Right or wrong, rapid tissue necrosis (or RTN) is in this hobby often is seen as a newbie mistake — a sign of bad husbandry and a sign of bad decisions. Ironically this is a view mostly held by inexperienced aquarists, as even the most experienced and hardcore reefer can experience RTN. Recently event the amazing reef of Sanjay Joshi experienced a puzzling bout of RTN.
Sanjay Joshi is one of those guys that is a reef aquarist at heart. And if you are even remotely engaged in the reef hobby, you’ve probably come across one of his many articles, seen photographs of his reef tanks, fish and corals, and you’ve probably seen him speak at your local reef club or any of the larger events. If there really was such a thing as experts in the reef aquarium world, Sanjay Joshi would be one of them. Which brings us back to the original point, there are no experts with all the answers in this hobby since reef aquariums can be as unpredictable as the ocean itself.
Sanjay Joshi has been seeing RTN on his corals since mid May and sadly, the carnage still continues. Countless mother colonies, and prized frags have succumbed to the mysterious cause of death. Although the recession recently slowed down for a short period of time, there is still no end in sight.
We truly couldn’t imagine a worse reef keeping nightmare as RTN. The standard culprits have all been ruled out including all measurable parameters and numerous other factors, so we’ll probably never find out what the cause was, but there are numerous theories. Sanjay Joshi himself lists some of the possible reasons: the addition of some unknown bacteria or virus from introducing new corals, his existing population of AEFW (have not presented a problem in the past), or a bacterial/viral bloom from the seasonal shift in temperature. But again, it could really be anything.
A post like this really makes us sad when a show-stopping reef is hit hard with something devastating like RTN. Perhaps it is a reminder that really anything can happen in this hobby, and that no matter how hard we try to tame these mini ecosystems, sometimes they’re just going to follow their own will. We certainly wish Sanjay Joshi the best of luck, as in cases like this perhaps that is the only thing that can be done.