My Battle with Dinos (Success story)

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malfist

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I've had a wild ride with dinos, and I think I'm finally winning the battle. I've had a ULNS tank running for ~3 years, and the last year and a half I have been battling dinos regularly. Bad enough that I used to pull most of my rockwork out of the aquarium to scrub during water changes. It's been a nightmare and I'm finally getting to the end with it, I think.

After about a year I decided to tackle it seriously, my normal methods of algae control just weren't cutting it. Nothing good happens quickly in a reef tank so I took my time addressing the issues.

Over the past few months I've been dosing calcium nitrate to raise my nitrates from <0.25 to 2-6ppm. I try to keep them around 4ppm. It took forever before nitrites started showing up in my test kit no matter how much I dosed. My tank was well starved of nitrate. As a bonus, my coral has a lot more coloration. Instead of hints of color, there is actual color, it's a real nice sight to see. This has however, spurred other algae growth.

Over the past few months I've been dosing vibrant twice per week. This has had little impact. Initially saw a reduction in other types of algae, but that impact was not maintaned. It didn't kill my cheato in my sump but it did keep it from growing as rapidly. I have discontinued this treatment.

A month ago, I started testing phosphates with a hanna ULR phosphate test. I had always assumed I had phosphates because I had algae (macro and micro) growth, but the hanna checker likes to alternate between giving me a reading of 0.00 and 0.03. My partner's tank, which doesn't have dinos has a reading of 0.34, so the checker is working.

I've been slowly adding phosphates to the aquarium with NeoPhos. So far I haven't managed to move the results of my phosphates in the hanna checker, but have had to increase my nirate dosing to keep the same levels. Indicating something is growing and consuming nitrates and phosphates. This is a good sign.

Two weeks ago I got a microscope and confirmed the species of my dinos, it's ostreopsis. This is great news, they tend to go into the water column at night. I purchased a jebao 55w uv sterilizer and took aggressive action to start using it. In response to using the sterilizer I've been changing my carbon weekly and filter socks more frequently to try to reduce toxic fallout from killing off the dinos.

It really looks like it's working. It looks like it's almost time to add to my cleanup crew (if I'm going to keep the higher nutrient levels). I'm super happy with finally seeming to get my aquarium back under my control. I'm attaching images of my aquarium five days apart. I don't know if it's helpful, but I hope my story helps someone.

2021-03-28 11.20.43.jpg 2021-03-31 17.07.03.jpg 2021-04-05 10.55.49.jpg
 

Dragonsreef

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Good job keeping at it. Ive seen a few people shut down tanks over dinos. I got them real bad last fall and lost all my sps in my 75g. Now i only have a little bit in my refugium that won't go away. No matter what i do.
 
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malfist

malfist

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This is my smallest aquarium, only 65 gallons and it lives in my office (and since I work from home, I see it every day). Would not give it up for the world.
 

ScottB

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This is my smallest aquarium, only 65 gallons and it lives in my office (and since I work from home, I see it every day). Would not give it up for the world.
I am going to guess your dino fight is over or nearly so. Ostreos get it good with UV.

How is the tank looking?
 

rhostam

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I've had a wild ride with dinos, and I think I'm finally winning the battle. I've had a ULNS tank running for ~3 years, and the last year and a half I have been battling dinos regularly. Bad enough that I used to pull most of my rockwork out of the aquarium to scrub during water changes. It's been a nightmare and I'm finally getting to the end with it, I think.

After about a year I decided to tackle it seriously, my normal methods of algae control just weren't cutting it. Nothing good happens quickly in a reef tank so I took my time addressing the issues.

Over the past few months I've been dosing calcium nitrate to raise my nitrates from <0.25 to 2-6ppm. I try to keep them around 4ppm. It took forever before nitrites started showing up in my test kit no matter how much I dosed. My tank was well starved of nitrate. As a bonus, my coral has a lot more coloration. Instead of hints of color, there is actual color, it's a real nice sight to see. This has however, spurred other algae growth.

Over the past few months I've been dosing vibrant twice per week. This has had little impact. Initially saw a reduction in other types of algae, but that impact was not maintaned. It didn't kill my cheato in my sump but it did keep it from growing as rapidly. I have discontinued this treatment.

A month ago, I started testing phosphates with a hanna ULR phosphate test. I had always assumed I had phosphates because I had algae (macro and micro) growth, but the hanna checker likes to alternate between giving me a reading of 0.00 and 0.03. My partner's tank, which doesn't have dinos has a reading of 0.34, so the checker is working.

I've been slowly adding phosphates to the aquarium with NeoPhos. So far I haven't managed to move the results of my phosphates in the hanna checker, but have had to increase my nirate dosing to keep the same levels. Indicating something is growing and consuming nitrates and phosphates. This is a good sign.

Two weeks ago I got a microscope and confirmed the species of my dinos, it's ostreopsis. This is great news, they tend to go into the water column at night. I purchased a jebao 55w uv sterilizer and took aggressive action to start using it. In response to using the sterilizer I've been changing my carbon weekly and filter socks more frequently to try to reduce toxic fallout from killing off the dinos.

It really looks like it's working. It looks like it's almost time to add to my cleanup crew (if I'm going to keep the higher nutrient levels). I'm super happy with finally seeming to get my aquarium back under my control. I'm attaching images of my aquarium five days apart. I don't know if it's helpful, but I hope my story helps someone.

2021-03-28 11.20.43.jpg 2021-03-31 17.07.03.jpg 2021-04-05 10.55.49.jpg

Wow, that looks horrific. Thanks for sharing!
 
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malfist

malfist

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I am going to guess your dino fight is over or nearly so. Ostreos get it good with UV.

How is the tank looking?
Nearly over.

Still some hanging on, but nothing like before. Still getting some growth, but not a significant amount. Since I've started with UV I've never had a floating mat form. Before then I was scooping out a mat daily or every other day.

Corals are all a lot happier too.
 
Deltec

What temperature do you think it too high for your reef tank?

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