Coral Warfare with RTN (Frogspawn vs. SPS)
When I rescaped after changing the sand (newbie mistake) I had placed a frogspawn (LPS) in close proximity to my center piece rock with 5yrs of SPS growth on it. Well the other day I noticed the branch of SPS that was touching the frogspawn turning white.
I am pretty sure it was RTN that got it. From the time I left for work and got home the whole back of the coral had turned white, there was an aroma in the tank and it visibly grew a 1/2" over the course of 90 minutes. It was a white stripe traveling up the stems from the base, leaving a trail of black/blue coral that was liquifying in front of my eyes resulting in nothing left behind but the white skeleton. I was partly worried about what it would do to my tank having that large of a die-off and also about saving the whole rock/coral. The SPS had been on there for a so long time it had completely encrusted the liverock.
Due to how fast it was spreading I did not try any QT, dipping, or any thing I read about how to save corals from RTN, even most of the results I found from those methods were highly unsuccessful and boiled down to simply having to frag what you can salvage... so that's what I did :-( I ended up just tossing the rock completely as it stunk bad from all the fragging and all that was left was the dead/dieing SPS encrusted onto it.
Total loss was a few tree corals, a few small colonies of leather's, 3lb piece of liverock with 5yr's of solid biolife on/in it. Salvaged five 1"-3" frags though that so far are doing well.
Costly lesson learned...
I didn't know any better and had them pretty close, well tank was doing well and the frogspawn grew until it reached the SPS. Once I noticed the SPS turning white I spread them out thinking it was due to lack of light or flow (coming from freshwater planted, it made sense to me at the time). Didn't think about coral warfare. Well that little a-hole frogspawn killed my best piece of SPS resulting in a few tree's, leathers, and live rock going down as innocent bystanders.
SPS Encrusted Liverock with Leathers and Tree's on it. (now in my trash can...)
You can see the RTN clearly in this photo. Notice the far left tips coming from the bottom are white and the middle stem is white at the base with a transition to dark with a white ring just below the remaining live portion. I just moved the frogspawn away.
Here is the rock after fragging the stems from the base. See how encrusted it had become around the rock. The whole bottom portion of the SPS base was already dead when I took it out of the water and stunk.
I didn't want to put the rock back in the tank because of the large amount of remaing SPS rotting away so I took a few chunks of the leather patches from the front and two of the purple tree's.
Surviving patch of leather
Two surviving tree's. I had an extra rock rubble in the tank they fit perfect into :-)
All that is left... SPS frag pile. Going to glue them on plugs or another piece of rock this weekend if they make it through the RTN and fragging.
After shot. Notice the missing centerpiece :-( Well I guess it's a lesson learned and time to double check the rest of the aquascape.
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