Fighting Dinoflagellates with H2O2

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae (including bacteria)' started by Raindog3030, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Raindog3030

    Raindog3030 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    We have had an outbreak of Dinoflagellates...which we had originally thought was just diatom (fairly new reef, 1.5 months old). TL;DR don't over feed your new reef!!! (I know better too, that's the worst part :()

    First misdiagnosis lead us to Vibrant to attempt to control the alleged diatom, along with starvation.
    This was not a good idea!

    I can't say for certain that it was the cause, but within a few days of the first dose of Vibrant, our Chaeto started to dissolve, it became soft and small bits broke off from any agitation, we discovered this yesterday afternoon and promptly removed it.

    Another warning sign that it was dino, was our clean-up crew was not eating the stuff...this should have been my red flag! However, even after being part of the hobby since childhood, I had never encountered dinoflagellates until now.

    Second misdiagnosis...I figured with the structure of the algae, we had a case of brown hair algae, no big deal! I went to scrubbing rocks with a toothbrush, scraped glass clean with a razor, and then performed a WC removing as much of the dislodged substance as possible. We replaced 4 gallons out of a total volume of approximately 15 gallons. We use Tropic Marin salt and RODI from a local aquaculture, unfortunately, my TDS meter had dead batteries, so that will be remedied today.

    After all was said and done, I changed our lighting schedule, shortening the time from 10 hours to 6, and using only 0% color from the Kessil A360WEs. Then I started reading and researching to see if there was any other steps we could take in the meantime...this is when I discovered my mistake.

    I believe I have now successfully identified the substance as dinoflagellates and have begun dosing 1.5mL of 3% H2O2 (store bought Hydrogen Peroxide). I have dosed once last night into my surface skimmer, pre-HOB filter, and again this morning. I have also started a 3-day blackout starting this morning to run until Sunday morning where I will resume with a shortened lighting schedule using 0% color only, ramping up to 40% intensity at the max. We also intend to feed live copepods and phytoplankton before our departure, can't starve the fish!

    I intend to continue a morning and evening dose of 1.5mL 3% H2O2 for the duration of the 3-day blackout.

    Current parameters:
    Salinity: 1.026
    pH: 8.2
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate 0
    Calcium: 500 (I have been slowly reducing this, be careful with PurpleUp!)
    dkH: 10
    Phosphate: <0.25 (time to invest in that Hanna checker...)

    Inhabitants:
    Red Scooter not-Blenny
    Springer's Damsel

    Trochus
    Cerith
    Nassarius
    Blue-legs

    Euphyllia (Hammer)
    Euphyllia (Torch)
    Ricordea Yuma
    Ricordea Florida
    Zoanthids (including Zoanthus Gigantus)
    Acanthastrea
    Platygyra
    Blastomussa
    Lobophyllia
    Montipora Capricornus

    Equipment:
    20 Gallon Long AGA
    AQ70 HOB
    (2) Hydor Koralia Nano
    Hydor 100w Heater
    (2) Kessil A360WE w/ controller

    Now the big scary part, we are leaving town on Sunday for a week of vacation outside of the country...time to teach my folks(the temporary house/cat/reef keepers) to not only take care of morning/evening RODI top-off, but to also dose the correct amount of H2O2. I am planning on having them only dose H2O2 once per day during our leave.

    This post is mostly for me to keep a diary of the battle with this devastating pest algae, however, all comments/suggestions/fighting words will be accepted joyfully! Please lend me your experience in dealing with this miserable pest!

    First photo is before the outbreak became serious.
    Second pic is post scrub/scrape before the WC, I was in too much of a hurry to take a pic of the serious invasion.

    20180225_080535.jpg 20180228_181338.jpg
     

  2. Denisk

    Denisk Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    So sorry to hear you’re going through this. I highly recommend getting a microscope off amazon if possible. It’ll help you identify what type of Dino you have.

    Here is a thread I created as to how I cleaned mine up.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/my-dinoflagellates-experience-treatment.362795/

    In short:
    Get a microscope and address the type
    A UV may help you.
    Remove the sand bed
    Raise No3 and po4
    Don’t do water changes
    Run carbon

    Best of luck!!!
     
    Raindog3030 likes this.
  3. dansreef

    dansreef Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    There is a TON to read about Dinoflagellates on here. A couple of real quick suggestions:
    a) get a sample under a microscope to positively ID.... Small individual organisms in mass all swimming or spinning around.... you have Dinos.
    b) next.... get your nitrates up and phosphates up. Dinos bloom often in very clean water because they have no competition.
    c) go dirty.... encourage nuisance algae and cyano bacteria to grow and out compete dinos.
    d) once you see the nutrients rise and other algae growing... add in lots of pods. They will feed on the dinos.
    e) Take your time and avoid running after fads... most if not all make things worse.

    You want to keep your nutrients, Nitrates around 5 and Phosphates between .1 and .05. This will encourage algae and bacteria growth...and will outcompete dinos. It is also encourages pod growth and other micro fauna in your system. A caution.... some regimens will kill off this fauna and algae making an outbreak even worse.

    Good Luck. The battle is real... but can be won without drastic measures.
     
    Raindog3030 likes this.
  4. dansreef

    dansreef Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree with Denisk on most of this. I don't agree with removing the sand. This is where a lot of micro fauna live that will help outcompete with the dinos. I haven't removed mine and am clear of dinos after a long tough battle. I won by going "dirty" and allowing algae, bacteria and micro fauna o most of the work.
     
    Raindog3030 likes this.
  5. Denisk

    Denisk Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! For whatever reason for me it seemed like the dino was hiding during the day in the sand. I also had a sand shifting starfish which I think wiped my micro fauna out (luckily I found it a home where it will have microfauna forever) but point is it helped me get rid a lot of it immediately. I say go without removing it but worse case scenario you can. Word of advice, don’t remove your sand all at once. I did it in a course of 2 weeks.
     
  6. Raindog3030

    Raindog3030 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for your replies! What is the safest way to raise nitrate and phosphate? I guess I still have more reading to do!

    I plan on introducing the phyto and pods (I think Tisbe are what we get easily from Algagen down here) Saturday night before we leave town.

    Would there be any benefit of suring up the pod population during the blackout? I know the H2O2 doesn't affect them from what I have read, maybe I make a stop tomorrow afternoon and grab some.

    I intend to leave the sand, the only way its going is if I somehow manage to fail and end up resetting, this is not an option at this point!

    @Denisk I'm going to read your thread tomorrow morning, just got home from a 15 hour work day and I need some sleep, at least I got to watch the launch from the Rocket Garden!

    Thanks again everyone, the battle rages onward!
     
    Denisk likes this.
  7. Raindog3030

    Raindog3030 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Lights come back on today, unfortunately we won't be able to see them! I was really hoping to stand there and say "embargo, lifted!" Cuz this guy runs Barter Town...lol...
    Fortunately, it appears that we beat the dino, there has been no new growth on the sand bed during the blackout, and any substance still on the rocks looks gray and dead. Hopefully once we get back next week everything will be hunky dory, wish us luck!
    download.jpeg
     
  8. Raindog3030

    Raindog3030 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Update! We just got back in town today after being gone for a week, having left the care of our reef in the hands of my folks (the house/cat/reef keepers). After 3 days of blackout, dosing 1.5mL H2O2 every 12 hours, and resuming a shortened light cycle at 0% color and max 40% intensity on an 8.5 hr schedule with H2O2 dosing once every 24 hours over yhe last 7 days...it appears there is no trace of dino left, huzzah! There is no better feeling than coming home to a happy reef!
    20180311_153048.jpg
     
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  9. Deezill

    Deezill Active Member R2R Supporter

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    I love a happy ending. I dosed with H202 too. I too am also seeing success. are you going to do a water change after the dosing? I ask because I don't have a clean up screw except for a cleaner shrimp and he is doing great all live stock are doing great but should a water change be performed to get the H202 out of the system or just let it be? Let me know Thanks.
     
  10. Raindog3030

    Raindog3030 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    We will probably perform a water change this weekend, although it seems that our remaining CUC has eaten away the leftover detritus from the dino. I should mention that WC are awesome and you really can't do them too often as long as they aren't changing parameters! Just my personal opinion ;)

    *Edit: We have ~7 Cerith snails, 7 trochus snails, and a small army of nassarius that take care of our mess!
     
  11. Deezill

    Deezill Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Awesome. I will also do a water change this weekend. Thanks for the update.
     
  12. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    After about four hours after dosing peroxide it's all dissociated, no more impact. If the initial dose didn't kill anything, by hour 4 it's neutral
     
  13. Raindog3030

    Raindog3030 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Right, the peroxide is, but I think Deezil is referring the leftover waste from the dead algae, correct?
     
  14. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    not sure, that may be the case. depending on where people get their peroxide info/procedure, dead algae may be a factor. in our large peroxide threads, we clean the algae first and remove it from the system before peroxide, so there is none to rot. we also don't contact nontargets in most cases, there's really different ways to wield the stuff for sure.
     
  15. Deezill

    Deezill Active Member R2R Supporter

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    yep you got it. I need to get the dead stuff out. I noticed after dosing my filter socks were much more brown than normal. i just ordered more socks because of this but a water change would definitely help more
     
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  16. Billymack

    Billymack Member

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    that's a good read , glad everything worked out for you
     
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