kinetic Reefer 170

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by kinetic, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

  2. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Rainbow BTA, truly rainbow when natural light seeps in from the windows into the tank during the afternoon.


  3. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    So I'm officially battling dinoflagellates. I don't know what kind, because I don't have a microscope, but of all the photos and stuff I've seen, I think that's what it is. I've ruled out cyanobacteria, because I've dealt with that before, and I (probably dumbly) treated my tank with chemi-clean (i had it handy) and it did nothing except make my skimmer go nuts.

    My params just checked today:
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: 0
    Phosphates: 5 ppb
    Ca: 440
    Alk: 7.98 dkH
    Mg: 1680 ppm (damn AquaForest reef salt mixes at 1700ppm, I even checked with two different test kits, I have 3 full buckets left, fml)

    My chaeto reactor is basically empty now because all my chaeto died. I'm pretty certain that both chaeto dying and dinos growing has to do with the fact that my NO3 and PO4 are too low.

    My game plan:
    1. Remove my MarinePure Ceramic Plate (this is probably the cause of 0 nitrates)
    2. If this allows my NO3 to increase enough to grow algae, great, otherwise:
    3. Increase my feeding (my poor fish are so fat already...)
    4. Feed 3/4 more frozen mysis to the tank a day (mostly for the anemones), and dump the thawed water into the tank too
    5. Start dosing amino acids by hand and feed reef chili by hand every night
    Once I have successfully increased NO3 and PO4 levels at a consistent level, I'll try to see if I can automate the dosing of AAs and coral foods (can this be done?). Then I should have quite the algae to compete with the dinos. Once dinos are gone, I'll get a big batch of chaeto (I'll start QT'ing chaeto now in anticipation) into my reactor and that should take care of nuisance algae (hopefully).

    I also have DinoX. I'll only use this if my algae is growing well, but the dinos still aren't dying off. I'll keep doing manual removal throughout.


  4. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Chemiclean worked perfectly for me when I had cyano. For the dinos I don’t remember doing anything that actually worked. They seemed to go away on their own. Mine got much worse than in your pictures. I would siphon out all that I could and then a day later they would be covering my rocks and sand bed again.
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Yeah, part of me is worried that I'm tinkering with something that really isn't an issue worth stressing over... but I like to tinker. So here I go!
  6. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    down the worm hole you go!
    kinetic likes this.
  7. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    I assume you are going to approach your steps to increase nutrients slowly and stepwise, right? If you did those things at the same time you would probably overshoot and create problems.

    Also, as far as I know it isn’t accepted that increasing nitrate and phosphate helps with dinos. Over the years I haven’t noticed that correlation at all, if anything the opposite.
  8. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I JUST WANT IT NOW. But yes, I'll go slow. First is to remove the ceramic plate for a week and see how the levels go. If anything, I'll have some nitrate ppm that will help with my corals.

    I also have 0 nitrates and almost no phosphates, and there's dinos. So I don't think I can go any lower. The idea is that I can grow chaeto to outcompete the dinos. The last step will be to just use DinoX to try to kill the dinos off constantly.
  9. Fish Boss

    Fish Boss Supporting Member

    I've always thought that Dinos were relatively common with new tanks. When I had Dinos, I reduced my photo period and did the best I could at nutrient export. They eventually went away. I noticed that when the lights were off, they would turn to "dust", and when they lights came back on, they would regrow quickly. I always siphoned them out after lights off/ before lights on. Also, I've read that even though you could have 0 across the board for nutrients, algae eats it up quicker than it can accumulate. Could this be the same for Dinos?
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I only started getting dinos in the last week or so. I guess you can call my tank new.

    My nutrient export can't really get any better I think. Everything I'm reading on other forums says 0 No3 or Po4 is how dinos come to be, mostly because your algae can't outcompete since they just die off, and dinos can use the smaller amounts better.
  11. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

  12. Fish Boss

    Fish Boss Supporting Member

    Nice link! Very informative
    kinetic likes this.
  13. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Latest update:

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0
    Phosphate 0 ppb (not sure what happened)

    I removed the Marine Pure ceramic plate just now, and actually simplified things a bit. I had a sponge in my herbie drain to reduce vortex sounds, but now that I have a VDM controlled my return speed, I don't need it anymore. I also removed my filter sock silencer (which included a sponge) because, for some reason, there's no more water noise there. I also slowed down the flow through my carbon reactor and UV sterilizer. It was actually at a bit over 600gph accidentally for the longest time. Back down to about 300gph.

    I got my reef chili, poly-booster, and dinox in the mail today. But I'm going to wait until Monday to do any other changes. I'll closely monitor all 4 of the above parameters daily to see how things change from not having the ceramic plate.
  14. iani

    iani Guest

    Got to get some mono potassium phosphate and potassium nitrate. You will be able to increase nutrients in a more controlled fashion.
    kinetic likes this.
  15. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Oh nice! Thanks Ian. I'll definitely try that if I the marinepure / aminos don't work.
  16. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    24 hours after removing marinepure block, no changes in anything. Maybe a slight increase in phosphates!?

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrates: 0
    Phosphates: 5ppb

    Tested at 23:20

    I'll try testing tomorrow again at approximately the same time.
  17. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster


    Nitrate: 0
    Phosphates: 24ppb

    Here's what I've done:
    1. Removed MarinePure plate
    2. Feeding a whole cube of thawed PE mysis daily (including throwing in the thawed water into the tank)
    3. Increased feedings of TDO Chromaboost and Ocean Nutrition Reef Flakes to 3x a day
    4. 1/2 dropper of PolypBooster (amino acids) and 1.5 scoops of Reef Chili, EVERY night
    Here's what I'm going to try next:
    1. Adjust skimmer to skim SUPER dark. Should skim out a lot less organics.
    2. If that doesn't work, turn off skimmer for 12 hours a day
    3. If that doesn't work, dose 3ml or more of amino acids (Acro Power or Fauna Marin UltraAmino) through the night (I'll need another dosing pump).
    4. If all else fails, I'll just get another Neptune DOS, and dose NO3 and PO4 directly
    What is going on? How come things are being exported so well? I've never had this problem in the past. It was always a battle with NO3 and PO4 being too high. Now with this system, everything is too low. At least I got phosphates up by way overfeeding.
  18. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Can't remember if you are using chaeto. If so, harvest more often. Run a shorter light cycle. You will have to find a balance of how much of how much you are comfortable feeding vs export maintenance.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Good tips! I tried using chaeto in my reactor, but with zero NO3/PO4 the chaeto just melted away. I even tried dosing iron.

    I'm at the point where I'm overfeeding, and something is still exporting NO3. I'm running my skimmer so low now that it's not skimming anything into the cup, and still undetectable NO3.

    Nice thing is at least my PO4 is increasing.

    The only other thing that's consuming NO3 is probably the dinos. I tried testing NO3 just now (right after lights on) and it's still undetectable.
  20. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Those numbers sound a lot like when I had a very strong algae scrubber.
    Corals were hungry and not happy, and I had occasional Cyano outbreaks.

    I would say increasing PO4 without NO3 is a really bad thing. You will have a big Cyano issue.
    That imbalance allows Cyano to out compete normal Algae, and nothing eats Cyano.

    Are you really sure you have a Dino issue and not a Cyano issue?

    My opinion:
    Get feeding back to normal. Meaning fish + Coral are happy, but not much more.
    Skim as normal.
    Add NO3 directly until NO3 heads up a bit, and PO4 heads down.
    Manually clean Dino/Cyano/etc.
    Get a good herbivore.
    And then PATIENCE. Let the tank sort itself out.
    kinetic likes this.

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