Addition of nitrate and STN

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gurthystag

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First get 3 containers that can hold half a gallon each. First container I dipped the coral in coral Rx by following the bottle dosage recommendations (10 min). After move the frag to plain saltwater for a recovery rinse (10 to 15 min). Finally 25 ml of Dr tims eco balance bacteria in the last container. Ideally you want a lightly cloudy water solution, if needed I wouldn't be worried about adding more. Doesn't seem to stress the coral (15 min). Directly return to the tank no rinse needed. I then dump the bacteria solution water in the tank as to not waist the product. The idea is to force a concentrated amount to make contact with the coral. In theory, the probiotic bacterium enter the coral to strengthen and eliminate bad strains of bacteria destroying the coral. If I ever observe stn in my tank this is what I will do from now on every time. I didn't lose a single colony of the 4 total, other methods in the past I was unable to stop the stn.
 

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I was plagued with a similar issue in my tank for an extended period (1-2 years). At the time, my nitrates were super low, reading about 0.2 ppm on the Salifert test kit. Any attempt to raise nitrates would unleash STN with a particular pattern. At the time, I suspected a coral pathogenic microbe was the culprit. I wanted to do a biome test to see if any of the known pathogens were present, but the tests were not available in Canada at that point. So I never did the test.

I first noticed the problem affecting cyphastrea corals. I would get individual polyps turning white, bleach, die, and then the tissue surrounding the dead polyps would recede and die. It affected all SPS and LPS that had smaller polyps. LPS with big fleshy polyps were unaffected. Occasionally, a coral would survive when a small patch of tissue would make it through the STN, sometimes only a single polyp, and would grow back. However the new, re-grown tissue, was not immune or resistant to the issue and could, and would, be affected by future occurrences. The issue appeared to affect encrusting and plating corals more severely than corals with a vertical growth pattern. At the time, I wondered if the disease was causing affected corals to loose their tolerance for higher PAR, which would explain why corals with horizontal growth patterns appeared to be affected the most.

Any attempt to dose any of the commercial nitrate or DIY additives to raise nitrate, would trigger an outbreak. It was a very frustrating time. The issue eventually went away on it's own. Though I did take steps that may or may not have helped to resolve it. I started dosing Dr. Tim's Eco-Balance as one of it's stated features is that it contains bacteria intended to combat vibrio. Not knowing what pathogen was causing the issue, but knowing that vibrio can cause coral mortality, I decided to give it a shot. I used the Coral Colours recipe that they provide as away of adding the Eco-Balance on a regular basis.

Months after the problem receded, I eventually started dosing ammonium and that did not spur the problem to re-appear. However the issue may have already resolved by then anyway.

My tank is currently 1.7 ppm nitrate as of today, and has been as high as 15 ppm recently, and the problem is not occurring. Though whenever I see any STN in the centre of a coral, away from an edge, I start to worry that the unseen coral killer is still on the prowl.

I continue to dose a weekly addition of either PNS Pro BIO or FM Rebiotic.
I actually think this is exactly what I have happening in my tank. Granted I have some moving parts to my water chemistry, but when I started dosing N I got STN and my cyphastrea were particularly effected. As suggested, maybe the increased N fuels whatever strain of predatory bacteria somehow. Question is, is there any way to maintain N without having this happen to you? Dinos scare me lol
 

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I actually think this is exactly what I have happening in my tank. Granted I have some moving parts to my water chemistry, but when I started dosing N I got STN and my cyphastrea were particularly effected. As suggested, maybe the increased N fuels whatever strain of predatory bacteria somehow. Question is, is there any way to maintain N without having this happen to you? Dinos scare me lol

You might try dosing a different source of N (ammonia or amino acids, for example), or feed more.
 

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What is your water volume and actual ppm of ESV nitrate added to the tank. How many mL’s did you dose for your total volume?
 

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How old is this tank. Your nutrients are really low and that in itself could cause STN/RTN with some corals. You also have several other low or depleted elements which isn’t helping. I’d lean toward chemistry before a pathogen, but that’s a good thing because it’s easy to correct.
 

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I had similar problems with some of my acros they would STN every time I dosed nitrate to 2 ppm. Then I noticed they were all maricultured ones, the others were just fine. My theory back then was “wild” ones just had strain of zoox not really adapted to high nitrate levels. That’s why I just stopped dosing and let them adapt for couple of months and acquire some “tank adapted zoox” :) from the others. It worked but I have no clue if it was really zoox could be pathogen bacteria.
 

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You might try dosing a different source of N (ammonia or amino acids, for example), or feed more.
I think that's my next step if it persists, I want to get my chemistry in line and see how things react, then I'll switch to ammonia if It's still happening(maybe Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride since I have it sitting around). Right now I am stabilizing Calcium (clogged dosing pump allowed it to drop to mid 300s) and Phosphates which have been getting stripped down to the 0.02 level by my algae scrubber (have reduced photo period to target 0.05-0.08).

I'd love to just feed more but for whatever reason, my tank consumes nitrogen at a higher rate than phosphorus (or perhaps LFS reef frenzy nano has a higher phosphorus content).

I had similar problems with some of my acros they would STN every time I dosed nitrate to 2 ppm. Then I noticed they were all maricultured ones, the others were just fine. My theory back then was “wild” ones just had strain of zoox not really adapted to high nitrate levels. That’s why I just stopped dosing and let them adapt for couple of months and acquire some “tank adapted zoox” :) from the others. It worked but I have no clue if it was really zoox could be pathogen bacteria.
I wish I could say that's the case, mine were mostly aquacultured, (mainly ORA and tidalgardens stuff). Purely speculation but I wonder if it is specific to increasing nitrogen availability rather than overall nitrogen availability, i.e. does this happen at any nitrate level above 1, or only when it increases from 1->5. If the strain of vibro can uptake the nitrogen faster than other competitors, an increase would allow them to grab marketshare, cause an STN event and thus the snowball starts. Question is, does this happen if nitrate is steady at 5, so the biome is balance at 5 and there is no spike and thus no market share grab and no STN.
 
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Revisiting this post, I never dosed nitrate again. Instead I dosed amino acids daily and increased feeding. Nitrates came on thier own with time. I did use a product called corals love by korallen zucht and it seemed to help it along. Nitrates stable at 5 to 6 ppm.
 
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Here is a pics of the reef today
 

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Corals that bounced back thriving
 

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bgray98

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For folks who get STN raising nitrate, I wonder if you would get STN raising nitrate other ways. Such as by feeding more, dosing amino acids, or dosing ammonia.
I dose amino acids daily, recently I had a drop I. Nitrates. I started dosing for it slowly and it triggered stn. I tried feeding more for a while with no change in n03. That’s when I decided to dose. I did not try dosing ammonia so I can’t speak on that.
 
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More corals
 

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Tuna Melt

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Has anyone with this issue run an Aquabiomics report? I've been waiting for mine for about 2 months, expecting it any day now. I'd love to compare notes when it comes in.

I re-read the below post and it eerily similar to my experience. Hardy plating and encrusting corals were the first to show signs, even before more delicate branching acros. The only coral that were totally unaffected were soft corals and maybe euphyllia? When the pandemic was at its peak my elegance coral bailed out in epic fashion and even my Duncan and Hammer coral were loosing tissue from the base up. No encrusters were left at that point. That's when I decided to throw a hail Mary and hit the tank with Cipro. I followed Mike Paletta's regime documented here (the initial 1mg/gallon dose, not his second 5mg/gallon dose) (https://reefbuilders.com/2023/04/10/managing-tissue-necrosis/).

The cipro seemed to stop the necrosis. After treatment I added aquabiomics live sand to restock to biome. About three weeks later it returned. I then hit it with the 5mg/g dose Mike used and that surprisingly, did nothing, corals necrossed through the whole treatment. My nitrates were zero before this ordeal. I dosed them up to ~10, and added a few fish so they have been range bound between 10-20 since then. Maybe the solution is to bottom out nitrates again lol. Chemistry looks fine, recent icp attached...
I was plagued with a similar issue in my tank for an extended period (1-2 years). At the time, my nitrates were super low, reading about 0.2 ppm on the Salifert test kit. Any attempt to raise nitrates would unleash STN with a particular pattern. At the time, I suspected a coral pathogenic microbe was the culprit. I wanted to do a biome test to see if any of the known pathogens were present, but the tests were not available in Canada at that point. So I never did the test.

I first noticed the problem affecting cyphastrea corals. I would get individual polyps turning white, bleach, die, and then the tissue surrounding the dead polyps would recede and die. It affected all SPS and LPS that had smaller polyps. LPS with big fleshy polyps were unaffected. Occasionally, a coral would survive when a small patch of tissue would make it through the STN, sometimes only a single polyp, and would grow back. However the new, re-grown tissue, was not immune or resistant to the issue and could, and would, be affected by future occurrences. The issue appeared to affect encrusting and plating corals more severely than corals with a vertical growth pattern. At the time, I wondered if the disease was causing affected corals to loose their tolerance for higher PAR, which would explain why corals with horizontal growth patterns appeared to be affected the most.

Any attempt to dose any of the commercial nitrate or DIY additives to raise nitrate, would trigger an outbreak. It was a very frustrating time. The issue eventually went away on it's own. Though I did take steps that may or may not have helped to resolve it. I started dosing Dr. Tim's Eco-Balance as one of it's stated features is that it contains bacteria intended to combat vibrio. Not knowing what pathogen was causing the issue, but knowing that vibrio can cause coral mortality, I decided to give it a shot. I used the Coral Colours recipe that they provide as away of adding the Eco-Balance on a regular basis.

Months after the problem receded, I eventually started dosing ammonium and that did not spur the problem to re-appear. However the issue may have already resolved by then anyway.

My tank is currently 1.7 ppm nitrate as of today, and has been as high as 15 ppm recently, and the problem is not occurring. Though whenever I see any STN in the centre of a coral, away from an edge, I start to worry that the unseen coral killer is still on the prowl.

I continue to dose a weekly addition of either PNS Pro BIO or FM Rebiotic.
 

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nikesb

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Experiencing the same situation currently and it seems my tank has liked the bottomed out nitrates. I had been at 0 nitrates for nearly 4 months with amazing colors until I decided to dose Neonitro. Over the course of 2.5 weeks, I went from 0 to 10 nitrates. Montiporas first showed a sign of stress followed by acros. Started with thinning tissue and color loss and white strings being expelled from some acros.

Monitored PO4 while dosing and it dropped from .07 to .04 during this period. My question to those experiencing this is what nitrate additive were you using? And how long after stopping nitrate did you see STN stop?
 

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