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About jservedio

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    Nano Reefer
  • Birthday 02/24/1988

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  1. I know OP got his shrimp, but for anyone else who reads this, you can leave the cap on and drill through it to make the hole smaller. Works for tiny critters that can get back out. Also keeps bigger stuff from getting in!
  2. 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.
  3. As duncans get bigger, their tentacles also grow and get longer and gnarlier. If you look around here, other forums, and google images of really mature duncan colonies, a lot of them look more reminiscent of an anemone than duncan frags or small colonies. Edited to Add: Here is a picture of a really large, mature colony with super long tentacles from Reef Central
  4. According to the CDC, you can only smell ammonia in the air at concentrations above 50ppm - if your water was gassing off enough ammonia for you to smell, you would be able to test it. Is it possible there was a few drops spilled while dosing, possibly inside the lid of the tank, the rim, or something? If you have a small volume of air between the water and a closed lid and even a drop or two evaporated, that would easily produce concentrations high enough to smell strongly when you opened the lid. That, or it's pee :-)
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 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!
  8. This is the easiest way to get more water volume if your tank stand has enough room vertically inside for your skimmer to be sitting on a stand. Also, having a deeper water level in the sump allows you to play around more with the water height in your skimmer - a lot of time the water level specified is way off when using Chinese skimmers that are clones of higher end skimmers (like Bubble Magus, etc.) since they just rip off the water level of the skimmer they are copying and use a different pump. A stand can be as simple as a few squares of eggcrate superclued together (that's what mine is) or can be elaborate, and expensive, adjustable acrylic stands.
  9. How big is your tank? They get enormous - like 12-18" across in home aquariums, sometimes more than 3 feet across on the wild. They are also very hard to keep and considered "expert only."
  10. In a tank that young, I'd definitely want a fuge and not run any filter socks or floss to build a healthy population. Until you have a big population of pods and have them established enough to be breeding, I wouldn't put one in a nano. I had a "trained" one for about two years in my 20g (it was about 3 years old, so starting to mature) and frozen food is really just a supplement to the pods. They constantly eat. They can't just be eating once or twice a day. I'd never keep one in another nano without a really good huge.
  11. I find the best way to deal with peppermint shrimp is in a hot pan with melted butter, a little garlic, and fresh herbs of your choice - I prefer a simple parsley and a dash of freshly squeezed lemon.
  12. Curious what you are using to test your Alk and Ca? Have you tested your Mg? If your Mg is low, Alk and Ca can get crazy. Just looking at the pictures of your tank and how new it is, it's definitely odd that it's dropping that far and fast with how few coral frags you have in there. Are you seeing lots of calcium carbonate buildup in the bottom of your filter? It may be precipitating out if Mg is low or from your dosing, if you don't space it out enough. I ended up entirely stopping testing on my old pico because the numbers were all over - I just kept up with 50% water changes and never had problems for the more than 2 years it was set up. It wasn't swinging as much as granites - but it swung a lot over the course of a week.
  13. 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.
  14. Got a pretty cool picture of my merulina eating some mysis today: 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: