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Old 03/25/2014, 10:03 AM   #1
Reeferhead
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Location: Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
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How has your tank faired over a deployment?

Curious to hear some stories, good or bad. My wife took care of mine while I was gone for about 12 months with the help of a few local reef club buddies. She really wanted to give me one less thing to worry out while I was gone and honestly, I think she took better care of it than I do. Coral growth was awesome but when I got back she lost total interest and all the tank duties went immediately back to me.


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Nick

St. Louis Area Saltwater Hobbyists' (SLASH) Coral Donor Program (CDP)
Because, "Friends don't let friends pay $50 a polyp!"
Over 200 different corals and counting...

Current Tank Info: 352 Quintillion Gallon
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Old 03/25/2014, 01:54 PM   #2
.Marshall
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Location: St. Cloud, MN
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Wow, what a gal!

I have put off starting the build on my 285g in my new house for that reason.. an upcoming deployment!


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Old 03/25/2014, 02:11 PM   #3
RandoReefer
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Location: Minnesota
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I recently returned from an Africa rotation. Bless her heart, she did her best.

I convinced her that, in order to make it easier for her, we needed to upgrade from 60gal to 125gal. The few weeks before deployment, I busted my a$$ to get it setup and running. Luckily my coral stock wasn't heavy, and she really only needed to pay attention to fish feeding and water changes.

Lost one yellow tang and zoas thinned out a bit, but other than that we made it! Used the deployment $$ to automate everything (APEX!). With the auto feeder and upgraded RODI Kit, the next deployment should be MUCH easier!


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Current Tank Info: 93g Reef (Mixed, mostly SPS)
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Old 03/26/2014, 05:52 AM   #4
Yellow05gt
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I'm currently on one now and my beautiful wife's taking care of my new 210gal I set up 3 days before I got quick noticed. Already lost a powder blue tang, but she said everyone else is doing fine. Hopefully that's the only loss until I get back.


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Old 03/26/2014, 11:42 AM   #5
SGT_York
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There has always been a bad connection with time away and freak disasters so after the first separation, the tank has always been scrapped and sold for deployments. The first months on the first deployment I had a complete crash, xenia was all that survived. Every few years I sell of what is alive, pack the rest of the rock, sell the sand, and dry the remaining out for a year. Starts right back up when I come home.


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Old 03/26/2014, 11:57 AM   #6
Yellow05gt
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SGT_York, If my wife wasn't at the house I would of done the same. Having friends come over and take care of your system while we're gone for that long is cruel to them, and a disaster waiting to happen lol


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Old 03/26/2014, 12:15 PM   #7
Reeferhead
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Another option is to bring your tank with you. Here's my system that won me Afghan TOTM back in 2009




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Nick

St. Louis Area Saltwater Hobbyists' (SLASH) Coral Donor Program (CDP)
Because, "Friends don't let friends pay $50 a polyp!"
Over 200 different corals and counting...

Current Tank Info: 352 Quintillion Gallon
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Old 03/26/2014, 12:48 PM   #8
Yellow05gt
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Haha that's epic! Good idea lol


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Old 03/26/2014, 03:54 PM   #9
chris.scang
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My wife did her best but had an unfortunate accident and nuked the entire tank. In her defense though, she completely overhauled the 55 gal setup and kept it a surprise until I got home. We have recently upgraded to a 180 gal mixed reef


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Old 03/29/2014, 02:58 AM   #10
ir_danno22
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Location: Northern Cali
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So far my skimmer died and the wif gave me an ear full doing a 10 gallon water change on my nano cube while on FaceTime. The Apex controller is awesome for monitoring/managing the tanks while I'm out and alleviates some grief for the wif.


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Old 03/29/2014, 07:04 AM   #11
Paul B
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I went to Viet Nam for a year and I had a 6" catfish. No one fed it for that time and there was about an inch of water in the tank. The thing croaked a week before I got home.
Oh well.


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Old 04/05/2014, 11:27 PM   #12
SoDak
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: South Dakota
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Thankfully my brother in law took care of my tank while I was gone. We had to move it to his place and then back again but it fared pretty well overall.


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Old 04/05/2014, 11:52 PM   #13
jjmg
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Location: Pensacola, Fl
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My wife took great care of my freshwater tanks while I made 3 deployments. For two of them she was also taking care of our new daughter and a dog. Of course she also took care of the house A/C unit catching on fire. Several car problems and putting up with doing everything by herself without me there. Those wifes are pretty special things for us military guys!


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Old 04/26/2014, 02:47 AM   #14
MrsFoxface
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My husband wouldn't let me set up the tank alone. It was bought while he was overseas and set up a few days after he returned home.


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Old 04/26/2014, 09:35 PM   #15
Bodnaahh
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I had a 36 gallon reef tank set up that my wife tried to take care of while I was in the sandbox and it didn't make it 2 months into the deployment unfortunately. She lost power and then proceeded to go coopers color code black and lost everything.


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Old 04/26/2014, 09:47 PM   #16
tonymission
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I thank you guys sincerely for your service!!


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Old 05/01/2014, 10:38 AM   #17
MacWilliams
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If you're going on a deployment or TDY you could talk to your co-workers if you dont have anyone at home that can watch it. Just leave a detailed list on what needs to be done on a daily basis. I did this and came back to a tank with a lot more growth and size in all my fish / corals. Its amazing the difference a few months can do when you're not watching the tank everyday.


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Old 05/09/2014, 07:46 PM   #18
chris.francis14
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Broke mine down and sold everything before I went out to sea for an eight month deployment. Had no one to take care of it while I was gone. Didn't set another one up until ten months later after I returned to the states... of course, when I set it up, I had been out of the Navy for seven months.


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Old 05/09/2014, 08:07 PM   #19
matt_97055
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Location: Sandy Oregon
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I would just like to thank you to all of you for sacrificing every thing for our freedom.


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Old 05/29/2014, 06:36 AM   #20
rgulrich
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Location: MD
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I decided to put together a "continuity book" (yeh, I know) for the reef prior to a series of deployments and surprise short tours spanning the late 80's through the 90's. Broke it down into the basics, included step-by-step procedures with pictures, and provided emergency phone numbers of local civilian reef keepers that were familiar with my system. Feeding, filter cleaning (including the skimmer), water changes - all covered.

The reef fared better under the care of some more than others, as I'm sure you can imagine. With the ones that weren't afraid of actually doing the housekeeping, the reef did quite well . With the others that focused on hosting poker games and smoking cigars in the house, well...the dog didn't appreciate that much, either, and I replaced a lot of coral and some fish upon return.

Lessons learned:
Try to clear your house/reef sitter in advance and attempt to gauge their sense of responsibility. If they can't push a vacuum, they won't clean your reef's filter.
Write an all inclusive checklist well in advance (read: now) and use it yourself. If you can't locate a power strip switch or identify what a skimmer cup is from your checklist, provide pictures with arrows, circles, and such.
Have a friend or two that know nothing about aquariums run through the checklist under your watchful eye.
Review and update the checklist frequently (we've all been down that path, right?).

I hope this helps with a little peace of mind during your adventures.

Oh, of course, these days you could also set up a web cam to send out live shots of the reef as well, so you could monitor on the web from pretty much anywhere you could get a connection. Could probably even set up a camera for the family, too...


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Current Tank Info: 360 degree walk around 300 DD island–4 300W & 2 165W ViparSpectra, 4 Kessil A350W, 2 A360WE, 3 XF150, 1 XF250, 1 XF350 Gyre along with 2 PP40 and 2 IceCap 3K gyre for robust current. Basement 150 gallon RubberMaid sump, SKIMZ skimmer, DCP18000
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Old 09/16/2014, 08:49 AM   #21
Guillo
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Location: Georgia
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Any moves I've done with my tank have been from base to base. Automation has taken care of everything else on very short TDYs. I'm actually deployed now, and it sucks because I had to take down everything. Very sad when I took the last plug out of the wall. Regardless, I did know what was coming when I decided to set it so no worries. Ironically enough I'm putting on paper what i want my next one to be like lol, while im here in Korea. I just wish i knew of some local reef stores to go and look at for fun. This is cool, didn't know RC had a military section.


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Old 09/22/2014, 04:56 PM   #22
Brando5185
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Parted out my 150 during the first part of my deployment and the the wife knew i regretted it. She has a new 125 set up waiting for me to set up when i get back.


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Old 09/22/2014, 04:59 PM   #23
usingthejohn
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Location: Buena Park, CA
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I just wanted to say thank you all for your service.

Quite a few of my family are currently serving, or have served so I have a deep appreciation and respect for all service men and women.

Again thank you. If any of you relocate to socal, send me a message. I don't have much but I'd like to give you a frag of whatever I have.


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Old 10/03/2014, 11:26 AM   #24
Nighthawk17
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Location: Oklahoma
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well no more fish now :(

unfortunately I just came home from a deployment and had a freshwater tank (30) gallon and had a friend watch it. He informed me he knew what he was doing and how to take care of it. I showed him everything he needed just in case he didnt know something. I really wanted to be safe about it. Well hadnt heard from him the entire time while i was deployed. When I got back all my fish were dead and the house smelled something terrible. The water was green and stagnant not only that but the fish were still dead in the tank rotting. Lost a good friend to that and some good fish. I know better next time to not do that and pull better resources for someone to watch it.


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Old 10/07/2014, 09:32 AM   #25
usmc121581
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I have kept my tank up and running through deployments, TDY's, and during moves. The moves where the hardest to complete, especially when moving multiply states.


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Current Tank Info: I have a 180 gal mostly LPS corals, it contains 1 Val. Tang, 1 yellow striped clown fish, 3 percula clownfish, a blood shrimp, cleaner shrimp and a sand shifting goby, 5 pajama cardinals, 1 green chromis. Also a 75 gal. sump/fug.
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