Conquering STN/RTN. What has worked for you?

Mick51

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I had some STN in my frag system a while back. It was very gradual -- almost imperceptible -- STN from the base. So slow that coralline would cover up the base while the rest of the stick would keep growing. Over time though, the pattern became obvious. I keep damsels and wrasses as predators but I guess they can't get to the bugs around the base and center. Only the upper branches.

Some stick keepers here concluded it was bugs, tegastes acroporanus. White bugs. Honestly, I can't tell the difference between good pods and bad ones, but base STN is the tell. I did the 3 X interceptor treatment which seems to have gotten them under control for a good while now.
I had some STN in my frag system a while back. It was very gradual -- almost imperceptible -- STN from the base. So slow that coralline would cover up the base while the rest of the stick would keep growing. Over time though, the pattern became obvious. I keep damsels and wrasses as predators but I guess they can't get to the bugs around the base and center. Only the upper branches.

Some stick keepers here concluded it was bugs, tegastes acroporanus. White bugs. Honestly, I can't tell the difference between good pods and bad ones, but base STN is the tell. I did the 3 X interceptor treatment which seems to have gotten them under control for a good while now.

I got acro bugs about 2 years ago bought a Christmas wrasse and that was the end of bugs… also any thing it could eat including peppermint shrimp
 
Fritz

burton14e7

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I've noticed a few things that cause STN in my tank. Keeping a better eye on my daily salinity swings and lowering par have worked for me.

1. Salinity going out of preferred range. My sticks don't like it when SG goes under 1.026
2. Nutrients too low with high par. If the you feed the corals lots of light they need lots of nutrients. I keep low nutrients so I have to keep my par lower so they don't try to grow without food to feed them.
 
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reyesozaeta

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I would like to hear from those who have dealt with STN for a period of time, and what you did to finally get a handle on it, or completely eradicate it from your their tanks, if that is at all possible. My tank has been up for a little over 2 years, and my STN issues started 4 months ago. I have had the ICP tests done that showed nothing out of line, made sure all parameters are in line with for an sps tank and kept stable. Still the STN continues. Should I just wait it out, or just go for a re-boot of the tank. Hence the title…. What has worked for you? Thanks guys.
Ozone 24/7. I developed an effective placement for it that won’t harm any of your corals or fish.
 

tinhorse

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I had a bad RTN/STN stint in my tank a couple months ago. I treated with coral Dip and raised my po4 and NO3 up as they were on the lower side. Now at 0.15 and 3 ppm. After raising my levels up everything seems to be getting back to normal. The RTN has stopped and many of the sps have regrown the tissue that was lost. I also fragged up some of the really bad colonies and the frags are doing great. Chopped off many of the dead branches and turned back the dead white on the Monti plate corals. Was so close to shutting it down and starting over.. sure glad I didn't!!
 

mermaid_life

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I'm probably not going to be very helpful, but I can share my experience. My first tank was a 45 gallon that I started with live rock. It was mostly LPS and softies but I was able to keep a stylo growing A LOT with zero dosing and only water changes - about a year into the tank being set up.

My current tank I started with dry rock because I didn't want anything to do with the hair algae and other pests that I had to deal with before. I did everything that I was supposed to with this one..... tested frequently, got a doser ready to accommodate alk and ca changes when the time came. I put in my first SPS 2+ yrs into it's life. Frag after frag, it would STN or RTN - sometimes in days, sometimes in weeks. I thought it was because I was chasing low nutrients or didn't have the right spectrum or right flow or something else. Well, when it hit the 3 year mark, sps stopped dying - same lights, same flow. Although my sps are not the most colorful, they are certainly growing and no more RTN/STN (knock on wood) for the last 6 months.

After analyzing these two situations, I tend to believe the bacterial diversity theory. I also believe that trying to keep a low nutrient tank puts one in a more precarious situation with stability. I still do the same things exactly the same as I did a year ago in terms of keeping parameters and housekeeping - my nutrients fluctuate because I don't try to manage it. I try not to add any chemicals that may demolish my bacteria colonies.

Without knowing more about your particular tank, I can only recommend NOT to start over and distract yourself with other LPS and Softy corals and add bacteria and phyto until you feel like your tank is stable again. I'm certain it's something we can't see or test for.
 
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Ftrain576

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I'm probably not going to be very helpful, but I can share my experience. My first tank was a 45 gallon that I started with live rock. It was mostly LPS and softies but I was able to keep a stylo growing A LOT with zero dosing and only water changes - about a year into the tank being set up.

My current tank I started with dry rock because I didn't want anything to do with the hair algae and other pests that I had to deal with before. I did everything that I was supposed to with this one..... tested frequently, got a doser ready to accommodate alk and ca changes when the time came. I put in my first SPS 2+ yrs into it's life. Frag after frag, it would STN or RTN - sometimes in days, sometimes in weeks. I thought it was because I was chasing low nutrients or didn't have the right spectrum or right flow or something else. Well, when it hit the 3 year mark, sps stopped dying - same lights, same flow. Although my sps are not the most colorful, they are certainly growing and no more RTN/STN (knock on wood) for the last 6 months.

After analyzing these two situations, I tend to believe the bacterial diversity theory. I also believe that trying to keep a low nutrient tank puts one in a more precarious situation with stability. I still do the same things exactly the same as I did a year ago in terms of keeping parameters and housekeeping - my nutrients fluctuate because I don't try to manage it. I try not to add any chemicals that may demolish my bacteria colonies.

Without knowing more about your particular tank, I can only recommend NOT to start over and distract yourself with other LPS and Softy corals and add bacteria and phyto until you feel like your tank is stable again. I'm certain it's something we can't see or test for.
Thanks for that info. I agree with you on the bacterial diversity and the tank husbandry. I’ve been focusing more on stability, and just letting things run it’s course. The few SPS coral in my tank seem to be hanging on, with no new bouts with STN. Hopefully the tank will begin to thrive again when I complete this second cycle of the Brightwell Aquatics Koral Recovery treatment.
 
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Ftrain576

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I believe STN is bacterial. I recently started losing multiple sps to STN. I treated the tank with chemiclean. Following the treatment, I dosed microbacter and vodka. The STN has stopped and flesh is regrowing.
Was the vodka used to manage your phosphates?
 
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tonydig11

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I am in the middle of an STN event. I had an ALK spike after treating the system with Prazipro. Just about all my acros, montis and birds nest.
 

ScottB

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Was the vodka used to manage your phosphates?
Carbon dosing (vodka, vinegar, sugar) are generally used to boost up the nitrifying bacteria. You can get SOME PO4 reduction as well, but it is mainly about nitrates. Very important to have a properly sized and tuned skimmer and go slow.
 

Holst

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There has been a study and it shows that antibiotic works on RTN and STN. It is caused by an infection in the coral tissue, and the study shows that antibiotic works on this infection, just like it does on humans. :)
But i'm not sure if we can use this cure in the aquariums yet. But i'm sure that it is just around the corner :)

Amoxicillin-Based Compound Successfully Treats Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
 
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Ftrain576

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Carbon dosing (vodka, vinegar, sugar) are generally used to boost up the nitrifying bacteria. You can get SOME PO4 reduction as well, but it is mainly about nitrates. Very important to have a properly sized and tuned skimmer and go slow.
I got it. I was in a fog when I asked that question. I too dose m7 and nopox. With the nopox only when my phosphates head north. I find that if I dose it on a schedule spread out during the day, my ph stays a little to low for my liking.
 
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Ftrain576

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Thanks to all for all of the input and links. I have learned a lot from this info, and also learned a bunch of new things about my tank in the process. I have not noticed an new STN events lately, so maybe this Brightwell Koral Restore is having a positive effect. Still have a few days left to complete the treatment,and by then I should have my ATI ICP test results back. In any event I’ll set up a little quarantine tank and pull the remaining SPS corals out, and let the tank run fallow fo a while. Once again thanks to all.
 

BanjoBandito

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A lot of good science has been done on RTN and STN (www.coralrtn.com) from what we know it's basically another protozoan/parasite problem. Beyond just scorching the crap outta them with too much PAR, it makes sense that UV and/or a good balanced system microbiome is the key to prevention.
 

reeferglen

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I got it. I was in a fog when I asked that question. I too dose m7 and nopox. With the nopox only when my phosphates head north. I find that if I dose it on a schedule spread out during the day, my ph stays a little to low for my liking.
U are probably causing it by switching back and fourth with nopox.... nopox is very strong carbon dosing u either need to stick to it strict or not do it at all.... u can dose phosphate if it bottoms out but I would carbon dose on and off lots bad things can happen doing that
 

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

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