If I would have known dinos existed I’m not sure I would have gotten into this hobby.

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GarrettT

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What size micron sock do I need to siphon sand?
1. Don’t siphon the sand. In my experience, it makes dinos MUCH worse. Let the sandbed stabilize and the diatoms do it’s thing. In my experience, dinos are near impossible to siphon out while diatoms aren’t. You are giving the dinos an advantage here. When I tried, I was really just turning the sand upside down, making it look like the dinos were being removed.

2. If you have dinos on your rocks, and they can be blown off with a turkey baster, then I will always recommend using a UV sterilizer. It will knock down the population significantly. Don’t go out and buy the nicest one available, as this is just for temporary use. It’s not going to be needed after it’s treatment. Someone on here said it cost around $500 earlier…. Jebao PU’s fit perfectly for this application. If your tank is under 100gals, it will only cost you around $80 + a crappy pump.

3. Good continue not feeding coral foods.
 
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Reefahholic

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I've heard dosing Iron has fixed dinos for a few places that culture coral. Don't have any empirical evidence myself.

I’ve head both. One person will say iron makes it worse and the next person will say it makes them go away. I did stop dosing iron when I had them.
 
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My po4 acts the same way. I can get my nitrates up np but po4 takes many dosing attempts to climb. I made a mistake and dosed waste away and it bottomed out my po4 real quick as I was starting to see my dino population decrease. Now I am just trying to get my po4 to .08 atleast

Yeah, Waste Away will do that. I’ve found it easier to skip the waste away and focus on getting nutrients up. They say waste away helps bring in soldiers to battle. It didn’t seem to help much for me and only complicated nutrient increases.
 
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roggy23

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1. Don’t siphon the sand. In my experience, it makes dinos MUCH worse. Let the sandbed stabilize and the diatoms do it’s thing. In my experience, dinos are near impossible to siphon out while diatoms aren’t. You are giving the dinos an advantage here. When I tried, I was really just turning the sand upside down, making it look like the dinos were being removed.

2. If you have dinos on your rocks, and they can be blown off with a turkey baster, then I will always recommend using a UV sterilizer. It will knock down the population significantly. Don’t go out and buy the nicest one available, as this is just for temporary use. It’s not going to be needed after it’s treatment. Someone on here said it cost around $500 earlier…. Jebao PU’s fit perfectly for this application. If your tank is under 100gals, it will only cost you around $80 + a crappy pump.

3. Good continue not feeding coral foods.
I agree. I didn't want to siphon sand
 

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But doesn't this approach take with it the guy you need to outcompete dinos like diatoms?

I didn’t experience that. If you go back and read I battled them 3x and the siphoning was the most effective by far. I didn’t buy a UV, but I think that is a very effective tool if you have the specific species that is in the water column.

Also, I think bacteria will work, but I feel like it would be much more effective if combined with a flocking agent like Calcium Carbonate powder and sent into the rocks and on all the surfaces instead of dosing the water column only.
 
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Another guy that lives in the Houston Area with me siphoned his sandbed, passed it through UV, and into filter floss. He beat his that way too if I’m not mistaken. I’ll link the video:

 
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GarrettT

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Without digging into the concern of diatoms, I still don’t understand how he was able to remove the dinos separately from the sand. Is anyone else able to freely separate dinos from their sand? Mine is basically glued to it. Maybe he has a different dino type than me? It’s just weird because I’ve had every type. Maybe one specific type dominated the others?
 
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Fishy888

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I just beat Dino’s 3x and here’s how I did it.

First it’s always best to identify the species that you have initially. UV could be a big help with some species.

So why did I battle Dino’s 3x? That is a great question, and I feel stupid to have had 3 different battles. I’ve never had them before and they’re definitely tough to beat. This took a lot of intervention on my part. Fighting Dino’s causes instability, and will set you back big time on growth, but sometimes uncontrollable things happen in this hobby so don’t get discouraged!

1st battle:

At first I tried to merely dose up the N&P and I thought this would get rid of it. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that is a big first step to elimination IMO. The problem in my case was the system was already suffering from a depleted PO4 level (dry rocks binding aggressively) and no matter how much I dosed the PO4 wasn’t coming up. I kept increasing the dose and stirring the sand-bed and blowing off the rocks. I ran a Power-filter every time I did this to help suck them up. Finally, the nutrients came up just enough to weaken their grip. Continually sucking them up in the Powerfilter also helped give me an advantage. They finally went away.

2nd battle:

Then…I got the bright idea to do (2) 30% water changes (same day- morning and evening) shortly after the Dino’s appeared to be gone. I wanted to dilute a few higher elements (Aluminum and Lithium) that came back elevated on the ICP from my initial tank startup. Both weren’t causing any problems, but I wanted to get them lower. The water changes did bring the elements down, but of course flushed some of my PO4 out of the system (even though I was dosing it back at the same time) and that destabilizing event was enough to bring back the Dino’s in full force. So I went straight back into the same routine with all the intervention again. This stuff needs to be done on daily basis to keep the tank under control. After a few weeks I gained control again and they faded out.

3rd battle:

After thinking I won the battle the 2nd time I stated to dose Iron, Vitamins, Amino’s, etc. Sure enough they came back even worse the 3rd time. I took a slightly different approach this time. I dosed up N&P more aggressively and finally got it up to about .06 and 6. Later I got it up even higher. At that point I was seeing some nice improvements. I also started to siphon every inch of the rock work by using a 1 micron sock down in the sump so I could siphon as long as needed. This really reduced their numbers and let me gain control. I even siphoned the overflow box, the Wave makers, the cords, the mats on the sand-bed, etc. Anywhere they were attached basically, but as they faded out for the third time, turf algae had already taken advantage of the low nutrients and got a strong foothold. :) So I ordered about 100+ snails which made quick work of that (mostly Astraea’s).


Looking back…

I think the two things that really helped the most to win the battle were getting the N&P to appropriate levels and also going a little past that. I’d say minimal… get them to at least .06 and 6. I don’t think you’d need to go much past 0.1 and 10. Also, siphoning into the 1 micron filter sock was very effective. Dino’s definitely take a lot of effort from the reefer and you must get the nutrients up. Patience is key here.

Although I do think any kind of instability could spur them on, I do believe this is mostly due to a low nutrient environment especially with dry rock tanks and new systems in general. The microfauna is lacking and the overall biodiversity just isn’t established enough to keep them at bay.


Best of luck to those fighting the battle. This is just my .02 cents in one system, so take that with a grain of salt.

This just goes to show that as long as we're vigilant about keeping nutrients above 0 the dinos can't compete. If we crash our nutrients, whether N or P or both, even if it happens several years later, the cysts left behind hatch into dinos and it all starts again. Ask me how I know this.

That said supposedly there is a type of copepod that eats dino cysts but I need to find the article again. I have my doubts though. If there were any that could survive reef conditions we'd never have repeats of dino infestations years after the last one.
 

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This just goes to show that as long as we're vigilant about keeping nutrients above 0 the dinos can't compete. If we crash our nutrients, whether N or P or both, even if it happens several years later, the cysts left behind hatch into dinos and it all starts again. Ask me how I know this.

That said supposedly there is a type of copepod that eats dino cysts but I need to find the article again. I have my doubts though. If there were any that could survive reef conditions we'd never have repeats of dino infestations years after the last one.

From what I understand and I’m not an expert, but I’ve heard they’re already present in most (if not all systems). Similar to problematic algae species. If you let your nutrients bottom out…boom…the party gets started. Most of these undesirables thrive in low or depleted nutrient environments.


For the guy who was asking about how I siphoned my sand. I wasn’t able to remove them all from the sand. I did suck up the larger patches and most of what I could get on top. However, I did suck up some of the really bad spots (sand and all). Not sure this made a big difference, but the goal was to reduce the numbers as much as possible. Siphoning every square inch of the rocks and all hard surfaces where they’re visible was very effective for me. Although a lot of mine was sitting on top of a bad turf algae bloom and were easily extracted. Although the ones on the rocks did come off too. I used a 1/2” silicone hose and a 1 micron filter sock.


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Without digging into the concern of diatoms, I still don’t understand how he was able to remove the dinos separately from the sand. Is anyone else able to freely separate dinos from their sand? Mine is basically glued to it. Maybe he has a different dino type than me? It’s just weird because I’ve had every type. Maybe one specific type dominated the others?

See my reply above
 
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Hey guys, I’d just like to thank everyone for your help last week with the dinos. I bought a UV sterilizer and have lowered my lights a bit and have been dosing with peroxide and all of the dinos are gone, I can’t believe it! If I would have known this was all I needed to do I would have done it months ago. My corals that did survive have started to open back up too, I’m so happy. The tank is looking cleaner than it has ever looked. I’ll never let my phosphates get to zero again. Once again, I thank you all!
 

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Hey guys, I’d just like to thank everyone for your help last week with the dinos. I bought a UV sterilizer and have lowered my lights a bit and have been dosing with peroxide and all of the dinos are gone, I can’t believe it! If I would have known this was all I needed to do I would have done it months ago. My corals that did survive have started to open back up too, I’m so happy. The tank is looking cleaner than it has ever looked. I’ll never let my phosphates get to zero again. Once again, I thank you all!
Don’t be too worried if some return, they should go again soon enough, just keep doing what is working.
 
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