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Dinoflagellates - Who's beat them?

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Nano_Addict

Alright, I'm back with some more info.  Got the microscope and checked out what I'm dealing with.  Since it's only a $10 microscope, 100% indentification was tricky, but it does bear a resemblance to ostreopsis... similar to the picture below which I found at http://blog.coralwonders.com/en/dinoflagelados-en-el-acuario-marino/.  I can't say what I saw was as defined as what is shown below, but they were flat and oval.  It seemed like there might have been more "innards" to what I saw under the microscope.  Also I tossed a picture of my sandbed below.  So next steps... UV sterilizer + carbon / phosphate dosing?

 Prorocentrum.jpg.665692265468ee43b06963673ff59e26.jpg

IMG_0419.thumb.jpeg.437c59d9c7241716005df8f8e4339511.jpeg

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Clown79
28 minutes ago, Nano_Addict said:

Alright, I'm back with some more info.  Got the microscope and checked out what I'm dealing with.  Since it's only a $10 microscope, 100% indentification was tricky, but it does bear a resemblance to ostreopsis... similar to the picture below which I found at http://blog.coralwonders.com/en/dinoflagelados-en-el-acuario-marino/.  I can't say what I saw was as defined as what is shown below, but they were flat and oval.  It seemed like there might have been more "innards" to what I saw under the microscope.  Also I tossed a picture of my sandbed below.  So next steps... UV sterilizer + carbon / phosphate dosing?

 Prorocentrum.jpg.665692265468ee43b06963673ff59e26.jpg

IMG_0419.thumb.jpeg.437c59d9c7241716005df8f8e4339511.jpeg

Osteo has more of a sesame seed shape and 

 

Best competition for them are diversity of pods and nutrients. Waterchanges are bad. Drop photo period.

 

Looks like Amphidinium Dinoflagellate

 

Here is a link with a list of common tank dino species. It may help you identify what ones you have. Try to locate videos of them under microscope, each species looks different, moves differently, and has different treatment.

 

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/dinoflagellates-–-are-you-tired-of-battling-altogether.293318/#post-3578648

 

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Tamberav

I would toss UV on that for sure if they lesson/disappear at night. 

 

If you have an IM tank they make ones that drop in the back, that one worked fine for me. I also bought this AquaUV beast because it was used and cheap... and did a little dino murdering... Ran it for a week just to be sure and it's off now with no sign of them. They all actually disappeared in 12 hours after the UV. I keep the IM one running 24/7 since its easily hidden, that one took about 4 days to work which makes sense as its smaller with less flow.

 

The KEY here is that they disappear at night, you have a bad infestation so they likely won't all disappear but if you think enough of it seems to poof at night, then it may be going into the water column where UV can do its thing. If it stays on the rocks, UV will not help you.

 

I turkey blasted mine off as well to get it up and into the UV. 

 

MVIMG_20190708_224714.jpg.f0be38b28589c9

 

 

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Nano_Addict

 

7 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Osteo has more of a sesame seed shape and 

 

Best competition for them are diversity of pods and nutrients. Waterchanges are bad. Drop photo period.

 

Looks like Amphidinium Dinoflagellate

 

Here is a link with a list of common tank dino species. It may help you identify what ones you have. Try to locate videos of them under microscope, each species looks different, moves differently, and has different treatment.

 

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/dinoflagellates-–-are-you-tired-of-battling-altogether.293318/#post-3578648

 

Great link! After checking through it I'm more confident it's osteo. I was generalizing when I said oval shape, they did seem to have the sesame seed shape and spin around in place as mentioned in the thread.  Right now I am dosing phyto and I added pods about a week ago, but I haven't seen any change.

 

8 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I would toss UV on that for sure if they lesson/disappear at night.

 

If you have an IM tank they make ones that drop in the back, that one worked fine for me. I also bought this AquaUV beast because it was used and cheap... and did a little dino murdering... Ran it for a week just to be sure and it's off now with no sign of them. They all actually disappeared in 12 hours after the UV. I keep the IM one running 24/7 since its easily hidden, that one took about 4 days to work which makes sense as its smaller with less flow.

 

MVIMG_20190708_224714.jpg.f0be38b28589c9

I have the IM 20 and for the price, it seems like the drop in UV would be worth a shot since I've had no luck with any other methods so far.  This stuff is truly a nightmare.  Tremendously frustrating to see 2 years of growth slowly dying.

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Tamberav
Just now, Nano_Addict said:

 

Great link! After checking through it I'm more confident it's osteo. I was generalizing when I said oval shape, they did seem to have the sesame seed shape and spin around in place as mentioned in the thread.  Right now I am dosing phyto and I added pods about a week ago, but I haven't seen any change.

 

I have the IM 20 and for the price, it seems like the drop in UV would be worth a shot since I've had no luck with any other methods so far.  This stuff is truly a nightmare.  Tremendously frustrating to see 2 years of growth slowly dying.

Ya I would try one for sure. It doesn't even need a pump since it uses the chamber which is NICE because it's low maintenance and no added pump noise. You probably won't see any difference for a few days and it may take a bit since your tank is so badly infested but my osteo looked just like that on your sand bed. UV + nutrients = bye bye. 

 

I was worried the drop in ones wouldn't be powerful enough but they seem to get the job done for crap like this. 

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Clown79
19 minutes ago, Nano_Addict said:

 

Great link! After checking through it I'm more confident it's osteo. I was generalizing when I said oval shape, they did seem to have the sesame seed shape and spin around in place as mentioned in the thread.  Right now I am dosing phyto and I added pods about a week ago, but I haven't seen any change.

 

I have the IM 20 and for the price, it seems like the drop in UV would be worth a shot since I've had no luck with any other methods so far.  This stuff is truly a nightmare.  Tremendously frustrating to see 2 years of growth slowly dying.

I documented what I did to beat them in my journal, it's very detailed or I would type it out here. Worked on 2 tanks 

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mcarroll
On 7/19/2019 at 2:00 PM, Nano_Addict said:

 

Great link! After checking through it I'm more confident it's osteo. I was generalizing when I said oval shape, they did seem to have the sesame seed shape and spin around in place as mentioned in the thread.  Right now I am dosing phyto and I added pods about a week ago, but I haven't seen any change.

 

I have the IM 20 and for the price, it seems like the drop in UV would be worth a shot since I've had no luck with any other methods so far.  This stuff is truly a nightmare.  Tremendously frustrating to see 2 years of growth slowly dying.

 

Be sure on your ID.   Post a pic and vid on that R2R thread for ID if there's any remaining doubt.

 

Amphidinium is nicer to have because they apparently are rarely or never toxic.  This is another factor you can use to verify your diagnosis.  If your pods and snails all seem fine and active, then Amphidinium.    If the pods are all sluggish (or missing!) and the snails seem drunk or dying, then Ostreopsis.  (If you've been running activated carbon then effects of toxins might not be evident.)

 

If you are confident on the ostreopsis diagnosis I would replace phytoplankton dosing with phosphate and nitrate dosing and consider adding a UV or diatom/micron filter. 

 

Target 0.10 ppm for phosphates and >5-10 ppm for nitrates until dino's are gone and green algae (or at least cyano) start to replace them. 

 

Once other algae have a good foothold you might be able to stop dosing nutrients....you just don't want levels to drop to zero again so stay alert.  🙂

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Nano_Addict
On 7/22/2019 at 1:10 AM, mcarroll said:

 

Be sure on your ID.   Post a pic and vid on that R2R thread for ID if there's any remaining doubt.

 

Amphidinium is nicer to have because they apparently are rarely or never toxic.  This is another factor you can use to verify your diagnosis.  If your pods and snails all seem fine and active, then Amphidinium.    If the pods are all sluggish (or missing!) and the snails seem drunk or dying, then Ostreopsis.  (If you've been running activated carbon then effects of toxins might not be evident.)

 

If you are confident on the ostreopsis diagnosis I would replace phytoplankton dosing with phosphate and nitrate dosing and consider adding a UV or diatom/micron filter. 

 

Target 0.10 ppm for phosphates and >5-10 ppm for nitrates until dino's are gone and green algae (or at least cyano) start to replace them. 

 

Once other algae have a good foothold you might be able to stop dosing nutrients....you just don't want levels to drop to zero again so stay alert.  🙂

Well, I have zero pods even after replenishing them and my snails do appear in bad shape.  I also just lost a a sixline I've had for well over a year 😥

 

So, the UV is in... fingers crossed that it at least helps the situation.  I'd also like to upgrade my phosphate testing since I'm sick of trying to determine if there's any color evident in the Salifert test kit, and was wondering if anyone had any advice on which Hanna meter is best.  Phosphate ULR or just regular low range?

 

Thanks.

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NaturallyKait
22 minutes ago, Nano_Addict said:

Well, I have zero pods even after replenishing them and my snails do appear in bad shape.  I also just lost a a sixline I've had for well over a year 😥

 

So, the UV is in... fingers crossed that it at least helps the situation.  I'd also like to upgrade my phosphate testing since I'm sick of trying to determine if there's any color evident in the Salifert test kit, and was wondering if anyone had any advice on which Hanna meter is best.  Phosphate ULR or just regular low range?

 

Thanks.

BRS did a YouTube video about the two and the phosphorous ULR is better. 

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Clown79
2 hours ago, Nano_Addict said:

Well, I have zero pods even after replenishing them and my snails do appear in bad shape.  I also just lost a a sixline I've had for well over a year 😥

 

So, the UV is in... fingers crossed that it at least helps the situation.  I'd also like to upgrade my phosphate testing since I'm sick of trying to determine if there's any color evident in the Salifert test kit, and was wondering if anyone had any advice on which Hanna meter is best.  Phosphate ULR or just regular low range?

 

Thanks.

Were you feeding the pods phyto? That's their food source.

 

How much did you seed the tank with.

 

I seeded my tank with 24 ounces of pods and 16 ounces of rotifers in 1 day, then re added another 10 ounces of pods a month later when I made a pod condo

 

What type of pod you add is also important

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mcarroll
2 hours ago, Nano_Addict said:

Well, I have zero pods even after replenishing them and my snails do appear in bad shape.  I also just lost a a sixline I've had for well over a year 😥

 

So, the UV is in... fingers crossed that it at least helps the situation.  I'd also like to upgrade my phosphate testing since I'm sick of trying to determine if there's any color evident in the Salifert test kit, and was wondering if anyone had any advice on which Hanna meter is best.  Phosphate ULR or just regular low range?

 

Thanks.

If you have another vial, use it filled only with tank water.  If you use it for side-by-side comparison with your test vial, the difference in color is a lot more clear.  I would try this before upgrading unless you've used a Checker before.   They are much more complicated to use than a drip-test like the rest of our test kits.

1 hour ago, NaturallyKait said:

BRS did a YouTube video about the two and the phosphorous ULR is better. 

Better is a relative term, of course.  What is the ULR better for?  What is the standard unit better for? 

 

In my experience using them:  For this role it doesn't matter too much. 

 

You do get finer detail on the low end with the ULR, but there's almost no upper range.  These became popular mostly due to the over-popularity of ULNS....which thankfully seem to be going out of fashion.

 

In the regular phosphate checker, IMO there is a nice compromise of accuracy/precision and range.  This is actually the one I prefer and use. 

 

I still keep and use a drip test for phosphate (Salifert) most of the time, but that's due to the simplicity and ease of doing the test.

 

When I need confirmation or greater precision, I do pull out the trusty old Checker.  (1st gen.)   For whatever it's worth, I've never felt like I needed the ULR model.

 

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NaturallyKait
14 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

If you have another vial, use it filled only with tank water.  If you use it for side-by-side comparison with your test vial, the difference in color is a lot more clear.  I would try this before upgrading unless you've used a Checker before.   They are much more complicated to use than a drip-test like the rest of our test kits.

Better is a relative term, of course.  What is the ULR better for?  What is the standard unit better for? 

 

In my experience using them:  For this role it doesn't matter too much. 

 

You do get finer detail on the low end with the ULR, but there's almost no upper range.  These became popular mostly due to the over-popularity of ULNS....which thankfully seem to be going out of fashion.

 

In the regular phosphate checker, IMO there is a nice compromise of accuracy/precision and range.  This is actually the one I prefer and use. 

 

I still keep and use a drip test for phosphate (Salifert) most of the time, but that's due to the simplicity and ease of doing the test.

 

When I need confirmation or greater precision, I do pull out the trusty old Checker.  (1st gen.)   For whatever it's worth, I've never felt like I needed the ULR model.

 

Their video would explain it better than I can (I actually own neither yet) but the phosphate gave results of 0 at times where the ULR didn’t. I’m not a low nutrient belieber myself either, but I do like to know accurate measurements as best as I can, particularly when the measurement in question is as small as the amount of phosphate that’s desired. Of course that’s just me. 

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Clown79
43 minutes ago, NaturallyKait said:

Their video would explain it better than I can (I actually own neither yet) but the phosphate gave results of 0 at times where the ULR didn’t. I’m not a low nutrient belieber myself either, but I do like to know accurate measurements as best as I can, particularly when the measurement in question is as small as the amount of phosphate that’s desired. Of course that’s just me. 

I use to use other phos kits and got fed up. Trying to tell the minute colour was a pain or the constant 0 results.

 

I got a ULR checker and would never go back. Easy to use, no guessing, and I now get results.

 

BRS video on testing all the kits was very extensive and that was why I went to hanna.

 

I wish there were digital tests for everything.

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mcarroll
44 minutes ago, NaturallyKait said:

Their video would explain it better than I can (I actually own neither yet) but the phosphate gave results of 0 at times where the ULR didn’t. I’m not a low nutrient belieber myself either, but I do like to know accurate measurements as best as I can, particularly when the measurement in question is as small as the amount of phosphate that’s desired. Of course that’s just me. 

If I get a zero on my Checker I know phosphate is too low.  No problem; no question in terms of the test results.  In this circumstance, I dump in 0.03 ppm worth of Flourish Phosphorous if I feel it's warranted based on the condition of corals.  (Not always warranted.)

 

I don't need to know that PO4 is precisely 0.02 ppm to come to a conclusion and take action if necessary.  😉

 

In contrast, ULNS folks need that low-range resolution on the ULR model because they're trying to maintain levels down there.  

 

The rest of us are only trying to avoid going down there.  The ULR Checker is definitely overkill for that mission, though it can work too. 

 

I just like having the standard unit's range on the upside as well as the added precision of a digital checker.  Most of the time an ordinary drip test works fine.

 

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mcarroll
14 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

I wish there were digital tests for everything.

Have you already used the Ca and alk checkers?   The phosphate checkers are simple by comparison...especially vs the ca checker.  The overhead compared to drip tests was way too high for me - way too fussy.  Any additional precision wasn't worth it IMO.  That said, I was able to consistently match the results I got from traditional Hach and Salifert kits, so they are very effective.  IMO these kits are perfect for color blind folks (or anyone else) who literally cannot read color-change tests.

 

Making a "zero vial" with just seawater to use as a comparison on drip tests like phosphate and nitrate tests pretty much eliminates the hard-to-read issue and makes it quite workable IMO.  (Seems like this should be in the instruction manuals.  Dunno where I got the idea to start doing it....maybe just out of necessity.)

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pdiehm

Supposedly Underwater Creation's Vibrant is effective against Dino's.

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Clown79
16 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Have you already used the Ca and alk checkers?   The phosphate checkers are simple by comparison...especially vs the ca checker.  The overhead compared to drip tests was way too high for me - way too fussy.  Any additional precision wasn't worth it IMO.  That said, I was able to consistently match the results I got from traditional Hach and Salifert kits, so they are very effective.  IMO these kits are perfect for color blind folks (or anyone else) who literally cannot read color-change tests.

 

Making a "zero vial" with just seawater to use as a comparison on drip tests like phosphate and nitrate tests pretty much eliminates the hard-to-read issue and makes it quite workable IMO.  (Seems like this should be in the instruction manuals.  Dunno where I got the idea to start doing it....maybe just out of necessity.)

Not the ca because there were so many ppl noting issues with it. I use salifert for ca which I rarely test, usually monthly. 

 

Salifert always read 0 and when I got the hanna ULR, was the first time in 4 yrs I got a reading.

 

I personally find reading between 3 shades of very similar blue the 2 times I got results- annoying. 

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Tamberav

I use the phosphorus one too. My tanks naturally hang out in low PO4 anyway with no help from me and I HATE drop tests/colors. 

 

I found it very accurate...I can dose seachem PO4 and based on their formula and the PO4 checker will match the expected dose.

 

The top range of the checker is 0.6 PO4 so as long as you are okay with that being the top end...it's great.

 

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Nelson

I'm lazy(working life 😩): Replaced the old rock (real reef rock, the man made stuff) with live rock (little bit more as well). Best decision I've made for the tank. They always start with why not use our *insert special grade dry rock*, it's as good as normal live rock. This time I was like no, give me tha real deal bro. First week a small dino carpet formed on the sandbed, but this went away quickly without doing anything. I'm amazed with the amount of biodiversity: 2 red white starfish, 3 snails, lots and lots of pods, worms, 1 crab, aiptasia, and some other weird creatures haha (my tank is 4 gallons). Summary: No dino's, happy fish and (fighting)👹 corals

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Nano_Addict
20 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Were you feeding the pods phyto? That's their food source.

 

How much did you seed the tank with.

 

I seeded my tank with 24 ounces of pods and 16 ounces of rotifers in 1 day, then re added another 10 ounces of pods a month later when I made a pod condo

 

What type of pod you add is also important

I was dosing phyto daily and they've all disappeared.  I added pods from algae barn, the 5280 pods I believe.  I'm going to have to get some more.

 

So when everyone is talking about the ULR Hanna checkers are you talking about the ppm or ppb checker?  I watched the BRS video and I think the ppm ULR is what I'd like to get, but I figured I'd ask anyway.  Trying to order one today, might get a fresh salifert kit as well.

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NaturallyKait

The ULR is labelled phosphorous ULR that measures in ppb. The other is labelled phosphate and measures in ppm. 

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Nano_Addict
2 hours ago, NaturallyKait said:

The ULR is labelled phosphorous ULR that measures in ppb. The other is labelled phosphate and measures in ppm. 

Right, I guess I was asking which one of those everyone prefers.  Seems like the ppm would do the trick for the majority of people since we're not running ULN systems.

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Nano_Addict said:

Right, I guess I was asking which one of those everyone prefers.  Seems like the ppm would do the trick for the majority of people since we're not running ULN systems.

The ulr reads in ppb, it needs converting to ppm. In the brs video it explains it.

 

The ulr is the best one, it reads the lowest levels out of all the tests.

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mcarroll
22 hours ago, pdiehm said:

Supposedly Underwater Creation's Vibrant is effective against Dino's.

Supposedly a lot of things (dinoX, bleach, peroxide, carbon dosing, lowering nutrients, blackouts, etc, etc) are magic bullets vs dino's.   Unfortunately, in actual practice, not so much.

 

4 hours ago, Nano_Addict said:

So when everyone is talking about the ULR Hanna checkers are you talking about the ppm or ppb checker?  I watched the BRS video and I think the ppm ULR is what I'd like to get, but I figured I'd ask anyway.  Trying to order one today, might get a fresh salifert kit as well.

ULR is the "ultra low range" model that reads in ppb.  Model HI736

 

I thought I read that the new "Marine" model would read in ppm phosphates rather than ppb phosphorous like the old ULR unit so you wouldn't need the extra conversion factor to get from ppb phosphorous to ppm phosphate after you run the test....but from the promo literature that doesn't seem to be the case.  Still reads in ppb of phosphorous, still seems to require the conversion after testing.

 

The regular low-range phosphate (ppm) checker is Model HI713.

 

I just noticed that they expanded the Marine Line from just a phosphate tester:

https://hannainst.com/search?tag=marine-line

 

Now there's a dKH (instead of ppm) alk tester and other testers under this sub-brand.

 

23 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I use to use other phos kits and got fed up. Trying to tell the minute colour was a pain or the constant 0 results.

I have had the same problem with phosphate and nitrate tests.

 

That "zero vial" trick I mentioned earlier pretty much takes care of the issue, FWIW.  For me at aleas

 

2 hours ago, Nano_Addict said:

Right, I guess I was asking which one of those everyone prefers.  Seems like the ppm would do the trick for the majority of people since we're not running ULN systems.

I don't think everyone prefers either one....which is why Hanna still sells both.  🙂

 

Literally either one will work if you aren't keeping an ULNS system, so it's not like there's a wrong decision. 

 

Unless you're keeping phosphate levels <0.04 ppm on purpose, there's just no real need for the ULR model. 

 

However, if you are keeping an ULNS, then the ULR model is the only one that will work.  This is the reason for the ULR meter's existence.

 

It doesn't mean a whole lot, but even if you compare the two models' marketing boilerplate from Hanna you can see the difference in what's being targeted with each design:

 

Regular model...designed for maintaining growth levels or catching too-high levels:

Quote

Phosphate is a common food additive that enhances flavor and acts as a buffering agent. Important for growth and development of plant roots, phosphate is also present in fertilizers. However, high concentrations of phosphates are detrimental to the environment; for this reason, it is closely monitored in natural and municipal waters.

 

ULR model...designed for lowering levels:

Quote

Phosphorus is an important parameter to measure in aquaculture and aquariums; levels that are too high can lead to extensive algae growth, depleted dissolved oxygen levels, and ultimately can be fatal to many types of fish and aquatic life.

 

(bolding mine)

 

We're worried a lot more about growth and development than algae prevention or dissolved oxygen issues.  

 

Why?

 

We use a cleanup crew for algae.  We use tons of flow and a protein skimmer for oxygen balance. 

 

This is further explanation why the regular meter is a "best fit".

 

Though again the decision in your case doesn't matter too much -- it only really matters for those keeping ULNS systems because the regular meter won't work for those folks.

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Nano_Addict

Good news! I finally have detectable levels of nitrate (5ppm) and phosphate (0.043ppm).  Bad news, all the corals in my tank are dying.  This is awful.

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