Dinoflagellates and NO3 and PO4. Why do I have to worry now?

Discussion in 'Algae (including nuisance algae and bacteria)' started by revhtree, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I don't want to to have to worry about NO3 and PO4 to keep dinos at bay. I have never, in all my reefing years, had to battle dinos so what's different now?

    I'm just posting this out here out of frustration so maybe we can talk it out. :)
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  2. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Perhaps because most folks haven't had the ready capability to really drive N and P excessively low until fairly recent years.

    The hypothesis (well, the one that I prefer anyway) is that some organism (such as algae) that needs reasonable levels of N and P outcompetes the dinos for something (maybe just space, maybe a trace element, especially since water changes seem to also make the issue worse). N and/or P get too low, this competitor ceases to thrive, and the competition with dinos begins to swing toward dinos.
     
  3. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Interesting!

    That would also help explain the absence of other type of algae. For me my tank is clean otherwise!
     
  4. brandon429

    brandon429 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    get the right sized uv, hand clean the system, and dispatch them wo care on nutrients is my recommend. I know you have a giant system, and my grandma's 4 tube uv array was quoted at twenty thousand gallons or so, and would work wonders. Places on line allow for 30 days eval/sendback/stocking fee, handy. I once bought some drone goggles I didn't like after the first week/heavy

    when I sent them back, that was ok and no hard feelings. they know im gonna keep buying more stuff, do UV like this if you have a challenge imo.

    you will know after a staunch hand cleaning, removal of mass, if a given UV is preventing growback compared to your norms without the zap.

    You will find in any dinos thread a constant hum about UV, every other page usually. That's the ones who got lucky with correctly-sized systems posting. imagine going far far beyond the norm, for such a big system. If I had your tank, my UV setup would look like solid rocket boosters flanking stuff.

    whether they're on all the time is based on need. no one says you can't rebalance nutrients during the zaps as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  5. Murraydar

    Murraydar Member

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    I've had dino multiple times. Both times it came from trying to hit zero phosphates and nitrates through GFO and vodka dosing. I've since then stopped trying to reach those numbers and almost all my issues went away. Corals are growing better, dinos are almost gone. I'm starting to become a believer that hitting ultra low nutrient levels is doing reefers more harm than good
     
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  6. aileen

    aileen Member

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    This is gonna sound crazy, but when I had Dino’s I used small amounts of hydrogen peroxide everyday for a couple week and they disappeared.
     
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  7. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Not crazy at all, but it works much better on some strains than others.
     
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  8. Paullawr

    Paullawr Well-Known Member

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    I wrote about this on one of the Dino threads.

    Equipment be it mechanical, biological, chemical or combination thereof have improved considerably over the past 5 years alone. Reducing nitrate is easy as setting up a reactor and leaving it to it.

    These reactors and carbon sources are fuelling the fire with undesirables. Excess bacteria is a steady supply of food to some strains.

    Everyone is striving for this ULNS because they think reefs are the same. They are not. Whilst they maybe very low nutrient there is this constant wash of nutrients being consumed. Where as we are removing nutrients and adding very little back.

    This could be starving off organisms which can out compete.
    In nature if you remove part of the eco system, creating a space, something else comes along to fill it.

    Now it’s entirely possible that by increasing nutrients other algae grow, perhaps using allopathy or by providing a grazing ground for other micro fauna. These in turn lead to other organisms in the food chain and eventually consume or muscle in on that empty space we created.

    It could be certain levels of no3 and po4 simply have a negative effect.

    The blooms themselves seem in some instances to be as random as the wind. Whilst others there’s more common queues for their appearance. Temperature changes combined with disturbance of sand is usually a good one.
    Or maybe the entire bloom is a natural defence mechanism when food is short and in a last ditch bid to survive they multiple as fast as possible with an effort to ensure one cell survives.

    Alas it’s pure conjecture. No one really knows and I don’t confess to. However having battled this plague for many years I can say I know a little about what makes them tick.

    The reality with N and P is that I don’t confess to know the science behind the magic nor can I prove it any way but their are many success stories in this area. So whatever the reason there is something in it.

    One thing you have to know is that you will probably never get rid of dinoflagellates once in the aquarium. They have bettered every natural and unnatural disaster the millennia have thrown at it. They have evolved clever strategies to survive. From becoming resistant to powerful chemicals and toxins through to most attempts at us trying to evict them from the glass box. Instead you have to learn to live with them and hope you can keep them in balance just like everything else.
     
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  9. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Has such a thing ever been demonstrated for any organism? I just can't see any plausible mechanism that some extra nitrate and phosphate (not attaining toxic levels), by itself, causes an organism to stop growing.
     
  10. Paullawr

    Paullawr Well-Known Member

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    As I say conjecture and would be surprised however food for thought...
    http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v209/p19-34/
     
  11. UWC

    UWC Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    L.E.D. Lighting? May sound crazy, but guys have been running ULNS systems for years, carbon dosing, adding this, adding that and not getting dinos. Most running T5 or Metal Halide lighting. You never used to hear about dinos, cyano sure, but never dinos. Now that L.E.D's are the rage its like you can't go an hour without a new thread popping up about dinos. Not sure if it has any real correlation or not but we are studying it now to see. Just a thought since no one ever brings up lighting :)
     
  12. Paullawr

    Paullawr Well-Known Member

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    It’s been bounced around before. Again not sold on lighting. Though dinoflagellates do prefer indirect light.
     
  13. UWC

    UWC Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Understood, but is there a certain spectrum that L.E.D's emit that dinos prefer? Before L.E.D's we never used to hear about dinos.... hmmm :)
     
  14. K. Steven

    K. Steven Active Member R2R Supporter

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    With the technology today, there are multiple options to bring NO3 and PO4 down to near zero. I think with these options being so accessible now and easy to implement, in conjunction with a common fear of algae, is the reason why dinoflagellates are becoming a nuisance and you're starting to see more people asking how to get rid of them.

    From the dinoflagellate threads, I think it should be emphasized that lumping all species together is a mistake, which is why identification goes a long way in the ability to treat them.
     
  15. K. Steven

    K. Steven Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Wouldn't this timeframe coincide with the recent advancements in nutrient reduction?
     
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  16. UWC

    UWC Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    I don’t think so... look at Europe, they have been running their tanks like this for a long time. ULNS is still HUGE there.

    People here have been driving nutrients down, low low here for a long time also. How long have people been using DSB’s, gfo, oversized skimmers, this and that, etc? Much longer then the explosion of dinos that has reared in the last few years, especially the last year.

    A good poll would be, what lighting were you using when you experienced dinos?

    MH
    T5
    LED
    Other

    :)
     
  17. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    IMO, this paper is not evidence that nitrate increases slow the growth of an organism. It simply shows that the organism studied may not be the one that grows most efficiently when nitrate is increased. That's really the hypothesis that I was suggesting earlier in this thread: that the N levels are not the thing that inhibits growth, but rather competition by other organisms at increased N.


    "The decrease in relative abundance of A. anophagefferens among phytoplankton in our N-addition treatments when ambient nitrate levels were relatively high (average >7 µM; 31 May, 4, 8, 12, 22 June) supports the hypothesis that eutrophic conditions (>10 µM labile N) do not favor the initiation of monospecific brown tides (Keller & Rice 1989, Nixon et al. 1994, LaRoche et al. 1997)."
     
  18. Paullawr

    Paullawr Well-Known Member

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    And that’s your entitled opinion Randy. I never stated nitrate or phosphate did reduce numbers, just conjecture, throwing it out there.
    However any paper that suggests otherwise should at least be considered.
    Not all hypothesis or trialed tests prove accurate.
     
  19. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I prefer not to worry period.
    It’s much easier.
    Worrying about stuff usually makes it worse. My therapist thinks so anyway.

    As far as when and where why they occur , ime as a Reef medic here observing this, they happen in all kinds of tanks , all kinds of nutrient levels, all kinds of light and all kinds of salt.

    One thing of note from those observations is, food. Specifically, coral foods and I’ll throw in bacterial additives, Esp ones with potent organic carbon sources.
     
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  20. Paullawr

    Paullawr Well-Known Member

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    Here is something more accurate and less conjecture.

    Ostreopsis ovata or as per any strain which migrated to the water column at night is highly susceptible to UV.

    Amphidium sp isn’t. It never leaves the surface.

    Yet Amphidium sp vs ostreopsis sp has more of a chance of eradication in fresh water due to not forming cysts.

    Hence why there is a lot effort in identification and thus removal.

    Yes there are over 2k strains in nature. We thankfully are limited to around half a dozen.

    So far there is no magic bullet. Fauna marin products work on some strains which ‘eat’ as it were put but not all. Presumably why amphidium is one of those by spear of prey.

    However this is an ongoing challenge. I suspect this has been looked in to by the aquarium industry but due to finding a way of killing it off is or has proved conflicting with what we want to keep we are where we are.
    This leaves us firmly square put. I think the work @taricha and @mccaroll have done is and has been indespensible.

    Don't dismiss ideas though when it comes to protists. I've read a lot of papers Web pages and more and very little is accurate or helpful.

    Some people discuss use of elevated pH. Forget it. Unless you crank it to 10 there is zero effect. At least on five strains I had at one time.

    The N and P detectable/elevated so far is the only proven safe method. What is needed is some scientific evaluation as to why.
     
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