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paulsz

Dinos - starting from scratch with live rock instead of dry rock - and moving the fish/corals

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paulsz

Hi all,

 

Although some of you may have seen my older posts in the past, i'm just gonna give you guys a quick overview:

 

- Starting tank in Nov 2017 with dry rock. 35G cube with about 10g of water in the sump

- Had a skimmer, ran carbon on occasion, did bi-weekly water changes (between 8-10%).

- Had dinos growing because i had "undetectable nitrates and phosphates". Meanwhile i just thought this was diatoms or some other algae.

- Corals were growing okay (GSP, sympdoium, purple monti cap, mushrooms). 

- The only fish in the tank are a bicolor blenny and a yellow clown goby

- July 2018, i finally find out it's dinos (confirmed through microscope). It was a really bad case

- With help here and from R2R, I fought dinos via the "dirtying the tank" method. 

- softies didn't die, but purple monti did. 

- Removed my skimmer, dosed nitrates and phosphates, stopped water changes.... Did everything i could to raise them and promote algae growth.

- Playing it safe, i let it dirty up for about 6 months. 

- Finally in Feb/march 2019, i cleaned up the algae from the glass. Removed the remaining dinos manually and it seemed to keep them in check. 

- Since then, i've added a few corals and a clownfish. 

- Tank parameters are stable (alk 8.7 to 9, Cal 420-440, Mag 1420)

 

I had finally "beat" dinos, as they weren't coming back as strong. There would be traces on the rock every now and then, but i would remove it. I continue to does nitrates and phosphates to this day. I try to keep nitrates at 10ppm ish, phosphates at 0.1ppm. With the low bioload, I can't seem to keep them up naturally (which is why i dose). 

 

I decided to buy some more corals. I bought a frag of pulsing xenia, purple monti cap and starburst monti. However, once i put them in the tank, the montis seemed to die immediately. Within a day or two, the starburst monti was losing tissue and traces of dinos were growing on the dead parts. Same happened to the purple monti after maybe 2 weeks. Absolutely no growth. Just downhill from day 1.

 

I am barely seeing any algae growth.. some on the glass but very little green hair algae. My bicolor blenny seems to be on the skinnier side, so i doubt that algae is growing and being eaten immediately.

 

I'm getting to the point where I'm debating setting up a new tank with live rock and just transferring the corals/fish over... I'm kind of giving up on this given it's been well over a year and a half. 

 

My concern is, would it be worth it? Is a tank with live rock less susceptible to dinos given that it has much more biodiversity than dry rock?

 

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Clown79

I had dino's and my tank was set up with liverock and a bit of dry rock. 

 

I beat it by not only manual removal, increasing nutrients, but what really helped was seeding my tank with a lot of pods and rotifers, adding a pod condo, and dosing phyto.

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paulsz

I will research culturing pods and rotifers. Might be a simple solution! thank 🙂

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mcarroll
On 2/4/2020 at 4:50 PM, paulsz said:

My concern is, would it be worth it? Is a tank with live rock less susceptible to dinos given that it has much more biodiversity than dry rock?

I'll say that it depends on the live rock...I think in some locales it may be the case that dead rock is seeded as a bio-filter and then sold as "live rock".

 

But in general, you are right -- live rock is less susceptible to most pest algae blooms, including dino's.

 

What live rock would you be considering if you wanted to make a plan?

 

 

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Tired

I don't know that you'd need to completely start over. A few pounds of really good live rock would introduce the needed biodiversity. You'd have all kinds of algae blooms at first as it colonized the dry rock, but that wouldn't hurt anything. It'd look ugly for a bit, but with a bit of manual removal, a reasonable number of snails, and the patience to let it be ugly, it'd all sort itself out fine. You could take out your least favorite rocks and add 10lbs of really good live rock from one of those online places (the ones where the stuff is just chock-full of everything), and it'd colonize really nicely. Life loves new real estate.

 

As for increasing nitrates, try overfeeding. Feed the corals nice and heavily, feed the fish as much as they'll eat without looking like they're going to burst, maybe add some critters. A rock flower anemone would be a peaceful addition that would eat pretty much as much as you'd want to give it.

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paulsz
6 hours ago, mcarroll said:

 

I bought some copepods and rotifers (and phytoplankton to feed). They should come in next week. So I'll add those and continue manual removal as needed.

 

Should I see no progress in a month or two, I'll buy some live rock and add it.

 

6 hours ago, mcarroll said:

What live rock would you be considering if you wanted to make a plan?

It would depend on what my LFS had in stock

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