Introduction to Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN) and Slow Tissue Necrosis (STN): 

Tissue Necrosis and Slow Tissue Necrosis are used to describing an event of tissue coming off the coral or the coral turning white, which is known as bleaching. The speed at which this happens determines whether it is called rapid or slow tissue necrosis.

Rapid tissue necrosis happens when the coral is almost completely white within 24 hours.

Slow tissue necrosis can take days, weeks or even months.

There has been much discussed on what causes this problem.

It is thought to be caused by different strains of Vibrio bacteria.

What does a Vibrio Infection look like: 

You cannot see this bacterial infection with your eyes.

However, you can see the signs of the infection.

Signs of infection:

Rapid or slow loss of coral tissue revealing the bone of the coral. Typicaly seen is SPS corals.

Life Cycle:

These infections are thought to be spread through the water column. Water column being defined as a conceptual column of water from surface to bottom sediments.

Little else is know about the spread of the infection.


A quarantine tank is the easiest way to prevent Vibrio infections from destroying your reef tank. Ideally corals should be left in quarantine for 3 months.

During the quarantine time you should view the coral on a daily basis and watch for any anomalies.

Whether or not quarantine is an option, a dip in CoralRx is highly suggested.


Treatment should be done in a quarantine tank.

  1. First step is to move the effected corals to a quarantine tank; the quarantine tank should have good light and water flow. Setup your quarantine tank, then take your coral out of the main tank and dip it in Coral Rx. Making sure it is getting in between the branches and in all the cracks of the coral. Do this for approximately 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. After 5 – 10 minutes, remove coral and discard the coral dip.  Do not reuse coral dip as Coral Rx may have also removed parasites that have been known to release toxins.
  3. Rinse coral with clean saltwater and return to quarantine tank.

Repeat every 4-7 days until tissue recession has stopped.

Leave the coral in your quarantine system for an additional 3 months before moving back to your aquarium.


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