Ready to throw in the towel from Dinos

Qasimja

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does this sound/look like dinos to you all? only grows on the sand bed really fired up 3 weeks ago when i did a water change. in the morning when the lights turn on theres no trace of it but if i dont stir the sand bed in a few hours after the lights cut on my sand bed will be covered with it

the picture is the same area the second picture is when the lights first turn on in the morning

20191101_134825.jpg 20191102_104538.jpg
 
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CMO

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There are a few misconceptions here that need to be cleared up. First dinos are not only from low nutrient clear water conditions. They are in all conditions. You only notice them when they come out of the water column. In the coulmn they are invisible and absorb nutrients from the water. A "bloom" occurs when there are not enough nutrients in the water to go along with the amount of light they are subjected to. The amount of light they get drives their nutrient demand.

This is why tanks with LED lighting are more subject to a dino bloom, because LEDs typically have more PAR. This is also why reducing photo periods and intensity helps combat a bloom. Less light equals less nutrient demand. Remember that dinos can be autotrophic too and also make use of blue light. Switching to a blue spectrum isn't helping. Reducing your overall PAR by reducing the red and white is. Just reduce it all.

Under the conditions of high light and low nutrients they switch from autotrophic to heterotrophic and begin clinging to anything that has nutrients in it like gha, macros, cyanobacteria, diatoms, and bacteria. This appears as a snotty looking mass or stringy algae. They steal the nutrients from these organisms resulting in them dying and the dinos living. The organisms killed were the competition for nutrients you will notice. This helps ensure only dinos will live through the nutrient shortage.

The second misconception is what people think are competitors to dinos. Only the organisms mentioned above are dino competitors. Pods and most phytoplankton are not the competition. The reason pod populations fall during a dino bloom is due to the toxic nature of dinos. Some strains release toxins into the water column via natural biological processes and they are also toxic if consumed by something like a pod or snail. Dinos won't kill them right away, but nothing can live on them indefinitely. This is why running GAC is important. It will remove the toxins. But run smaller amounts and change it out at least once a week.

I suspect different strains prefer different prey thus some go to the sand for the bacteria, cyano, and/or diatoms, while others go for the macros or GHA on the rocks. Diatoms are a somewhat unique competitor because one of their biological byproducts is polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) which is toxic to dinos. This is why some reefers dose Si in attempt to get a diatom bloom. This may prove especially useful when attempting to fend off a strain of dinos that prefers sand.

The real competition is believed to not be over phosphates and nitrates but iron. It hasn't been proven last I read, but evidence is leaning this way. As phosphates and nitrates are consumed so is Fe. Eventually this creates an Fe deficient environment in which dinos struggle more than other algae. Once you see other algae growth you have tipped the scales in your favor.

Additionally this is why water changes are NOT recommended due to the potential to reintroduce trace amounts of Fe. Manual removal of large masses is a good idea, but don't let it turn into a water change event or it will become counterproductive. Fe is also what makes running GFO during a dino outbreak especially counterproductive due to the further reduction of nutrients that helped spark the dino bloom and the fact that GFO can add trace amounts of Fe. Please note that cheato likes Fe, thus dinos typically target it more than other macros.

Overfeeding verses inorganic dosing is not nearly as productive because food is made up of other stuff too like S, DOCs, and even Fe. Think of feeding as dosing a bunch of stuff in addition to the phosphates and nitrates.

As the nutrients become more in balance with the demand due to the light received, most dinos will start to go back into the water column where UV can help. Ozone and H2O2 can help too but based on many reefer's experiences are trivial compared to UV, thus not typically worth the effort ontop of everything else you need to do. However there are some strains that tend to stay where they bloom, usually sand dwelling dinos, and this is where bacteria dosing comes in. The sand dwelling types usually take longer than other types so persistence is necessary to overcome them. The more aggressive you are with bacteria dosing the better results you'll see. Some people even dump in whole bottles at a time. This can get expensive so I recommend getting nutrients under control first and dose bacteria after other algae start to bloom.

After beating dinos myself and keeping them away for over a year I can say that this battle IS NOT typically fast. It took time to throw your tank into this state of imbalance and it will take time to restore it. But if nutrients are not maintained, then they will always come back regardless of what you do.
It sure sounds like you know what you're talking about but are you positive copepods do not feed on certain types of dinos? A quick google search seems to support from scientific sources that they do, but then again the articles get pretty nuanced...

Here is one short write-up (one of the few easy to understand sources) that seems to support why we might only see success with copepod competition in very high numbers.

"Summary
If the concentration of dinoflagellates is low the concentration of dino-toxin is low. Then the copepods eat the dinoflagellates; that's what copepods do.

If the concentration of dinoflagellates is high, the concentration of dino-toxin is high and animals in the neighborhood are immobilized and digested by the dinoflagellates. This includes copepods.

 
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merereef

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Hello reef2reef family... i have decided try elegance corals method i am on day 4 now... i am pleased to say i have been dino free for 2 days OMGGG my face right now...literally not a spec on the rocks or sand. i didnt want to update till i was sure today. This method is brutal on dinos. Let me tell you this is the only method that has worked for me. I will update after the 7 day course
 
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Alexreefer

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Hello reef2reef family... i have decided try elegance corals method i am on day 4 now... i am pleased to say i have been dino free for 2 days OMGGG my face right now...literally not a spec on the rocks or sand. i didnt want to update till i was sure today. This method is brutal on dinos. Let me tell you this is the only method that has worked for me. I will update after the 7 day course
Do you mind telling us about it? How does it work?
 
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merereef

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Your tank will be cloudy as heck during this method but its bacteria bloom, you are simply adding bacteria and vodka as carbon source to battle it. Bubble scrubbing is also something that is needed in this method and is VERY VERY IMPORTANT
 
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Alexreefer

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@merereef you are on day 5 correct? So when you turned on your skimmer is it nasty or like normal. Also where are you getting your air from? outside? have you needed to dose h202 into the skimmer for Alk and ph? Which bottled bac are you using? Sorry for all the questions. I just want to get thing right and know more about this before trying. Also how are the fish and corals doing?
 

merereef

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@merereef you are on day 5 correct? So when you turned on your skimmer is it nasty or like normal. Also where are you getting your air from? outside? have you needed to dose h202 into the skimmer for Alk and ph? Which bottled bac are you using? Sorry for all the questions. I just want to get thing right and know more about this before trying. Also how are the fish and corals doing?
Honestly ask as many questions as you want... you really need to do this correctly in order for it to be successful.
Basicallyfor the first 7 days you dont empty the collection cup. You turn the skimmer on on day 3 if your ph gets very low and if not then you turn it on on day 4. When you turn skimmer on you leave the cup off and allow the skimmer foam to over flow in to the sump... adding more oxygen but its main putpose is to mix the hydrogen peroxide.. on day 3-4 via the method you dose the bydrogen peroxdide via skimmer air intake not the silencer so the skimmer sucks ip the hydrogen peroxide mixing it faster with the water to reduce the bacteria bloom a bit.

the air MUST come from outside... not outside the cabinet or in your home. You need to run the air line outside to bring in fresh air from outside in order to oxygenate the water...

The skimmer if turned on woth cup will over flow die to all the bacteria and nutrients the vodka has consumed. My fish and corals are fine... on day 3 i did lose 3 chromis but that was my fault because i didnt run an airline outside. After speaking to cruz he told me this is what i need to do and the fish are fine now... corals are a little stressed but they are fine for the most part. I have sps too so they all good. Anemones are a little stressed but again everything is fine.
 

merereef

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Day 4 dino free and tank is cloudy but thats good means there is an overload of bacteria... ohhh use the doctor tims like stated in the directions.. and use vodka.. trust me you wont be wasting money.. this actually works lile i said day 3 and todays day 4 no dinos in sight

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brandon429

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I like Cruz's method as it's a mix of manual control and competitive control it seems like a great regimen to use, fingers crossed for Alex and Merereef your after pics are indeed pretty shocking :) your teamwork and sourcing here was +10

This method is a mix of direct removal of mass, aeration, carbon dosing and light peroxide dosing and none of them are harmful to a reef that isn't under invasion so it's neat to try this option as it's a safe mix of consistent attacks on the target cells
 
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merereef

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I like Cruz's method as it's a mix of manual control and competitive control it seems like a great regimen to use, fingers crossed for Alex and Merereef your after pics are indeed pretty shocking :) your teamwork and sourcing here was +10

This method is a mix of direct removal of mass, aeration, carbon dosing and light peroxide dosing and none of them are harmful to a reef that isn't under invasion so it's neat to try this option as it's a safe mix of consistent attacks on the target cells
I have tried EVERYTHING and this is the only thing that worked its amazing everyone should do it using bacteria to outcompete the dinos and like you said a mix of other things that are safe for a reef if using proper aeration
 

Bmwm235i

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I have tried EVERYTHING and this is the only thing that worked its amazing everyone should do it using bacteria to outcompete the dinos and like you said a mix of other things that are safe for a reef if using proper aeration

Give it more time. They will come back. I tried this method. Because of the vodka dosing no3 and po4 bottomed out to 0 for each. They forget to tell you that. I spoke with Cruz about this issue, he suggested I join the FB page for more ideas. Battling the same dino strain as you.
 
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merereef

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Give it more time. They will come back. I tried this method. Because of the vodka dosing no3 and po4 bottomed out to 0 for each. They forget to tell you that. I spoke with Cruz about this issue, he suggested I join the FB page for more ideas. Battling the same dino strain as you.
yeah this is something i was thinking about too. I spoke with him on facebook and we agreed would be best NOT to turn skimmer on if the nutrients are low.. wait till the nutrients are balanced then start skimmer collecting waste
 

Bmwm235i

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yeah this is something i was thinking about too. I spoke with him on facebook and we agreed would be best NOT to turn skimmer on if the nutrients are low.. wait till the nutrients are balanced then start skimmer collecting waste
The waste away and the bacterial Bloom is so powerful I was feeding 8 cubes a day in a 120 and it had no effect. My po4 was .06 and no3 was 20ppm and during that treatment they read 0.

What would be worth trying during that treatment is dosing N and P keeping high levels.
 
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Alexreefer

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will continue with mb7 till I run out then will give my tank a little break from all this testing and trying. Soon after I might try Elegant corals method.
 
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