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  1. #1
    Supporting Member Reefahholic's Avatar
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    STN and RTN events- What do you think!





    Over the years these events have really baffled my mind. Itís happened in my tanks, in many of my fellow reeferís tanks, and even in the LFS and seasoned experts tank.

    When I first got in this hobby I let my tank parameters swing too wide and I didnít test anything. I made a lot of newbie mistakes. From huge water changes (with different saltmix), nutrient depletion, very low major elements, absent minor elements, and you name it. I had no clue where my numbers actually were. Even if I did, I doubt I could have balanced things that well back then. I just didnít understand enough to know how. I know I let my ALK swing more than 1 DKH constantly which prevented me from keeping the harder SPS like Acropora. Looking back, I now know there were many times I had nutrient issues. I always kept very clean tanks...too clean for softies, but not stable enough for Acropora. A few times I experienced super high nutrient issues too. To make matters worse, I always started with dry rock which isnít necessarily a bad thing, but I had to move quite a few times. So as soon as the tank was hitting itís ďsweet spotĒ I needed to break it down. Later on, this turned out to be a blessing and a curse. I did learn a few things from having a lot of new tanks and moving the corals around. I started to learn what affects color and the importance of stability.

    I think for me, when I observed the most STN or RTN events- it was due to ALK swings and nutrient depletion. Yet for others, I canít say the same thing. Iíve visited several other reeferís reefs where the tank looked totally amazing, and all the corals seemed to be thriving! However, one Acropora was either STNíing or RTNíing. This always tweaked my brain which led me to post this thread today so that we could talk about it. I wanted to ask you guys what your experience has been and what you think causes these events.

    I think it would be interesting to discuss all the possible scenarios when these events can possible happen. Maybe starting from the most likely causes and ending with some of the least likely causes. Anybody care to share those weird unexplained stories that youíve heard or witnessed at a LFS or other reefers tank where everything begin to STN/RTN and die.? Maybe they figured out the issue and corrected it.? Letís talk about it.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member RR-MAN's Avatar
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    Even dust in your house in certain time of year could cause stn/rtn...dang SPS
    STN and RTN events- What do you think!STN and RTN events- What do you think!STN and RTN events- What do you think!

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  4. #3
    Supporting Member Reefahholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RR-MAN View Post
    Even dust in your house in certain time of year could cause stn/rtn...dang SPS
    STN and RTN events- What do you think!STN and RTN events- What do you think!STN and RTN events- What do you think!
    It really does seem like that sometimes, but some of these guys have large colonies that they’ve had for years. They have it down to a science.

    All I know is that nutrients play a huge role. Everybody thinks that Calcium reactors are the secret. Let me ask you guys a question. What do you think will happen to my ALK level when I put another GHL 2.1 online with a KH Director running off an Apex? I’d have the doser and KH Director set up with failsafes so in the event the KH director got a reading that fell outside a .05 DKH range, the GHL would suspend that dose that would normally correct that result. I’d be able to precisely control my ALK level to the point of near perfection.


    Just imagine if you had a Reef Bot linked to a GHL. You could program it to test all the Trace Elements and also NO3 and PO4. Then program the GHL just like you can with the KH Director and have it dose anything based on the results. Also adding failsafes like before.

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    Ive have had the same experience. 90 colonies doing great and 2 or are std. Its really strange because colonies
    Ive had 2 or 3 years are gone in a matter of days. This last month I lost my favorite colony. Because it was my favorite
    had colonies in 4 different tanks. Lost all 4 within a week. Will say I was using a different salt otherwise don't have
    a clue. Few others looked bad also but everything else looks great.
    David
    M.A.R.S.H. - Vice President
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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    Supporting Member Reefahholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reeftopia View Post
    Ive have had the same experience. 90 colonies doing great and 2 or are std. Its really strange because colonies
    Ive had 2 or 3 years are gone in a matter of days. This last month I lost my favorite colony. Because it was my favorite
    had colonies in 4 different tanks. Lost all 4 within a week. Will say I was using a different salt otherwise don't have
    a clue. Few others looked bad also but everything else looks great.
    I can say with 100% certainty that I lost Acropora and Anemones to depleted NO3. As in ZERO.

    It’s better to go high nutrients than low, because if you let them go to zero for long enough those Acropora will RTN.

    Look at Sanjay’s tank. His nutrients are very high. His PO4 runs about 1.8 and NO3 at 50.

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  9. #6
    BOD MEMBER steveb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RR-MAN View Post
    Even dust in your house in certain time of year could cause stn/rtn...dang SPS
    STN and RTN events- What do you think!STN and RTN events- What do you think!STN and RTN events- What do you think!
    or looking at them wrong and they think you have given them the stink eye
    Steve
    M.A.R.S.H. - Board Member / Site Admin
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  11. #7
    Supporting Member Reefahholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveb View Post
    or looking at them wrong and they think you have given them the stink eye

    These guys have to know something that most people don’t. They either really stupid buying all those high dollar colonies or they figured out the balance. IMO, if you keep the right elements at the right levels, they won’t RTN/STN. Look at worldwide corals. They have no problems keeping them long term.

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    BOD MEMBER steveb's Avatar
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    STN and RTN events- What do you think!

    I was jesting with RR-MAN earlier, but in all seriousness the things that have caused me issues with SPS:

    1 - Alk swings of more than .5 dkh
    2 - Dropping phosphates to fast
    3 - large swings in salinity (ATO pump unplugged, plugged in w/out thinking about it first)
    4 - large temp swings > 5į

    I'm not saying I still experience any of these STN and RTN events- What do you think!

    These are just the things that have caused me issues in the past to my best recollection.

    I'm sure nutrients/trace elements play role as does total water volume, flow, lighting & coral species.

    I also wonder with large colonies, if middle branches are more sensitive due to reduced flow.

    I agree WWC knows what they are doing but I am sure they have losses from time to time.
    Last edited by steveb; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:21 AM.
    Steve
    M.A.R.S.H. - Board Member / Site Admin
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  14. #9
    BOD MEMBER steveb's Avatar
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    oh I have been able to stop STN using super glue, either on a frag clipped from the parent or in some cases just gluing the heck out of the original coral.. Ugly as sin but coral eventually lays down tissue over the super glue.

    RTN I have never been able to stop.
    Steve
    M.A.R.S.H. - Board Member / Site Admin
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

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  16. #10
    Supporting Member Reefahholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveb View Post
    I was jesting with RR-MAN earlier, but in all seriousness the things that have caused me issues with SPS:

    1 - Alk swings of more than .5 dkh
    2 - Dropping phosphates to fast
    3 - large swings in salinity (ATO pump unplugged, plugged in w/out thinking about it first)
    4 - large temp swings > 5į

    I'm not saying I still experience any of these STN and RTN events- What do you think!

    These are just the things that have caused me issues in the past to my best recollection.

    I'm sure nutrients/trace elements play role as does total water volume, flow, lighting & coral species.

    I also wonder with large colonies, if middle branches are more sensitive due to reduced flow.

    I agree WWC knows what they are doing but I am sure they have losses from time to time.

    Some people believe it’s bacterial. Others say it’s a pest. I think nutrients play a big role. To be quite frank, a lot of things play a role. Like you said, lighting flow, salinity, trace elements, water volume, coral placement, stability, etc. If you look at how WWC runs their systems, it’s very basic. If you guys go back and look at the thread I posted it’s really the KISS method excluding the CaRx.


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