2500 Club MemberView Badges
Partner member 2021
R2R Excellence Award
- May 22, 2016
- Reaction score
10,000+ posts is a lot to get through. I've read my share of them and now need reading glassesJust sticking my nose in Scott. I’ve never battled Dino’s (yet), although my new tank is a bare bottom, dry rock start assisted with 2 lumps of previously used aquarium rock. There seems to be anecdotal stuff around about dosing Phyto, the acceptance that low N & P at least in some cases give Dino’s an advantage somehow. I think there’s gotta be more than one cause and I see no reason why it couldn’t be another nutrient which would be available in the f2. To be honest I was half hoping someone had tried dosing it, instead of Phyto as I can only see Phyto as a mechanism to deliver nutrients. I’d better read this thread from the beginning I reckon.
Interesting that you get that PO4 drop with such little export and no sand.Tank, 20 gl tall
Water change of 4 gallons every 2-3 weeks.
No skimmer, HOB filter for surface agitation, small amount of carbon in a mesh bag inside. Not running a filter cartridge anymore.
Very little nuisance alga
Do have a palm size chunk of blue olgo for decoration and see if it would help with nitrates.
FTS, tank is 7 years old. Appreciate your input!
I seem to be battling Dinos but I do not have a microscope to confirm. My nitrates are at 0 and I have been dosing Reef Roids in an attempt to raise them. The problem seemed to coincide with me adding Brightwell Bio dimpled bricks to my sump to use as a skimmer stand. Is this the type of "excess bio-media" that is listed as a contributing factor for Dinos?I don't know what percentage of folks had luck battling dinos with any of the methods in the old Dino thread but it's obviously a very low percentage, so I'd like refresh folks on the natural alternatives and lay out three areas of info:
Let's get started!
- some of the factors that contribute to a dino outbreak
- how to avoid common dino outbreaks
- and what do if your tank is already having an outbreak
Common Contributing Factors
Some of the most common factors that contribute to the dino outbreaks we cover in this thread are:
These four factors, or excess nutrient removal generally, play – usually in combination; rarely just one factor alone – pretty directly into dino's conversion to the blooming, phagotrophic, mat forming, toxin-producing side of their nature.
- the tank being new, rock being immature or the tank being otherwise highly disturbed, such as by other harsh tank treatments
- hard core nutrient reduction tools being used, such as
- organic carbon dosing
- excess "bio media"
- algae filtration
- nutrient adsorbing media like GFO
How To Avoid Having A Dino Outbreak
- Starvation Is Their Cue
- Dino's seem to prefer life as autotrophic epiphytes on macro algae – chaeto morpha seems to be one of their favorite types to host in. (Maybe this fact can be useful to us; maybe sometimes chaeto ought not be used, or used with special consideration)
- For several reasons, dino's seem to be terrible at nutrient uptake. This means they are more prone to starvation than many or most other microorganisms they have to compete with.....especially bacteria, which can scavenge free nutrients down to CRAZY low levels...low enough to starve out other microbes or algae.
- With their protective mucus mats, potential to generate wicked toxins, and ability to survive not only by way of photosynthesis and dissolved nutrients, but alternately, when times get tough, by "eating their neighbors". (The least of their tricks.)
- Dino's generally gain a competitive edge against their competitors AND their predators in a nutrient-starved environment. Keep reading!
In a nutshell, here's how to avoid dino outbreaks and begin to normalize your tank if you already have an outbreak:
What to do if you're tank is already having a dino outbreak
- Phosphate Control
- DO NOT let your phosphates hit or stay at zero.
- See: Bacterivory in algae: A survival strategy during nutrient limitation
- Nitrate Control
- Do not let your nitrates hit or stay at zero.
- See: Putting the N in dinoflagellates
- See: A Nitrate Dosing Calculator For Better Tank Health (And Better Coral Color!)
- Starvation conditions (zero or near-zero nitrate or phosphate levels) should be avoided.
- Keep in mind that dissolved nutrients are not "waste products" to be eliminated
- They are nutrients for the critters you care about like corals
- The are also nutrients for a potential multitude of mostly-unknown/anonymous microbes that are needed to bring stability to a new tank.
- Once excess nutrients have an impact, in fact, they usually can't be simply eliminated with media anyway – they've probably already had an impact on the tank's microbial cycle. (See blog link #3 at bottom.)
- This all adds up to skipping almost all "extra" nutrient removing steps during the tank's initial development. This period seems to be especially critical, and longer in a tank started with dry, dead rock. Don't use anything until it's absolutely needed and other options have been fully exhausted...and be conservative with how you apply any nutrient removing tool.
When attempting to control an organism like a dinoflagellate, confirming the ID will help, if possible:
- So to begin with, make sure you have Dinos – you should have multiple factors at work...these factors were mentioned in the first section above. The less these factors seem to describe your tank, the less likely any of this advice will be correct for your situation – so post questions!
- Once you have confirmed that you have dino's you should ideally figure out what type(s) your tank is hosting. (Multiple species blooms seem almost as common as single-strain blooms.)
- A basic 1200x microscope will be useful and doesn't have to be fancier than a $15 toy scope. Even a $50 scope is a lot nicer, if you think you might be more serious about it.
- See: Selecting a microscope for more discussion.
- Compare your dino's with photos where @taricha and @Beardo have already made ID's:
- (Click the link. Then click the SEARCHbutton at the bottom of the search page.)
So, after you get a measure of control, make sure you read What is the End Game?
- Extra Measures
Generally, these tools will give extra control in terms of removing and/or killing cells in the water column....usually, along with other measures explained here, expediting the close of the dino bloom.
You can find discussions throughout the thread by using this search, with a great breakout of spec's on post #3770.
- Diatom Filtration
Effective, but not that popular. The more common units like the classic Vortex are somewhat difficult to use, and the newer units like the new Marineland Polishing Filter are relatively unknown. Still worthy of consideration.
- Post #2725 has a great diary of tank observations, test results and time-series graphs during the treatment for dino's from one of our members.
- Disturbances we cause in our tanksare what allow microbial/algal populations to shift and ugly/harmful blooms to happen.
- Take measures to assure that your feeding system is very consistent. An auto-feeder is an overlooked tool on most tanks. Look at Eheim's feeders...set them on low with high quality flake food. Just don't let them run your whole feeding program as flake isn't great food.
- Find out what inconsistencies you can eliminate with your husbandry to prevent more unneeded disturbances and the resulting microbial/algal changes. This could be changes to lighting or water chemistry – make them as consistent as you can.
- E.g. If you're adding new livestock all the time, stop it. If you have a color-tunable light fixture, stop re-tuning the colors. If you don't have an ATO keeping your salinity stable, get one. If you're still managing your dosing by hand, get an $80 4-head doser. Etc.
- If you provide the stability, then your dino's competitors will start competing with them and their predators will start eating them!!
- One thing that seems to help things progress is to stop scraping down the algae off your glass....once the dino's start giving up space that is. Mechanical removal is a legit short-term strategy and might help give competitors a leg up too.
Other interesting more-or-less related links on my blog:
(Also cross-posted in the old Dino thread!)
- The role of nutrients in decomposition of a thecate dinoflagellate
- Effects of organic carbon, organic nitrogen, inorganic nutrients, and iron additions on the growth of phytoplankton and bacteria during a brown tide bloom
- Response of heterotrophic bacteria, autotrophic picoplankton and heterotrophic nanoflagellates to re-oligotrophication
The consensus is 0 of N or P and Dino is very likely. How’s the reef roids working out? I am adding reef roids to hopefully raise my po4.My nitrates are at 0 and I have been dosing Reef Roids in an attempt to raise them
Likely. Especially if your nutrients were low to begin with.I just started a refugium and broke out on my sand bed. I assume too much nutrient uptake ?
Been dosing in morning.Interesting that you get that PO4 drop with such little export and no sand.
Something is rapidly consuming it.
Healthy tank. Lots of good candidates in there for what could be hungry.
Perfect hardware choice (beautiful beast), perfect (temporary) install. Not surprised but still pleased it worked so quickly.Thought I’d report back with what I did that worked. read the details on page 515 if you want.
Id’d it as ostreopsis. Raised my nutrients first to 5 nitrates, 0.12 phos. Started heavily dosing MB7 and Phyto and dumped a bunch of copepods/amphipods in. That took care of about 90% of it. Hooked up a 25 watt UV from Lifegard...
...ran it 24/7 at about 3x turnover rate. Has been on now for only 4 days and all gone ! I just rigged it like this temporarily for now, will eventually add it to my manifold, but still dump it back directly into the tank, just hidden a bit better.
You were right @ScottB ... about issuing last rights ! lol...
Apologize for my English. They came back after a month free. I was using a product called red x algae control from fauna marine, it worked well for that time, all the bad algae was just dying, followed the treatment per instructions. So, not sure what happened. I havent added corals or fish. Here some photos under white light.Dinoflagellates prefer the pronoun "they".
Which of "them" are visiting this time? And don't answer large cell amphidinium. Don't say it.
As for the using the reef roids...I have been dosing a couple times a week and also brushing rock and sweeping sand bed. I haven't seen much improvement. I am now at the tail end of a 72 hour "blackout" and hopefully will see some improvement.The consensus is 0 of N or P and Dino is very likely. How’s the reef roids working out? I am adding reef roids to hopefully raise my po4.
Likely. Especially if your nutrients were low to begin with.
Wow. You got some energetic little buggers.Any suggestions? Which type of dinos?
I have also created a new thread here:
Very unlikely to kill fish. Some can knock out snails.As for the using the reef roids...I have been dosing a couple times a week and also brushing rock and sweeping sand bed. I haven't seen much improvement. I am now at the tail end of a 72 hour "blackout" and hopefully will see some improvement.
I recently lost 4 fish in 5 days to what seemed to be different problems. I am now wondering if the Dino strain that I have in my tank is "toxic". I have not heard of Dinos killing fish before, can anyone weigh in on that?
Sorry I forgot to attach the smiley face as I was joking around.Apologize for my English. They came back after a month free. I was using a product called red x algae control from fauna marine, it worked well for that time, all the bad algae was just dying, followed the treatment per instructions. So, not sure what happened. I havent added corals or fish. Here some photos under white light.
Per instructions, needed to stop dosing nopox, no UV light, and remove the carbon filter. What I did not do was stopping AB+ red sea solution.