How to Avoid and Treat Dinoflagellates

Effective strategies to avoid and treat dinoflagellate outbreaks

Through our recent water testing, we have noticed a major increase in dinoflagellates otherwise known as ‘dino’s’ in Australian waters.

Dinoflagellates can be a nuisance and can quickly cause masses of ugly green masses of algae in your tank. Therefore, when we culture our products, we clean them of any contaminates, so you will never receive any dino’s from us! However, they can come from other sources like your aquarium shop if you have bought new fish or coral.

You can read more about Dinoflagellates here.

How to prevent Dinoflagellates in Your Tank

The best way to avoid dinos in your home aquarium is to filter out water from your new fish or coral. Local aquariums can be an easy way for dinos to go from the ocean and into your tank. To filter out dinos, simply clear out all the water from the aquarium bag or bottle which carried you fish or coral. Ensure that even a small amount of water from the external source is put into your tank as dinos can quickly multiply.

How to put your new aquaria in your tank to avoid Dino’s:

  1. Acclimate in a bucket then remove the item with a net and place in your tank OR
  2. Acclimate then net out into a hospital tank before adding to the display tank

The last two are what you should be doing if you want to keep your display tank as free as possible from unwanted pests and diseases.

AVOID these common mistakes:

How to Treat Dinoflagellates

There are many ways in which you can treat a dino outbreak in your aquarium. If the dino issue is only minor, a great way to tackle it is with the use of balancing out your aquarium with MicroMagic Phytoplankton.

If you have a more serious Dinoflagellate issue, you can action the following methods:

  • Reduce feeding of live foods
  • Reduce lighting for 3-4 days
  • Stop doing water changes
  • Stop any C02 you may have running.
  • Siphon and sieve the water in your tank
  • Once the bulk of the dino’s are removed, place a sieve under the overflow from the main tank (keep an eye on this for the first 3-4 hours as it will clog up quickly.
  • Rinse the sieve under hot water and then treat it with a bleach solution rinse again and replace it under the outflow pipe. It will require a lot of cleaning at the start however it will slow down and only need cleaning every few hours or longer.

MicroMagic is a great way to both prevent and treat dino outbreaks in your aquarium. It does this by increasing the overall balance of ‘good’ phytoplankton/algae in your tank. You can buy MicroMagic in our online store.


If you have any further questions or concerns about a Dino outbreak, please feel free to message us via our website or send us an email!