Helpful Method for Identifying Dinoflagellates

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sonnus

sonnus

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I was reading randy holmes article about dinos.
He had mentioned that snails will die if they eat dinos.
My fishes are not intereted in eating them but ive bought teo snails that one of them eats these algae very much.(Although i think that im sure its dino)
One other question is that these dinos smell like hell,dont they??
Have you used the method described above to test your algae to confirm that it is dinos? I've never personally noticed any specific smell to them but my arms do burn/tingle when I put them in a tank with dinos.
  • Try siphoning about 1-2 cups of water/algae into a 1-1.5 L water bottle (about half full).
  • Shake the water as hard as you can for about 30 seconds then strain the water through a paper towel into a large cup. Make sure all of the water passes through the paper towel and none bypasses the paper towel.
  • Let the water sit in the cup for an hour in ambient light. (upload pictures if you can)
 

arman

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Ive done this method a month ago and they gathered to gether in ordinary home light.
Though i did not have a paper towel and just passed them through an ordinary cloth.
 

arman

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This image is taken 3 weeks ago.
Ive lost my elegance and bobble coral.
And now im loosing the mushrooms

aa.jpg
 
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sonnus

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Ive done this method a month ago and they gathered to gether in ordinary home light.
Though i did not have a paper towel and just passed them through an ordinary cloth.
If you can try it again through a paper towel you might have different results. The filter needs to be fine enough to filter out the long strands of cyanobacteria but still allow the individual dinoflagellates to pass through. I don't trust that the cloth was a fine enough filter and if the cyanobacteria does pass throughout will also group back together similar to the dinos (although it does look different). I you don't have paper towels available then a coffee filter might work but I haven't tried this. I'll try to locate a tank with dinos and try the coffee filter to see if it works.
 

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You mean that cyano would gater to gether too?
when i siphon it or washing the pads or skimmers cup this has a very bad smell.
The smell is not the sign of cyno?
 
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You mean that cyano would gater to gether too?
when i siphon it or washing the pads or skimmers cup this has a very bad smell.
The smell is not the sign of cyno?
Yes, cyano will also gather back together if the filter is not fine enough to prevent the majority of the cyanos from passing. It does not gather exactly like dinos but it is close enough to confuse the two. That's why the paper towel filter is an important part of the process.

I personally have not noticed any specific smell to dinos but that doesn't mean that others haven't.
 
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It turns out dinos will also pass through a coffee filter although the coffee filter does get clogged pretty fast. It might be best to pass through a course filter first to get rid of most of the detritus then pass the rough filtered water through the coffee filter. This might be a better method since I doubt amy significant amount of cyanobacteria will be able pass through a coffee filter.

Here's the shaken siphoned water




Freshly filtered water


After about 8 hours


It did seem to take longer for the dinos to gather back together after passing through the coffee filter. I'm not sure if this is because less water was used (since the filter became clogged) or because less dinos were able to pass through that filter size.
 

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TThank you very much for caring about other ones.
Do you know from where can i get this paper towel?
DRagstores or other places?
 

BigJohnny

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Aren't all paper towels different? How can you be sure that the one your using has the same absorption/pass through rate as another? There is all different types of materials, patterns, and numbers of plys. I am convinced what I have is cyano or dino but can't tell the difference and really want to run this test.

I have a filter sock as well, do you know what micron it would need to be or should any be sufficient since the speed of regrouping is the distinguishing factor?
 
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sonnus

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Aren't all paper towels different? How can you be sure that the one your using has the same absorption/pass through rate as another? There is all different types of materials, patterns, and numbers of plys. I am convinced what I have is cyano or dino but can't tell the difference and really want to run this test.

I have a filter sock as well, do you know what micron it would need to be or should any be sufficient since the speed of regrouping is the distinguishing factor?
Yes, I agree, the paper towels probably vary too much. I think using a standard like a coffee filter might be best since there is little variation. The dinos absolutely pass through the coffee filter but the filter tends to clog easily.

I think double filtering by passing the water through a paper towel or filter sock first to remove the detritus then passing the pre filtered water through a coffee filter would be best.

Also, remember to shake the water vigorously before you pass it through the filter each time. An important part of this is breaking up the dino aggregations so they will pass through the filter individually.
 

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Ive done the exeriment with per towel but nothing passed through it.
When you told that dino has no especial smell i doubt that it be dino cause i had heared that cyano has a bad smell.
So what do you offer me to do to get rid of these
 
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Ive done the exeriment with per towel but nothing passed through it.
When you told that dino has no especial smell i doubt that it be dino cause i had heared that cyano has a bad smell.
So what do you offer me to do to get rid of these
Ok, make sure you let the filtered water sit for a few hours, the dinos take a while to aggregate back together. The water will look clear for at least the first 30 minutes and then anal socks will start to appear. You won't get the large clumps until at least an hour later. If the water stays clear after a few hours then you might be dealing with cyano.

Cyano is fairly easy to treat with Chemiclean or other comparable non-antibiotic treatment. Also, make sure your nitrates are low (maybe under 15 ppm) and possible increase water flow.
 
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arman

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Its about 5 hours ive done this .But nothing has happened .
So it seems to be cyano.
Whats chemiclean?
Can i use it while corals are in the tank?
Or are there any other methods dor treating the cyano?
 

BigJohnny

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Yes, I agree, the paper towels probably vary too much. I think using a standard like a coffee filter might be best since there is little variation. The dinos absolutely pass through the coffee filter but the filter tends to clog easily.

I think double filtering by passing the water through a paper towel or filter sock first to remove the detritus then passing the pre filtered water through a coffee filter would be best.

Also, remember to shake the water vigorously before you pass it through the filter each time. An important part of this is breaking up the dino aggregations so they will pass through the filter individually.
Coffee filters are no more standardized then paper towels unfortunately. I think we need a micron determinant.
 
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sonnus

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Coffee filters are no more standardized then paper towels unfortunately. I think we need a micron determinant.
Coffee filters range from 20-100 microns from what I researched online. I think this is a reasonable range. Dinoflagellates seem to be in that same range although they do get bigger. It might be helpful to research the specific species that we are dealing with to determine the optimum filter size. Really the screen only has to be small enough to prevent the cyanobacteria form passing. Since the majority of cyano are long and filamentous it doesn't seem like we need a tiny filter size to keep them out of the filtered water.

I have used reusable nylon mesh screens for filtering rotifers before that can be purchased from Amazon that have a specific sizes. Maybe it would be worth experimenting with these nylon screens to find the optimum size. The only problem with the screens is they are not easy, off-the-shelf items that are easy for everybody to use. I think it's important to develop a method that is easy for a beginner reefer to just go into their cabinet and try it out.
 

BigJohnny

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Coffee filters range from 20-100 microns from what I researched online. I think this is a reasonable range. Dinoflagellates seem to be in that same range although they do get bigger. It might be helpful to research the specific species that we are dealing with to determine the optimum filter size. Really the screen only has to be small enough to prevent the cyanobacteria form passing. Since the majority of cyano are long and filamentous it doesn't seem like we need a tiny filter size to keep them out of the filtered water.

I have used reusable nylon mesh screens for filtering rotifers before that can be purchased from Amazon that have a specific sizes. Maybe it would be worth experimenting with these nylon screens to find the optimum size. The only problem with the screens is they are not easy, off-the-shelf items that are easy for everybody to use. I think it's important to develop a method that is easy for a beginner reefer to just go into their cabinet and try it out.
Agreed, quick opinion, what are these light brown snot globs? New dry rock obviously.

First pic is diatoms with a little red cyano on the right and the brown goo globs scattered (hoping they are some other bacteria or cyano but not dino).


Second pic has green cyano, diatoms, and the goo globs again.
 
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sonnus

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Agreed, quick opinion, what are these light brown snot globs? New dry rock obviously.

First pic is diatoms with a little red cyano on the right and the brown goo globs scattered (hoping they are some other bacteria or cyano but not dino).

Second pic has green cyano, diatoms, and the goo globs again.
The brown globs do look suspicious for dinos but they aren't typical. I would use a syringe or baster and suck them up and try this method to see if they reaggregate after filtering. Since you probably won't have much to deal with I think the paper towel method might be more reliable.
 

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