Ahhh what a nightmare!
I hope you all don’t have to deal with it and if you have I feel your pain. That’s what I’ve been dealing with. Good news is I was able to stabilize my tank, bad news is I lost a lot. When I say a lot I mean almost everything. It’s probably never gone but it’s currently not a problem. Let me walk you through this.
Looking back it seems that problems started back in October 2020. I didn’t catch anything totally off with my water chemistry during this time. My po4 and no3 never bottomed out. I didn’t change anything with my feeding or maintenance habits. It’s hard for me to say exactly how I think the dinos took off.
While the dinos was taking over my tank I tried several methods to remove or defeat them. I tried dosing phyto, vibrant, dino x, dosed mb7, tried adding pods and phyto, dosed stability, adjusted my lighting schedule.
After trying all of this I couldn’t defeat this stuff. All the while it was just ravaging all of my coral. I was losing stuff daily lps and sps were all being suffocated. Zoas wouldn’t open. Everything looked awful except for some zoas, duncans and my OG bounces. I noticed that the bounces were completely unaffected by dinos. It was odd, almost as if the mushrooms had some sort of defense against dinos. Dinos would grow all around them but wouldn’t suffocate them like it did with everything else. I never lost an OG bounce during this time.
I thought about tearing down the tank a lot. There were several times that I had to talk myself out of it and keep pushing through. A lot of people also told me to tear down also. To be honest it’s not the worst idea but I couldn’t let it win so I did a soft reset.
I took out a lot of old rock and even older bio media and bio blocks. I slowly removed my sand bed. I readjusted my light schedule and my feeding habits. I also am in the process of adding more fish. Finally the thing that really made a difference was adding a UV sterilizer. It was slow but the UV took care of the dinos and allowed my tank to look healthier and corals were doing good again. Recently I started noticing some dinos come back even while running the uv. I replaced the bulb and cleaned the sleeve which had some calcium buildup. Two days later dinos was beat back again.
I have been picking up some more coral recently and a couple of swaps and stores. I also haven’t lost anything since adding the UV which is awesome so I will continue with my current tank and just take it a day at a time.