Dinos or cyano?

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Mattyreefs

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Having a hard time getting good pictures with my phone. This is 600x and 1200x. Can anyone tell what type this is from these?

 
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Spreading to the rocks a lot more now but it still looks like the same type posted previously. Here's another video that might be a little better. They are very symmetrical with a circle in the center. Almost perfect ovals and sometimes more of a circle when they move. I don't see any beak or point on them. And they move slower than a lot of the other microscope ID's I have seen, somtimes not moving at all.

UV comes today so I'll start running that. If it's Prorocentrum, it seems like I should do some level of blackout so might try no lights for 3 days to jump start. Keeping NO3 and P04 at 10-12ppm and .10 but for whatever reason it's not actually dropping much at all. Also started dosing MB7 last night. Only running carbon and floss. Anything I'm missing?

So far no livestock losses but I haven't seen any nassarius snails in a few days so I'm not sure about them. One hermit actually looks like he might be eating it off the rocks? So I'll keep an eye on him. Corals are doing fine so far with the exception of a Goni that won't extend at all and gsp that has barely peeked a few polyps out a couple times this week. Really bummed about the goni, it had been doing so great recently.
 

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Spreading to the rocks a lot more now but it still looks like the same type posted previously. Here's another video that might be a little better. They are very symmetrical with a circle in the center. Almost perfect ovals and sometimes more of a circle when they move. I don't see any beak or point on them. And they move slower than a lot of the other microscope ID's I have seen, somtimes not moving at all.
sorry for late confirmation. This is indeed prorocentrum. The video clarifies where the earlier pictures didn't.
 
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sorry for late confirmation. This is indeed prorocentrum. The video clarifies where the earlier pictures didn't.
Thanks for confirmation. I've been proceeding as if they are prorocentrum. I should have taken some pictures before I moved forward but it got so much worse after my initial post. Sand was entirely covered in slime and it was spreading quickly onto rocks.

Long update...
I added a UV sterilizer on Friday and started with a 3 day total black out to try and get them into the water column at night. I also siphoned as much of the sand and rocks that I could into a filter sock and put the water back in the dt.

I've been dosing mb7 and phyto every day though I realized yesterday that I hadn't been turning off the UV so I was probably lessening the impact. I also have Waste Away coming. I turned the lights back on yesterday with no whites and a little less intensity with a plan to slowly ramp up depending on how things go. Sand and water was the clearest it's ever been yesterday, today there are definitely some patches coming back. It was hard to even siphon a sample but I was actually able to get better images this time around.

Dino update
I'm seeing pods and spirorbid worms on the glass for the first time in a while which gives me some hope. And I'll be adding more pods when they get here tomorrow. I'm changing my filter floss every morning and carbon every three days.

One thing I'm confused about is my parameters. I was prepared to dose NeoNitro and NeoPhos as necessary but I've been testing every day and haven't needed to. My No3 has been steady at 10ppm literally no change. My Po4 has been steadily increasing since last week. From .08 on Friday to today at .18. I've read so many accounts of people struggling with dinos to even get above zero and dosing a ton to move it at all. Maybe the die off from the blackout let the nutrients go up?

My plan is to keep testing daily to stay around .1 and 10. And keep dosing mb7, phyo and maybe waste away? Also adding ecopods tomorrow so hopefully the dinos are died down enough for them to survive.

I guess I've been lucky so far. I haven't lost any fish, snails, shrimp, or hermits. And corals are doing OK with a few exceptions.

@taricha Anything I'm missing? I've seen some newer advice on dosing silicates for diatoms to outcompete dinos. What are your thoughts on that?

Edit: Also, if my phosphates keep climbing, at what point should I consider a WC or running gfo?
 
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Phophates jumped up to 0.27 today. NO3 is still around 10-12. Any input on when I should consider a water change? Not sure why it's going up so quickly.
 

taricha

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Maybe the die off from the blackout let the nutrients go up?
Die-off, yes - but also you basically cut off the uptake of PO4 by photosynthetic organisms of all types.

I guess I've been lucky so far. I haven't lost any fish, snails, shrimp, or hermits. And corals are doing OK with a few exceptions.
There are a number of variables that determine how toxic a dino outbreak can be.
Toxicity varies greatly by species, varies within a species by growing conditions, and varies by which bacterial associates show up with the dinos in a bloom. It's complicated.

I've seen some newer advice on dosing silicates for diatoms to outcompete dinos. What are your thoughts on that?
I'm an advocate for it. It seems to be harmless, does not require a change in P or N, and Si just creates an opportunity for diatom cells to grow using up the same goodies that dino cells need.

Also, if my phosphates keep climbing, at what point should I consider a WC or running gfo?
Water changes sparingly can be ok if they don't noticeably increase Dino growth. I wouldn't use GFO at all with dinos. I would use an aluminum PO4 binder instead of an Iron one. The Fe seems to be helpful to dinos in a way that Aluminum likely isn't.

Not sure why [PO4 is] going up so quickly.
Phyto, dead organic material from UV/blackout, and lack of PO4 uptake by photosynthetic organisms during the blackout, and now you whacked the photosynthetic population way back.
 
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I'm an advocate for it. It seems to be harmless, does not require a change in P or N, and Si just creates an opportunity for diatom cells to grow using up the same goodies that dino
Thanks for all the input and info, really appreciate it. Going to keep doing what I'm doing and start dosing spongexcel on Friday once it comes.

Going to see how po4 is tomorrow and consider a small water change. Corals are really starting to take a hit and there's a couple that don't look like they'll make it. Also planning to go back to normal light schedule tomorrow because I don't think it's making much difference.

If I ever start another tank I'll be using all live rock and keeping chemiclean out.
 
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Decided to do a 10% WC this morning. NO3 is now 10pppm and PO4 is .19 though I realize the issue with WC might be replishment of elements like iron and not just nutrients. Hoping it'll help with some of the corals that are going downhill.

Goni was looking amazing last week and looks next to dead now. GSP still will only open a few polyps. Not sure why dinos seem to cling to the gsp mat no matter where it is. Elevated on a frag rack and it's still covered after a few hours of light even though there's none around it. It also seems to thrive on a blasto frag/skeleton for some reason. Mushroom jumped ship last night and ended up under the only piece of rockwork I can't reach so that's probably a goner.

Pistol shrimp decided today is the day for destruction and he's turned over a very large portion of the dino covered sand so we'll see how that goes.
 
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Quick update for anyone that cares. I can tell it's going to be a long road but definitely seeing major improvement already. Trying to not be overly optimistic but it seems like my approach is working...

Running UV 24/7 with the exception of a 4-5 hour period every morning after the lights come on. At that time I dose mb7 and waste away. Also dosing spongexcel every day ramping up to full dose over a week. Also added a bunch of pods once I started to see some back on the glass.

I was turkey basting any dinos off the rocks every night just before lights out but the last two days there's actually been almost nothing on the rocks to clear off.

A couple times a day, usually mid to late day, I'm very carefully using a coral feeder to suck up the snottier parts of the sand. Doing my best to disturb the sand as little as possible. I notice the areas where my pistol shrimp moves the most sand are usually where dinos are focused the next day. I squirt what I suck up through a filter sock and then pour the water back in the tank. Still changing gac every 3-5 days. I was changing my filter floss every morning but it's been so clean the last few days that I'm letting it go longer.

Nitrates are hanging around 16-18ppm and phosphate has been .15 to .20. Haven't had to dose either but plan still plan to use neonitro/phos to keep them around 10 and .10.

Running my regular light schedule but lowered to about 80% of regular.

No idea if its making any difference but I upped my temp from 78 to 80. Seen suggestions try raising it as high as 82 but figured I'd split the difference and see if it helps.

Corals are looking a lot better with full lights running. Still think I'm going to lose a Goni and gsp but not a big deal. Not sure if its something specific keeping them closed or if it's all of the above.

Update pics
 
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Been a while since an update...

Tank looks awful, sand is pretty much covered in brown. But there's definitely way less dino and the last few days there's now cyano and diatoms mixed in.

Keeping up with the same approach. NO3 is still very steady at 16-18ppm. PO4 was hanging around .28 but it's actually down a lot with the competition picking up, .08 today.

Wondering what the next step should be. When do I consider vacuuming the sand and water change? Should I wait until nutrients drop? Or should I give it a shot now and see what comes back strongest.
 

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Trying Cruz Arias method could give some help, have you tried?

2264ACED-52FF-40F8-8CA7-A71D7D218F6B.jpeg
Other things to consider important (sorry I did not read the entire thread, but I’ve seen it is a Prorocentrum issue):

- avoid WC
- avoid trace dosing
- keep nutrients present (but not that much)
- do not add CUC
- microbubbles, syphoning the dirt to a 50 micra shark bag and returning the water helps
 
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Update...
Still dosing mb7 and waste away everyday. Also dosing phyto every night. Running UV all day except for 5-6 hours after I dose bacteria. Starting to wonder if UV is working (or hurting) because the sand doesn't clear up at night like it was at the beginning.

Dosed spongexcel for 4 weeks at 1 drop/gallon and never really saw much of a diatom bloom so I bought a silicate checker and realized i need to be dosing twice that so I'm now dosing 2 drops/gallon every day and I'm finally seeing diatoms on glass, rocks and most importantly previously dino dominated sand. Snails are cleaning spots they hadn't been in a long time, including sand.

In the 4 week period where I was dosing 1 drop per day, I noticed a huge reduction in dinos which got replaced with cyano. Now that I've upped the dosage of silicate, I'm seeing a lot more diversity and things are looking a lot better. Still seeing a lot of dinos but much less dense and cyano/diatoms mixed in. It's actually hard to even get a sample for microscope because there is no "snot" at all anymore. Previously I was sucking out snot all day long and filtering through a filter sock and returning the water but now there's been almost nothing I can suck out easily.

Nitrate and Phosphate haven been very steady at 10-12ppm and .08-.15 for the last ~6 weeks. I've only had to dose NeoNitro maybe twice. Still changing floss every couple days but cut back on carbon to once a week.

I'm actually really happy with where things are at the moment but I see this is probably going to go on for a while. Corals look really good except for one goni that died completely. GSP that had been a dino magnet and near dead has come back really nicely, polyps started to open and now color is coming back. Dinos no longer flock to it for whatever reason. Still have not lost any inverts or fish.

It still looks like I'm dealing exclusively with Prorocentrum dinos but I noticed this dino-like thing under the microscrope today. Doesn't look like any of the other dino varieties and it's much larger so I'm thinking it's not a dino at all? Had a lot of trouble getting a video. @taricha
 

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Still dosing mb7 and waste away everyday. Also dosing phyto every night. Running UV all day except for 5-6 hours after I dose bacteria. Starting to wonder if UV is working (or hurting) because the sand doesn't clear up at night like it was at the beginning.
This sort of thing is done a lot, but a combo of phyto + bacteria + UV is not something I understand why it might work. Seems like a large input of dead organic material. Kinda what we try to avoid during a nuisance battle.

Dosed spongexcel for 4 weeks at 1 drop/gallon and never really saw much of a diatom bloom so I bought a silicate checker and realized i need to be dosing twice that so I'm now dosing 2 drops/gallon every day and I'm finally seeing diatoms on glass, rocks and most importantly previously dino dominated sand. Snails are cleaning spots they hadn't been in a long time, including sand.
This is definitely a good sign. Increased snail appetite indicates more diatoms and that the snails can graze while ingesting less dino toxin. One effect of dino toxin is to greatly reduce snail activity.

I'm seeing a lot more diversity and things are looking a lot better. Still seeing a lot of dinos but much less dense and cyano/diatoms mixed in. It's actually hard to even get a sample for microscope because there is no "snot" at all anymore.
All positive signs. feel free to accelerate the process by manually exporting any brown gunk you see.

It still looks like I'm dealing exclusively with Prorocentrum dinos but I noticed this dino-like thing under the microscrope today. Doesn't look like any of the other dino varieties and it's much larger so I'm thinking it's not a dino at all
You are correct. It's a ciliate, probably a large euplotes. Here's a more detailed video of this type from my sandbed system.
 
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This sort of thing is done a lot, but a combo of phyto + bacteria + UV is not something I understand why it might work. Seems like a large input of dead organic material. Kinda what we try to avoid during a nuisance battle.
Seems like a lot of the approaches start with bacteria + phyto + UV or some combination, I just wasn't sure at what point to stop any or all. Do you think it makes sense to stop adding bacteria or turn off UV and just see where things go with nutrient management and silicate dosing?

While I'm seeing progress, I'm scared to change anything and end up back at square one. But I have no idea which part of my approach is actually leading to improvements and what could be slowing it down. I also have no idea what's keeping my nutrients so balanced over the past 2 months. I see so many dino battles (heh) where nutrient management is near impossible and requires tons of dosing.

Edit: And yes, that video you linked is exactly what I saw.
Edit 2: I should have asked...Are these a problem or something to be concerned about?
 
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This sort of thing is done a lot, but a combo of phyto + bacteria + UV is not something I understand why it might work. Seems like a large input of dead organic material. Kinda what we try to avoid during a nuisance battle.
@taricha sorry, me again. If it's counterproductive to be adding dead organic material via bottled bacteria, would it make sense to use live bacteria like pns probio? Are you familiar with any testing done here?
 

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live bacteria like pns probio? Are you familiar with any testing done here?
I have not used or tested the PNS bacteria - they seem interesting. I'm unsure why we'd want to add N-fixing bacteria that could increase local N to work against nuisance growth. Seems like it could just as easily increase the amount of benthic growth (cyano, dinos, diatoms) by enriching N-depleted surfaces.
 
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I have not used or tested the PNS bacteria - they seem interesting. I'm unsure why we'd want to add N-fixing bacteria that could increase local N to work against nuisance growth. Seems like it could just as easily increase the amount of benthic growth (cyano, dinos, diatoms) by enriching N-depleted surfaces.
That makes sense when struggling to raise nitrates and keep them balanced. In my case, I've never had low (below 5ppm) nitrates and I've been stable at 10-12ppm for 2 months.

Might give it a shot in the future depending how things go in the next few weeks.
 
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