Parameters right where they should be but struggling with Dino's and cyano

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recci

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I run an sps dominated reefer 350 and my parameters have been pretty close to the Redsea reef recipe for an sps dominated tank for quite a while.
Salinity 35 ppt
Calcium 430 ppm
Magnesium
1280 ppm
Alkalinity around 8 dKH
Nitrate around 0.25 ppm to 0.5ppm
Phosphate 0.08
I also dose reef energy. But use the ATI essential pro for dosing.

But at these super-low nutrient levels, I struggle with both cyano and dino's in the tank. My tank naturally has low nitrate levels of near-zero but my phosphates would creep up over time. The thing is how do you prevent dino's and cyano with these numbers? They are caused by a lack of nutrients, not an excess. I find it hard to believe the pristine sps dominated tanks shown by Redsea can be maintained for any length of time without similar issues to what I am seeing develop.

If i try to reduce my phosphates down to around the 0.03 mark (which is where they recommend) it just makes the dinos and cyano worse.

My bio-load is quite high with over 14 small fish and two tangs that are too big for the tank. I have quite a lot of live rock and surface area for the volume of water which is why my nitrates are always low. It almost feels like I have too much live rock. Plus most of it was a proper mature live rock when I started the tank.

I feed flakes, pellets and frozen and feed twice per day.

I have plenty of flow 2 x mp40s on nutrient transport mode most of the day. I use ATI sunpower T5 lights.

I am pretty much doing everything right according to what I am reading yet I still have these issues.

Don't get me wrong the health and growth on most of my corals is great it's just this constant formation of dino's on frag racks and hard surfaces and cyano on the rocks and sand that I find so frustratring.
 
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BanjoBandito

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I feel like almost all tanks get DINOS....probably because most of us refuse to let the tank sit and let it fight it out before we add fish/coral. Dinos really aren't an issue if you know what you are dealing with. I use a pocket microscope -


and once I have the specie identified act accordingly. I have a small UV that I hook up to a 50gph pump (I run a 12 gallon tank at the moment) and it'll wipe it out in 72 hours...if needed I'll add a couple doses of DINO X.

It's funny though, dinos weren't allegedly a problem a decade or more ago....they seem to be a relatively new aquarium pest, it's probably due to constant tinkering.

In short, ID it, because some DINOs are PERSISTENT, but most can't handle a run of UV. Good luck. I cannot answer your question as to WHY!
 

BanjoBandito

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You mentioned lowering your nutrients, but have you considered raising them? Try bringing that nitrate up to 5-10 ppm and see how that goes.

I second this, even though I'm only running the nano right now, my life got easier when I stopped doing a lot of WCs and let my phosphates and nitrates (by all educated opinions) SOAR. Ratios seem to be key....I think it's PHOS is 1/100 of NITRATE reading? So if my PHOS is at .5 then my Nitrates should be around 50 ppm. (this is an extreme example - do not run 50 ppm nitrates based on a web post...you can do it, people do it, just don't use me as your THIS GUYS SAYS RUN 50 ppm NITRATES...HE'S ONLINE, HE MUST KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING)

Anyways if we stick with that ratio you need to run your nitrates around 10ppm.
 
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I second this, even though I'm only running the nano right now, my life got easier when I stopped doing a lot of WCs and let my phosphates and nitrates (by all educated opinions) SOAR. Ratios seem to be key....I think it's PHOS is 1/100 of NITRATE reading? So if my PHOS is at .5 then my Nitrates should be around 50 ppm. (this is an extreme example - do not run 50 ppm nitrates based on a web post...you can do it, people do it, just don't use me as your THIS GUYS SAYS RUN 50 ppm NITRATES...HE'S ONLINE, HE MUST KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING)

Anyways if we stick with that ratio you need to run your nitrates around 10ppm.


That sounds about right, I think 0.05-0.1 and 5-10 are good targets to shoot for. Obviously people have success with ULNS but they're success is riding on a razors edge.

You're right that 10-20 years ago dino's were not a big problem. Most people had more nutrients in their tanks back then too. GHA was an issue back then, but you can find critters that will eat that at least.
 
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recci

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I also run a UV and it makes no difference. I am trying to raise my nutrients. I am dosing ATI nutrition nitrogen but even at 10ml per day I can barely get my nitrates above 0.25. Also, I am finding the dosing nitrates interferes with the alk and calcium balance in the tank. When you dose nitrates your increasing alkalinity as a side effect.
 

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Maybe I'm not understanding the actual problem. You can't entirely eradicate algae from a reef tank, it's natural. You just control it. Through filtration, herbivores, manual cleaning, water changes, outcompeting it with a refugium, etc.

It sounds like you have very low nutrients and are dealing with the two algae/bacteria's that are know to thrive in those conditions.

Maybe I'm way off base here, just trying to help.
 
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I feel like almost all tanks get DINOS....probably because most of us refuse to let the tank sit and let it fight it out before we add fish/coral. Dinos really aren't an issue if you know what you are dealing with. I use a pocket microscope -


and once I have the specie identified act accordingly. I have a small UV that I hook up to a 50gph pump (I run a 12 gallon tank at the moment) and it'll wipe it out in 72 hours...if needed I'll add a couple doses of DINO X.

It's funny though, dinos weren't allegedly a problem a decade or more ago....they seem to be a relatively new aquarium pest, it's probably due to constant tinkering.

In short, ID it, because some DINOs are PERSISTENT, but most can't handle a run of UV. Good luck. I cannot answer your question as to WHY!

mess out of the hobby for about twenty years. Never had dinos in the past. Never even cyano. Just turf stuff.

grabbed an office BC that had been running in an empty office (covid tank) for pennies. Almost immediately had dinos. Beat those relatively easily and have been having little skirmishes with turf algae since.

I think it’s just technology. Things are way easier today than when I was a ten year old or early teens. That “ease” causes different problems. It’s an ecosystem. There’s no equality in physics or nature.

it’s like with sports. Are today’s athletes better than the ones in the past? No. They have better tech. From their clothing to even the type of substrate they “sport” on.

I don’t care what sport either. Track and field to baseball.

some of the women have gotten better, but that’s just because they’re actually men.
 

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Raise nitrate. Cyano prefers 0 nitrate environments. Dinos typically come up at 0.00 phosphate. Regardless, keep them both in an ideal range and it will go away. You can use chemiclean.
 

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I also run a UV and it makes no difference. I am trying to raise my nutrients. I am dosing ATI nutrition nitrogen but even at 10ml per day I can barely get my nitrates above 0.25. Also, I am finding the dosing nitrates interferes with the alk and calcium balance in the tank. When you dose nitrates your increasing alkalinity as a side effect.

How would dosing nitrate increase your alkalinity?
 
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recci

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Maybe I'm not understanding the actual problem. You can't entirely eradicate algae from a reef tank, it's natural. You just control it. Through filtration, herbivores, manual cleaning, water changes, outcompeting it with a refugium, etc.

It sounds like you have very low nutrients and are dealing with the two algae/bacteria's that are know to thrive in those conditions.

Maybe I'm way off base here, just trying to help.
The problem is they are not algae and no herbivore eats dinos or cyano, in fact, dino's kills your snails when they are forced to eat it. The issue is that yes I do have low nutrients but not super low and according to all the literature I have what should be perfect for what I am trying to achieve. So i want to know how to balance out and reduce the dino's and cyano so that they are no longer a visible problem yet still maintain great conditions for a sps reef tank that is full of colorful growing coral. Simple lol
 
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recci

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Nitrate consumed by denitrifying bacteria. You are not denitrifying via anaerobic bacteria. Your nitrate is not getting up as much per the amount you are dosing because every living thing in that tank is scavenging for nitrogen.
Yes because the amount of rock and i have must have lots of denitrifying bacteria in it thats the cause of the problem.
 

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Yes because the amount of rock and i have must have lots of denitrifying bacteria in it thats the cause of the problem.

I edited my comment but not fast enough for your reply haha. I misunderstood what randy said in his original article that I read a while back


If randy hops in I am curious what he means by nitrate consumption (ie what thing in the tank would raise the alk when consuming nitrate)
 
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Spare time

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Fair enough, Its hard to say if the low nitrates are being consumed by denitrifying bacteria or other things in the tank but the amount of fish i have I should have more nitrates.

I would just go ahead and dose all at once to a target number and see what happens. You could also try and feed your fish more nutrient dense food every time you walk by the tank :D
 
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