SPS STNing, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by HiFidelity, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hello folks,

    Let's start with the parameters;
    Temp: 76.5 (ran it this way all winter)
    SG: 1.025
    PH: 8.40-8.44 (more like 8.42-8.44 but I'm listing the max swing)
    KH: 8
    Ca: 440
    Mg: 1160

    Only dosing kalkwasser, was dosing vodka and I stopped, the STN started a month or so after!
    Mg is a little on the low side but not that low, can this still cause the STN?

    Temp, ph, kh & Ca are super steady, no swings at all.

    So what the heck's going on w/ my sps?
  2. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    My Alk is at least 9. I recently had an Alk swing that slowly went down to 8 and a few of my corals experienced STN. I noticed it first on a few of the montiporas. After it took me a whole month to figure out how much to dose, the STN stopped when I reached 9 KH.

    I goofed and entered in the wrong number in my dosing settings and that cost me almost 4 months worth of growth.
  3. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    If you stopped dosing vodka, perhaps your nitrates increased? What are your nitrate/phosphate readings?
  4. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Care to explain what STN is? I don't think all of us are familiar with the acronym. :)
    jonmos75 and Geneva like this.
  5. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    well RTN is rapid tissue necrosis. I imagine STN is Slow Tissue Necrosis. Essentially it's when you start seeing chunks of your coral dying. For acroporas you see a patch of dead acropora which spreads to the rest of the coral.

    Fidel. Is your alk and calcium stable? Acros hate alkalinity and calcium swings. Your magnesium is a little low. I also prefer to have my Alkalinity around 9DKH and my calcium at 450. Magnesium I like to keep at 1350.

    Give your acroporas a dip. There might be pest species you're not seeing. Dipping for a short period of time doesn't hurt. All the sps at Cali Reef Co get dipped with Coral RX and Lugols once a week for 5 minutes without any detrimental effects.

    Also a few acros especially fresh wild ones simply don't do well in reef aquariums but I would try to improve your parameters and do a dip.
    jonmos75 likes this.
  6. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    woohooo fast replies, exciting :D

    STN - "Slow Tissue Necrosis" and in my case this at first only affected one coral, my green slimer but yesterday I noticed my birdsnest is starting too. STN is appearing at the base and working its way up.

    8 KH & 440 Ca were kept there under the logic that replicating sea conditions is good? natural sea water is around 7 KH & 420 Ca, I guess it wouldn't hurt to bump up my kalk dose slightly I presume I'll end up with 9 KH & Ca somewhere above 450...

    NO3 is about 5mg/L and PO4 is 0 but I never trust PO4 test kits since they are almost never good at detecting it... If this is my issue I can easily assume that vodka was dealing with the PO4 to some degree and now that i stopped dosing it levels are higher, SPS is first to be upset by it...

    All of the mentioned SPS were growing beautifully and great color just a couple of months ago, then out of no where STN, odd part is the part that hasn't STN'd shows good PE & color.

    First things first, I'm only adjusting one thing at a time. Current plan of action is to do the following respectively;

    -I have to fix Mg first, that's a no brainer considering the low reading, I'm going to try to pry some time out of the next few days to hook up a bottle to my doser.
    -Start dosing vodka again
    -Increase Kalkwasser dosing
    -Run Dual Carbon & GFO BRS reactors (this is last resort)

    Open to ideas, it's your responses that prompted me to start & refine that check list :)
  7. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I would have done that if it was a few frags, these are colonies :confused:
  8. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I'm having the same issue with STN and so far narrowed it down to my stupid change in lights & salt :(
  9. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    I personally think you should start with Alk first, but that's just from my experience. Mg, calcium, bacteria, nitrates/phosphates has never been a problem for me with SPS even when they were swinging toward good and bad ranges.

    I just also noticed your PH. I don't know if 8.4 is bad, but I was under the impression that you want to keep it around ~8.1 or so?

    Are you changing water frequently? I do about 8 gallons a week religiously.
    Enderturtle likes this.
  10. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Could it be a reaction to pests?

    Have you considered fragging off the healthy parts and getting rid of the STN parts?
  11. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I highly doubt it's pests, I first thought flatworms and started to keep a close eye on the affected corals, never saw anything on there. I've ruled out flatworms since I've seen what they do and it doesn't look like this, it's far too slow and only at the base...

    Mg is certainly low there is no getting around it and this is after a water change so it's only going to be lower before the next water change, I have it already mixed & my dosing pump has been sitting unused for over a month now haha so this is a good excuse to set it up.

    I'll increase kalk and pick up a bigger container than what I'm using, I'll get it to 9KH & keep it there since I don't need higher PH than what I have already.
  12. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Id suggest carbon and a water change. And frag off a healthy part just in case...
  13. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    fyi, to keep my Mg levels up, I usually dose 1/3 cup of Mg into my freshly mixed batch of 10g salt water before the water change. Your mileage may vary but it's worked well for me, and Randy Holmes wrote an article about dosing Mg:


    More recently, I clarified with him on (or someone did in the same thread) how he does it, and he did what I mentioned above. He doesn't have to touch anything else and avoids an auto-doser. I think he or someone else also mentioned how Mg has been reduced in fairly recent Instant Ocean batches, so he compensates for it this way.

    My Mg I think is close to 1200 since I last measured it 2 or 3 weeks ago.

    I believe if you use the regular sodium bicarbonate mix, you can dose Alk and safely raise it 1.4 kH a day, without raising pH. I don't know anything about kalk to comment about it.

    I hope things get gravy soon for you!!!
  14. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    my Kh & Ca are taken care of with calcium hydroxide - kalkwasser.

    my magnesium is the BRS Magnesium Chloride & Sulfate solution mixed and dosed according to their instructions.

    Unfortunately that method does not work for me, I'm not very good at adding or dosing based on a calendar, therefore I'm more of a set it & forget it type of person then only come back to refill which is why I rely heavily on dosing regiments since I can automate these.

    I used to dump magnesium solution into my ATO once in a while (months apart) and I used to add kalk to my ATO whenever I refilled my ATO. Those were the days that my tank saw the most swings in parameters haha, simply because I'd forget or not have time, etc. etc. since then I've done much better automating my dosing on a daily regiment therefore my only input is refilling which you have to do no matter what.

    Wondering now what a good starting point is for magnesium? I'm thinking about setting my doser to add 1ml/day or 5ml once a week, could use some suggestions there so I'm not starting blind. I think last time I dumped a whole 100ml into my ATO (based on the BRS calculator) which resulted in a magnesium spike that literally happened overnight, I don't like that so that's why I'm looking into dosing small amounts more regularly...

    As to the other comments, I have carbon, gfo, magnesium, kalkwasser, many things I can adjust/add but as mentioned I have to pick them one at a time, right now I'm going to start dosing magnesium and also bump up my kalkwasser, I figured I'm already dosing kalkwasser, increasing the amount by a small fraction shouldn't save or destroy everything, once I get magnesium in good range and reach 9dkh I'll see if anything changes before doing anything else.

    I'll frag the healthiest tip off my slimer & see what happens, fortunately I gave a ton of them in DBTC and whoever asked for it, so it won't be lost if my colony dies.
  15. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    wow I can't believe I left this out;

    Something went wrong with one of my LED drivers, specifically the UV channel and now it's always at 100% so I lost dimming capability, could UV be causing it? if so how can it only affect one or two types of SPS and not the other stuff?
  16. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Yes excessive uv can harm corals. The ai hydra 52s blasted 100% uv one day and over the next two days the two heads gold torches started dying.

    A gold torch thats been in the tank for over 6 months with no issues what so ever. The other corals looked okay but yes i think the uv played a role.
  17. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Going PWM is well overdue for my lighting so it's time to decide if I want to run Storm-X or RA so I can finally simulate sunrise/sunset/weather :D
    hooked up my 4 chanel doser yesterday & programmed my kalk dosing regiment, tonight I'll do magnesium.
  18. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    GRRRRR all SPS is going now, much faster rate than before.

    I got mag going and Alk is on a slow incline but I did notice something strange, the past few days PH has been creeping up, it's at 8.50+ now but i haven't seen it go past 8.55. I'm going to test parameters again today and calibrate my probe.

    This has just gone to "I'm going to cross my fingers" rather than a little concerned.
  19. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    do water changes daily until it stops. then keep doing water changes;)
    anathema likes this.
  20. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    will do....

    which makes me wonder, anyone use coralife salt?
    I switched a few months ago, took a couple of months to transition to it so it wasn't old salt one water change and coralife the next.

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