria can’t multiply due to lack of nutrients, Cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates being opportunist of the nutrients situation will start to multiply under those events as they utilise mainly N-Doc and organic nutrients wile heterotrophic bacteria needs Doc and inorganic nutrients to multiply.
The reason I believe it’s always hard to outcompete these species without taking any measures could be due the opportunistic species being constantly depleting organic nutrients and by effect depleting the availability of inorganic nutrient that are needed to strengthen the heterotrophic population.
Adding organic carbon is a genius move although I got some questions if that’s ok?

you mentioned that dosing Doc has worked well during the experiments aiding the growth of heterotrophic bacteria that seems to be the line of defence in our system against opportunistic species like dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria. I agree although if doc becomes abundant and inorganic nutrients become limited due to the sudden availability of Doc wouldn’t that cause the heterotrophic bacteria to become limited again? Or do you recommend for during Doc treatment to dose nitrates and phosphates to keep inorganic nutrients detectable?

I I’m under the impression that if Doc is increased in the presence of dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria it could reach to a event were inorganic nutrients will become depleted and only organic nutrients ( nitrogen and phosphorus) will be available that could again be a limiting factor for heterotrophic bacteria and a abundance factor for dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria.

your article makes perfect sense to me just wondering around the effects of excess Doc In a system.
you mentioned that dosing Doc has worked well during the experiments aiding the growth of heterotrophic bacteria that seems to be the line of defence in our system against opportunistic species like dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria. I agree although if doc becomes abundant and inorganic nutrients become limited due to the sudden availability of Doc wouldn’t that cause the heterotrophic bacteria to become limited again? Or do you recommend for during Doc treatment to dose nitrates and phosphates to keep inorganic nutrients detectable?

Hi sixty_reefer, in my experience carbon dosing does not produce a regression in cyanobacteria, in fact it favors them. My conclusion is that we shall not permit nitrate and phosphate concentrations drop to undetectable when dosing organic carbon, to avoid , as you say, a limitation of growth in heterotrophic bacteria .

We tried to dose nitrate and phosphate during this essay , but things turned worst. In some tanks nutrients dropped to zero and dinos still disappeared. That is probably because all produced inorganic nutrients are quickly removed by bacteria and other organisms. Bare in mind that most of dinos blooms are caused by having very low concentrations of inorganic nutrient, but once the pest is set, the increase of those concentrations will temporarily worsen the situation , in my experience

I I’m under the impression that if Doc is increased in the presence of dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria it could reach to a event were inorganic nutrients will become depleted and only organic nutrients ( nitrogen and phosphorus) will be available that could again be a limiting factor for heterotrophic bacteria and a abundance factor for dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria.

Agree, better not to let inorganic nutrient concentrations drop to indetectable

your article makes perfect sense to me just wondering around the effects of excess Doc In a system.
An exces of DOC produces STN/RTN in corals
 
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I'm curious about your thoughts on silicate dosing as a means of using diatoms to outcompete Dinos? Specifically sand bed based Amphidinium that can't be eradicated with other measures like UV, etc.
I have never tried silicate dosing but it may help. IME dinos are removed by competence, not with increment of inorganic nutrient
 
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I've been battling dinos for a year and would like to give this a try. I'm not following the instructions clearly. Is it recommended to dose "1ml per 100L" per day or per week? When should I increase the amount?

- Siphon out as much dinos as possible , without water changes
- 1 ml per 100 liters of net aquarium water per day during one week. If not recession occurs increase to 2 ml during another week, and so one
- Not not exceed 3 ml/100 l per day

Pay attention to any negative sign of stress in aquarium (cloudy water), in fish (breathing) and corals (closed)
 
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Thanks! So 1 ml / 100L each night of the first week? 2 week 2ml / 100L each night where dinoflagellates are slow to recede? And up to 3 ml/100 liters each night if needed?
Correct, do not exceed 3 ml/100l per day
 
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edit: just re read, nutrient need to stay detectable at all times as suspected, therefore if you have low nutrients you may need to dose nitrates and phosphates first and then add organic carbon to the system, keeping a close eye on your nutrients during treatment to avoid them from bottoming out. If they do heterotrophic bacteria won’t be able to outcompete the dinoflagellates as they will become limited in nutrients to grow and dinoflagellates may come back stronger.

If you start treatment from a low nutrient scenario is better not to add them while carbon dosing, we did that and dinos got worst. Wait until they have been deactivated, then decrease carbon dosing and nutrient will go up again
 
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Was the hair algae due to heterotrophic bacteria limitations? It’s normally observed rapid growth of pest algaes wend this bacteria becomes limited at the nutrient level, it stops being able to recycle ammonia leaving the GHA as a dominant ammonia consumption organisms in a system.
No I think hair algae are not affected by chemical warfare from bacteria and , since dinos were removed, the left space was empty for another species to take over
 

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Hi sixty_reefer, in my experience carbon dosing does not produce a regression in cyanobacteria, in fact it favors them. My conclusion is that we shall not permit nitrate and phosphate concentrations drop to undetectable when dosing organic carbon, to avoid , as you say, a limitation of growth in heterotrophic bacteria .
I agree hence my confusion, it appears that some species of Cyanobacteria can utilise Doc as a energy source with sugars from carbohydrates being one of the favourites. Imo the key to Cyanobacteria relays on Nitrates increase in order to re establish the population of heterotroph

We tried to dose nitrate and phosphate during this essay , but things turned worst. In some tanks nutrients dropped to zero and dinos still disappeared. That is probably because all produced inorganic nutrients are quickly removed by bacteria and other organisms. Bare in mind that most of dinos blooms are caused by having very low concentrations of inorganic nutrient, but once the pest is set, the increase of those concentrations will temporarily worsen the situation , in my experience
would the reason why nutrients bottom out be important here? There is two reasons here that could explain that one being a aquarists that drove nutrients down wile using Doc and other being the natural drop in nutrients by bacteria assimilation of nutrients.

the system that Doc depleted the nutrients would theoretically already have a carbon source and only be limited by nitrates and phosphates and in the second situation the abundance of Doc is non existent and only increasing the nitrates and phosphates not being sufficient and a additional Doc will be needed to increase the heterotrophic bacteria.
 

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No I think hair algae are not affected by chemical warfare from bacteria and , since dinos were removed, the left space was empty for another species to take over
I agree that chemical warfare is not related to algae although we talking about nutrients and nutrient recycling wend talking about dinoflagellates and bacteria, once dinoflagellates that are normally classified under phytoplankton perish in a system, the nutrients that were once assimilate by them will become available again in the water column unless if they are being removed via mechanical filtration or bacteria assimilation.
 
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it appears that some species of Cyanobacteria can utilise Doc as a energy source with sugars from carbohydrates being one of the favourites.

Agree

he system that Doc depleted the nutrients would theoretically already have a carbon source and only be limited by nitrates and phosphates and in the second situation the abundance of Doc is non existent and only increasing the nitrates and phosphates not being sufficient and a additional Doc will be needed to increase the heterotrophic bacteria.

Imo all reef tank are organic carbon limited. In this context I mean very simple organic matter (like alcohols, amino acids and so on), that can be fast assimilated by heterotrophic bacteria. Unless you dose organic carbon artificially , heterotrophic bacteria will not develop to a certain stage. Alcohols, sugar, acetic acid and so on, do not have neither nitrogen nor phosphorous in their composition, so we avoid that another type of heterotrophic bacteria transform a part of this compounds in nitrate and phosphate. This is the basis of carbon dosing

Anyway, I believe that is a good practice to always maintain detectable concentrations on nitrate and phosphate, while dosing organic carbon in some situations
 
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would the reason why nutrients bottom out be important here? There is two reasons here that could explain that one being a aquarists that drove nutrients down wile using Doc and other being the natural drop in nutrients by bacteria assimilation of nutrients.

In the essay we got to the conclusion that when nitrates and phosphates are reduced because of organic carbon dosing, there is not a risk of having dinoflagellates, in fact, they recede. When that situation happens after using GFO, lanthanum or just "naturally" is different
 

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Agree



Imo all reef tank are organic carbon limited. In this context I mean very simple organic matter (like alcohols, amino acids and so on), that can be fast assimilated by heterotrophic bacteria. Unless you dose organic carbon artificially , heterotrophic bacteria will not develop to a certain stage. Alcohols, sugar, acetic acid and so on, do not have neither nitrogen nor phosphorous in their composition, so we avoid that another type of heterotrophic bacteria transform a part of this compounds in nitrate and phosphate. This is the basis of carbon dosing

Anyway, I believe that is a good practice to always maintain detectable concentrations on nitrate and phosphate, while dosing organic carbon in some situations
I agree that keeping detectable nutrients is key to avoid major outbreaks of dinoflagellates regarding mixathrophic and heterotrophic species.
have you got a view on autotrophic dinoflagellates? They seem to bloom under high nutrient conditions, would the same method apply still? Giving that they are dependent mainly on N-Doc and nutrients, the ideology behind the addition of Doc is genius and it will be a great step forward to the hobby wend implement correctly.
Or would a blackout still be the best option for autotrophic species?

it’s complicated regarding all tanks being carbon limited, it really depends on the aquarists nutrient import, some tanks may become abundant in carbon trough they’re life time. If we were to not had any source of food to our system they would all be C N P limited as this is the main source of nutrients import into our systems and nothing would be able to survive under those circumstances, some types of foods are richer in certain nutrients than others also.
On average 90% of the food we feed our fish will end up in the water column as sources of CNP, not sure from this 90% it gets removed via skimming or other mechanical filtration although what’s not removed will be the true source of nutrients in a system that will feed the microbes.
 

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In the essay we got to the conclusion that when nitrates and phosphates are reduced because of organic carbon dosing, there is not a risk of having dinoflagellates, in fact, they recede. When that situation happens after using GFO, lanthanum or just "naturally" is different
That’s a interesting observation
 

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Thanks for a really interesting article, it certainly sounds promising. After a good 8 months of trying to eradicate large cell Amphidinium through phyto and silicate dosing (neither of which are having much impact) you've definitely piqued my interest! I have some questions that I'd really like to know more about.

I'm curious about the statement that you should not let nutrients bottom out whilst carbon dosing. Did you actively prevent this during the weeks you were treating for dinos? Did you monitor daily and stop dosing if they got too low, or do you let them get low/to zero during the treatment, then increase them?

Like others have said, the solution could be that you're using bacteria to physically outcompete the dinos (i.e. pushing them out of their ecological niche with a bacterial biofilm) or starving them out by using bacteria to consume all available nutrients, and essentially resetting the microbiome for "good" microbes to colonise.

Once dinos have been eradicated, did you continue carbon dosing or stop and return to normal nutrient levels?

Thanks so much in advance!
 

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The only issue I see with bacto balance is that it adds organic nutrients that from the experiment results leads me to think that might favour dinoflagellates, heterotrophic bacteria seems to favour inorganic nutrient over organic nutrients as a source of energy.
Okay, make sense!
 
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The only issue I see with bacto balance is that it adds organic nutrients that from the experiment results leads me to think that might favour dinoflagellates, heterotrophic bacteria seems to favour inorganic nutrient over organic nutrients as a source of energy.
No, organic carbon, indirectly produce the dino withdraw. Heterotrophic bacteria are responsible through chemical interference . Dinos also feed on organic carbon, that is why , for this treatment, is better to dose carbon at night
 
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I'm curious about the statement that you should not let nutrients bottom out whilst carbon dosing. Did you actively prevent this during the weeks you were treating for dinos? Did you monitor daily and stop dosing if they got too low, or do you let them get low/to zero during the treatment, then increase them?

During carbon dosing, if inorganic nutrientes drop, it is good for erradicating dinos, because they can not feed on them. But, imo, the key is the chemical interference by heterotrophic bacteria, killing them. In the essay we let nutrients drop to cero, without cyano outbreaks. After completion, organic carbon doses were reduced, so nitrayte and phosphate started to be detectable.

Like others have said, the solution could be that you're using bacteria to physically outcompete the dinos (i.e. pushing them out of their ecological niche with a bacterial biofilm) or starving them out by using bacteria to consume all available nutrients, and essentially resetting the microbiome for "good" microbes to colonise.

Yes, but more important. The chemical warfare
Once dinos have been eradicated, did you continue carbon dosing or stop and return to normal nutrient levels?
Yes
 

ceduardogdias

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Paulinho

I also found the idea interesting, but unfortunately the dinos species wasn't identified.

I agre that one solution for all the problems should be following with some care.

Hugs from BR
Over time I became too cautious about dinoflagellate treatment methods that solve all genus of dinos without harm, but very interesting to follow
 

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During carbon dosing, if inorganic nutrientes drop, it is good for erradicating dinos, because they can not feed on them. But, imo, the key is the chemical interference by heterotrophic bacteria, killing them. In the essay we let nutrients drop to cero, without cyano outbreaks. After completion, organic carbon doses were reduced, so nitrayte and phosphate started to be detectable.



Yes, but more important. The chemical warfare

Yes
Thanks for your replies. Another question I have is that many people report getting dinos after using something like NOPOX and bottoming out their nutrients. What is your theory for why NOPOX can be both the cause and, in your experiment, the cure?
 
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Thanks for your replies. Another question I have is that many people report getting dinos after using something like NOPOX and bottoming out their nutrients. What is your theory for why NOPOX can be both the cause and, in your experiment, the cure?
Not the cause, but definitely the cure. The cause, in most of cases, is a sharp nutrient reduction, but not because organic carbon addition, in my experience and knowledge. Nutrients can de depleted for example because GFO utilization, lanthanum or just naturally. This is quite a favorable scenario for dino and cyano outbreaks
 
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