Dinoflagellates – Are You Tired Of Battling Altogether?

Mhart032

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Well done, I have battled Dino's twice in 2 different setups, I've beat them both times, but learned from the first tank. I think what's difficult to most new reefers that get them is this, knowing when Dino's are gone and it's just cyano phase that's left, I to had this issue with the first battle of Dino's after a 10yr hiatus from the hobby when 10+ years ago no one really had Dino's Or it wasn't very prominent in my local club. Never the less great write up, there is a ton of research here. Identification is key in this matter. You can't beat what you don't know! Once you know the path to success is easy of your patient.
 

Mhart032

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When I researched them the first time, I noticed a healthy amount of people with new rock we're getting them, the second time I payed a little more attention to this new rock and asked several people what rock they were using. (Please note what I say next is not an attack on Marco or his rock by any means I have seen some of the best aquascaping coming out of his rock, and i use it myself) but I noticed a trend of people that used reef saver or Marco rock we're getting them, made me wonder if it's something thats in that Florida dry reef that's attributing to the issue. I don't see a ton of people with man made rock or Walt Smith rock having this issue, the rock from reefcleaners "cured" doesn't seem to be an issue either. Just made me wonder.
 

Grossman90

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When I researched them the first time, I noticed a healthy amount of people with new rock we're getting them, the second time I payed a little more attention to this new rock and asked several people what rock they were using. (Please note what I say next is not an attack on Marco or his rock by any means I have seen some of the best aquascaping coming out of his rock, and i use it myself) but I noticed a trend of people that used reef saver or Marco rock we're getting them, made me wonder if it's something thats in that Florida dry reef that's attributing to the issue. I don't see a ton of people with man made rock or Walt Smith rock having this issue, the rock from reefcleaners "cured" doesn't seem to be an issue either. Just made me wonder.
I have marco dry rock. I can tell you that my dinoflagellates didn't come from it. Was specifically my p04 hitting 0 while gone for 4 days. People don't feed much nowadays and they run a skimmer sucking up what they are barely even feeding. My tank was strong for 5 months til I did the dumb mistake of feeding less and leaving town for a bit. My hanna checker confirmed the 0 p04 when i got back from my trip. The LFS tried to tell me 0 nitrates and p04 was a good thing 2 years ago when i first got back into reefing.

Have their been people who have had marco rock with nitrates and p04 readings that got dinos? Would like to hear what they were doing to the tank chemical wise before it happened.
 

taricha

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This thread is pretty contrary to everything in a zeovit system
The single worst case of dinos I ever saw was a zeovit system. link.

I’ve recently gotten back into the hobby after a ten (or so) year break. It’s interesting to me how much things have changed - but the Dino’s were never a problem many years ago GHA yes but that was mostly it. I look at how the hobby has changed and I keep wondering if starting tanks with dry rock is a component here. As well it’s also interesting to me how people want N and P in their tank now. I’ve never done this in the past. I just always had a heavy bio load and feeding schedule.
(almost) Nobody was identifying brown crud with a microscope. So no one called it dinos.
Dry rock. prevalence of accurate detection of super low PO4, and the widespread desire to push it even lower, and ability to drop PO4 to zero with GFO. Those are my hunches for reasons why dinos are "more common" now.
 

tores

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Hi

Looking for help to ID potential dinos and any advice on how to move forward...

Got back into the hobby after nearly 20 years and have been reading a lot of the entries in this thread for the obvious reason ... Got a 65gallon with started with dry rock. I believe that I have dinos. The tank is currently 7 weeks old.

We started it up with Red Sea mature pro which seemed to work ok (except for a major bacterial bloom) and continued dosing NO-PO-X until the outbreak when I stopped after reading this thread. Post-cycle Nitrites was in the range of 20 going down to 5 currently (yes perhaps too low). Phosphate was undetectable. Got some pods to increase biodiversity. and clean-up crew (2 hermits, 6 trochus). We saw early signs of 'rust' colored coating of substrate in low flow areas after we started feeding but the extent of it was limited and we did not worry about it.

The trigger for the outbreak was probably our social wrasse which went absent for a couple of days and after dismantling some rocks we finally got what was left of him out (I actually think that he got stuck in there). Stinky! The result was a significant Ammonia spike and we performed several 15% water changes and finally treated the water with Sodium Hydoxymethane Sulfinate to save the remaining fish (3 of them now).

All rock and sand soon thereafter got covered in a brown mat that developed bubbles during the day. In the morning it was lighter but building back up during the day. Sometimes the water is brown.

The actions that we have taken based on reading the posts here;
- Dropped dosing NO-PO-X over a couple of days from 5ml/day to 0.
- Activated carbon in the sump to counter potential toxins.
- Started dosing Flourish Phosphorus heavily 20ml / day for the last few days. Now at 0.47ppm.
- Attempted siphoning the sand bed a couple of times but that did not seem effective.

Also:
- Inserted a golf-ball-sized amount of chaeto (with grow-light) in the sump to have some way of controlling nutrients - should I need to - and to possibly get slightly more bio-diversity from outside of my tiny eco-system.
- For the last 2 days, the infestation has subsided somewhat.
- I am seeing a lot of 'white' spots on the rocks which seems to be some form of growth as it it seems whiter than the actual dry-rock underneath. It has also started growing on the power heads.
- We are limiting the light period somewhat with more time with actinic-only lighting.
- In parallel with the dosing of phosphate, I have had to substantially increase 2-part dosing over the past week due to increased consumption in he tank (almost having to double it) ware currently at 9dKH after scraping around in the low 7-s. We have one small frogspawn, 2 polyps of trumpet coral and a Montipora Capricornus. They all seem to be doing fine.
- Have dosed chaeto-gro as per instructions.
- Got a microscope today to check out the critters... Could anyone ID these for me?

Sample scraped off the glass (clumped together) - last one is at 1000x:

IMG_3205.jpg
IMG_3210.jpg


Sample with free moving dinos?
IMG_3201.jpg





Picture of rocks covered in brown but with new white "spots" in the previously solid brown mat. Any ides of what it is?

IMG_3212.jpg


Close up of brown stuff:
IMG_3217.jpg



Fish seems to be doing fine and I believe that the montipora has grown slightly. The other corals seem to be ok too. Hermits are doing their thing but the snails hang out underneath an overhang (where there is no brown growth). If this is dinos producing toxins that would be a natural place for them to be.

I am considering investing in a UV filter. Could be a meaningful addition to the water quality management long term too. However, I would like to understand what can be done using biological means - especially since the situation seems be heading in the right direction and I don't have any expensive investments in corals that need to be protected and I am only 7 weeks into this...

I feel that the nitrates are getting low so I am going to reduce the light intensity for the chaeto and make sure I only have a small amount of it growing. Dose nitrates to bring it to 8-10 or so. I currently have a ratio of 1/8 NO3 - PO4 which might not be sustainable. Keep maintaining PO4 at .4ppm or so.

I know - long post. Thoughts? Comments?

Thanks!!

Equipment: 65 gal, sump w. refugium, skimmer, 2 Tunze power heads, doser, 90w LED light (basic).
 

taricha

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I know - long post. Thoughts? Comments?
I don't see anything in there that is dinos for certain.
the clumps on the glass could be chysophytes.
The video looks more shaped like a cryptomonad or similar.
The white growth could be bacterial or sponge.

But the most important thing here is this part
tores said:
The tank is currently 7 weeks old
...so whatever the uglies are, it doesn't matter. The surfaces have multiple stages of maturation to go through before I would care enough about what exact primary producers are living where and think about doing something about it.
as you said, new growth form spreading on the rocks, corals seem happy.
 

scottrotton

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ROUND 2 of the Dino fight ive been doing a lot of ready and seeing other peoples methods, i figure the hardest part of this is the type of Dinos, some people post results but dont know exactly what type of Dino there facing which might be why its so hard to find a treatment.

My current approach is
Manually removing my sand bed each week to a paint where i only have 2 cups of sand left and it should be gone within 1-2 weeks. now the Dinos that were on my sand have started to go as they have no place to grow except those small patches which remain, Dinos are be replaced by Cyano on my rock work and corals so im manually removing it and dosing N and P to keep my p at 0.02 and n at 4 as it keeps falling, i presume the Cyano is using the N and P and i should continue to feed it?

I now notice a patch of or dino looking snot growing from a coral which never happend before it was always just in the sand bad so i hope its not the start of a more toxic one taking over.

Video



Questions
Can some please ID this new form of Dino?
I would also like to know if i have Cyano or Spirulina?
There is also a spider like creature towards the end which is moving fast but im hoping that eats Dinos?

Recommendations?
Also where to i go from here, continue to let Cyano take over or try to h2o2 it along with dr tims waste away method ive been reading about, i also have fauna marine ultra algae x on stand by but apparently will kill half of my tank (wish the LFS explained that before they sold it to me)

I do have a Clam, Cleaner Shrimp and about 20-30 snails which i dont want to loose.


thanks for all the work so far
 

taricha

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Can some please ID this new form of Dino?
I would also like to know if i have Cyano or Spirulina?
There is also a spider like creature towards the end which is moving fast but im hoping that eats Dinos?

Recommendations?
Also where to i go from here, continue to let Cyano take over
You have a mix of amphidium and the new dinos you're seeing are likely coolia. The cyanobacteria is mostly spirulina - the waving threads, you also have some more typical oscillatoria type cyano.
The spider looking critter at the end is a marine mite - halacaridae likely. Harmless but probably not a dino eater.
Cyano is a much smaller problem than dinos, so I wouldn't worry too much about it while biting dinos. In fact occasionally vacuuming up cyano mats can export the nutrients and waste particles that are helping to fuel the other nuisance growth.
 
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Bryknicks

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When I researched them the first time, I noticed a healthy amount of people with new rock we're getting them, the second time I payed a little more attention to this new rock and asked several people what rock they were using. (Please note what I say next is not an attack on Marco or his rock by any means I have seen some of the best aquascaping coming out of his rock, and i use it myself) but I noticed a trend of people that used reef saver or Marco rock we're getting them, made me wonder if it's something thats in that Florida dry reef that's attributing to the issue. I don't see a ton of people with man made rock or Walt Smith rock having this issue, the rock from reefcleaners "cured" doesn't seem to be an issue either. Just made me wonder.
I'm not so sure it has anything to do with the dry marco rock. Before setting up my new tank I purchased a bunch of dry marco rock and since I'm a neat freak I wanted to ensure that it was completely clean before adding it to my new system. First I soaked the rock in a muriatic acid bath and rinsed with baking soda and RODI water to neutralize. Then after drying for a few days I gave the rocks a week long bath in a vinegar RODI mixture to remove any remaining organics even though the rock was very clean when I received it. I then gave them another week long bath in straight RODI water finished by a week in the sun to dissipate any residual vinegar. I added this to my new set up that had new dry sand (rinsed very well with RODI until no cloudiness was left) seeded with a small cup of live sand from my old set up. Within a few weeks my PO4 bottomed out and then the dino's came on full force. It was my fault as I used GFO and chaeto to keep my nutrient levels extremely low before I learned that was causing more harm than good.

Based on my experience I would have to say that it is unlikely due to the marco rock, at least not in my case.
 

spsick

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So after adding UV and carbon I knocked the Coolia everywhere except my sand. Tried rinsing several times and it persists while my SPS die. Today I siphoned out my sandbed and hoping for the best. It was less than an inch in my 65 (about 2 gal worth in a bucket). Fingers crossed!
 

Anemoneguy

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I’ve recently gotten back into the hobby after a ten (or so) year break. It’s interesting to me how much things have changed - but the Dino’s were never a problem many years ago GHA yes but that was mostly it. I look at how the hobby has changed and I keep wondering if starting tanks with dry rock is a component here. As well it’s also interesting to me how people want N and P in their tank now. I’ve never done this in the past. I just always had a heavy bio load and feeding schedule.
I have also wondered if using dry rock could be part of the problem. Never even knew this stuff existed til now. Used all dry rock and sand.
 

Anemoneguy

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So I broke down my tank. Drained and filled with tap water and bleach. Let it run 24 hours circulating through. I removed all other components like protein skimmer, heaters and reactors and will give them a very thorough cleaning as well. Gonna run fresh water for another 24 and then will drain tank and let it dry for a week. I don’t think anything could have made it through the bleach as I went way strong with it, but also want the tank to dry. I have gulf live rock in another tank along with my fish and anemones just waiting. I’m gonna get one more shipment of gulf rock and also some sand I think. Fingers crossed cause I’m done if this stuff comes back.
 

saltyhog

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Question for @taricha and our other dino experts.

I have been in a year long battle with dinos. Originally ostreopsis but when I got rid of them I had a return problem with amphidinium. They aren't on the coral or rocks, just the sand. They only look bad and my corals are doing well.

I've been experimenting with bacterial supplements to see if it would help and it has made a big difference in the appearance of the sand bed. I followed Dr. Tim's instructions in their dino recipe. Since I still saw some low level evidence and still have elevated PO4 I continued to treat. I have lowered the dose to 120cc in a 72x24x21 tank (Total system volume approx 160 gallon).

My problem is when I dose PO4 plummets from 0.16-0.18 down to 0.06. I then wait and over a couple of days it rises back to 0.16-0.2. Here's my Apex graph of PO4 for the last 2 weeks of this. I'd like to keep it around 0.06 to 0.1

Screenshot (2).png


My thought is to lower the dose to say 50cc and treat every day. Is that a reasonable plan?
 

dwest

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Question for @taricha and our other dino experts.

I have been in a year long battle with dinos. Originally ostreopsis but when I got rid of them I had a return problem with amphidinium. They aren't on the coral or rocks, just the sand. They only look bad and my corals are doing well.

I've been experimenting with bacterial supplements to see if it would help and it has made a big difference in the appearance of the sand bed. I followed Dr. Tim's instructions in their dino recipe. Since I still saw some low level evidence and still have elevated PO4 I continued to treat. I have lowered the dose to 120cc in a 72x24x21 tank (Total system volume approx 160 gallon).

My problem is when I dose PO4 plummets from 0.16-0.18 down to 0.06. I then wait and over a couple of days it rises back to 0.16-0.2. Here's my Apex graph of PO4 for the last 2 weeks of this. I'd like to keep it around 0.06 to 0.1

Screenshot (2).png


My thought is to lower the dose to say 50cc and treat every day. Is that a reasonable plan?
Hey Salty! Glad your corals are dong well.

Sorry dinos are still around though...

I just want to understand this as I’ve never used a bacteria supplement. You want to change the dosage because you are getting too much phosphate variation correct? I would love to hear what others think, but I personally would do what you have been doing if the sand looks better. I realize that stability is great, but since dinos are so bad, I would let phosphates do what they do as long as they are measurable. I guess not understanding the mechanisms behind bacterial products, I don’t know if they still work if you change the dosage. Again, I hope others will chime in.

BTW, I’ve never had enough courage to add sand back. Good luck!
 

saltyhog

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Yeah, I'm just hyper paranoid about bottoming out my PO4....every time it gets to 0.06 I get nervous. :D ;Facepalm o_O. Actually the only thing that makes me think they are still there is a few spots of "dirty" sand on one end of the tank. The only problem is cosmetic and it's really not very noticeable. I haven't sampled it in a while and it's possible it's just diatoms. I'll see if I can get a pic under the scope.
 

dwest

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Yeah, I'm just hyper paranoid about bottoming out my PO4....every time it gets to 0.06 I get nervous. :D ;Facepalm o_O. Actually the only thing that makes me think they are still there is a few spots of "dirty" sand on one end of the tank. The only problem is cosmetic and it's really not very noticeable. I haven't sampled it in a while and it's possible it's just diatoms. I'll see if I can get a pic under the scope.
I see, you don’t want to get to zero. I understand the paranoia for sure! Do you know if the phosphate reduction is directly related to the bacteria? Or are there binders or some other carbon source in the bottle such that you are essentially carbon dosing when you add it? Either way, this is new to me. I bet an expert will chime in at some point.

Got my second (after dinos) battlebox 2 weeks ago. That gives me a dozen or so acro frags that are doing well. I’m thinking about removing my GAC flow through reactor and going back to placing GAC in the sump in a bag. Are you running GAC?
 
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