Helpful Method for Identifying Dinoflagellates

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sonnus

sonnus

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Thanks for all of the feedback and keeping us updated on all that you've figured out! The only problem seems to be user error. One of these days I'll work on a video to make it as clear as possible.
 

melev

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This is very interesting. I was hoping coffee filters were standard, but even the well-known brand Melitta that I have here doesn't list micron rating. Too bad.

Regarding cyano, it can come in many colors. We often see red cyano, but cyanobacteria is often referred to as "blue-green algae." Blue! Green I've seen, as well as red in my own systems. It can be quite dark, almost maroon colored. It can grow in freshwater, brackish water and saltwater.
 

vdubreefer

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Hey guys I'm sorry to bring up an old thread, I just tried this and here are my results
Here's after I strained it


And here is 20 minutes later


Would you guys say I've got Dino's ?? Any ideas how I can begin the journey to defeating this ?
 
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vdubreefer

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Here is 45 minutes later , this is weird it went straight to the bottom ? Did this happen to the OP or any of you guys that have tried this ??
 

s2nhle

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Tagging along as I have the same problem. I have tried 3-4 days light out multiple times. It is still come pack. I am planning to restart my system again. Thanks,
 

vdubreefer

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Tagging along as I have the same problem. I have tried 3-4 days light out multiple times. It is still come pack. I am planning to restart my system again. Thanks,

I am also considering restarting my system ! I'm just barely past the cycle point and only have a couple corals ,, I should've quarantined my corals [emoji31],, thinking that they were from wwc and were ok was bad I should've put them in the QT
 

jewilson83

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I've beaten Dino through the UV Sterilization and Ph method. Look up the Ph method. I've been Dino free for a little over a year now. The first real way is to identify. The cup water strainer method is not 100% proof. Take some Dino and get a cheap microscope and look at it.
 

reeferfoxx

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I am also considering restarting my system ! I'm just barely past the cycle point and only have a couple corals ,, I should've quarantined my corals [emoji31],, thinking that they were from wwc and were ok was bad I should've put them in the QT
Dinos are found almost everywhere in our hobby. Adding a snail or even the live rock from an LFS can carry dinos. Reducing nutrients with chemical medias like GFO and/or stripping nitrates with bio media like biopellets or carbon dosing can reduce dino competitors thus allowing dinos to thrive. A simple method in addition to a UV sterilizer is letting your water get dirty. Stop water changes, feed your a fish a little bit more, and turning off all export medias like skimmer, ATS and even chaeto can help rebuild nutrients in the water column for microorganisms to out compete dinos. It's been proven over and over that this simple practice can win the battle.
 

the_chef_pierre

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Do you find just leaving it alone will allow it to go away? I just got it and dont have my tank stocked yet and definitely dont want to have to restart
 

nano reef

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In my experience, this is also a good way to distinguish between the different types of brown algae. There are a lot of variables so these methods might not be fool proof but they have been very reliable for me.

Dinoflagellates will disperse in the container completely after being shaken and will pass through the filter almost completely with only detritus remaining in the filter. Once the filtered water has been left sitting in ambient light for about an hour they will organize back together into their typical slimy appearance. Dinos seem to be the most neutrally buoyant of the three.

Cyanobacteria will typically stay matted together even after shaking the capped container vigorously with lots of small bits resembling torn paper. Most of the algae will be caught in the filter with the detritus but the filtered water will still be discolored. The algae will not organize back into colonies after an hour. The water tends to stay brown but sometimes the cyano settles on the bottom of the container. Cyano seems to be close to neutrally buoyant most of the time.

Diatoms will disperse much more than cyano when shaken vigorously into a brownish tint but sometimes tiny bits stay together like the cyano. Much more of the diatoms will pass the filter compared to the cyano. The diatoms will not reorganize after the filter and they tend to be more negatively buoyant than the cyano or dinos so they settle on the bottom of the container faster.

I think all of these algae can change their buoyancy so this might vary but the diatoms are constantly less buoyant than the others.


I have been 100% successful with raising the pH, this will kill the dinos within 2-3 days and you do not need to turn off the lights. I have done this on dozens of tanks and it has always worked for me. Having an Apex to control the pH is very helpful but not necessary.

I have posted this in other threads before, this is my method for raising pH with kalkwasser. I have done this in fully stocked SPS reef tanks with lots of expensive and sensitive fish and I've never experienced any losses. Of course there is risk whenever you dose kalkwasser and this is no different.
This is a much slower method than I personally use. I typically raise the pH up to 8.6 within 2 days, once the pH reaches 8.6 the dinos are gone. Sometimes the pH needs to go higher.

Day 1:
Add about 1.0 teaspoon of kalk per gallon of RODI top off water. This will typically bump up the pH about 0.1-0.3 after 24 hours.

Day 2:
After 24 hours your pH will hopefully be around 8.1-8.4. If your pH is not 8.5 then increase the saturation to 1.5 teaspoons per gallon of RODI top off water. This will typically bump up the pH another 0.1-0.3 after 24 hours.

Day 3:
After 48 hours your pH will hopefully be around 8.2-8.5. If your pH is not 8.5 then increase the saturation to 2.0 teaspoons per gallon of RODI top off water. This will typically bump up the pH another 0.1-0.3 after 24 hours.

Day 4:
After 72 hours your pH will hopefully be around 8.3-8.6. If your pH is not 8.5 then increase the saturation to 2.5 teaspoons per gallon of RODI top off water. Now the kalk water is supersaturated so you will either need to manually shake it every hour or add a powerhead to the top water to keep the kalk suspended in the solution.

Day 5:
If your pH isn't up to 8.5 yet then you will need to increase the saturation to 3.0 teaspoons per gallon of RODI top off water. You will either need to manually shake it every hour or add a powerhead to the kalk water to keep the kalk suspended in the solution.

Notes:
  • The limewater must be dripped into the tank continuously. It can never be dumped into he tank! Ideally you could use an Apex to dose the limewater. I do not recommend an ATO for this because if it malfunctions you will kill your coral and fish (I've learned this the hard way).
  • Siphon as many dinos out before you start this treatment. You will need to dispose the water, straining the dinos through a filer sock and back into the tank will not work.
  • A pH increase of 0.2 per 24 hours is typically considered very safe for your fish.
  • You will ultimately need to raise the pH up to 8.5-8.7 (daytime) for about 2 weeks to kill the dinos. It's ok if the pH drops lower than that during the night.
  • This is a rough guide, you really need to watch the tank closely to make sure the pH isn't rising too quickly.
  • You might need to go above 3 tsp/gal of kalk, every tank is different.
  • It is best to dose the display tank directly to prevent your skimmer and return pump from seizing up.
  • Once you figure out how your tank responds to the kalk you can usually increase the kalk saturation faster depending on how fast your pH rises.
  • Saturated kalkwasser is about 2 teaspoons per gallon

This is the Apex code I use for my Kalk doser. I usually use a Tom's Aqua Lifter for a dosing pump. If you have an electric float switch in your sump you can also tell the pump not to dose if the sump is full.

Fallback OFF
OSC 000:00/000:30/004:30 Then ON
If pH > 8.20 Then OFF

Of course you will need to increase the pH limit 0.1 about every 12 hours.

Also, I don't think that raising the pH is necessarily the best method for treating dinos, it has just worked for me and I'm comfortable and confident when I use this method.
I have never dosed anything in my tank except bacteria by hand. My tank is fairly new and there is so much I still am learning, sometimes I feel you have to be an engineer/ ocean biologist to run a reef tank! LOL I wish my hubby was into the hobby because alot of this is hard for a woman to do and to take in! haha. I think I passed the coffee filter test but am going to repeat it because I set it under aquarium lighting. I dumped it out before I saw this thread but nothing apeared with any color thats for sure. If it clumped up then it was clear in color and hard to see. Seemed like there was some stringy or clumped clear pieces. I took a break b4 I sent this and now I am doing 2 more tests. before I was scooping up the stuff that looks like diatoms but I was blowing of corals and I dont know if its detritus or reefroids that I make kind of thick but i am going to test the new pieces that are very stringy. Funny thing is I only see this when I blow off corals s o maybe coral food. The one test with the diatoms is sitting under a room lamp and no clumps and its been about hour 1?2 just strated the other test.

it came on after carbon dosin and po4 fell to 0 and gets much worse a few days after waterchange. It looks like dinos to me but when I try to vacuum it out it sometimes clumps but mostly it dosnt. It will have sand attached to the clumps. The is a method by elegant corals that reefdudes covered I am thinking of trying and have been doing some of it like dosing bacteria. He recommends dr tims waste away and one and only but I have been using mb7 2 x's a week and vibrant once per week. It was looking good until I did a water change again and it went nuts and covered walls of tank and sand rocks and wave makers.

My question I was going to as k b4 I wrote this novel is can I use toms aqua lifter to dose Kalk to raise ph? I wanted to get one for bubble scrubbing anyway. I hope it works without using co2 scrub air or outside air since I have a ft thick cinderblock wall and be hard to get my hubby to do that, maybe I could through the metal window frame! Truthfully dosing kalk kind of scares me since I am so new at this. I was fixing to start 2 part and I think that raises ph but temporarily!
 

nano reef

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Still Dino free!!!!!
How can you tell looking through a cheap microscope if its it. I have been trying to figure out for weeks what I have. What I did was pull up some of the diatom lookng stuff on my sandbed and of corse it had sand with it but strained it and it was still clear looking. Didnt regroup in anyway but today i was blowing of corals and what i thought was just left over coral food(reefroid) well it was king of string so now I am testing that, but the problem is the diatom looking stuff is all over my sand, glass wavemakers, smells something awful and comes on 3 days after waterchange real hard, oh and bubbles stick to some parts of it on glass
 

NJ Reefer

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OK, I just did the coffee filter test, and I’m not sure if the results match any of the OP’s descriptions. The particles did all regroup, but some are floating on the top, and some are on the bottom. Nothing is neutrally buoyant. Can anyone positively ID my results?
 

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