Blackout to kill off dinoflagellates

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by Mewik, 27 Apr 2012.

  1. Mewik

    Mewik

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    I believe my tank is suffering from an outbreak of this lovely stuff, I have always had small patches of what I thought was red slime algae which I just siphoned out weekly. It was never really a problem until the past week when my Seachem Seagel passed its expiry date. Suddenly the algae spread like mad and is a dirty brown with tons of bubbles in it, it is even covering the glass at a rather ridiculous rate. I have replaced the Seagel and have tried siphoning and water changes with no luck at all, the stuff is just back within hours of the lights coming back on.

    So I'm thinking of embarking on a quest to rid my tank of it for good and just want to run my plans by the experts before I do something seriously stupid....which is always a possibility.

    My plan is to brush as much of the algae off the rocks as possible with a toothbrush and use a small powerhead to blow out all the gunk hiding in the rocks, then to do a 30% water change and then blackout the tank completely for 72hrs. During the black out I plan on not doing any feeding or adding of any additives, only topping up with kalk to keep ph stable. Once the 72hrs is up I'm planning on doing another cleaning of the rocks followed by a 30% wc again. I'm thinking of just uncovering the tank at 1st and then only putting the light back on the following day for 4 hours as the tank does get some indirect sunlight, I will then increase the light period over the next few days until its back to normal.

    Ok so that's my plan, anyone think I'm being stupid here or missing something critical? I'm semi sure that my corals will be fine, my biggest concern is keeping the ph stable. I was thinking I could maybe keep the light on in my sump to help maintain the ph and try to encourage the algae to grow in there rather than in the dt, I don't know if it would defeat the purpose of blacking the tank out if I did that? I had a thought that if I could move the algae into the sump I could then simply disconnect the sump and scrub it out manually before switching the dt lights back on.

    If anyone has a better idea please help me out :)
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Best way to beat this is 3 things in my opinion, elevated pH between 8.4 and 8.6, phosphate remover and reduced lighting, I would switch lights off for 2 days solid then on again for about 4 hours a day. Combined with a high pH (can use kalk for this, but be careful) and phosphate remover (GFO) you should win the battle.
     
  4. crispin

    crispin

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    id also sugest dosing with a bacterial suppliment to help process NO3 in the system as dioflagellates are often indicative of raised NO3 levels
     
  5. Mewik

    Mewik Thread Starter

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    I was using MB7 but I am almost convinced that it is one of the things responsible for landing me in this situation. I have no faith in that stuff at all and only saw what imo were bad results from it. I tried it with the carbon supp, without the carbon, half doses of it.....all seemed to achieve nothing besides reduced/ no polyp extension on my sps corals and crazy diatom blooms.

    Think I will maybe grab some special blend and change over to that, everyone that uses it seems rather happy with it.

    I am just a bit baffled as to where all the rubbish in my tank is coming from, I don't feed that much, tank isn't overstocked, skimmer is huge, flow is good, I do a weekly wc and remove any algae and naff looking stuff. Must be caused by some kind of witchcraft :whistling:

    Thanks for the advice guys, I will begin my battle tomorrow. I am not gonna mess around with leaving my sump light on, will just do a blackout, wcs and top up with kalk. I will monitor the ph a few times a day. Ummmm one question though, what exactly do I do if the ph starts going mad?? Run around waving my arms like my back is on fire then start changing water?? That's generally the routine when things go wrong isn't it?

    Will post an update when I am done or when I give up :blush:
     
  6. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Adding too many additives. ;)
     
  7. Mewik

    Mewik Thread Starter

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    Ahhh yes think I found a winner, nice rusty hinge dumping some amazingly fine rust particles into my sump. Yeah for me!! Grumble grumble grumble.....how the hell did I miss that. Poxy boyu stand, I think its new stand time.

    Otherwise the tank has been blacked out all day, going to do my alage scrubbing and wc now in the dark. I was a bit stuffed after a box of golf balls met my foot last night so this morning was a write off so wc will be have to be done tonight.
     
  8. Lord_Blackadder

    Lord_Blackadder

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    I'm just winning the battle with this stuff in my reef tank. Low fish load, low feeding, no supplements besides kalk and bicarbonate. I suspect the main problem is that it killed several snails (it's toxic to them). Tried the remove the ones I could find, but I'm sure there were a couple stuck in the rockwork somewhere feeding nutrients into the water.

    Killed lights for 5 days and dosed heavily with kalk and it's finally abating. By far the most difficult algae to get rid of IMO.
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Also check your RO source, high silicates can be a source too, i run GFH and carbon and it disappeared for me
     
  10. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    I've been battling the stuff for 5 months now and haven't won yet. Still don't know what to do. I've changed all RO filters and the membrane. Gone from 20 fish to just three. Added plenty rowaphos. Shortened my lighting schedule. Done 100% water change. Removed it all only to have it back in the morning. I'm really lost at the moment and feel like starting from scratch again just to get rid of the stuff.
     
  11. Mewik

    Mewik Thread Starter

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    Yeah I've ordered an RO unit from Marco to ensure I have control over the quality of my RO from now on. I read somewhere online that one guy had small bits of rust landing in his tank and it seemed to contribute to his issues, so hopefully fixing that has solved part of the issue. I picked up some special blend now and chucked it in....seriously a warning on the box about the smell would have not gone a miss. Soon all the neighbourhood dogs will be at my gate thinking its mating season.

    It seems the only way to rid your tank of the stuff is to deploy every known method at once to kill algae, blackouts, siphoning, bacterial additives, kalk, higher ph, carbon, gfo and large water changes. Seems that often more than one attempt at all of the above is needed to rid a tank of it for good.

    Anyone know if adding an air pump to increase o2 levels will help? When I kept a fowlr tank I used chemiclean and it instructs you to add an airstone when u add the product, not sure if its needed due to the product or if it just helps kill off algae. I don't know what effect such high levels of oxygen would have on a reef tank, if its safe for corals I may as well add it into my efforts?
     
  12. DavidM

    DavidM

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    Hi Lord_blackadder i have been battling dinoflagellates for the past 4 months. Did this method work or did yours return after your lights were put back on.
    How long did you keep dosing kalk after urs was gone.
     
  13. DavidM

    DavidM

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    Has anyone made a complete recover from dinoflagellates.
     
  14. Brendan6

    Brendan6

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    I had a bad case of Dinoflagellates. My tank had an outbreak of brooklynella, I lost all my fish. After the fish died, the dinos started. I used Boyd's to sort the problem out and it did, after 2 treatments.

    Due to all the fish dying and not stocking a single fish for 8 weeks, the lack of feeding helped with water quality. The tank recovered and few months later I upgraded tanks.
     
  15. DavidM

    DavidM

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    It has killed all my snails fish seem fine and look healthy.
     
  16. Lord_Blackadder

    Lord_Blackadder

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    Yeah I got rid of it eventually. 2 week blackout + phosphate remover + manual removal with waterchanges.
     
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