The last resort: Dino X

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cabezatuck

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I’ve been battling Dinos for about 9 months in two reef tanks: 13.5 gallon LPS 2 years old and 40 gallon mixed 1 year old. In the 13.5 just prior to the outbreak I had used Vibrant which I believe crashed my nutrient levels after rocking my barely established bio filter and eliminating the small amounts of nuisance bubble and GHA I had. I should have stuck to scraping and siphoning but had heard other claims about the benefits of using Vibrant so I gave it a try. The 40 had low nutrients with a lack of competing algae, being newer with limited livestock. I personally believe Vibrant should only be used in well established older tanks with a diverse bio filter.

With the stage set the Dinos were introduced from my local LFS, I had observed some in their frag tank but assumed it was GHA I could scrape off and then dip. This was prior to my outbreak and nightly internet searches of “getting rid of Dinos in a reef tank, Dinos, Dinos, Dinos…” so I knew absolutely nothing about them. That said there is so much conflicting information online about eliminating these, largely due I believe to the variety of Dinos people deal with and for which they discover successful treatments as well as cases of misidentification.

I purchased a $20 microscope to 100% confirm they were Dinos, once I saw the buggers at 400x magnification I then followed what appeared to be the most common and suggested steps: I raised nutrients, raised temp to 83, added macroalgae (to my horror they even began growing on my chaeto), 3 day total blackouts (afterwards these make them go away for a few blissful days before returning), reduced lighting period/intensity and added inline UV sterilizers in my filtration. I maintained healthy levels in both tanks and aside from periods of wanting to raise nutrients I performed weekly 10% water changes siphoning out as much and using only RODI salt mix I make myself. Nutrients definitely play a factor here but once you get these they aren’t the end all solution.

My Dinos are the dreaded sand and rock dwelling type and do not disburse into the water column, this behavior makes them a more difficult variety to rid yourself of as they won’t happily flow to their demise in your UV sterilizer. They would coat rock work, sand and corals alike, pretty much anything they could cling to. They would then extend long brown or red slimy strings with many bubbles. I noticed many of my corals were struggling and lost a birdsnest.

With nothing working I decided to try Dino X. I followed instructions to the letter. I think the most important step here is determining the volume of water in your tank, this differs from what size your tank is billed as and should be accurately determined in order to factor precise dosage. There are several sites that offer tools to determine volume, just enter dimensions, weight of rock, sand, etc. Do this step, don’t guesstimate. Don’t under dose either, only to see it’s not working and start adding more and more, this stresses everything out. Factor your dose, and apply the same amount each time until you see a reduction, not exceeding 14 doses/30 days.

After the initial dose and the recommended 48 hour lights out period I turned on the lights to see them virtually gone in the 13.5 and barely visible in the 40. I then performed the next dose and after another 48 hours I am delighted to see these pests almost completely gone. My corals and fish are all alive and healthy and I have only observed some slight polyp retraction in my firework clove and a couple of Zoas but nothing of concern. My SPS are all fine as are my snails, crabs and anemones. Other than the Dino X and frozen shrimp I am not dosing anything else or using reef food. I will continue dosing until I no longer see any Dinos and will wait the recommended 7 day period there after before performing a water change.

If you’re where I’m at and have exhausted all steps and are still dealing with this nightmare I would recommend this product, again follow the instructions exactly as they appear, their website lists additional steps and recommendations not listed on the bottle, make sure to read those and don’t rush this or decide you know more than the manufacturer. Finally dose and enjoy finally watching the Dinos wither away!

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wmchaseb

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Dino x didn't work for me. I had ended up having to fix my nitrate and phosphate levels as well my iodine. I also did the dr tims method with refresh and waste away (just do not overdose!) worked like a charm in my 180g and my 20g frag tank
 

Phistergosh

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Thanks for posting this. Might be worth adding on one of the long dino threads.

Keep us updated!

Not sure if you mentioned but are you testing and dosing nitrates and phosphates as needed? I feel like that's a must after you clear dinos initially. Gives the algea and bacteria something to much so they don't starve and let dinos take hold.
 

Kongar

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I had the exact experience with Dinos. Ultimately, it was DinoX that broke the cycle. Couple of things I learned that may be coming your way. My first round of Dinox beat them back hardcore - I was ecstatic. They were nowhere to be found for about 2-3 months. Then they came back, not a little bit - but another full tank coverage. However, they were maybe 50-75% as "strong" as before (whatever that means). I REPEATED the dinox per the exact instructions, and again, it beat them back into submission. Someone in the dino megathread said to me that beating dinos should be considered more like winning a battle, not the whole war. And also that there's more than the first battle to fight. Each subsequent battle should be a little easier, and to view progress through that lens.

It is worth noting however, that I did notice some negative effects on my corals from the dinox during the second dose. Hard to say if it was the dinos or the dinox for sure, but it feels to me like the dinox equally contributed to my corals being grumpy. I lost a prize gold hammer and some acros. The vast majority recovered and were fine, but they were all unhappy for a few weeks, and I do believe contributed to a couple of losses. Now, I also think my losses would have been higher had I let the dinos run unchecked, so... ya...

Lastly, after the 2nd dose, I never used it again, but I was able to directly cause a dino outbreak by disturbing my sand. I had a few smaller outbreaks on the sandbed, but noticed that it was only in disturbed areas, and that the undisturbed areas would contain it and eventually beat it back (think a circle of dinos on the sandbed, and the the circle would expand, stop, and then shrink back down to nothing). This was repeatable, so I just didn't touch my sandbed for about three months. After that, I tried siphoning a small section, and I was happy to see no dinos.

Point being, even after they were "beat" they were clearly still around (even though not visible) and the slightest disturbances would allow them to have mini breakouts.

My personal opinion/advice after about a year long battle:
1) try everything else in the megathread first
2) if you're losing the war and all your corals - try dinox, follow the directions.
3) recognize dinox is a bit of a hammer
4) it is a bit rough on sensitive corals
5) it's not going to make the problem magically disappear - but it's a tool for winning battles
6) TANK MATURITY is the ultimate solution. This takes well over a year for a new tank with dry rock, and there just isn't any shortcut for this.
 

thedon986

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What has had the best impact for me, besides keep nutrients stable is silica dosing via SpongExcel. So satisfying to watch the sand bed slowly clear while dosing 1 drop per gallon per day.

I have been fighting for one year next month. First amphidinium and now coolia, but I feel like I am close to beating coolia. Silica has really allowed the tank to continue to mature while suppressing the dinos and I know that one day I will win, whenever that day may be.
 
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attiland

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e and healthy and I have only observed some slight polyp retraction in my firework clove and a couple of Zoas but nothing of concern. My SPS are all fine as are my snails, crabs and anemones. Other than the Dino X and frozen shrimp I am not dosing anything else or using reef food. I will continue dosing until I no longer see any Dinos and will wait the recommended 7 d
You are saying you have ID the dinos. Which one was it? I may have missed it but I haven't seen you are using UV. May be at least an addition to the treatment
What has had the best impact for me, besides keep nutrients stable is silica dosing via SpongExcel. So satisfying to watch the sand bed slowly clear while dosing 1 drop per gallon per day.

I have been fighting for one year next month. First amphidinium and now coolia, but I feel like I am close to beating coolia. Silica has really allowed the tank to continue to mature while suppressing the dinos and I know that one day I will win, whenever that day may be.
SO fare I know of 3 kind of dinos Silicates dosing is working. Large and small cell antipodium and Colia Small cell successfully reduced by UV too.

I have been there and I know it is pleasure to see them going.

I am true believer it is no good to try to kill the dinos. The best results are coming from supporting competition by adding competitive bacteria (like Fauna Marin Bacto Reef ReBiotic or new live rock) or causing competition to overpopulate (e,g. silicates dosing) Many types can be kept in bay with UV too while the competition takes over.
 
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cabezatuck

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Thanks for posting this. Might be worth adding on one of the long dino threads.

Keep us updated!

Not sure if you mentioned but are you testing and dosing nitrates and phosphates as needed? I feel like that's a must after you clear dinos initially. Gives the algea and bacteria something to much so they don't starve and let dinos take hold.
I am a testing fiend. I got phosphate up to around .07ppm and Nitrate up to 10ppm and now settled at 5ppm and started to see some other types of algae form in my tank at which point I was very excited but the Dinos still persisted. I also tried dosing Microbacter7 and Ocean Magik per some other recommendations I found and they weren’t phased.
 
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cabezatuck

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Got home tonight and the small 13.5 is basically Dino free. I still did the next dose, but that may be the last one. I will reassess in 48 hours. I’ll attach a pic, you can see the nice white sand. It was covered in red slime before, I’ll post one of that too.
 

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cabezatuck

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6 days in:

At this point I only see a couple of what appear to be dead strands of Dinos on the sand in the 13.5, they have turned a grayish white color. I will siphon those out.

In the 40 I still see some on the chaeto which I rinsed last night, so they’re holding out in the fuge longer because of the light I assume but are still dying off. I also still see some alive on the sandbed in the larger tank but also some dead mixed in and the glass and rocks look clear. Will also siphon those out as well.

Appears after the initial 2 day lights out period they looked to be about 95% gone but have bounced back to around 90% gone with the return of lighting but those that came back are dying. I will continue with treatment dosing Dino X every 48 hours with tomorrow evening being the next dose (4th dose total).

I will also begin dosing silica once I phase out the Dino X. Any suggestions on a good product for dosing silica?
 

attiland

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6 days in:

At this point I only see a couple of what appear to be dead strands of Dinos on the sand in the 13.5, they have turned a grayish white color. I will siphon those out.

In the 40 I still see some on the chaeto which I rinsed last night, so they’re holding out in the fuge longer because of the light I assume but are still dying off. I also still see some alive on the sandbed in the larger tank but also some dead mixed in and the glass and rocks look clear. Will also siphon those out as well.

Appears after the initial 2 day lights out period they looked to be about 95% gone but have bounced back to around 90% gone with the return of lighting but those that came back are dying. I will continue with treatment dosing Dino X every 48 hours with tomorrow evening being the next dose (4th dose total).

I will also begin dosing silica once I phase out the Dino X. Any suggestions on a good product for dosing silica?
Sponge excel for silicates dosing.
just keep in mind you may dealing with more than one stain.
 

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