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Dinoflagellates, help!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jeffmr4, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    182
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    Hello,
    I'm pretty sure I have dinoflagellates developing. They are in the sand bed and I think brown or red matts with strings streaming up with bubbles on the end. I've read some things at reef2reef and other places so I know some of the approaches. I just wondered if anyone here had any suggestions. To give you an idea about my setup its 10 gallons (8 displaced, probably 8 lbs. carib-sea life rock) with another 10 in the sump.
    Temp. 76
    Salinity 1.025-6
    Mg 1425
    Alk. 8.5
    Ca 420
    Weekly Water Changes (5 gallons), Fritz Pro RPM Salt, Siphon all the sand
    Blow detritus off of rocks and corals and clean glass once per week
    Bi-weekly change of 2 tbsp. rox .8 carbon
    Big ball of Chaetomorpha algae in sump (I've read that this can be a cause)
    2 g auto-topoff with 2 tsp. / gallon kalkwasser
    Nitrates < 5
    Phosphates .08 (this measurement was taken after a few feedings so I probably need to test again later. I know people say low or 0 nitrates and phosphates can cause them so I've started to up my feeding a little.)
    2 clown fish, 1 small crocea clam, 3 cerith snails, 1 mexican turbo snail, and 8 small corals hard and soft.
    I feed the fish small Hikari pellets. No more than they can eat.
    And I've just started to feed phytoplankton and reef roids.
    Filter sock changed weekly
    Small skimmer which mostly provides aeration.
    Lighting is Kessil Tuna Blue for hard corals and Kessil A80 for soft. Lighting from 8 to 4 and 5 to 5 for the Kessil grow light on the Chaeto.
    For flow I have a gyre 230 on low, small overflow box and return of maxijet 900.

    I would like to get it before it spreads any further.


    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    182
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    Well, I tested my phosphate and it is 0. It seems to always be 0. I did a lights out for three days and it disappeared. I followed that with a 5 gallon water change, acclimation mode for the lights over the course of a week starting at 10%. The grow light I did 6 hours the first night and then 12 the next. Its on a pretty low setting.
    After having the lights on for two days there is starting to be a brown dusting in spots which is what it looked like when it started. I've cleaned some of the tubes coming and going from the tank and am trying another lights out for a few days. I have the chaeto light on though. The corals are doing 'ok'. I am going to forgo the water change the next time I turn the lights on and see if that makes a difference. I have stopped feeding the corals extra food and just feed the fish.
    I will keep you posted.
     
  3. I’ve had a similar problem. I used an every other day schedule of lights out, cut back on food 25%, and did twice a week 20% water changes. 2 weeks and everything was cleared up, no sign since
     
  4. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    182
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for your suggestion Alex. I will try that.
     
  5. Chief Reef Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    385
    Iowa City, IA
    Ratings:
    +109 / 0 / -0
    Hey Jeff, how are things going with the dinos?

    I had them in my 10 gallon reef back in early 2017.. almost made me quit the hobby because I tried almost all of the above and nothing worked, I even tore the whole system apart and soaked everything in 50% hydrogen peroxide to 50% water. I remember reading that most dinos are different but what worked for me was Dr. Tim's Waste Away. I put half the recommended dose at night and the next day there was not a trace of them. They would come back occasionally for about a month after that but i would add more medication when I saw them.

    I think I still have my bottle of waste away that I haven't touched since I got rid of them. If you want i can drop it off in cedar Rapids when i get back to town

    I also heard that vibrant works very well, if not better. There is quite a big price difference, however.
     
  6. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    182
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    Hello Andrew,
    Thank you for the suggestion. They are gone now after another two days of lights out but I'm afraid they will come back the minute the lights are back on. I will keep the Dr. Tim's in mind. If you are in Cedar Rapids, sure, let me know and I can meet you somewhere.
     
  7. Chief Reef Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    385
    Iowa City, IA
    Ratings:
    +109 / 0 / -0
    Everytime I did a blackout they always came back.
    I'll contact you when I get into town
     
  8. Reef Medic Clay Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    406
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +73 / 0 / -0
    Just a quick question. Are you sure if it's dinoflagellates? I thought I had them myself, but kind of threw caution to the wind and dosed chemiclean on a whim. Turns out it was cyano, because it's totally cleared up now! Everything I've found shows that chemiclean won't harm anything if it's not cyano.
     
  9. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    182
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    I'm pretty sure. They look like the standard pictures of dinoflagellates that you see. A gooey mat with strings up and bubbles on the end. I have tried cyano in the past and it works well for cyanobacteria but it hasn't worked for dinoflagellates when I've had them. Thanks for the suggestion though.
     
  10. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    677
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +135 / 1 / -0
    Might want to look into the elevated magnesium method. Some people have had success by bringing Mg up to 1800+. I know BRS had a good post on this at one point.
     
  11. Chief Reef Well-Known ReefKeeper Leadership Team GIRS Member

    385
    Iowa City, IA
    Ratings:
    +109 / 0 / -0
  12. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    182
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    Stil working on it.
     
  13. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    182
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    So I've done two or so blackouts, with which they went away and then did water changes but I've been a little lax in my maintenance so I think they've come back each time. I'm about to do another short blackout. The blackouts seem to work pretty well. Now if I can just clean things up... : )
     
  14. Reef Medic Clay Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    406
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +73 / 0 / -0
    I am fighting them myself! Chaeto seems to be a very solid common denominator. I've yet to try a blackout, but may consider it. What I'm attempting is daily doses of phyto, weekly doses of Vibrant, miracle mud, and boosting NO3 and PO4 through feeding more. So far, PO4 comes up, but NO3 is still absolutely unreadable on a Salifert kit. Debating on SLOWLY dosing Brightwell nitrogen to see what happens. From the looks of your parameters, it does look as though you have a little room to boost those two nutrients.
     
  15. Reef Medic Clay Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    406
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +73 / 0 / -0
    Oh, and with these methods so far I've seen an improvement in dinos, but they're still present.
     
  16. beckerj3 Expert Reefkeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team Premium Member GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +314 / 2 / -0
    For what it's worth....

    I had been fighting dinos and/or cyano for quite some time in my frag tank. Tried numerous things: lights out, not changing the water, replaced T5 bulbs, added flow, used a polyfilter, didn't use a polyfilter. Nothing seemed to help. At the same time, nitrates and phosphates were running zero - using Red Sea and Salifert test kits. I tried dosing both nitrates and phosphates. Readings went up generally for a couple days, and then dropped back to zero. I tried feeding more. Tried increasing alkalinity. Every day I was blowing cyano/dinos of frags and/or sucking it out.

    Finally I got around to fragging a chalice colony off of a rock (4"x 4" x4") that had been in the frag tank for a few months previous when I redid some aquascaping in the Display tank. I didn't frag it as much as used the dremel to remove all of the chalice from the rock. Then I put the rock back in the display tank in the sump. The rock had probably been in my main tank since day 1 (almost 15 years ago). Anyway within 2 days of removing that rock, the cyano/dinos disappeared completely. I MEAN COMPLETELY. And my nitrogen and phosphate started to rise. Nitrogen is now between 2 and 4. Phosphates are at about .05 I haven't had any cyano or dinos since. Thats been about 3-4 weeks ago.
     
  17. Reef Medic Clay Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    406
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +73 / 0 / -0
    That's an interesting conundrum you had, Jeanette. Do you think that the chalice was utilizing all the nitrates that you had in the frag tank? That would be a pretty interesting experiment to perform so see if there is any correlation between NO3 and PO4 levels and the presence of of blooming dinos. I don't necessarily believe cyanobacteria and dinos can be completely eliminated from an aquarium, but I do think they can hold very small populations that don't harm anything. But hey, I'm neither a microbiologist or a marine biologist! Lol
     
  18. beckerj3 Expert Reefkeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team Premium Member GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +314 / 2 / -0
    Most of the chalice was left in the frag tank - minus the rock. My theory was that the rock had so much beneficial bacteria built up in it over 15 years that it was just too efficient at removing all the nitrates and phosphates.
     
  19. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    677
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +135 / 1 / -0
    Hrmmm... I wonder if I have a similar issue with my rock. I got my rock from Tampa Bay Saltwater 9 years ago. I have moved this rock a few times (started in a 125g, then a 180g, and now a 400g). Even in an immature tank I never reached NO3 levels above 0.50 (red sea and salifert). For the vast majority of the time I've been at undetectable NO3 and PO4 < .04.

    I've had cyano ever since I moved into my 400g system two years ago even with floored nitrate and phosphate. I recently started dosing nitrates and have noticed a dramatic improvement in SPS coral colors, growth, and polyp extension. So far I haven't seen cyano eliminated but I'll stay the course for a while. I'm dosing 1 ppm of nitrate daily and it seems to get sucked up immediately. PO4 is also 0.00 ppm (had been around .04 before dosing nitrate). We shall see how things progress..
     

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