Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

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Postby cr8signs on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:09 pm

I have something tearing through my tank. It has devoured all of my orange cap montiporas about 10 or so, and my green birds nest. Most everything in my tank is doing awesome and so were the now dead montis and birds nest, until this plague struck. It took them out in about two weeks, you could see the flesh being eaten away on the birds nest by the hour and the montis look like the life has been sucked out of them, like if the blood were being sucked out of a human, you can see the dots of polyps but all color on the plates have been suckd away. No changes i. The tank, and all has been in there for 1-2 years growing like crazy. I see nothing as far as pest, but do have very, very tiny flatworms on the glass sometimes. I even dipped these and nothing came off of them.
The rest of the tank is softies and and a frogspawn , star poylps , anemone.
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Re: Stumped

Postby Jake on Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:40 am

Test nitrates, calcium, and alkalinity. API brand for all. API test kits can be bought anywhere for cheap. Alkalinity says "KH" on the box.

Test your temperature with a new thermometer.

Test your salinity with a new hydrometer or refractometer.

Post results and we go from there.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
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Re: Stumped

Postby MadCityReefer on Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:53 pm

You have RTN "rapid tissue necrosis" usually brought on by stress but not truely understood.

A common problem with SPS, especially Acropora,montipora and birdsnest. Tissue Necrosis, which is essentially when the flesh begins to peel away from the skeleton. It is impossible for the coral to recover from areas where Tissue Necrosis has occurred. Generally speaking there are two types of Tissue Necrosis:

Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN)
Slow Tissue Necrosis (STN)

RTN typically happens abruptly and without warning and will consume the entire coral with 24 hours. STN begins slow and can continue as slow as 1mm a week. Without intervention of some sort, Tissue Necrosis will eventually kill the entire coral.
RTN is generally due to shock, either from parameters, temperature, etc. It occurs most often with new coral fragments entering our aquariums.

It is thought that Tissue Necrosis is caused by some sort of allergic reaction in the coral.

The first course of action when you see Tissue Necrosis is to determine if one of your parameters is out of balance, such a temperature, salinity, alkalinity, calcium, nitrates, phosphate, etc. Correcting this problem will prevent your other corals from falling to a similar fate.

The next step is to either fragment or super glue over the afflicted area. By super gluing or fragging past where the RTN or STN is occurring it will in some cases save the coral from further Necrosis. This process is similar to the technique of pre-burning strips of vegetation in a forest to stop the spread of forest fires.

Next time the flesh on your SPS begin to peel away take action, fragment the coral or super glue just past the farthest point of Necrosis.

Some people suggest dipping corals that are experience RTN or STN but generally speaking, the use of super glue or fragmentation is much more effective. You must "seal up" the peeling edge. Much like your own flesh after a bad sun-burn, it will just keep peeling away. I have had luck with dipping the effected coral in Coral RX for 10-15min and then Bayer Advance Complete Insect Killer "yes" the stuff found at most hardware stores for 10-15min MAKE SURE TO RINSE OFF VERY VERY WELL or you could possibly wipe out your tank if any of it gets into your tank!
tank build: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12927
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Re: Stumped

Postby Socratic Monologue on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:12 pm

cr8signs wrote: you can see the dots of polyps but all color on the plates have been suckd away.

This sounds more like bleaching than RTN/STN. My monti cap got like this a couple times when the Ca dropped, and it recovered when I raised it to NSW levels.
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Re: Stumped

Postby Jake on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:09 pm

If I had to bet on one thing I'd say it's high nitrates.
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Re: Stumped

Postby Mpiv on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:57 pm

I'll share my story, don't know if it really applies
My alk dropped to 7 ish recently, because my calcium reactor ran out of co2. I thought I would fix it quick by mixing some baking soda with tank water and adding it. Within 24 hours, my monti caps looked bleached, almost like somebody lightly sanded the surfaces and 2 birdsnest colonies were torched.
After a week the caps were fine, but the birdsnests were toast. (The only thing I did to mitigate the damage was frag a small healthy section from my birdsnest colonies, the fragged sections did survive)

I ended up raising my kh all the way to 11 with that single dose. Over the corse of that week it came back down to about 9, where I usually keep it.

The reason I mention is I have a tank with dozens of different sps corals, and everything else was fine. My suspicion is those particular corals may be extra sensitive to rapid alk swings. Unless there is a pest eating them, I would test your alk and adjust Carefully. If you have been maintaining your calcium and alkalinity, it my be possible it is too high.

While my alk was low, nothing appeared bothered by it.
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