I am looking onto Kalkwasser to raise my pH in order to combat a persistent dinoflagellate problem. I am also having problems with reducing consistantly high Alkalinity.
4 month old, mixed 80 gallon reef with a large CUC, 2 percula clowns and a small blue tang.
Calcium is 460, Alk 16 dKH, pH 8.2, Salinity 1.026, Nitrates 0, Phosphate 0, Ammonia 0, Temp 78.Running carbon and GFO in a reactor. A fluidized sand filter. Also using a Pura filtration pad in my wet/dry. I am also pulling about 1.5 cups of horrendous skimmate every day.
Mistaking it for cyno I treated the tank with erythromycin followed by UltraLife Red Slime Remover 1 week later.
I have replaced 100% of my water over the past 3 weeks with RO/DI water changes (reading of 0 on a TDS meter, culligan water) using IO Reef Crystals and added no buffers or supplements of any kind. I have also left the aquarium dark for 72 hours. Suspended feedings and added a magnum canister filter filled with floss in hopes of pulling out the suspended dino. Alk is consistenly very high and the dino is as bad as ever.
The zoo's look aweful and the GSP and Xenia are completely withdrawn/stressed.
Will Kalkwasser help? If so, do you guys hand dose or use a Dosing Pump?
I have read about slightly detectable levels of nitrates controlling dino.
I wonder if discontinuing the sand filter would allow enough of an increase in nitrates?
I don't think Kalk is the solution (pun intended) for your issues.
My first inclination is that your lighting could be the problem. Can you give us some details on the lighting (type, photoperiod, age of bulbs...). Also more info. on the set up might help. Tank size, age, how long you've been dealing with dinos and photos of the algae would be beneficial.
Additionally, try not to make large changes in your tank too fast. 100% water change in 3 weeks + changing flow (adding the magnum) + adding chemicals + running a "dark" cycle all could have stressed your corals.
I would suggest siphoning the algae out using an airline every couple of days. Removing only a small volume of water. It's been my experience that dinos are not a persistent problem and can be controlled this way.
432 watts of T5's. 4 ATI aquablue specials and 4 ATI Blue Plus. They are 2 weeks old.
I was running the older bulbs (4 10,000k and 4 460 actinics) for 10 hours. The 10k's for 4 hours, the actinics for 4 hours and all bulbs together for 2 hours.
When I put the new bulbs in the dino really went nuts, even after reducing the photoperiod for light acclimation purposes. After the 72 hour dark period I have reduced my current photo period to 6 hours. 2 hours with each bulb type and 2 hours with both bulbs.
The dino's started a little over 3 weeks ago, I performed a water change after each of the 2 treatments and an additional water change when I siphoned off the sand bed and live rock.
The GSP's, xenia and zoo's looked stressed as soon as the dino showed up and have progressivily gotten worse.
Thanks for the extra input. I was out of town when I posted last time but am now home and have consulted some of my reference books. I appears that my first post was not 100% correct.
This is what Sprung suggests in his book Algae: A problem solver guide along with my comments in red...
Let it run its course This has worked for me
Discontinue water changes may be why it is getting worse/still around.
Boost alkalinity Looks to be high already. I'd get a second opinion/reading from either a fellow reefer or a LFS.
Use Kalk and carbon If alk is correct kalk may be overkill. Not sure what is best here.
Algal turf scrubbers may help Couldn't hurt but wouldn't be top on my priority list.
Specific bacteria may also be used for control Cyano treatments may have decimated these bacteria. I'd get some material (LR or LS) to reseed bacteria.
It also suggests that it is "common in biologically unstable aquariums." Your corals may have been reacting to the instability that caused the dinos and not the dinos themselves. All of the steps you've taken may have made the system even less stable making the situation worse.
If you are interested in learning about reefkeeping or have a problem with your reef, our reefkeeping community is here to help. Feel free to ask a question or search our site. We have lots of experienced reefkeepers that are willing to provide free reefkeeping advice!
Besides being a great resource for all levels of reef aquarium hobbyists, CaptiveReefs is a social experience that will enhance your enjoyment of reefkeeping. CaptiveReefs is committed to connecting reefkeepers with the support and information they need to grow beautiful coral reef aquariums.