Dinoflagellates – Are You Tired Of Battling Altogether?

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wtdenk

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I haven't won, but I'm now winning my dino battle. I'm hopeful.

Wanted to type out a few things on the subject.

First off, after absorbing every shred of information I could on dinoflagellates I can confidently say other than maybe underestimating the cost to reefing in general, dinos are probably our biggest enemy to health of this hobby. New reefers have a wealth of information at their fingertips when it comes to dinos, but let's face it unless that person has extreme resolve or maybe happens to get lucky, when they stumble upon a dino thread on a forum or post their own situation they are more likely to give up than keep fighting. They'll post and get a response with a bit of standard dino advice (microscope, uv, etc) and feel momentarily hopeful until they check back on the thread and see 2 more pages of back and forth differing opinions. Not to mention this thread of 589 pages. Overwhelming to say the least. All of a sudden they now have a laundry list of things they are being told to do and if they keep reading long enough they'll be able to find someone emphatically stating each item on the laundry list didn't work for them. Oh, and each item of laundry has a price tag associated with it. Not exactly a recipe for continued growth for the hobby. I am curious what % of new reefers run into dinos? I am also curious what % of them beat them, and what percentage quit the hobby? I have no solution here, just my observation after diving down this dino rabbit hole for the last month as a new reefer myself.

I introduced dinos to my system from a blueberry fields acro frag. I believe this because I remember scraping off a bit of brown algae from it that I assumed was harmless diatoms. I also went back to the store later and found a tiny bit of dinos in the same tank my frag came from. At the time my NO3 was 10 and my PO4 was .1. Once it started spreading to my sand bed and rocks my nutrients started to take a dive. It didn't take hold because I let my nutrients bottom out, it bottomed out my nutrients. I was testing every day before and after. How many people who get dinos assume the reverse because they aren't testing frequently enough to catch it and/or the conventional dino wisdom surrounding lack of nutrients? Just food for thought.

I have been studying this hobby for 15 years but never started a tank until this year because my career moved me too often and I just wasn't settled. I wanted a 10 year tank. I still have an unopened bag of IO Reef Crystals and Current USA T5 from 2010 when I almost started haha. I took the long view of this battle. Wasn't going to overreact. Then the dinos started smothering my corals I had on my sand bed island rocks (gsp and zoas). The idea of losing animals from my own carelessness on that blueberry acro frag really put some frantic energy in me.

I sat down and made a list of every way I planned on attacking dinos. I estimated the chances of success, risk involved, and ease of implementation for each item on the list and then ordered them accordingly. I then started moving down the list; Microscope, intense daily cleaning, UV, NeoPhos/Nitro, LRE/MB7, supplemental rock and sand from TBS. I have peroxide and dinox on hand.

Last on the list was DinoX. I did a small water change and in the bucket of old water added my GSP rock and treated with DinoX as a bit of an experiment to see if my last resort was even viable. After 3 doses and no signs of improvement I moved the rock back into the tank. There's that.

Further down the list was also blackouts, just don't want to do them. My idea was to somehow shade as much of my sand bed as I could. I noticed dinos didn't hold well under the shaded areas of my rockwork. I bought some cheap plastic cutting boards and used my jigsaw to cut them to fit around my rockwork. I then zip tied them to magnetic frag racks and placed them 3-4 inches above the sand to block out the light. It wasn't perfect, but it truly helped. Some light still bounced its way under but I could see immediate improvement.
1656809886158.png


I haven't received my shipment from TBS yet, but I'm excited that the added biodiversity might be my key to holding off dinos for the long-term after I beat them this time.

I've seen a big improvement in the last week with just a handful of the list deployed and I feel very lucky and fortunate. I'm thankful for the wealth of treatment information you can find on Reef2Reef. I hope everyone else in my similar situation doesn't get immediately discouraged by how overwhelming the research part has become and the clear lack of consensus amongst experts. The educated guess and check method is about all we have. Dinos are terrible.
 
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GuppyHJD

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I haven't won, but I'm now winning my dino battle. I'm hopeful.

Wanted to type out a few things on the subject.

First off, after absorbing every shred of information I could on dinoflagellates I can confidently say other than maybe underestimating the cost to reefing in general, dinos are probably our biggest enemy to health of this hobby. New reefers have a wealth of information at their fingertips when it comes to dinos, but let's face it unless that person has extreme resolve or maybe happens to get lucky, when they stumble upon a dino thread on a forum or post their own situation they are more likely to give up than keep fighting. They'll post and get a response with a bit of standard dino advice (microscope, uv, etc) and feel momentarily hopeful until they check back on the thread and see 2 more pages of back and forth differing opinions. Not to mention this thread of 589 pages. Overwhelming to say the least. All of a sudden they now have a laundry list of things they are being told to do and if they keep reading long enough they'll be able to find someone emphatically stating each item on the laundry list didn't work for them. Oh, and each item of laundry has a price tag associated with it. Not exactly a recipe for continued growth for the hobby. I am curious what % of new reefers run into dinos? I am also curious what % of them beat them, and what percentage quit the hobby? I have no solution here, just my observation after diving down this dino rabbit hole for the last month as a new reefer myself.

I introduced dinos to my system from a blueberry fields acro frag. I believe this because I remember scraping off a bit of brown algae from it that I assumed was harmless diatoms. I also went back to the store later and found a tiny bit of dinos in the same tank my frag came from. At the time my NO3 was 10 and my PO4 was .1. Once it started spreading to my sand bed and rocks my nutrients started to take a dive. It didn't take hold because I let my nutrients bottom out, it bottomed out my nutrients. I was testing every day before and after. How many people who get dinos assume the reverse because they aren't testing frequently enough to catch it and/or the conventional dino wisdom surrounding lack of nutrients? Just food for thought.

I have been studying this hobby for 15 years but never started a tank until this year because my career moved me too often and I just wasn't settled. I wanted a 10 year tank. I still have an unopened bag of IO Reef Crystals and Current USA T5 from 2010 when I almost started haha. I took the long view of this battle. Wasn't going to overreact. Then the dinos started smothering my corals I had on my sand bed island rocks (gsp and zoas). The idea of losing animals from my own carelessness on that blueberry acro frag really put some frantic energy in me.

I sat down and made a list of every way I planned on attacking dinos. I estimated the chances of success, risk involved, and ease of implementation for each item on the list and then ordered them accordingly. I then started moving down the list; Microscope, intense daily cleaning, UV, NeoPhos/Nitro, LRE/MB7, supplemental rock and sand from TBS. I have peroxide and dinox on hand.

Last on the list was DinoX. I did a small water change and in the bucket of old water added my GSP rock and treated with DinoX as a bit of an experiment to see if my last resort was even viable. After 3 doses and no signs of improvement I moved the rock back into the tank. There's that.

Further down the list was also blackouts, just don't want to do them. My idea was to somehow shade as much of my sand bed as I could. I noticed dinos didn't hold well under the shaded areas of my rockwork. I bought some cheap plastic cutting boards and used my jigsaw to cut them to fit around my rockwork. I then zip tied them to magnetic frag racks and placed them 3-4 inches above the sand to block out the light. It wasn't perfect, but it truly helped. Some light still bounced its way under but I could see immediate improvement.
1656809886158.png


I haven't received my shipment from TBS yet, but I'm excited that the added biodiversity might be my key to holding off dinos for the long-term after I beat them this time.

I've seen a big improvement in the last week with just a handful of the list deployed and I feel very lucky and fortunate. I'm thankful for the wealth of treatment information you can find on Reef2Reef. I hope everyone else in my similar situation doesn't get immediately discouraged by how overwhelming the research part has become and the clear lack of consensus amongst experts. The educated guess and check method is about all we have. Dinos are terrible.
great post.
if you happen to be on Facebook, there is a group named Mack's reef - dinoflagellates support group. There is a several documents of recommendations.
 

wtdenk

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great post.
if you happen to be on Facebook, there is a group named Mack's reef - dinoflagellates support group. There is a several documents of recommendations.
Sure did thank you. Mack's reef group was helpful in identification and also saved me 15% on my algae barn phyto/pod order. Definitely appreciated
 

gbru316

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Winner winner chicken dinner!

Prorocentrum?

dinoflagellate_1_still.jpg


dinoflatellate_1_still_2.jpg







Steps taken so far (starting yesterday):
1. Added in-tank UV sterilizer (Large green machine, 24w in a 40 breeder)
2. Several rock/sand cleanings per day (I mostly work from home)
3. Stopped aminos, carbon (still dose Pro Bio S)
4. Stopped all coral food
5. Changed lights to blue spectrum
6. Ordered 4x16oz jars of eco pods
7. Brought Po4 up to 0.08, No3 hovers around 10 (started bring up po4 as soon as I discovered I overdid the GFO)

To do:
1. Head down to the beach, collect some rocks and amphipods, @Paul B style
2. Blackout or major light intensity reduction period
3. Possibly H2O2 additions at night
 
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Tom Bishop

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@ScottB @taricha or can anyone explain why with Ostreopsis dinos a large UV is not being effective? I am kind of confused and not sure what else to do but I have a GKM 24w UV in my 29g nano DT and have Ostreo dinos but its not cleaning them up, the UV was brand new and the little light indicates that its working so I am kind of confused as to what to try next. My po4 has been going to 0 but I think I have finally dosed enough now that it is staying around .1 and nitrates are around 11.

Just not sure what else I can do to get rid of them when I thought UV would be effective, thanks. :)

Just thought I would ask, maybe I have the super dino strain...:)
 

iLMaRiO

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honestly i've never understood why the UV has to be chosen based on the tank size.
a 55w UV is much powerful than a 18w UV regardless the tank size . if 18w is not enough to kill dinos, won't be eneugh in a 20 liters tank or in a 200 liters tank.

what should change is the water pump (based on how many tank volume you want per hours) not the UV

a 24w is more or less a standard size for a reef tank UV, used for parasite, it won't kill dinos (or everybody would use standard UV lamps)

try with a much bigger UV. me and a friend of mine we are using a 55w and both killed visibile ostreos in less than a week
 

Tom Bishop

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honestly i've never understood why the UV has to be chosen based on the tank size.
a 55w UV is much powerful than a 18w UV regardless the tank size . if 18w is not enough to kill dinos, won't be eneugh in a 20 liters tank or in a 200 liters tank.

what should change is the water pump (based on how many tank volume you want per hours) not the UV

a 24w is more or less a standard size for a reef tank UV, used for parasite, it won't kill dinos (or everybody would use standard UV lamps)

try with a much bigger UV. me and a friend of mine we are using a 55w and both killed visibile ostreos in less than a week
Yeah 24w is way larger than the recommended 3w per gallon and the flow through the GKM is about 70g per hour, I've seen others use it successfully but not in this case, they are reproducing faster then its killing them it appears, lol.
 
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iLMaRiO

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Yeah 24w is way larger than the recommended 3w per gallon and the flow through the GKM is about 70g per hour, I've seen others use it successfully but not in this case, they are reproducing faster then its killing them it appears, lol.

but the gallons * watt still doesn't make sense to me... you have to burn dinos, and this is regardless the tank size.
 

KonradTO

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but the gallons * watt still doesn't make sense to me... you have to burn dinos, and this is regardless the tank size.
What I understood is that you need a certain flow at which the water needs to go through the UV lamp in order to kill dinos. So that is a fixed number. Apparently tank size should not matter. BUT: bigger tank means that the same portion of water will go, say, once every hour through the UV. In a much smaller tank it will be once every 2 minutes maybe. If too long time goes between each "cycle" the dinos left can manage to reproduce faster than they die. More UV wattage means that they need less cycles to die even with a stronger flow.
 

Tom Bishop

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What I understood is that you need a certain flow at which the water needs to go through the UV lamp in order to kill dinos. So that is a fixed number. Apparently tank size should not matter. BUT: bigger tank means that the same portion of water will go, say, once every hour through the UV. In a much smaller tank it will be once every 2 minutes maybe. If too long time goes between each "cycle" the dinos left can manage to reproduce faster than they die. More UV wattage means that they need less cycles to die even with a stronger flow.
Yeah but what I dont understand is Ostreo is supposed to be controlled via UV and I've had a 24w version going for several weeks and they just seem to keep trucking, I hand floss up and in 2 days they have covered it so I have large numbers in the water column. I know these are ostreo also, not something else...here some pics

PXL_20220421_232929380 (1).jpg


Either the bulb in the 24w gkm is bad from the start or I'm not doing something right. I have it in the main display running 24/7, so not sure what else to do.
 
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KonradTO

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Yeah but what I dont understand is Ostreo is supposed to be controlled via UV and I've had a 24w version going for several weeks and they just seem to keep trucking, I hand floss up and in 2 days they have covered it so I have large numbers in the water column. I know these are ostreo also, not something else...here some pics

PXL_20220421_232929380 (1).jpg


Either the bulb in the 24w gkm is bad from the start or I'm not doing something right. I have it in the main display running 24/7, so not sure what else to do.
I don't know how common this is. For me 13w uv/32g display worked perfectly combined with blackout. Ostreopsis was gone within few days. Amphidinium on the other hand has been there for the past 2 months.
 

Gildo

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also i with my ostreopsis i have not been successful with uv! even with 2 UV lamps of 24 w in a 300 liter sump tank covered! paradoxically I was successful with the silicate dosing ... but I assure you that under the microscope ostreopsis were also confirmed by the video here on the group!
 

GuppyHJD

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honestly i've never understood why the UV has to be chosen based on the tank size.
a 55w UV is much powerful than a 18w UV regardless the tank size . if 18w is not enough to kill dinos, won't be eneugh in a 20 liters tank or in a 200 liters tank.

what should change is the water pump (based on how many tank volume you want per hours) not the UV

a 24w is more or less a standard size for a reef tank UV, used for parasite, it won't kill dinos (or everybody would use standard UV lamps)

try with a much bigger UV. me and a friend of mine we are using a 55w and both killed visibile ostreos in less than a week
Which 55w did you use? I am seeing Pentair, Aqua, Coralife and Jebao and a wide range of prices
 
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Reef and Dive

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@ScottB @taricha or can anyone explain why with Ostreopsis dinos a large UV is not being effective? I am kind of confused and not sure what else to do but I have a GKM 24w UV in my 29g nano DT and have Ostreo dinos but its not cleaning them up, the UV was brand new and the little light indicates that its working so I am kind of confused as to what to try next. My po4 has been going to 0 but I think I have finally dosed enough now that it is staying around .1 and nitrates are around 11.

Just not sure what else I can do to get rid of them when I thought UV would be effective, thanks. :)

Just thought I would ask, maybe I have the super dino strain...:)

Usually:
- inadequate UV flow
- old UV bulb
- not really good dimensioning
- getting water for the UV directly from the display helps
- many times Ostreopsidaceae gets better but other Dinos take control
 

GuppyHJD

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I am dosing Waterglass to induce a diatom bloom to battle LCA dinos. I have read that my phosphates and alkalinity testers (Hanna) may not show accurate results with the waterglass / silicates in the water. SO - what test kits do you recommend to use while using waterglass?
 
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ScottB

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@ScottB @taricha or can anyone explain why with Ostreopsis dinos a large UV is not being effective? I am kind of confused and not sure what else to do but I have a GKM 24w UV in my 29g nano DT and have Ostreo dinos but its not cleaning them up, the UV was brand new and the little light indicates that its working so I am kind of confused as to what to try next. My po4 has been going to 0 but I think I have finally dosed enough now that it is staying around .1 and nitrates are around 11.

Just not sure what else I can do to get rid of them when I thought UV would be effective, thanks. :)

Just thought I would ask, maybe I have the super dino strain...:)
It isn't completely unheard of for them to persist, but pretty rare. You win a prize or something.

As noted below, I would have to question the quality of the bulb. At $100, they aren't known for quality or longevity although they have worked for many/most of the posts here. A similar wattage from Aqua UV is 4X in price and size.

Could you tell if it ever made a dent in your population?

You are not dosing Amino Acids, are you? Ostreos love those -- at least mine did.
 
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Tom Bishop

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Usually:
- inadequate UV flow
- old UV bulb
- not really good dimensioning
- getting water for the UV directly from the display helps
- many times Ostreopsidaceae gets better but other Dinos take control
GKM has the flow capped at about 70gph, brand new unit, installed in the main display tank and not the sump. First time I got dinos they were large cell amphid but I was finally able to move them along but now I have been stuck with Ostreo and cannot seem to get rid of them.

I have high tank diversity based on my edna reports but yet they are still out competing..here are my @AquaBiomics test results. I am dosing waterglass for the last couple of weeks to get some silca content up and I will say mine are not coating everything, I have some floss up high in the tank and they seem to gather there and on my halmedia but I just can't get something to out compete them.
 

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