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jservedio

Jack's 9 year old 20g Tall

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jservedio
2 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

My red planet took about 3 years to warm up to my tank, 🤣. It kept encrusting for the longest time, didn’t shoot up any branches until this last two years  

Better than my experience, I've lost 2 acros in the last 4 years - both of them red planets! I'm skipping the 3/4" frags this one time and just grabbing a 2" frag to speed me up a year.

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jservedio

Other than some ricordea for my garden and maybe another zoa frag, I got the last big piece for my tank yesterday - a Red Planet. Reefer down the street cut me a nice 2" frag with 8 or 9 growth tips, so hopefully it'll catch up to the other acros quickly and not just base out for the next two years. Sorry it's not a great picture, but my eyes suck and I can't focus for shit on small things with my camera!

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Also added these to the fight club:

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Somehow this blasto got the best of the big echinata

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Here are a couple of pictures of corals that you just can't see in an FTS or just blend into the background. First, this is my stylo island down in the sand that's pretty much entirely blocked by my big purple cap and bowerbankii which sit in front of it and steal all of the attention. It's recovered since being moved and is looking good now:

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This big montipora confusa also looks like pretty much noting in an FTS since it's darker purple, but it's actually pretty huge - it's about 5" wide and 7" front to back and grows really fast. By itself or in person, it actually looks pretty good for what was a $10 frag:

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One last picture for the day, but this is probably going to end in the Coral Fight Club very soon. Not really sure how this even works - but this acro has grown directly into this micro as well as the monti, all three are touching (plus some zoas), yet everything is playing nice for now. As long as the micro doesn't go all WWIII on everything, I'll be happy with the outcome.

 

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Just to the left of the war about to break out, some skirmishing has broken out between the acro and monti. Here, after a ceasefire the monti was nice enough to allow the acro to build a base on it's skeleton.

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Looks like in just one short month, my blasto island has filled in and you can't even tell that less than 30 days ago things were hacked off and glued somewhere new!

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Also, knowing that my Kalk days are limited with more acros that are ever growing, I broke out my old dosing pump and started calibrating it in preparation. Since it doesn't have a calibration feature and a lot of people crap on dosing pumps without a calibration feature, I created a guide for how to calibrate a pump without this feature (like my Bubble Magus) so hopefully it'll help others if they opted for a cheap or 2nd hand dosing pump:

 

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I was organizing some pictures today on my external and found a horde of unsorted photos of my reef from 2013, so I spent a couple hours creating some really cool progress pictures of some corals over the span of seven years!

 

Up first is my Orange Crush Acan Echinata. I got this coral on a 1" frag plug back 2012 and was one of the very first corals that I got and the very first coral I got from a local reefer. This coral has seen it all over the last 8+ years and has been beaten down many times through my moves, dinos, chysophytes, alkalinity swings, and pretty much every other up an down this tank has had. It has receded significantly on at least 3 occasions, but has come back stronger and more colorful each time. It's now dome shaped and about 4.5" in diameter.

 

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Next up is my awesome Reverse Bleeding Apple Bowerbankii I got as a freebie from Scott at @UniqueCorals. I thought I only had super low resolution blurry pictures of this thing from when I got it, but apparently I got a halfway decent one. It didn't look like much of anything back in July 2013 - just a 1" beat up frag with two tiny razor thin green lines. It's pretty incredible now and up to 11 polyps and close to 5" across. This coral has also been through it all, but never really suffered through my tank's issues. It just keeps chugging along and growing at a snails pace, but it's a slow and steady forward march.

 

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Next is a Platygyra I got from The Fish Room in Raleigh in 2012 and was probably the 3rd or 4th coral I ever got. It was just a 1" chip fresh off the tile saw and it has encrusted and been chipped off my rockwork and moved than any other coral in my tank and been under the dremel at least a half dozen times. Here it is in early 2013 after being moved for the first of many times. It is now happily glued down and encrusted into a nice 4.5" dome and colored up quite a bit. It's probably also the only aggressive LPS in my tank without a body count, even if it is in war mode right now.

 

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Next is my Hollywood Stunner chalice. I got this in 2013 as a bleached out chip from The Fish Room (I don't even remember paying for this one, I think it got thrown in with other stuff I bought) and it sat looking ugly and recovering for a couple years, but oh my did it recover. This coral has the honor of being the most fragged coral in my tank and the one I tried to eradicate several time unsuccessfully. Every time I chipped it off and sold it, I left behind a tiny piece of flesh that somehow clung on and regrew. I last got rid of it in 2016, but here it is growing fairly quickly and up to about 4" x 3".

 

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Finally, my Merulina. I got this in 2013 (probably why I got the stunner for free) from the Fish Room from the $10 frag rack fresh off the saw. While it's colored up a bit over the years and has grown like mad, the most impressive thing is that this started out as a branching coral, but from rolling around on the sandbed for the last 7 years, all but one of the branches has been consumed by skeletal growth and is now a plating lump. While the picture makes it look pretty small, this thing is actually about 7" x 3.5" x 3" tall. Maybe one day in another 7 years it'll start branching for me.

 

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Hopefully I find some more pictures of my really old corals from back in the day. All things considered, I still have the vast majority of my LPS since I didn't sell too many of them throughout my moves.

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Amphrites

I cannot believe that bowerbanki was a freebie.

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jservedio
12 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

I cannot believe that bowerbanki was a freebie.

I can't even imagine how much it would cost now for this colony - I know he sold the mother colony this came from for like $700 about 5 years ago and it wasn't much bigger than mine is now and not nearly as colored up.

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I did another two progress pictures since I had the old ones laying around!

 

First is my Micromussa Amakusensis - I got this from Unique Corals back in 2014 for my 2g pico as a centerpiece when it was only 0.75" across and 9 full polyps and 6 years later, it now has too many polyps to count, has incredible color, and is a dome that is around 3.5" across. It grows well, glows incredibly bright, and devours asterinas while playing nicely with the corals around it.

 

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Next up is my mystery tort, but in all likelihood is just a 2nd copy of a Yellow Tips or a nicer-looking Miyagi. This is only 16 months worth of growth, but it's pretty staggering for my tank - even for an acro. It's also gone bonkers in the color department from where it started a little over a year ago!

 

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jservedio

Nothing like an attack at dawn to get your day going

 

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Nano sapiens

Congrats on the 9 year mark!  That's some sever coral warfare.  At least it appears that there's some give and take. 

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jservedio
4 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

Congrats on the 9 year mark!  That's some sever coral warfare.  At least it appears that there's some give and take. 

Thank you! Your tank is looking great as ever, too. I can't believe how sparkly clean your sand is - mine is covered in coralline, green algae, and detritus (plus no small amount of cyano because of said detritus).

 

The warfare has definitely been picking up more recently among the LPS that had been quiet for years, but I think I've got it sorted out for now without too much movement. Only one casualty, sold one big coral, and moved 4 smaller corals. Other than the favia beating on some palys, it's calm for a bit. Once this tank hits 10 years old in October, it's getting upgraded to a 50!

 

My main concern now is my RBTAs which are getting more and more out of control. Just a couple weeks ago they sent my Mini-Maxi's running for the hills and they are now on a walkabout of the tank. Thankfully they don't sting too badly and corals recover quickly, but the RBTAs are stretching precariously close to the acros on the left side of the tank and I can only shift their rock maybe 2". Probably time to let one of the twins go - 12" worth of RBTA in a 24x12" tank is just too much. 6" might be a little much but it's at least halfway better.

 

Edit: Yeah, definitely too much nem... the front glass of my aquarium is very unfortunately the right edge of the photo.

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Nano sapiens

Big nems, small tank...I can see where the idea to upsize comes from :smilie:

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Nano sapiens
On 5/13/2020 at 7:37 PM, jservedio said:

Better than my experience, I've lost 2 acros in the last 4 years - both of them red planets! I'm skipping the 3/4" frags this one time and just grabbing a 2" frag to speed me up a year.

Funny, I had the opposite experience where a 2" frag didn't do well until I fragged it into 3/4" pieces and placed those in different likely spots hoping one or two would do well (one did too well actually and at over 4" across killed everything in a 6" radius before I rehomed it).

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Nano sapiens
6 hours ago, jservedio said:

Thank you! Your tank is looking great as ever, too. I can't believe how sparkly clean your sand is - mine is covered in coralline, green algae, and detritus (plus no small amount of cyano because of said detritus).

Thanks.  My CUC compliment of just two Red-Legged Hermits and a Bristle worm or two doesn't do much sand sifting, so I have to do most of the 'heavy lifting' 😏

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jservedio
14 minutes ago, Nano sapiens said:

Thanks.  The sand I just stir every few days since my CUC compliment of just two Red-Legged Hermits and a Bristle worm or two doesn't do much sand sifting (it still gets a very light diatom coating every once in a while, but nothing serious).  Long-term import/export nutrient balancing in small nanos...part of the never-ending challenge 😊

You too with a tiny CuC - yours is even smaller than mine! I'm always shocked when I see just how many critters people get for a new tank. I've got two hermits and two snails, but no other cool free CUC members on account of the wrasse eating them all.

 

Your scape is so much cleaner than mine - every time I try to stir the couple areas I get cyano, I just end up fragging something. Maybe I can see a conch in my future.

 

Screw nutrient balancing - I just dump in as much food as I can and let the sponges soak up whatever the corals don't 😂

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Nano sapiens
19 minutes ago, jservedio said:

You too with a tiny CuC - yours is even smaller than mine! I'm always shocked when I see just how many critters people get for a new tank. I've got two hermits and two snails, but no other cool free CUC members on account of the wrasse eating them all.

 

Your scape is so much cleaner than mine - every time I try to stir the couple areas I get cyano, I just end up fragging something. Maybe I can see a conch in my future.

 

Screw nutrient balancing - I just dump in as much food as I can and let the sponges soak up whatever the corals don't 😂

A small conch sounds like just the ticket for you!

 

What I've found over the many years is that as these small nanos mature they need less and less CUC.  Much of the real estate gets covered over by coraline or corals, so algae just don't have many places to get a foothold.

 

The only original tank raised CUC that I still have are a few Bristleworms, tiny Collunista snails and some Mysids.  I eliminated the Gamarus Amphipods (curse their Zoa eating ways!) with a Black Barred Convict Goby and my small 1/4" limpets may be extinct.  I tried a small Trochus a few months ago, but it turned catatonic in a few short days (Hermits gave me a little 'leg salute' for that feast) 😉

 

I'd really like to get a hold of some Stomatella's and have them possibly multiply, but they are not so easy to come by anymore...

 

Hope you don't end up with more sponges than corals one day 😃

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jservedio
8 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

A small conch sounds like just the ticket for you!

 

What I've found over the many years is that as these small nanos mature they need less and less CUC.  Much of the real estate gets covered over by coraline or corals, so algae just don't have many places to get a foothold.

 

The only original tank raised CUC that I still have are a few Bristleworms, tiny Collunista snails and some Mysids.  I eliminated the Gamarus Amphipods (curse their Zoa eating ways!) with a Black Barred Convict Goby and my small 1/4" limpets may be extinct.  I tried a small Trochus a few months ago, but it turned catatonic in a few short days (Hermits gave me a little 'leg salute' for that feast) 😉

 

I'd really like to get a hold of some Stomatella's and have them possibly multiply, but they are not so easy to come by anymore...

 

Hope you don't end up with more sponges than corals one day 😃

 

I definitely agree about needing less as the tank matures, but I really don't think nanos ever really need the absurd CUCs that that are sold to new reefers as "packs" and they are essentially just feeding their hermits escargot with the added cost of overnight shipping as the snails inevitably starve to death over a few months.

 

I really wish I still had some of that awesome micro life, but the wrasse took care of that for me - I had everything you did plus a bunch of stomatellas in the 2g (got lucky from LR) and all I have now are Asterinas and Gamarus Amphipods, but they don't cause zoa problems since they never live that long. Once a week or so I skip feeding for a day and their population is decimated. I doubt I'll ever get that kind of life back either because when I upgrade, pretty much all I'm adding are more wrasses. At least the sessile stuff doesn't get eaten! If my wife allows it, I really want to build a shallow volcano style mangrove tank next to the DT one day that will support those kinds of cool critters with it plumbed into my main system - but that's probably a few years off. 

 

I wish I had even more sponges! I think they look better than coralline, but in the DT all I've got are these in all of the dark spots, but the entire sump floor is covered in hundreds of pineapples.

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Sorry for all the super long responses - there just aren't a whole lot of people with tanks older than 5-6 years on here!

 

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Nano sapiens
4 hours ago, jservedio said:

 

I definitely agree about needing less as the tank matures, but I really don't think nanos ever really need the absurd CUCs that that are sold to new reefers as "packs" and they are essentially just feeding their hermits escargot with the added cost of overnight shipping as the snails inevitably starve to death over a few months.

Agreed.

Quote

 

I really wish I still had some of that awesome micro life, but the wrasse took care of that for me - I had everything you did plus a bunch of stomatellas in the 2g (got lucky from LR) and all I have now are Asterinas and Gamarus Amphipods, but they don't cause zoa problems since they never live that long. Once a week or so I skip feeding for a day and their population is decimated. I doubt I'll ever get that kind of life back either because when I upgrade, pretty much all I'm adding are more wrasses. At least the sessile stuff doesn't get eaten! If my wife allows it, I really want to build a shallow volcano style mangrove tank next to the DT one day that will support those kinds of cool critters with it plumbed into my main system - but that's probably a few years off. 

 

I wish I had even more sponges! I think they look better than coralline, but in the DT all I've got are these in all of the dark spots, but the entire sump floor is covered in hundreds of pineapples.

 

 

Sorry for all the super long responses - there just aren't a whole lot of people with tanks older than 5-6 years on here!

 

Fish in general put a lot of pressure on the diversity of micro life in these small nanos.  The two I have right now, an Eyebrow Barnacle Blenny and a Yellow Lined Cleaner Goby, are much less decimating than most and I chose them mostly for that reason.

 

My sponge compliment has changed over the years.  I used to have quite a few of those small 'ball sponges', but now it's mostly semi-transparent sheets of sponge in the darkest places and a yellow-orange one that ebbs and flows depending on the nutrient levels.  I have just a few vermetid snails, small groups of collonial hydroids, which I let be and quite a few micro brittle stars.

 

I keep the sand bed fairly clean by vacuuming weekly, but it does have life.  When I look at the detritus collected with a magnifier, I can see a fair amount of nematodes, very small micro brittle stars and a type of smaller benthic amphipod (not the hunchbacked Gamarus type).  And a few of those 'worm channels' that form each week against the side glass...

 

All in all, can't complain about the variety of micro life considering how long the tank has been running and the various micropredators that have lived in it.  Based on Aquabiomics test results, the bacterial life is still quite diverse for something this old (diversity tends to decrease with age).

 

Yup, older nano systems are a rarity it seems and while I'd like to see that change, I don't think it's very likely.

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Nano sapiens
13 hours ago, jservedio said:

Screw nutrient balancing - I just dump in as much food as I can and let the sponges soak up whatever the corals don't 😂

LOL, curious what your PO4 and NO3 levels are...

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jservedio
4 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

LOL, curious what your PO4 and NO3 levels are...

I'll dig the expired nitrate test kit and Hanna checker out of the garage next week - I haven't tested either in 4 years 🙄

 

I go by the classic "looks good to me" test - the more I feed the better my color gets, so I'm assuming it's all good! I will say while my growth is probably below average, the color I get is pretty spectacular.

 

Unfortunately this system isn't going past 10 years, but the next one is being built for extremely long term!

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Nano sapiens
15 minutes ago, jservedio said:

Unfortunately this system isn't going past 10 years, but the next one is being built for extremely long term!

Awesome!

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jservedio
9 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

LOL, curious what your PO4 and NO3 levels are...

Well dug out the Nitrate test kit and it's telling me 5ppm. That being said, I'm pretty sure it's a liar since the kit expired 5 years ago and I feed 2-3x a day pretty heavily plus 1-2 cubes of mysis a week.

 

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Nano sapiens
1 minute ago, jservedio said:

Well dug out the Nitrate test kit and it's telling me 5ppm. That being said, I'm pretty sure it's a liar since the kit expired 5 years ago and I feed 2-3x a day pretty heavily plus 1-2 cubes of mysis a week.

Good try, though!  😊

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