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Dinoflagellates – Are You Tired Of Battling Altogether?

Marc2952

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Do tanks that run refugiums with algae like chaeto have less problems with dinos? The reason I ask is that there seems to be this mentality that culturing competing organisms (bacteria and/or algae) is one of the keys to overcome dinos.

If one had a fuge or an algae reactor in the first place, wouldn't that out-compete dinos and serve as a preventative?
When i had dinos ( thank god i beat them even removed the UV with no issue) i found that they will cover my chaeto and kill it.
 

swiss1939

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Think i killed off most of my dinos with peroxide. Got microscope after peroxide treatment and just tested it out to see if there were some dinos still on the power head cause it looks like they are still there but not growing.

Here is photos of what i tried to scrape off the power head. Can anyone tell what it is?

The tiny cells look like what I saw on my previous bad microscope, but they were moving around a lot before. I'm thinking its either dead dinos not moving now, or its just another algae strand growing on the power head.
IMG_20200911_193857.jpg
IMG_20200911_194408.jpg
IMG_20200911_195129.jpg
 
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Kwann373

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Hello, I have just recently started my battle with dinos.

I'm new to reefing so when I first saw the algae my first instinct was that there were too many nutrients, I started doing a WC weekly and running phosguard in my canister filter. After a week it obviously got much worse and after my research I realized my mistake.

Any and all recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Currently I'm dosing phosphate as my reading has been stuck at 0. I've managed to get my Nitrate between 5-10ppm with over feeding. I've turned my skimmer off and stopped with my WC.

I lost a BTA during this whole ordeal, and now the other few corals I have in my tank are not looking their best. (2 Torch corals, 1 ricordea, a small colony of zoas, and an alveopora). I'm not certain the dinos are the cause but everything was doing ok before.

Tank is just shy of a year old.

Other params:
Salinity: 1.025
Temp: 78.8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 5-10ppm
Phosphate: 0
I'm running 2 AI Prime 16HD on a 45 gallon tank (tall and skinny - newbie purchase) BRS AB+ settings. I slightly reduced the greens, reds, whites, and photo-time during this battle.

Can anyone please help with ID and any advice going forward.

Some clearly look like dinos but on pictures #4 and #5 i'm not sure what all is going on.

Thank you
 

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taricha

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Can anyone please help with ID and any advice going forward.

Some clearly look like dinos but on pictures #4 and #5 i'm not sure what all is going on.
great pics of prorocentrum dinos.
pic 4 includes a copepod juvenile, pic 5 probably is a red ciliate dividing
 

Kwann373

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great pics of prorocentrum dinos.
pic 4 includes a copepod juvenile, pic 5 probably is a red ciliate dividing
Thanks for your help- Looks like my first copepod then! Is the red ciliate harmful at all? As for the prorocentrum - I was advised to dose silicates as well as raise nitrates and phosphates. Do you think it would be a good idea to add more copepods also?
 

taricha

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Kongar

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So I wanted to give an update. I think I beat LA Dinos, and wanted to share what worked for me. A little history, new tank. Somewhere in the 4 month mark I stopped testing for nitrates, and was doing fairly large weekly water changes. During that time, my nitrates bottomed out to zero and dinos started taking over. They were pretty bad, completely covering the sand and glass during lighting hours, and seemed pretty resilient. I decided on a fairly non-drastic approach, my strategy was as follows:
  • Raise nitrates by overfeeding
  • No more water changes
  • Promote algae growth (no cleaning - not even scraping the glass)
  • No disturbing the sand bed
  • Changing filter floss weekly as opposed to twice a week
  • Nothing drastic like dosing products or lights out (in fact I kept my lights on their normal schedule)
So nitrates: It took a little while, but I was able to get just the slightest bit of pink on my red sea nitrate test kit from overfeeding, and generally letting the tank get funky. So I kept at it and tested daily to make sure it stayed there. Occasionally, it would be undetectable, but for the most part I was able to keep some amount present. This did nothing to the dinos - in fact it made them worse, at least at first. This was the most disheartening part of the battle - it got so bad, I really had to resist doing something else. I felt like a total reef tank failure.

But then, I started seeing GHA growing in the tank for the very first time. Remember, 5 months in - never really had an algae bloom - not normal! I think I went from diatoms straight to a dino outbreak. Then, I also started seeing some kind of sea lettuce growing, but I'm not 100% sure what it is. This development made me pretty happy, it was progress towards something different. My phosphates were going through the roof during this time. And then the magic started to happen - the algae kept growing. Slowly at first. But then one day I started noticing what I can only describe as dead dino goop? It looked like how a coffee spill dries - with a little ridge at the edge of a puddle, and the brown was turning white. Eventually all the surfaces except the sandbed were crusty white, and the algae started growing on top of the white. Then the GHA took off - like holy mother of god, that's a lot of GHA, and it's growing fast. I resisted the urge to clean and just let it go - foot long strands and huge patches of it all over the rocks. Once that happened, the sand started clearing up. Took a bit longer for the sand to clear up, but there was progress every day. Now I've got GHA growing on the sand bed, the water is crystal clear, and the dinos are nowhere in sight.

At that point I decided to resume water changes and regular maintenance. I did a bigish water change - about 30%, everything was fine. Then I started doing more normal things like cleaning portions of the sandbed (I've done one corner, I'll do another this weekend), replacing filter floss, manually removing GHA, etc. So far, my actions aren't causing dinos to reappear.

TLDR: So in summary: I made sure there was nitrates and phosphates, don't disturb, and do everything you can to promote algae growth. It seems (as many mentioned) that the algae can outcompete the dinos once it establishes. I'm chalking my case up to "new tank" and it just needed to mature. Some people get red cyano, I got LA Dinos before I got any real algae growth and they took my tank over. I just needed to help other things (like GHA) along and let them get a foothold. I'm hoping I'm on a more normal path to a mature tank now.

For what it's worth - your miles may vary. Thanks for all the help in this thread - I wouldn't have learned what dinos even were (never mind beat them) without this community.

Hopefully it stays gone - Dinos suck!
Kongar
 
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hotdrop

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I’m on dose 10 of DinoX. Day 20 total. Today was supposed to be the day it was done but negative.

Here are my results (fail)
I turned town lights did 2 days of blackout and started dosing. Running UV
7ml into a 35g capacity (40 volume minus rocks)
Dose 1 no Dino
Dose 3 snails start dieing
Dose 4 torch bails
Dose 5 the rest of the turbo snails die
Dose 6 sea urchin looks lathargic skimmer overflows
Dose 7 turn off Uv to let dioatoms get a foothold. Algee is mostly grey
Dose 8 -9 skimmer overflowing
Brown hairy clusters start forming on
Dose 10 staring to see brown strings on the corals and Run UV again.

ok so I really need a microscope. Gonna just order one. F$&@ might be tank tear down time soon, 2020 has been one ****** year.

couple more interesting highlights.Dose 9 day 18 ph suddenly dropped to 7.1 and slowly recovered over the next day. It was 7.6 on day 19 Hard to tell if it’s bad sensors but I’m back to 8.0 this evening Day20
 
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paul01609

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Well looks like I have about beat my Dino problem,found the odd one in sand samples under microscope,this is what has worked for me but remember it’s taken about 7 weeks so not a fast fix.
removed skimmer
raised temp to 81.5
rasied po4 and nitrate
dosed bright wells silica
after about 5 week Dino started to be covered in algea then I hoovered sand bed
and did a water change,I did not get a diatom bloom that I have seen
 

swiss1939

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That's a diatom party!
Update.. after 4 days lights out and dosing peroxide/microbacter 7, all my sps frags started looking bad over the week post treatment. Eventually they all died within 2 weeks. I also had an octospawn die. So I lost half my coral. Yes it is only a 4 month old tank, but everything was doing really well prior to peroxide treatment and nothing appeared to be affected by the dinos I was having. So lesson learned.. leave things alone when nothing is showing problems. I caused more problems by attempting to fix things. Now I feel my tank will be handicapped in terms of coral survival for months. The only things still doing strong are two hammer corals, the origjnal leather toadstool and a yuma. My two clowns have appeared to be unaffected by everything and are happy as can be.
 

AmaleeC

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Totally. Having your own scope is best, but until you get one I'd be happy to ID any suspected Dinos that anyone wants to send me. PM me for details. It'd need to be next day shipping, because if it sits more than a day in summer shipping heat, I couldn't ID what was left.


I know you were half-joking, but pulling some debris from the bottom of someone's healthy established algae-filled Fuge would be great to seed a new tank with. There's great stuff in there.



Ok, to deliver on the tease... pods & snails aren't the only things that eat dinos. Here's my personal unsung hero dino grazers: Ciliates!
This is a large relative of Euplotes having ingested amphidinium (click each pic for link to video)


This is Coleps having ingested an amphidinium and a couple other dino cells (click for vid moving through focal plane). I've seen a bunch of these in other people's tanks too after they had dinos. Common dino grazer?


This is a hypotrich ciliate of some kind


And Finally, my favorite - these worm-looking ciliates eat Ostreopsis (yep) a handful at a time (!). I hadn't posted these when I shot them back in April of 2016, because (heh) I saw these videos and honestly thought we could solve Dino problems by shipping people bottles with a million of these guys to pour in your tank.
Enjoy video

Only 3 problems with that.
1. Had no idea what they were
2. No idea how to culture them to any density
3. Biggest and most importantly - I didn't realize the huge difference between "can eat toxic dinos" - (these do!), and "can grow and multiply on toxic dinos" (nothing does)

two days ago I got an ID for them from this dude's video (of them eating different dinos)
"Ciliado marino,posiblemente Trachelocerca
Su aspecto recuerda al ciliado Lacrymaria"
Hello. I’ve always been scared to post in this thread, given that it’s endless and, also, I don’t have a microscope lol

But after a lot of research, and viewing the posts of others, I know for sure that I started with green hair algae & large cell amphidium (goes into the water column at night, eaten by tiger conch’s). Somehow along the way, osteo grew (think, jiggly, and somewhat stringy), with it cyano later grew (one kind that was green and another that was red). The osteo + GHA did a lot of damage. It killed all of my LPS and was torturing my RFAs. The tank was unbearable, so I did a rip clean and ran a UV to buy myself some time. The osteo is gone, buy the large cell is coming back. I currently have two tiger conchs, but I know I need more to defeat these guys at their level. What grazers can I purchase that will eat these?

I live in FL and will happily take two buckets of sea water to try and catch some ciliates and Tanaids, but I’m not sure how well that would work lol I found this website that sells what looks like freshwater ciliates to labs but I’m not sure how well that would work either. https://www.nilesbio.com/subcat132.html
 
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taricha

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I live in FL and will happily take two buckets of sea water to try and catch some ciliates and Tanaids, but I’m not sure how well that would work lol I found this website that sells what looks like freshwater ciliates to labs but I’m not sure how well that would work either. https://www.nilesbio.com/subcat132.html
Don't bother with getting ciliates or micro-crustaceans - except maybe bring in a small quality live rock, or some macroalgae. So unlikely that anything that is commercially cultured would be a big dino eater.
What should the flow rate be for UV to kill dinos. 25 w Aqua sterilizer. I have 120 gallon tank
200-300 gallons per hour is typical value that people report positive effects on dinos with.
 

ScottB

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So I wanted to give an update. I think I beat LA Dinos, and wanted to share what worked for me. A little history, new tank. Somewhere in the 4 month mark I stopped testing for nitrates, and was doing fairly large weekly water changes. During that time, my nitrates bottomed out to zero and dinos started taking over. They were pretty bad, completely covering the sand and glass during lighting hours, and seemed pretty resilient. I decided on a fairly non-drastic approach, my strategy was as follows:
  • Raise nitrates by overfeeding
  • No more water changes
  • Promote algae growth (no cleaning - not even scraping the glass)
  • No disturbing the sand bed
  • Changing filter floss weekly as opposed to twice a week
  • Nothing drastic like dosing products or lights out (in fact I kept my lights on their normal schedule)
So nitrates: It took a little while, but I was able to get just the slightest bit of pink on my red sea nitrate test kit from overfeeding, and generally letting the tank get funky. So I kept at it and tested daily to make sure it stayed there. Occasionally, it would be undetectable, but for the most part I was able to keep some amount present. This did nothing to the dinos - in fact it made them worse, at least at first. This was the most disheartening part of the battle - it got so bad, I really had to resist doing something else. I felt like a total reef tank failure.

But then, I started seeing GHA growing in the tank for the very first time. Remember, 5 months in - never really had an algae bloom - not normal! I think I went from diatoms straight to a dino outbreak. Then, I also started seeing some kind of sea lettuce growing, but I'm not 100% sure what it is. This development made me pretty happy, it was progress towards something different. My phosphates were going through the roof during this time. And then the magic started to happen - the algae kept growing. Slowly at first. But then one day I started noticing what I can only describe as dead dino goop? It looked like how a coffee spill dries - with a little ridge at the edge of a puddle, and the brown was turning white. Eventually all the surfaces except the sandbed were crusty white, and the algae started growing on top of the white. Then the GHA took off - like holy mother of god, that's a lot of GHA, and it's growing fast. I resisted the urge to clean and just let it go - foot long strands and huge patches of it all over the rocks. Once that happened, the sand started clearing up. Took a bit longer for the sand to clear up, but there was progress every day. Now I've got GHA growing on the sand bed, the water is crystal clear, and the dinos are nowhere in sight.

At that point I decided to resume water changes and regular maintenance. I did a bigish water change - about 30%, everything was fine. Then I started doing more normal things like cleaning portions of the sandbed (I've done one corner, I'll do another this weekend), replacing filter floss, manually removing GHA, etc. So far, my actions aren't causing dinos to reappear.

TLDR: So in summary: I made sure there was nitrates and phosphates, don't disturb, and do everything you can to promote algae growth. It seems (as many mentioned) that the algae can outcompete the dinos once it establishes. I'm chalking my case up to "new tank" and it just needed to mature. Some people get red cyano, I got LA Dinos before I got any real algae growth and they took my tank over. I just needed to help other things (like GHA) along and let them get a foothold. I'm hoping I'm on a more normal path to a mature tank now.

For what it's worth - your miles may vary. Thanks for all the help in this thread - I wouldn't have learned what dinos even were (never mind beat them) without this community.

Hopefully it stays gone - Dinos suck!
Kongar
My advice would have been exactly as you have done. In a biome <1 year old you just let it ride. There is just so much change going on naturally, that intervening only extends the maturation timeline. Given time -- and not too much nutrient accumulation -- your GHA will give way as well.
 

Domi

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Anyone ever experienced asthma like symptoms when having dinos in the tank? Since i have dinos (on sand only) I experience problems with breathing in my flat, when I am somewhere else I don't have any problems. My girlfriend has the same symptoms. There are some publications on Karenia brevis blooms causing asthma like symptoms. Could this also be caused by the dinos in our tanks?
I now removed all the dino affected sand and added GAC, hope that improves things. Don't want to pull down my tank because of this...
 

Marc2952

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I just added fluconazole to my system to get rid of bryopsis and encountered something that looks similar vut not exactly like dinos, it has very few bubbles if any at all and its only in one spot on my tank. This is at 1200x couldnt magnify it more. 20200929_190527.jpg
 

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