Need Help - Brown Jelly Disease

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Privateye

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Where do I start? This version of my tank has been running for 3 years after a move and a size upgrade. Two days ago I went to frag some coral and one frag rack had a leptastrea, a cyphastrea, a ricordea, and a mystery coral growing out of the leptastrea (I had a great name for it when I was ready to release to the hobby) all jelly on me. The ricordea had split recently and it jellied, but it was a white jelly. The other corals were 100% covered in 1-2 mm of brown jelly, with white skeleton (some recessed colored polyps too) underneath. Here is the photo of the frag rack last week. I know, it's a powder keg:

20200827_180731.jpg


I didn't snap a photo once it was jellied unfortunately. I just went into go-mode. Here is the rack after the carnage:

20200901_175732.jpg


I pulled most of the leptastrea skeleton off. I tried to save the mystery coral (and the chalice it spread to also) with Seachem Reef Dip to no avail. My last ditch effort was scrubbing the mystery coral with a toothbrush under tap water. Far-fetched, but I saw one closed thread on another forum (where people are more toxic) that mentioned it. I had nothing to lose from trying I figured. The zoas there weren't happy anyway, but they're extra unhappy since I did a peroxide bath yesterday (can't be too careful).

Now 1 branch of my pink milli has RTN'd and I fear it will continue. It's moving slower though. I should be able to frag it tomorrow if needed, but I'm very worried.

20200901_175747.jpg


The cyano occurred around the same time. Chicken or the egg? Here's a current full tank shot:

20200901_175725.jpg


Chemistry

dKH: 9.5
Calcium: 400
Magnesium: 1260
Phosphate: Undetectable with API kit
NO3: <5ish (API kit)
NO2: 0
NH3: 0
Salinity: 33 ppt

New additions

No livestock added for 4 months. The day before this occurred, I opened a new bottle of AquaVitro Fuel (exp 2022) and added it. I haven't used this product for about 5 years. My current boss developed much of the AquaVitro line though, and they do not think it could be the product. Although it contains Chlorella, it "does not contain any live organisms".

So jeez, what do I do? Apparently saving things with an iodine dip isn't possible, so I assume I just treat it like RTN? Frag and hope for the best? I see a little bit of red slime creeping up at the junction of my psammacora and mystic sunset monti, but I'd be happy if just the Monti dies. It's a plague in my tank. A tank treatment would be amazing, but I'm sure I would have found it on the internet by now if there was one. Maybe just some chemiclean for the cyano? I really don't like to add any sort of antimicrobial product to my tank in general, but it would be worth saving the milli.

Another thing to note: I have been struggling with brown sympodium, but I haven't done much to it lately. I've heard they can poison a tank though, and some of them are wrapped-up in the cyano below the milli. Could this have contributed?

I do have a compound microscope in the closet. Let me know if you think some microscopy will help.

Thank you all in advance!
 
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Privateye

Privateye

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I have a skimmer and an 18W UV sterilizer. I run Purigen and Phosguard in the sump, as I have for years.
 
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Privateye

Privateye

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Please excuse the shaky camera. It's a cell phone + old microscope. I can't find a replacement light so I used a light box. Looks similar to other brown jelly infections, but this sample is from SPS.

 
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Privateye

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Well, after more online searching, speaking with 2 large coral stores in the Orlando area, and a small one that's been around over 40 years, I bought Kanaplex (kanamycin), Melafix, Revive, and I already have peroxide. They were out of metro. Bought a replacement UV lamp too because mine is overdue. Still operating, but you know how fluorescent bulbs go.

At this point the infection is slowly creeping along the milli. Maybe 1 inch lost per day, with mucus sloughing off. No visible "brown jelly", "white band", or "black band" on it, but it has the characteristic (resulting?) ciliate infestation. It looks like it has spread to the Ultron favia on the affected rack, but its still early. 2 polyps look shrunken and a little more green than orange. Still looks like it could make it.

I think I'm going to do Seachem Reef Dip on the milli. I tried it on another coral, but I think it was too far gone. I've also done the same dip with that milli so it feels safe. I personally give a larger dose than recommended. I add it until the water turns a certain color (no loss IME). After that, I'll hit it with a Melafix dip.

For the favia, what do you guys think? I will probably act before receiving a reply, but I'd like some opinions. Maybe just the Reef Dip and then Revive I'm thinking. Kanaplex baths might be a last resort.

Even if I don't hear back, I'll update in hopes it will help others.
 
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Privateye

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Ended up using Reef Dip and Melafix (separately) on both frags. Replaced the UV lamp and cleaned the quartz sleeve, which had some mineralization but less than 25%. No change on the favia and the disease continued to progress on the milli. Will check again tomorrow and consider a different treatment.
 
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I got BJD on a hammer frag (gone in less than a day) which spread to a blue discosoma mushroom (gone in 2 days). Tried revive and read somewhere that a FW dip may help. Luckily only those two were affected. Frag and hope for the best would be my course of action if I see it again :(
 
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Privateye

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Thanks PTX. It's odd that this progresses so slowly. Today I noticed a new patch of white slime and a little necrosis where an acropora was touching an anacropora, which was the first time seeing it on those corals. I was able to break those areas off so the colonies should be unaffected though.

My two hammers are completely unaffected so far. It seems to spread along coral tissue, so the fact that the hammer stalks are separated by dead skeleton makes me think they might be better off.

The favia still looks shrunken, but no jelly. The milli now has one dead branch, and the infection is also on the underside of the base too. Necrosis progresses 0.5-1" per day or so.

Today I replaced two T5's in case the lights are helping to promote the cyano. I'll probably reduce the photoperiod by an hour or two per day to help as well. The cyano seems to hit the affected areas pretty quickly.

The mystery coral frag that I scrubbed with a toothbrush under running tap water? I see a couple of green eyes peeking out of the skeleton. It was completely covered in brown jelly over a white skeleton before. We'll see what happens...
 

PTXReef

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Thanks PTX. It's odd that this progresses so slowly. Today I noticed a new patch of white slime and a little necrosis where an acropora was touching an anacropora, which was the first time seeing it on those corals. I was able to break those areas off so the colonies should be unaffected though.

My two hammers are completely unaffected so far. It seems to spread along coral tissue, so the fact that the hammer stalks are separated by dead skeleton makes me think they might be better off.

The favia still looks shrunken, but no jelly. The milli now has one dead branch, and the infection is also on the underside of the base too. Necrosis progresses 0.5-1" per day or so.

Today I replaced two T5's in case the lights are helping to promote the cyano. I'll probably reduce the photoperiod by an hour or two per day to help as well. The cyano seems to hit the affected areas pretty quickly.

The mystery coral frag that I scrubbed with a toothbrush under running tap water? I see a couple of green eyes peeking out of the skeleton. It was completely covered in brown jelly over a white skeleton before. We'll see what happens...

Positive updates! Good call on the light reduction. Hoping for the best!
 
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Privateye

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It's time for an update. Long story short, the disease seems to be halted. Here's more info on what I did, and some photos.

For starters, here's a picture of some of the brown jelly I was seeing. This is on the chalice, which is sterilizing in a hydrogen peroxide solution after I pulled it out:

20200901_193331.jpg


After removing the totally dead frags, treating the milli and favia as mentioned before, and removing the little questionable spot on my acro/anacro, I have seen no progression and no new infection for several days. The mystery coral frag that I scrubbed in tap water has almost all of the green centers of its polyps showing, and the white skeleton is slowly getting more and more purple. Here is the recession on the bottom of the milli a few days ago. It's looking the same today, down to the polyp:

20200908_195047.jpg


The cyano has drastically decreased from the photo above. More info on what I did in the next post...
 
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Privateye

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This was just the direct treatment for the corals though. As noted above, I also changed 2 out of 4 T5 lamps. I also replaced the lamp on my UV sterilizer (which was overdue) and I cleaned the quartz sleeve too, as I noticed some mineral buildup:

20200903_210529.jpg


Not only did I change two of the T5 lamps above my tank, but also decided that cleaning the glass tops could help the spectrum too. This was also overdue as you can see in a clean vs. dirty comparison:

20200914_190822.jpg


I won't feel comfortable until I see healing, or no disease progress for a couple of months. I'm willing to bet that the environmental conditions had much to do with this disease, in that it weakened the corals. Hopefully the pathogens are cleared by the UV. Who knows what they are. From what I've read, it could be a number of different bacteria or viruses. Most researchers agree that cyanobacteria and ciliates are a secondary symptom of infection.

Suggestions I didn't try:

1. Kanamycin, suggested by a LFS.
2. Peroxide, suggested by a LFS and a guy in the store.
3. A coral disease biologist directed me to an article that used amoxicillin in a paste and applied it to wild corals with success: https://peerj.com/articles/9289/
4. An aquarist and former boss suggested (for slow tissue necrosis) doing a peroxide dip, then an iodine dip, then covering the infected area and a portion of unaffected tissue with coral glue or coral epoxy to stop the spread. Might have been my next thing to try.
5. A coral farmer from Nicaragua told me to try lowering the temperature (some articles mentioned this too) to as low as 68 F (I'd need a new chiller). He also suggested adding some orange tron hermit crabs to deal with cyano, which I think are these (he mentioned the claw thing): https://www.liveaquaria.com/product/613/?pcatid=613

All good suggestions. My cup runneth over with ideas. Thankfully I had more than I needed. They were still worth sharing though
 
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Privateye

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Oh! And I asked my gf to keep the blinds closed in the dining area too. The tank gets some indirect sunlight through them in the afternoon. At certain times of the year, and certain blinds angles, direct on the left side. Not recently though and the disease hit the opposite side.
 

Cory

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Nice documentation! Id suggest checking for stray voltage/amperage. Also when tissue is weak phosphates and nitrates become an important factor in repair and healing. Po4 of 0 would concern me.
 
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