SPS Experts: Can you figure it out?

OP
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This afternoon I noticed another random Branch was RTNing, so I decided to test the witch hazel approach to see how much of an impact it has. I dipped the colony for 5 minutes in a bath of 7 mL to 9 cups of tank water. Have it a good shake and rinse to remove any flesh and put it back in the tank. We’ll see if this has any merit for what I’m currently dealing with.
 
OP
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Had you been testing your phosphates this whole time op? Triton got a reading that’s decent enough.
Yes I have always tested phosphate. Even with algae growth and ulva in my tank I have always had phosphate levels above 0. It would probably be higher if I could nip the current GHA infestation in the bud, but so far I haven't been able to get rid of it.
 

TexasTodd

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This afternoon I noticed another random Branch was RTNing, so I decided to test the witch hazel approach to see how much of an impact it has. I dipped the colony for 5 minutes in a bath of 7 mL to 9 cups of tank water. Have it a good shake and rinse to remove any flesh and put it back in the tank. We’ll see if this has any merit for what I’m currently dealing with.
Fingers crossed!
 

Demmelition4

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This afternoon I noticed another random Branch was RTNing, so I decided to test the witch hazel approach to see how much of an impact it has. I dipped the colony for 5 minutes in a bath of 7 mL to 9 cups of tank water. Have it a good shake and rinse to remove any flesh and put it back in the tank. We’ll see if this has any merit for what I’m currently dealing with.
Any update on this?
 
OP
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Any update on this?
Ehhhhhh, I can't say it immediately helped. A couple more branches went up in smoke after the witches hazel, but has stopped since then. I'll check again when I get home tonight and let you know if it has continued. I'm debating dipping it in iodine too for good measure.
 
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Any update on this?
So it didn't appear to help any. Flesh was peeling off other branches again last night. So I tried a Lugol's solution dip for 6 minutes to see if that helped. Updates to follow.
 

Demmelition4

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So it didn't appear to help any. Flesh was peeling off other branches again last night. So I tried a Lugol's solution dip for 6 minutes to see if that helped. Updates to follow.
Dang I was hoping it would help, hopefully the iodine does.
 

merereef

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Am i right in saying from your icp test it shows your lithium is very high? Higher than the recommended amount? If so you might want to look at bringing that to the proper levels.. Stuart Bertram doses iodine once or twice a week very very small amount.. he noticed his corals would stn if he didnt dose iodine. If there is a bacterial infection in the tank iodine will help massively. Goodluck
 

Sierra_Bravo

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I've seen your tank at peak, and I know you are both skilled and passionate about reefing. Folks local to you know the frustration you've had dealing with all this for a year and a half. Mine might be the unpopular opinion, but I say wipe the slate clean, put it behind you, and get a fresh start. Reading between the lines throughout this thread it sounds like that's what you really want to do, you just can't bring yourself to say it.

Frag and move what you can to a separate frag system to monitor, sanitize your equipment and go get a shiny new tank to play with. Instead of spending the next year feeling crappy about a tank in decline, spend it watching a new one grow and flourish. There's certainly plenty of folks in Austin and San Antonio that can help you replenish livestock and help get you back to feeling joyful about your tank again. I've got a nice big chunk of $10 gig 'em Purple Orchid for ya. . . ;)
 
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vanpire

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I've seen your tank at peak, and I know you are both skilled and passionate about reefing. Folks local to you know the frustration you've had dealing with all this for a year and a half. Mine might be the unpopular opinion, but I say wipe the slate clean, put it behind you, and get a fresh start. Reading between the lines throughout this thread it sounds like that's what you really want to do, you just can't bring yourself to say it.

Frag and move what you can to a separate frag system to monitor, sanitize your equipment and go get a shiny new tank to play with. Instead of spending the next year feeling crappy about a tank in decline, spend it watching a new one grow and flourish. There's certainly plenty of folks in Austin and San Antonio that can help you replenish livestock and help get you back to feeling joyful about your tank again. I've got a nice big chunk of $10 gig 'em Purple Orchid for ya. . . ;)
This is a good short term solution. What if it happens again? Then what? I hope we can all help work out a solution.
 

Brandon McHenry

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Just got caught back up with everything. I’m still convinced that a coral that got added into your system brought in something nefarious. I think certain stressors like the alk swings, temp and things like the elevated metals shown in ICP can weaken the corals immune system and allow a disease to take hold. On top of that, tissue transfer could be spreading the disease between coral. Did your ICP show your Iodine levels? Iodine can be detrimental if dosed incorrectly but I also feel it can be very beneficial to coral/invert health if dosed carefully. Sorry hear hear you lost another beauty!
 

vanpire

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I have similar issues occasionally Sometimes a colony would just RTN. Frags from the mother colony 6 inches away are fine. Drives me crazy.

A few weeks ago, my ice fire mini-colony RTNed. I grew it from a tiny frag and they grow really slowly so I was pretty sad. Luckily, I had 3 frags of it, and the frags are doing grea. I just ordered Flatworm stop, and just dose to see what happens. I am hoping that if it is some sort of tiny parasites, this might help.

I have one small colony that is not doing so well....
 

Paullawr

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I'm about at my wits end with this issue. It has been a persistent struggle for the past 430+ days and I'm at the brink of shutting down the tank completely and starting over fresh. Here is the essential breakdown:

2016- mid 2018 the tank was humming along perfectly. Mind breaking SPS growth, amazing coloration, couldn't be happier!

2017 coral growth and color A++
IMG_6405.JPG

2017 FTS:
IMG_7245.JPG


Early 2018 everything is still going quite well. Happy, healthy, fast growing corals
IMG_7631.JPG


April 2018, I added some new goni frags to my tank. My peach/yellow goni then suffered and died shortly after. I just assumed the frags had brought in something with them that could have killed it off. Not sure really, everything else was fine, so I just shook it off as an unfortunate loss.
IMG_7937.JPG


Then, spring/summer of 2018, I went out of town for vacation for a few weeks. I had a trusted, very talented reefer, watch my tank while I was gone. As far as my timeline goes, this is when things started going downhill. He sent me a picture while I was gone in June, 2018 that my Vivids Confetti had mysteriously died:
Dead Confetti.jpeg


Ever since June of 2018, there has been this slow, random decline of Acros and Montis in my tank. What is the most mysterious is it seems to come in waves. Everything will look good, decent PE, good colors, and then randomly one coral will just die... Everything else looks fine, then a few weeks later, some other coral will just die. Parameters are in check, no major swings, no additions or changes, just random unexplainable death. It's almost like an evil spirit is haunting my tank and hopping from coral to coral.

August 2018, I lost my largest table that I grew from a frag and had always been a strong and fast grower. Basically a wave of death swept over the colony. It now sits on my bookshelf as a skeleton.
IMG_8749.JPG


Here is the last FTS I had in August 2018 where everything still looked pretty good, but the tables were starting to decline at this point.
IMG_8718.JPG


I took this picture this morning of the coral that is in the upper center of the tank. Random branches STNing, and they have been for months. The colony will lose a few branches, recover, lose a few branches, recover, etc etc.
IMG_E2216.JPG


I would think if there was a systemic issue with the tank (i.e water chemistry, pests, lighting, contaminants, toxins) that the WHOLE colony or everything in the tank would show signs of stress and death. That has not been the case for me. It seems very random, and like I mentioned earlier, seems to effect different corals at different times.

I have battled AEFW and sea spiders before and I know the signs. There are no AEFW in my system as far as I can tell. I have inspected my corals closely for pests, and have yet to see anything with the naked eye. I've also lost sections of encrusting montis as well, so I don't think it would be an Acro specific parasite.

Other signs I've seen is twice since these issues began, I have lost nearly all my sponge growth in my tank within a matter of days. I have a TON of encrusting sponges under rocks, and suddenly all of it dying back? That's weird. Nothing in my logbook to explain what could have triggered it from my actions the days before. I feel like this could be related to the coral health.

I did have the wherewithal to send of a Triton test in August of 2018 when I was losing my large tabling colonies:
Triton 2018.1.JPG

Triton 2018.2.JPG


Triton 2018.3.JPG


An additional note is I did remove my old lighting, which was 2 T5 bulbs, an Ocean Revive, and an Orphek Atlantik, and replaced with 2 more T5's and three LED strips from Build My LED. I checked the PAR when I changed lights and adjusted the BMLs to roughly match the PAR I had before. This was in August of 2018, but according to my logbook, corals were already starting to die off at this point. It COULD be the lighting change, but considering the issues had started prior to the light change, and the fact that plenty of people have great success with T5s and a couple of LED strips, I'm inclined to think it's not lighting. Also, lighting is static, the ebb and flow of coral health is not.... Old lighting set up:
IMG_3405.JPG


So here we are. It's been over a year of frustration with SPS. I used to grow corals so fast I didn't have room on my frag racks, now I don't even bother fragging any more. I'm about to tear the system down and start from scratch. I'm hoping someone out there will point to something I have not yet thought of so I don't have to go through with that mess. So, who out there has any ideas?
I will say this. I cannot offer any advice as clearly you are head and shoulders above anything I could ever do with keeping sps. I just wanted to offer my condolences for your losses.

Try and keep your chin up.
 
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