Dinoflagellate Wars - I'm Losing badly, Help!

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ChrisP

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I gave a 5 gallon EvoV reef - no fish. I've been battling dinoflagellates for over three months. I've read all the posts and watched all the YouTube videos. I've tried a UV sterilizer, raising the temperature, lights out, doing partial water changes and no water changes, Dr Tim's Waste Away as well as his protocol for bringing dinoflagellates under control, Vibrant, hyperaeration, increasing flow and changing directions of flow. I siphon daily which is getting very annoying and time-consuming. My filtration is floss, (changed daily) a little carbon and Seachem Matrix. My phosphates are 0 and nitrates 5 (Salifert kits). All other parameters are within normal limits. I think the problem started when I added a phosphate remover (green pad type) which sucked out all the phosphate and I can't seem to get the level back up. I feed the tank despite having no fish (e.g. Reef Roids, a full cube of mysis shrimp, flaked food). The phospates will go up a bit for a few days then right back down to 0. I'd like to just add a phosphate supplement but can't seem to find one. Any help would be SO appreciated. I'm getting very discouraged. Reefing is no fun for me anymore.
 
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Tony616

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You can easily mix your own po4 solution by using Loudwolf Trisodium Phosphate (Na3PO4)


I have beaten Dino by
Raising my phosphate to a whopping 0.2+
and nitrates 30+. I use a turkey baster to blow off the Dino few times a day. Dose hydrogen peroxide once a day (1ml per 10 gallon)
It will take 1-3 weeks for other algae to start growing and Dino will retreat.

Mixing calculator for trisodium phosphate link below. Just pick potassium phosphate from the drop down list.

 
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ChrisP

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Brightwell NeoPhos is definitely the way to go instead of ghost feeding your tank.
I have Brightwell's Neo-Phos but I noticed that it's phosphorus and not phosphate. I know nothing about chemistry but don't know the difference. I did try dosing 0.5 ml for 3 days but still showed 0 phosphates. I haven't tried peroxide but will start today. Thanks for the tips!
 
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I’m in the same boat right now with my Red Sea reefer 250. The tank has been running four months and I have been dealing with dinos from the start. I have been dealing with them with many methods and started the hydrogen peroxide dosing and three day blackout yesterday. I also raised my temperature to 82 Fahrenheit. Hopefully this will fix my problem. Just sharing my experience with dinos as this is the first time I have had to deal with them in my 5 years of reefing. Just waiting for them to go away, so I can enjoy my tank and hobby again.
 
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ChrisP

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I’m in the same boat right now with my Red Sea reefer 250. The tank has been running four months and I have been dealing with dinos from the start. I have been dealing with them with many methods and started the hydrogen peroxide dosing and three day blackout yesterday. I also raised my temperature to 82 Fahrenheit. Hopefully this will fix my problem. Just sharing my experience with dinos as this is the first time I have had to deal with them in my 5 years of reefing. Just waiting for them to go away, so I can enjoy my tank and hobby again.
I got out of reefing for 6 or 7 years. At that time it seemed that there was little mention of dinoflagellates and I never had to deal with them in the past. At that time people would have been thrilled to have 0 phosphates and 0 nitrates. I doubt many people imagined that this would result in new problems such as dinos over-running tanks and deprived corals!
 

blazin'reefer

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repeated blackouts definitely helped me beat it back, havent seen any in a month or 2 knock on wood. You might lose a couple coral though if they are already stressed depriving them of light repeatedly.
 

attiland

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I gave a 5 gallon EvoV reef - no fish. I've been battling dinoflagellates for over three months. I've read all the posts and watched all the YouTube videos. I've tried a UV sterilizer, raising the temperature, lights out, doing partial water changes and no water changes, Dr Tim's Waste Away as well as his protocol for bringing dinoflagellates under control, Vibrant, hyperaeration, increasing flow and changing directions of flow. I siphon daily which is getting very annoying and time-consuming. My filtration is floss, (changed daily) a little carbon and Seachem Matrix. My phosphates are 0 and nitrates 5 (Salifert kits). All other parameters are within normal limits. I think the problem started when I added a phosphate remover (green pad type) which sucked out all the phosphate and I can't seem to get the level back up. I feed the tank despite having no fish (e.g. Reef Roids, a full cube of mysis shrimp, flaked food). The phospates will go up a bit for a few days then right back down to 0. I'd like to just add a phosphate supplement but can't seem to find one. Any help would be SO appreciated. I'm getting very discouraged. Reefing is no fun for me anymore.
Have you got a positive ID of which strains you have?
Where is it growing? Sand rocks?
I guess you hve read the 2 main Dino treads.
For the size of your tank probably the rip cleaners will have a solution.

based on my own experience you need to introduce competition by adding mud/live rock and bacteria. You won’t kill them but the competition will eventually.
 

Ghost25

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Seachem is not doing you any favors. Do you have any algae either in your rocks or in a refugium? Are you dosing anything?

My experience has been green hair algae or even macro algae can suck up nutrients and cause dinos. I was dosing kalk in my ATO and adding vinegar to dissolve more. Fluconazole killed my green hair algae and removing the vinegar seems to have brought up the pH and alkalinity. Dinos cleared up after that.
 
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ChrisP

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Have you got a positive ID of which strains you have?
Where is it growing? Sand rocks?
I guess you hve read the 2 main Dino treads.
For the size of your tank probably the rip cleaners will have a solution.

based on my own experience you need to introduce competition by adding mud/live rock and bacteria. You won’t kill them but the competition will eventually.
I don't have an ID on the type of dinos I'm dealing with. It creates long, brown, snotty threads often with a bubble at the top. It grows on sand, rock and the corals. What are "rip cleaners"?
 
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ChrisP

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Seachem is not doing you any favors. Do you have any algae either in your rocks or in a refugium? Are you dosing anything?

My experience has been green hair algae or even macro algae can suck up nutrients and cause dinos. I was dosing kalk in my ATO and adding vinegar to dissolve more. Fluconazole killed my green hair algae and removing the vinegar seems to have brought up the pH and alkalinity. Dinos cleared up after that.
I'm a bit surprised. I thought the algae competes with the dinos for nutrients and is a key to eliminating them.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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You need to know that a five gallon reef tank is immune to 100% of invasions because rip cleaning, deep cleaning them is so easy. Your params, ID on the invasion don’t matter one iota. The minute you’re ready to win/take back ground, we can, and we have been beating dinos in much larger systems using rip cleans for six years in one thread.

your tank would literally be easy to fix by dinner time today. Post a pic of the tank as it sits now

extended invasions are for large tankers only

the only reason a nano becomes invaded is the owner doesn’t know about rip cleans, or they’re willing to keep dinos instead vs just cleaning them out. You’d be amazed at the % of keepers who actually want to be invaded, you can show them the fix and they’ll avoid it months seeking no-work options. This is exactly why I’ve written that having an invaded reef tank is a matter of psychology, choice, before it’s a matter of params or ID or speciation.

if we want to stay invaded, we can.


if we want to be uninvaded by dinner time today, we can. Pure choice, not biology or chemistry at all
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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The techniques you’ve been reviewing are from large tankers who can’t easily get five gallons of new water to result in 100% new water for the tank. consider using a technique that matches the size of your reef, thats not been considered these last few days
 

Ghost25

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I'm a bit surprised. I thought the algae competes with the dinos for nutrients and is a key to eliminating them.
The current thinking is that dinos tend to grow in newer tanks and especially those with low nutrients. Algae in the display sucks up nutrients just like an algae scrubber does.

This isn't definitive proof but I've noticed dinos tend to accumulate on macro algae, micro algae, and recently dead coral. Maybe they just like the oxygen being given off by the algae, or it's a good surface for them to stick to, but either way I think it makes dinos worse.
 
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JayA

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me too. I have prorocentrum. Shut my lights for 36 hours - didn't have the heart to do it longer as none of my mushrooms or zoas were happy. I have also done a 20% water change. And i keep manually blowing it off the rocks and corals multiple times a day. It is better, but... I need help too
 

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I just almost won my battle over cyano. I used microbacter 7. First week I left the skimmer on even though it said not too and barely seen any results. Last week and a bit I just unplugged the skimmer and continued daily dosing with m7. It's almost all gone. Very small amounts of it left over. I believe it works by somehow starving the food source for the cyano. I'm not a scientist and have no idea but it's worked for me and I will always use it during water changes and what not. It helps keep my water clear too
 

wareagle

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I'm a bit surprised. I thought the algae competes with the dinos for nutrients and is a key to eliminating them.
Algae can't swim around and collect phosphate from multiple sources, this is why nothing is going to beat dinos once they've gone cystic. Predatory dinos will even feast on cyano, other dinos, and other phytoplankton to get phosphorus. The phosphate in our aquarium tests is inorganic, the dinos can get to it while it's organic. Inorganic phosphate is the preferred choice of algae, once you tip the scales by having too low of inorganic P and the dinos start reproducing, there is no going back.

Diatoms have the ability to reproduce faster than Dinos, but they can't catch up from a losing situation, this has been scientifically proven. You have to physically remove the dinos or use something to prevent them from reproducing, and you have to also make sure the water has inorganic P in it.
 

attiland

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I don't have an ID on the type of dinos I'm dealing with. It creates long, brown, snotty threads often with a bubble at the top. It grows on sand, rock and the corals. What are "rip cleaners"?
To have a positive ID you need a microscope. Before that we are best guessing. Rip clean has been explained since.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Look at post 863 @ChrisP



dinos cannot beat that. It’s the strongest cyano and dino control method available

it’s just hard to run in large tanks, in small tanks it’s as easy as pie
As you can see, nearly all those are large tanks and few are small easy ones, that collection was resolved folks they didn’t care how big the tank was at all, they took the clinch win.


if you take the average price of a large reef tank and multiply it out 45 pages, you have examples of rip cleans worth two million dollars right there in that link.

we never lose a single tank.

this is the step:

take tank apart and set corals and rocks to the side or in a bucket of clean holding water

take the sand into a bucket and tap rinse it with a hose for an hour until it’s 100% clear

then rinse it again, we said 100% clear, final rinse in ro water to evacuate tap. Your sand is now dino free


you can spray peroxide on the rocks emerged outside the tank, avoiding corals, let sit a minute then swish off rocks in clean holding water to jet off killed dinos cells

see how that’s opposite from dosing peroxide


then reassemble the reef with all new water, rip clean done. Of course it doesn’t cause harm it causes the after pics we collect for years. take an hour, read more than one example past Aquamans work, be familiar with reef tank surgery then do it


youll likely need to siphon out regrowth in a couple weeks to hand guide it like a garden, since following large tankers rules has seated the dinos into every crevice, but that nano will never be invaded again.


the price of rip cleans saving reefs is we have to take pics of the steps so I can use them in that thread and everyone has a comparative example to work from to match their tank, to help others. Take good pics of all the work

we didn’t use bottle bac at all, for six years there, because we don’t need bottle bac after a cycle that’s what trained buyers do. In that thread, we take command for free.

light peroxide spray onto rocks does not kill the filtration bacteria, and sandbed bacteria are not important in any reef they’re mere tolerable bioload we can rip away any time we want


that would sound like a crazy man claim were it not fully proven above w pics and eight month outcome tracking for some reefs there
 
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