Dinoflagellates – Are You Tired Of Battling Altogether?

Deltec

ScottB

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
7,146
Reaction score
11,139
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fairfield County, CT
Hey all,

So I promised an update so here it is, I believe I'm still in the 'clear' from SCA and LCA so to speak. I've taken multiple samples regularly of anything that looks suspicious and while I can still find dinos if I look hard enough, they're rare and massively outnumbered by the other micro diversity I see under the scope.

So here's what I did:

Raising Nutrients:

I dosed NeoNitro and NeoPhos until my nutrients were at 10ppm and 0.1ppm NO3 and PO4 respectively. I tested daily with the Hanna HR Nitrate and LR Phosphate checkers. I upgraded to the ULR phosphate as I found the LR just not sensitive enough. When I had a full-on diatom bloom I had to dose quite heavily and daily to keep the levels up.

I stopped water changes.

Dosing Silicates:

I used this waterglass: inoxia UK waterglass and tested with the Columbo Marine silicate test kit. The Salifert test kit was useless.

I found to get things really going I had to dose 0.8-0.9ml of waterglass daily on my Reefer 250 (225L total volume). I would test every morning to check the level wasn't getting out of hand and dosed every day. The diatom bloom was heavy and relentless. In the evenings I could see the water actually looking sort of cloudy due to the amount of diatoms in the water.

I vacuumed the sandbed into a 5nm filter sock in the sump every so often for the first 4/5 weeks, and stopped doing so for the last few weeks.

Adding Biodiversity/competition:

I dosed MB7 every day or every other day, also added this product regularly as well and also added Aquaforest Life Source (Fiji Mud) every 2 weeks. I added two pieces of mature live rock from my LFS which had come from another long running tank. This brought coraline and other creatures with it, bristle worms, asterina starfish and spaghetti worms and the other really thin legged starfish and sponges. Some good, some bad but I'm sure lots of diversity nonetheless.

I also added a load of AF Life Source mud to the refugium area of my sump, I dont run macro algea, but it's full of Alfagrog media and now mud as well. So plenty of space for bacteria to multiply.

Phytoplankton:

I dose 5 species phyoplankton every day, added loads of copepods and rotifers and their 'zooplankton' mix. I suspect my pods got annihilated by my captive bred mandarin, I'm sure she enjoyed the fun snack (she usually eats frozen and a mix of granules)

Observations:

When I started, microscope samples were relatively void of life other than dinos and diatoms, now if I look at a sample under the scope there's a crazy diverse culture of all kinds of moving critters, little crabby things, long spindly things, nematodes, rotifers, amphipods etc. My diatom diversity is surprisingly pretty thin with just pennate diatoms and the odd pizza. I also found small patches of dark red cyano.

Since I stopped dosing silicates, everything cleared up on it's own. There has been some growth on the sandbed but this is green algae, not brown and microscope observation shows it's not dinos, although I check regularly.

I've started water changes again and have done two 10% changes since stopping silicate dosing. My alk and nutrients remain solid at 8.3 dkh, 10ppm NO3 and 0.1ppm PO4, I no longer have to dose nutrients. My corals are happier than ever and I have started tentitively and slowly dosing Red Sea Coral Nutrition amino acids and fatty acids. But I will be stopping that in a heartbeat if I see signs of dinos taking over again.

So far, signs are good. Thanks to everyone for their help. I'll edit this if I remember anything else that I've missed.
Supporting/importing biodiversity for the win. Well done.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

ScottB

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
7,146
Reaction score
11,139
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fairfield County, CT
I haven't posted in quite a while, but have battled various strains of dinos over the last few years "fairly successfully" started with ostreopsis that I beat back with a big UV, then came on coolio's and proro's which i attacked with biodiversity, raised nutrients and aggressive diatom filtration.

For the past several months my rocks and substrate is getting covered with a dark brown coating that looks similar to dinos but acts differently than my dino's in the past (usually will dissipate easily with stirring or turkey baster) but this is almost like a matte. Thought maybe it was some strain of cyano because I have had some on and off appearances with red slime, but Chemiclean doesn't touch it. I can literally scoop it out of the substrate, but it keeps coming back.

Nitrates have been consistently 10-15 for the past year, and PO4 has been between .04 and .1

I was still thinking some sort of cyano or chrysophytes so finally broke out the microscope today to see what I could see. While I see some dinos (in the forms I have seen before) this stuff looks a bit different, but there is movement so. Also I captured some sort of nematode that will swoop in and appears to be FULL of these things.

Maybe not Dino's (or maybe a different strain that I have normally seen under the microscope) or something else. Any ideas in identifying or attacking would be helpful. I apologize in advance of the light flare in the middle of the video, my cheap microscope and camera I guess.
WIN_20220614_18_11_25_Pro.jpg
Kinda with @KonradTO on the LC Amphid thinking.
 

KonradTO

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2021
Messages
851
Reaction score
406
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Germany
I can safely say that temp increase (81-82f) and raising nitrates only/more feeding did not help my problem. When I siphon stuff out with a 10 um sock dinos come back on fresh sand within short time(I tried for one week only so far). I had to bring temp back to 81 because one fish died and others looked a bit more stressed, so I will not continue with the temperature thing.
I will keep siphoning them out and keep nutrients high. In 2 weeks if situation does not change much I will start silicate dosing, ph increasing and starting some pod colturing so I can release them frequently in the dt.
 
Atlantik icon reef aquarium LED lighting

wtdenk

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
4
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Identification Help Needed:

Wish my first post after lurking for ever wasn't going to be a dino ID post, but here we are. Not so much looking for advice on what to do, just confirmation on identification.

Brief backstory:
-Tank 5 months old
-AIO Nuvo 20
-Marco rock
-Live sand
-Radion XR15 G5 AB+
-Nero3
-MB7 cycle (went well no issues)
-Floss in both overflow caddies
-2 Chemipure blue nano packets
-For first 4 months ran at 10-15 No3 and 1-1.5 Po4 consistently.
-Diatom bloom came and went, coralline started growing 60 days ago. Good spots on rockwork.

Current situation:
-Started seeing brown on sand bed about a month ago and noticed it was different than the previous diatoms
-Upped my filter floss replacement to once every other day
-Brushed off rocks daily
-There are a few bubbles on rocks on the strands of algae normally late in the day/light cycle
-Mainly dissipates during the night but not completely, significantly worse in the day
-Almost 2 weeks ago I noticed my nutrients headed towards zero, i upped feeding and stopped changing floss so much but couldn't stop No3 from hitting zero and Po4 from getting to .02. When my Nitrates hit zero the brown algae seemed to die down significantly, but worried about the dreaded 0/0 I started dosing NeoNitro/Phos. After a few days of dosing I got No3 back to 2.0 with Po4 to .4. Right after that the algae came back with vengeance. I assume my dosing nitrates fueled the reemergence which is slightly counterintuitive to conventional wisdom about dinos basking in 0/0. Worried that my dosing made it worse, I stopped. In the last 48hrs No3 is back down to .04 and P04 is .02.
-I purchased a kid's microscope for cheap on Amazon last night that was delivered this morning. Video is terrible, I apologize in advance but would like to avoid buying a real microscope that I won't use.

https://youtube.com/shorts/EYMgbY-UBrM?feature=share

Also:
1655737360054.jpeg

1655737061522.jpeg



By going over the Dinoflagellate guide I think I have an idea of what it is, but I'm not sure and would like confirmation. What I would most like is if I'm completely wrong. Cheers to that. Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

ScottB

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
7,146
Reaction score
11,139
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fairfield County, CT
Identification Help Needed:

Wish my first post after lurking for ever wasn't going to be a dino ID post, but here we are. Not so much looking for advice on what to do, just confirmation on identification.

Brief backstory:
-Tank 5 months old
-AIO Nuvo 20
-Marco rock
-Live sand
-Radion XR15 G5 AB+
-Nero3
-MB7 cycle (went well no issues)
-Floss in both overflow caddies
-2 Chemipure blue nano packets
-For first 4 months ran at 10-15 No3 and 1-1.5 Po4 consistently.
-Diatom bloom came and went, coralline started growing 60 days ago. Good spots on rockwork.

Current situation:
-Started seeing brown on sand bed about a month ago and noticed it was different than the previous diatoms
-Upped my filter floss replacement to once every other day
-Brushed off rocks daily
-There are a few bubbles on rocks on the strands of algae normally late in the day/light cycle
-Mainly dissipates during the night but not completely, significantly worse in the day
-Almost 2 weeks ago I noticed my nutrients headed towards zero, i upped feeding and stopped changing floss so much but couldn't stop No3 from hitting zero and Po4 from getting to .02. When my Nitrates hit zero the brown algae seemed to die down significantly, but worried about the dreaded 0/0 I started dosing NeoNitro/Phos. After a few days of dosing I got No3 back to 2.0 with Po4 to .4. Right after that the algae came back with vengeance. I assume my dosing nitrates fueled the reemergence which is slightly counterintuitive to conventional wisdom about dinos basking in 0/0. Worried that my dosing made it worse, I stopped. In the last 48hrs No3 is back down to .04 and P04 is .02.
-I purchased a kid's microscope for cheap on Amazon last night that was delivered this morning. Video is terrible, I apologize in advance but would like to avoid buying a real microscope that I won't use.

https://youtube.com/shorts/EYMgbY-UBrM?feature=share

Also:
1655737360054.jpeg

1655737061522.jpeg



By going over the Dinoflagellate guide I think I have an idea of what it is, but I'm not sure and would like confirmation. What I would most like is if I'm completely wrong. Cheers to that. Thanks in advance!
Could be a mixture, but ostreopsis is very clearly there. MAYBE see some small cell amphids too.

UV. Slow flow. 1 watt per 3 gallons.
Keep nutrient available, but PO4 of .4 is too much.
 

Screwgunner

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
1,122
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Millersburg
120 gallon system running a 10x 16 plastic canvas for a ats . Phosphates never made it past .03 ever. Nitrates 0 . Dinos came to visit. Took ats off line and every thing shot up like crazy . Started phosgaurd at .28 phosphates by the time I got it back to .14 dinos ran away . Cut my screen down to 10x5 and phosphates have leveled out at .1 going down slow. And my corals have taken off . Growing like crazy.
 
Corals.com

wtdenk

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
4
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Could be a mixture, but ostreopsis is very clearly there. MAYBE see some small cell amphids too.

UV. Slow flow. 1 watt per 3 gallons.
Keep nutrient available, but PO4 of .4 is too much.


Thank you! Po4 was .04* not .4. Sorry for the typo. I'm curious to how the dinos are consuming nutrients. When they first appeared for me my No3 was 10 and po4 was .1. If I had to bet I introduced them to my tank from a frag from lfs. They quickly consumed my available nutrients and dropped the no3/po4 to near zero. What's the risk of allowing bottoming out now since I'm no longer worried about getting dinos (I already have them). If I dose to get back to 10/.1 wouldn't I just be feeding them? Seems uneasy to bank on something else out competing them at those numbers when recent evidence showed my dinos winning out at 10/.1. UV arrives tomorrow (it's nice living a few min away from BRS).
 

taricha

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
4,215
Reaction score
6,417
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
What's the risk of allowing bottoming out now since I'm no longer worried about getting dinos (I already have them). If I dose to get back to 10/.1 wouldn't I just be feeding them? Seems uneasy to bank on something else out competing them at those numbers when recent evidence showed my dinos winning out at 10/.1. UV arrives tomorrow (it's nice living a few min away from BRS).
Most people find that if they let the PO4 go really low, the dinos do just fine, but many other things suffer, and the tank gets stuck with only dinos growing for a long time.
Does keeping PO4 at a moderate level fix everything? no, but it usually helps the tank move on from dinos an grow other things.
UV will make a bigger, faster difference.
 

wtdenk

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 13, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
4
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Most people find that if they let the PO4 go really low, the dinos do just fine, but many other things suffer, and the tank gets stuck with only dinos growing for a long time.
Does keeping PO4 at a moderate level fix everything? no, but it usually helps the tank move on from dinos an grow other things.
UV will make a bigger, faster difference.
Does that same principle apply to nitrates as well? For me at least it seems the Nitrates are bound and determined to bottom out, while the Po4 is hanging on.
 
BRS

taricha

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
4,215
Reaction score
6,417
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Does that same principle apply to nitrates as well? For me at least it seems the Nitrates are bound and determined to bottom out, while the Po4 is hanging on.
Some people find it does. But the correlation between very low phosphate and Dino growth is much stronger than the correlation with zero nitrate.
Also corals are much better at handling zero nitrate than 0 phosphate, they have adapted to deal with nitrogen limitation as a more common occurrence than phosphorus limitation.
 

AFHokie

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 27, 2022
Messages
156
Reaction score
100
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Virginia
I was ready to post about some success today in my battle that I’ve been fighting the past month. I haven’t seen any visible dinos since a couple days after I started treatment and was feeling quite optimistic.

Then….I got home from work. What did I find? A bunch of dinos. Just yesterday I saw nothing and today there was quite a bit.

What I’ve done:
-Started off with 3 days of blackout
-Dosed H2O2 at night and XLM during day during blackout
-Continued XLM after blackout but can’t recall how long (probably not nearly enough)
-Started dosing Phyto until I noticed it was probably dead (just got my replacement bottle from Reef Nutrition today)
-Installed Green Killing Machine (9W) in main display. Total volume is about 20gal
-Increased nutrients and have maintained ~10ppm NO3, 0.06ppm PO4 (they never bottomed out).

What I’ll do (again) now:
-Restart bac dosing. Should I switch to MB7?
-Restart daily phyto
-Cut red/green/white LEDs down to very low (a few corals dis
-Get a different UV to either replace or supplement GKM but which? Several options of inlines on Amazon. Pair with a pump around 40-50gph? If I overkill the 3gal per watt rule can I pump faster?

Any other ideas? This obviously frustrates me a lot as I was feeling really good about the turnaround but I won’t let it stop me!
 
AquaSD

Aclman88

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
442
Reaction score
202
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Wait for others since I am no expert I would bet Ostreopsis. It has oval shape with a pointy end. Easy to deal with with proper UV+blackout+activated carbon
For uv, since this is a ten gallon, is a 3 watt green killing machine ub sufficient or would it be better to go up to the 9 watt version?
 

PandorasChalk

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
152
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Indy
Been a few months since I posted but my fight with dinos is partially done I think for now. After getting a small UV unit I did two three day blackouts a month apart and this got rid of the waterborne dinos. I think adding 3 pounds of established rock from another reefer's years long setup helped as well. All that is left is some sand based dinos that for the past 3 weeks have not spread past the areas they already were.

At this point I am looking at my tank upgrade and my question is would it be safe to move my rock/corals over to the new tank? Is there a good way to sanitize them of any errant dinos before the move to prevent this headache again in a bigger tank? I know now to avoid GFO unless needed which is what started this mess in the first place, but worried some sand based dinos may get over on the rock and take advantage of the brand new environment. I am using brand new sand as this sand I don't trust and to re-use would require a heck of a rip clean.
 

PandorasChalk

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
152
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Indy
If you keep your phosphate up .05 or alittle higher I do not think you will have a problem but in this hobby nothing is for certain!
That is my thought process and I am blessed the new tank is going to a new spot so I can keep this one running while it cycles out a bit. Plan on moving these rocks over last, once it is time to merge the two. So there will be 1-2 months where the new tank will be getting plenty of Phos/Nitrates rolling in.
 
Avast

Tom Bishop

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
866
Reaction score
1,322
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Missouri
Well the saga continues, I guess I need to take a different approach. I have the GKM 24W UV going with a Sicce pump but they still continue to exist. I did a 2 day no lights and trying to raise my nitrients, my phosphate is always low and I think its due to the GHA (well I thought it was GHA) which while I can keep in check I cannot get rid of it. Under closer inspection I think its bryposis mixed in with GHA, I took some pics but not sure they are good enough but on some of the strands I see a feather like structure and nothing is eating it, even my urchin.

Here are some pics, the bryopsis is mainly concentrated on the 2 pieces of live rock, lol....

PXL_20220625_163738840.jpg

PXL_20220625_153351554.jpg


and the dinos that go along with it...lol:
PXL_20220625_190008809.jpg


Here are some scope pics of the bryopsis:
PXL_20220625_190555325.jpg


Halmeda in the top pic has really taken off so thats kind of cool but all the other issues, lol.

So to summarize here is what I currently have going on in the tank:
Dino's - Ostreopsis
GHA and I think Bryopsis ( I think its mainly bryopsis)
EDNA stated I had low levels of uronema so at some point I need to start dosing H202 and hopefully cure that

I'm starting to think that maybe treating the GHA and Bryopsis will free up nutirents that maybe will help on the Dino front. Options are fluconazole or nudibranch from KP aquatics - Elysia clarki or Elysia crispata. They are out of stock at the moment though and not sure when they may get more. The other option would be to toss the live rock, but has a lot of life on it, Halmeda, tons of feather dusters, a brittle star lives in it and more. The other option would be to treat with Fluconazole, seems to work for most folks but not sure if any of my inverts and fish would be harmed etc.

So with all the bryopsis I have a really hard time getting the po4 up and the more I dump in there the more I think the bryopsis takes off. So I'd like to treat the tank with Fluconazole and nuke the bryopsis which should free up nutrients but my main concern is during the fluc treatment they want you to pull any carbon and since I have Ostreo and they have toxic output it has me concerned. THis is a 29G DT with a 20g long sump, I have thought about pulling the rock and treating in a QT tank but at least one fish sleeps under the rock so I'm afraid that would really through off the fish.

So some dilemma huh? I will say I have floss up high and they seem to collect there, I am running a 24w GKM UV and have done no lights for 2 days and yet they continue, so I was thinking if I could nuke the bryopsis maybe that would help tilt things but I'd rather not kill any of my inverts or fish etc...

Looking for advice, @ScottB @taricha or anyone else....thanks :)

PS @ScottB I saw you mentioned flying earlier in the thread my son is about a week and half from his pp checkride, hope your flying is going well. :)
 
Last edited:
Deltec

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 13 4.2%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 48 15.5%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 55 17.7%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 96 31.0%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 90 29.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 2.6%
AFX
Top