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jservedio

Jack's Old 20g Picture Journal - Now 20% Less Janky

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jservedio

In the last 4 years, my 20g tank has logged more than 2,000 miles in 5 different moves, has visited 8 different states, and two of those moves were half way across the country. Needless to say, this has taken quite a toll on the tank. It's been up and running in some state for some eight years now, and finally has a permanent home now that we've bought a house. With any luck, things will flourish, uninterrupted. SPS have been back in the tank a few months now and am hoping I won't have to sell them off and move again like I usually have to do!

 

Equipment:

  • Tank: Standard Petco $20 20g Tall - 24x12x16.
  • Lighting: Radion XR30 Pro (G1) with upgraded wide-angle lenses @ 45%
  • Flow: 1x MP10 and return pump @ 100% in Yellow Mode
  • Sump: DIY 10g Standard Petco $10 10g - 20x10x12 with 2 chambers
  • Skimmer: Bubble Magus C3.5
  • ATO: Avast Marine with Aqualifter
  • Temperature: Ranco 111000 connected to old titanium heater
  • Overflow: HOB CPR CS50 with Aqualifter siphone and DIY float valve relay on return to prevent accidents
  • Dosing: 1/4 - 1/3 gallon of 27.5% saturated Kalk in RODI per day. Keeps Alk between 8.4 and 9.2 over the course of about 20 days.

 

Live Stock:

  • Fish: 2x Percula Clowns and one Hoeven's/Melanurus Wrasse
  • Coral: Acros, Montis, Acans, Favia, Stylo, Birdsnest, Merulina, Blastos, Chalice, Platygyra, Ricordea, Zoas, Palys
  • Nems: Two RBTAs (mother and baby), 2x Mini-Maxis

 

Everything has been set up for ease of maintenance and being able to run for a week if I'm travelling since the amount of time I have to dedicate to my reef comes and goes - after 8 years, I just want it to be as simple as I can get - no more experimenting with gadgets or fads, just simple, basic husbandry. It seems the only time I am working on my reef these days between work, climbing when it's warm and snowboarding when it's cold is when the weather is crappy and I'm stuck inside.

 

FTS on 6/20/19:

2019-06-20_fts.thumb.jpg.bc02e1e8caa243b7d77e0e57326f3f73.jpg

 

FTS on 2/19/19:

2019-02-19_fts.thumb.jpg.4d9ac0025913d2cf092c48fa1082f6a6.jpg

 

Here's a FTS from where I am starting from, again, in it's beat-down glory 10/4/18:

20180831_140951_HDR_2.thumb.jpg.dbcba0df73ade02c781f5f195ea7e9f0.jpg

 

 

All things considered, it's looking pretty decent having spent more than 2 weeks of it's life packed up just like this:

move.jpg.b871060063a1cbbc076064afda6a187f.jpg

 

 

While the tank is starting to really look good inside, it's not looking so good from the outside:

20190429_223703.thumb.jpg.301e6f72a0ff8b02eff8a9e64f5f9893.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Christopher Marks

Congratulations on your new home @jservedio! I'm really impressed you've kept your system going in some form over all these years and moves, that takes some serious dedication. Now that it's finally settled you have a stellar coral collection to grow out!

 

What's your favorite coral that you've managed to keep all this time?

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skyscraper2290

Looks great especially considering all of the moves you have made! That’s some serious dedication and looking forward to you getting a chance to really grow the tank out now!

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jservedio
On 9/4/2018 at 4:49 PM, Christopher Marks said:

Congratulations on your new home @jservedio! I'm really impressed you've kept your system going in some form over all these years and moves, that takes some serious dedication. Now that it's finally settled you have a stellar coral collection to grow out!

 

What's your favorite coral that you've managed to keep all this time?

 

Either my Bowerbankii or one of my two Echinatas. I've had the bowerbankii since 2012 or thereabouts and both of the Echinatas since the beginning. One of the echinatas is the big one on the rocks that's pretty much been doing extremely well since I got it and the other one receded, regrew over the dead skeleton, bleached, receded, and is now regrown almost all the way back, though it's still regaining color.

 

The bowerbankii is pretty incredible and has done some cool things, like eat one of my hermits, shell and all, and than spit the shell out a few days later:

hermit_feast_side.jpg

 

hermit_feast_front.jpg

 

And now after all that feeding:

bowerbankii.thumb.jpg.310c752feb488fbd2414b5215391f81c.jpg

 

 

Edit: On second thought, that Acan wasn't always so hot. Here it was not super long after I got it:

purple_favia.jpg

 

Here it is a couple years later, in 2013, after my clowns decided to "host" it and turn it into a "donut" shaped acan (thought it was a favia since that's how it was sold to me by the LFS).

sleepy_clowns.JPG

 

And now:

echinata.thumb.jpg.2d7b71ac4bd4daaee89a1a3c35f87324.jpg

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jservedio

Over the last week or so, a tiny, single Acan Lord polyp popped up where I used to have one about 3 years ago that got ripped off and sold before one of our moves. It's only about 3/16 of an inch across! For scale, that's a micromussa with roughly 1/4" polyps at the top of the photo. Love getting corals popping up in my tank out of nowhere.

20180918_113240_HDR_2.thumb.jpg.7aec204e9b4c5887318625b6c91fbe37.jpg

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jservedio

My maxi-minis are starting to color up again nicely! The yellow rainbow one inverted it's stomach shortly after we moved back from Madison and I thought for sure it was a goner. After almost 2 years, it's finally healed itself.

 

maxi-minis.jpg

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jservedio

My monti is really taking off, all of the acros are fully plated after just about 2 months, and oddly enough haven't lost anything I put in.

 

20181127_092453.jpg

 

My once-every-few-years dino outbreak happened a few weeks ago, but is mostly under control and hopefully I'll have eradicated in another few weeks. I try not to blackout or get too drastic with it and let it run it's course unless it gets out of hand. H2O2 daily, lighter feeding, bump Mg slowly, and ever so slightly adjusting C:N:P ratio (dosing C and N) until it goes away. Thankfully I only had to do a full blackout for days one time back when the tank was new, but it seems to handle it a lot better.

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jservedio

My lump of Platygyra continues to slowly grow and my wrasse seems to like when I  get over by that part of the tank.

20181127_131154_HDR.jpg

 

Slow growth since I got it about 4 and a half years ago, but - not dead or dying!

 

DSC_0206.jpg

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jservedio

On the other hand, my Hulk Micromussa has done a lot in four years and the colors have gotten insane on it. I had to desaturate the top down picture just so it wasn't entirely blown out - notice how desaturated the purple cap and mandarin zoas are!

 

Booger sized frag shortly after I got it in 2014 with 10 polyps:

micro-2014.jpg

 

And the picture I took today, 65ish 71 polyps:

micro-top.jpg

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jservedio

Two months of growth since my last FTS - all the acros except the red robin are fully plated. The red robin fell off the rock and onto the giant acan below it, which did a number on it. I had to cut about an inch off the top, but it's wound is healed and started plating again. I bleached the birdsnest since I didn't realize how little light it got at my LFS a week after my last FTS, but at least it's growing like mad. The monti,  stylo, and my favia have grown quite a bit. My rock of beaten down corals in the lower left is recovering very slowly. Haven't lost anything and nothing is receding - hopefully the tank can keep moving forward now that it's not being moved constantly!

 

fts-2018-12-11.jpg

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Gourami Swami

Awesome tank and collection of corals! I am going to have to move in about a year, this gives me hope that I won't have to sell my current reef and start anew.

What kind of wrasse is that? I like him

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jservedio
30 minutes ago, Gourami Swami said:

Awesome tank and collection of corals! I am going to have to move in about a year, this gives me hope that I won't have to sell my current reef and start anew.

What kind of wrasse is that? I like him

This tank has been between WI and NC twice now and in local moves another 3 times, so as long as you are careful - you won't lose a lot. For the 1000 mile moves that are multi-day, you will almost certainly lose a few things and you have to be extra careful for the 6 months after a long move, but I've never lost anything in a local move where the tank is set up the same day.

 

It's a Hoeven's (Melanurus) wrasse. They are my favorite wrasse, but If you don't have a 60g tank, I wouldn't but one. I got this one from a friend to keep for a "couple weeks, like a month max" while he was setting up a new tank and that was 4 years ago.

 

Edit: I wrote this guide about moving my tank x-country if it helps you during your move: 

 

It says there were no casualties, which is true for during the move itself. But I did lose some acros ~6 months after my move inexplicably and developed dinos (which also happened after my 2nd x-country move - my alkalinity never fluctuates more than 0.15 in a day). It seems 4-6 months after moving, it's always a rough patch. But after that, smooth sailing.

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Gourami Swami

Thanks for the advice man! Move will be DC to NYC, so will be a one day thing. Possibly going to set up a new tank in NYC and get it cycled with LR before the move, so I can just ship the box same day that I move, and the next morning just acclimate everything to the new tank. Have about a year to think about it still.

And cool, when I get a larger tank will keep that wrasse in mind. Wrasses have always been among my favorite fish, and the colors on this guy are awesome

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jservedio

My big acan echinata is now up to 50 polyps from when I got it as a small, ugly frag with 6 polyps in 2012. Took forever to get this big and had countless setbacks. Also getting it's color back. At it's best, the mouths turn green and some of the bumps between polyps get green speckles - hopefully they'll be back soon too.

 

echinata-50plyps.jpg

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jservedio

Small update with a few pictures - an ugly acro that I had for about 6 months that seemed to be growing very slow and borderline-bleaching I cut off and moved it down to the sand and in just 3 weeks started coloring up like crazy:

20190122_133950.thumb.jpg.1271510ede04520f267334255a282acc.jpg

 

My green/purple monti confusa decided that it was happy and just exploded with growth throwing about an inch of base in all directions and adding another half-inch or so on it's branches in just about a month:

20190122_133929.thumb.jpg.6870f41a171d098b292811b4eedd14ba.jpg

 

20190122_134551.thumb.jpg.93a3bc9c3dae0a0762f556e1c389ee03.jpg

 

Also about 3 weeks ago I grabbed three ugly acans from the LFS for $15 a piece that looked like they might have some color hidden under there. I hid them in the back of the tank - maybe over the next year or so they won't look so ugly!

20190122_134032.thumb.jpg.1f96dca15c01a52b8c9c8068415df6e2.jpg

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jservedio

An awesome local reefer gave me small fresh-cut of his Tyree Pinky the Bear for $20 in September and it's finally all grown off it's epoxy plug and it's base turned bright green. Hopefully now that it's plated and starting to color up, it's growth will start to explode up top in the next few months.

20190128_144858.thumb.jpg.8481fa623f28d0e4faae28dff0d3df87.jpg

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jservedio

After slowly adding SPS back to my tank over the last 6 months, I picked up the very last of the stony corals I will be putting in this tank last week. Once I get these glued down over the next few weeks, it'll just be watching the tank grow out for the first time without being upended by a huge move. Maybe a few more zoas and palys to fill in, but I'm pretty much there.

  • CB Bubblegum Digi
  • WWC Yellow Tips
  • BC Boomberry
  • WWC Castels Banana Table

final-sticks.thumb.jpg.8422ed41a31387a626aad9adaae5f30c.jpg

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jservedio

The ugliest of the acans that I took a chance on from the LFS for $15 started coloring up after just a month. What looked like there might be some green and yellow underneath the brown turned out to be gold, green, purple, and light blue!

 

Today:

acan-coloring-up.thumb.jpg.a2a02f3517b9d5d9725712cee2e4f07b.jpg

 

Month ago:

brown-acan.jpg.c05b1e10b54483ad58e26b3c0322449e.jpg

 

 

Also another shot of my bowerbankii now that I've got it mounted on a bathroom tile and a month of it not getting beat up being rolled around in the sand:

bowerbankii-mounted.thumb.jpg.675edefbdaa20db2a0a0df25f2294617.jpg

 

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jservedio

Got a pretty cool picture of my merulina eating some mysis today:

20190211_153225.thumb.jpg.76dff65874f41c059d277951f9ea2f9d.jpg

 

Also my one echinata is well along the road to recovery and getting some color back and eating. This guy has been beaten down more times than any other coral - during my first outbreak of dinos a good 6 years ago, I lost about 30% of it. Just as it started to recover, during my first move it fell into my bowerbankii, which absolutely destroyed it - it was about 70% gone. Just as it started to recover and regrowing over it's dead skeleton, I moved again two years later and rescaped, which took it out of the shade and it promptly bleached. While bleached, it had some algae grow over it and I lost a few more polyps. Finally, after sitting in place for another two and a half years, it's recovering pretty well. It's skeleton is 4 layers thick in some areas from dying so many times. Definitely my most battered coral, but it refuses to quit:

20190211_153147.thumb.jpg.32a3edec726811e42d0825e173145b80.jpg

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Tamberav

Nice tank! I totally get the moving... I moved around a lot too in the past few years. My last move was a 12 or maybe it was 14 hour drive once you factor in stops and gas and the fact we had to drive slower pulling a trailer......I move in another two years again.. probably another long drive... so my tanks never really seem to get a chance to really mature or I just end up selling and starting over. Can't wait to be able to settle and buy a house. 

 

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

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jservedio
1 hour ago, Tamberav said:

Nice tank! I totally get the moving... I moved around a lot too in the past few years. My last move was a 12 or maybe it was 14 hour drive once you factor in stops and gas and the fact we had to drive slower pulling a trailer......I move in another two years again.. probably another long drive... so my tanks never really seem to get a chance to really mature or I just end up selling and starting over. Can't wait to be able to settle and buy a house. 

 

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

Thanks, I was actually previously up by you in Madison! Your tanks look better than mine does after the moves. I always had terrible luck with doing overnight moves with acros - they all made it to the new location, but many slowly died over the next 6-8 months. This past move, I just sold or gave all my sticks away, so I'm starting from scratch there.

 

I am really hoping this will really come together during the next year or so. Everything finally seems to be super happy in the past 6 months or so and since I've settled down in my house, haven't lost anything in about 2 years and a lot of the really beat up corals are starting to recover. Hopefully having almost 10 year old rock, even if it is full of nutrients and crap, will give me a nice leg up.

 

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jservedio

Finally got everything glued down where it seems to be happy and got a cool shot from the side of my tank of my nems. Somehow a free frag that I got of pocillopora that has been wearing a nem hat for 3 months is still alive now that one of my maxi-minis moved about an inch and a half off it.

 

20190219_112843.jpg

 

Once I get some sand back on the bottom of the tank, I've only got one more frag to glue down and I'm going hands-off for the next year to just let it continue to grow out!

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jservedio

Also, after having these clowns in my tank for 7 years, I finally got a picture of them actually snuggling in one of my nems instead of just on the rock underneath where they spawn. Of course they pick the smallest of the RBTA babies from the last split, so even the smaller male dwarfs it.

 

20190217_114115_2.jpg

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jservedio

The random acro frag I had that I was getting way too much light that I moved down to the sand last month, after it had suffered up top for at least 6 months, took off and has continued to color up even more. Just one month difference from the last photo of this - all the growth up in the branches and has barely plated over the superglue - not even onto the epoxy. I'm okay with that!

 

20190219_122446.jpg

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jservedio

Everything except for a single acro has been glued down and I've reorganized a few corals that were getting blasted with too much light. Moved a birdsnest down a few inches after waiting way too long - the top bleached, but thankfully the sides and bottom stayed colored up and it continues to grow - tiny bit of color is back and the growth tips are nice. Also moved a stylo way down and out of the way that was lightening up way too much - started an ugly tan and green and while it grew a lot, only lost color. Hopefully I'll get a little purple out of the base and more even green now that it is more appropriately lit.

 

Also, the dinos I had are all but gone - thankfully now that the tank is mature they are very easy to deal with. It seems they pop up every couple of years - never get too bad, and go away. And finally, got the rest of my sand bed siphoned out, cleaned, and replaced. No longer a half-bare bottom.

 

As it's settled in, colors have continued to improve, growth is starting to ramp up, and even my island of beaten down corals seems to be coming back. I am just a couple of days away from my tank being set up in our new house for 2 years and about 6 months back into having acros in the tank and haven't lost anything.

 

2019-02-19_fts.thumb.jpg.4d9ac0025913d2cf092c48fa1082f6a6.jpg

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