Dinoflagellates – Removal & Maintenance


Dinoflagellates – Removal & Maintenance

Dinoflagellates are a common and often very hard problem to get rid of.  Often characterizeddinoflagellates by “snotty” looking algae, Dino’s come in different colors ranking from brown to almost transparent depending on the species.  The dead giveaway are the bubbles that are present when Dinoflagellates appear.  These oxygen bubbles are the result of the photosynthesis cycle.


Along with an unsightly presence, Dinoflagellate produces toxins that are particularly worrisome for invertebrate, especially snails.  Eventually these toxins can take over a tank if left unchecked resulting in a loss of fish and coral.

Removal & Maintenance:

The best way to remove Dino’s is manually or with a siphon.  Upon removal there are a few strategies depending on the level of your infestation.

  • Increase PH to 8.6 This will slow them down.
  • Increase PH with Limewater or Kalkwasser.
  • Decrease light
  • 48 Hour blackout period followed by a week of 4-5 hour photoperiods.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – some aquarists have reported success.  Dosing is approximately 1ml per 10 gallons of water.  Hydrogen Peroxide has had mixed results and there can be serious side effects. Some invertebrate are sensitive to HP and if dosing is done incorrectly, coral and invert death may occur.  Use with caution!
  • Fauna Marin Dino X – Another product that is hit or miss is Dino X.  Some reefers have reported success slowly over time while others have reported the complete opposite. Please note that this is only an algae solution and will not affect Cynobacteria in any way.
  • Filter sock – met with some success, filter socks will generally slow down and help eliminate infestations, which is especially helpful at night when Dino’s are in the water column.

related:  Algae Identification & Removal 

Most seasoned aquarists have dealt with Dinoflagellate problems at one time or another. What has worked for you?

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