Dinoflagellates

dchisenh

New member
Hey Everyone :)

I know that dinoflagellates aren't true marine plants or macroalgae, I just wasn't sure which forum to post in. I was hoping that someone here could help me out. :)

I have a nano-system that consists of a 5.5 gallon tank (lit by 2-19 watt screw-in 6500K compact fluorescents, 1-13 watt 7100K blub bulb, and 1-13 watt actinic 03 bulb) that has been set up for about two months now. It has an empty TetraTec filter on the back, also lit by a 19 watt 6500K CF bulb that houses some red Gracillaria algae and a bit of saw-blade calerpa, it's mainly used for wave action and to house the heater for the tank. The 5.5 is connected to a roughly 10 gallon acrylic tank next to it that houses some LPS and softy corals, lit by 2-55 watt PC's, 1 actinic and 1 10,000K, and has a roughly 5 gallon rubbermaid sump next to that with my skimmer, a Prizm, and a whisper filter that I can use for any carbon, polyfilter, etc, but currently it's not running.

About a week ago, I noticed a bit of what looked like a brown slime on some of the Gracillaria I added to the tank, which spread to the "red dreadlock algae" (as it's called on the SeaCrop macroalgae page) that I had in the tank for decoration and nutrient uptake, along with some more saw-blade calerpa (that stuff just looks cool :) ). The "brown stuff", that I'm fairly sure is dinoflagellates, exploded within the past two days and I had to siphon a large amount of it that was free floating at the surface of the tank last night because it was just out of control. I thought it was taken care of, but it's back again tonight and it's getting worse. Not as bad as it was last night, but I'm sure it will be if I give it another day.

Does anyone here know of anything I can do kill it off selectively and not harm my macros, corals, and misc. pods? :)

My ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all at 0 since the set up was pretty much just me moving some very old and cycled LR from a previous tank to this set up. There was a slight spike of nitrate about two weeks ago, but a water change took care of that. And I'm about to do another water change tonight and see if that'll help, but I just don't like this stuff and would like to get rid of it completely before it harms anything or gets uncontrollable.

Thanks :)

-Dan
 

dchisenh

New member
Well, this doesn't appear to be a very active forum. :( I wish it was though, 'cause algae's a very important part of a marine ecosystem.

Just incase someone does a search on dinoflagellates and finds this thread, mine are going down through a couple rounds of syphoning and increasing my dosage of kalkwasser. I'm not sure where the increase in alkalinity/calcium is boosting the growth of other algaes or inhibiting the dino's, but it appears to be helping.

-Dan
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
Sounds like your already using the best tricks in the book ;) Increased alk seams to inhibit the dino's and certainly increased growth in the macro's will help cut down on available nutrients for the dino's to use ;)
 

nancysnuwave

Premium Member
Re: Dinoflagellates

dchisenh said:
About a week ago, I noticed a bit of what looked like a brown slime on some of the Gracillaria I added to the tank, which spread to the "red dreadlock algae" (as it's called on the SeaCrop macroalgae page) that I had in the tank for decoration and nutrient uptake, along with some more saw-blade calerpa (that stuff just looks cool :) ). The "brown stuff", that I'm fairly sure is dinoflagellates

Any closeup shots?
 

dchisenh

New member
It's just about gone, Nancy...sorry. Some additional water changes and increased Kalk additions are working well against them. I don't even have a digital camera, anyway. :rolleyes: I need to get one...after that last coral (which never happens..:p )

-Dan
 

Plantbrain

New member
Sounds more like diatoms. A microscope would make quick work of what it really is.

Generally: when one plant is not doing well, another will. General good routines will prevent this.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dchisenh

New member
Thanks Tom :)

When I had the stuff, it grew like a bacteria, very VERY fast and would coat things (the glass, the other algae, my gorgonian) and would float as it produced a lot of oxygen. At first, I thought it was a cyanobacteria, but the color was a dull brown. So, that's why I thought it was a dinoflagellate bloom. The rest of my algae (my cool macros and such) are doing great now and the "brown plague" is gone. :D

-Dan
 

Plantbrain

New member
Brown color will not tell you if it's one or the other.

It could be Cyano.

Often in the Keys we see this stuff like you descibe and it's BGA/Diatom and others all mixed in. A "community" of various algae.

One thing that often gets rid of such blooms is more current/wave action.

If the chain forming BGA/diatoms cannot stay together mechanically, then they have less chance of covering things. Only tougher attaching algae will get a foot hold.

You can see this out in the surf vs protected regions right next to one another with the same water chemistry. During the summer this is much more the case in the Keys in different locations.

But general maintenance, plus more wave current should do well for the larger macro's/plants.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dchisenh

New member
Awesome :)

I'm only seeing a very, very few spots of it in my tank now, just where it manages to find a still spot to take hold. I've got a TetraTec 150 on the 5.5 gallon so that the surge it produces runs long-ways down the tank (instead of being a traditional "front view = longest side, I have the tank long-ways and the filter on one of the normal "sides" which is now the back of the display...hope that isn't too confusing ;) ). The current is pretty good, with some nice rolling wave like action between surges. The kalkwater increase seemed to help the most. :)

If cyano can be brown, then that's most likely what it is then. It looks exactly like a colony of bacteria growing outwards like on a petri dish from microbio lab. Unfortunately, I don't have a microscope to find out (the lab I work in right now is a geology clean lab and I doubt they'd appreciate me bringing in saltwater algae samples :p ).

Thanks for the help Tom. :D

-Dan
 
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