Feature Aquarium: The Aquarium of Francis Cheah

It is a great honour to be chosen as the Featured Aquarium by
Advanced Aquarist. It gives me great pleasure to present my tank to
you.

How it all Started

The tank was started in September 2003, in fact as a result of
the Finding Nemo movie. What was meant to be a casual discussion
with my daughter, after watching the movie, evolved into a marine
tank, after some mild objection from my wife and many marine
aquaria books. Needless to say, Nemo and Dory were stars of the
tank; it was after all due to their influence.

The tank initially started as a mainly fish, softies and LPS
tank. The initial setup was done by a local LFS here (Marine Life
Hobbielist) as even after lots of research and countless books, I
was not confident enough to do the first setup on my own.

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As my tank matured, and as fishes come and go; I was attracted
by the excellent looking tanks posted in various forums and
bulletin boards, especially those with SPS in them. I started
planning for the next level and embark on SPS in January 2004. I
started upgrading equipment, lights, protein skimmer, calcium
reactor and chiller. Before I know it, I was stocking frags and
finally some colonies.

At the end of a hard day’s work, it is extremely relaxing and
satisfying for me to see growth and colouration of my SPS (much to
the dismay of my wife). I was also very glad I shared this hobby
with my children.

Aquarium Profile

  • Tank dimension : 3.5 ft by 2 ft by 2 ft
  • Sump with refugium : 2.5 ft by 1.5 ft by 1.5 ft
  • Tank and Sump volume : 100 gallons

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tank4.JPG
tank5.JPG
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Lighting

I started with an Azoo MH with 2 x 150W and 2 Blue PL. When I
started on SPS, I upgraded the lights to the following
configuration, placed 7 inches above the water:

  • Metal Halide Aqualight with 3 x 250W 10,000K BLV
    DE
  • T5 DIY 2 sets of 4 x 54 W tubes each. Each set
    consists of 3 Aqualight Coralblue and 1 Aquaz actinics.
Photoperiod
LightDuration
1st set of T50830 to 2200 hrs
2nd set of T51000 to 2400 hrs
1 x 250W 10,000K MH1230 to 2130 hrs
2 x 250 W 10,000K MH1300 to 2100 hrs

Water Circulation and Return

Water circulation, which is essential for SPS, is done using the
following :

Water Circulation & Return
EquipmentOutput
2 sets of Tunze Stream 60002 x 7000 lit/hr
1st return pump Eheim 1262 (from sump to
chiller to tank)
3400 lit/hr
2nd return pump Eheim 1262 (sump to tank)3400 lit/hr
5 nos Maxijet 12005 x 1100 lit/hr

Filtration

Main filtration is through a DIY Single Beckett Protein Skimmer
run by an Iwaki MD 55 pump. Chamber diameter is 8 inches and height
of the chamber is 30 inches. I use small quantities of Rowaphos in
a bag for Phosphate removal and changed monthly. GAC is used in
small quantities placed in a bag and changed weekly. I have a
Shallow Sand Bed in the main tank and Deep Sand Bed in one of the
sump compartments.

Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement

Calcium and alkalinity supplement is done using a DIY Dual
Chamber Calcium Reactor. Even with my high occupancy of SPS
colonies in my tank, the Calcium Reactor is sufficient to fully
support the tank and I rarely need to dose any additional
supplement.

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Chiller

Daeil Sun Cool � hp chiller run by the return pump Eheim 1262.
The chiller is connected with 20mm PVC pipes from the pump in the
sump and to the return into the tank. Temperature is set at 27 C. I
run a second standby chiller Daeil Fish-Cooler � hp as backup to
the main chiller set at a slightly higher temperature. This standby
chiller is run using a separate loop (Eheim 1250) to cater for
possible pump failure to the main chiller.

Maintenance and Husbandry

I do 5% water change every week using distilled water and Tropic
Marine Pro-Reef salts. The skimmer collection cup is cleaned every
week. The tank glass is cleaned daily with cleaning magnets. I do
water test every week using Salifert Test Kits. All top up water
using distilled water is dripped with Kalkwasser every 2 to 3 days.
I stopped dosing additional supplements for 5 months but recently
started dosing again.

Dosage / Feedings
Tropic Marine Lugol’s Solution1 drop daily
Salifert Amino Acids5 ml daily
Seachem Strontium1 tsp daily
FishesMysis shrimp and pelletsOnce @ 2 days
Water Parameters
Ammonia and NitriteUndetectable
NitrateUndetectable
PhosphateUndetectable
Calcium400 ppm
Magnesium1400 ppm
Alkalinity10 dKH
pH7.9 to 8.4
Specific Gravity1.025
Tank temperature26.6 – 27.4oC

Inhabitants

SPS

  • Over 40 colonies and frags, including various acropora,
    montipora, seriatopora, stylophora and pocillopora.

Acro_Blue_Millepora.JPG
Acro_Blue_tenuis.JPG
Acro_Pink_loripes.JPG
Acro_Purple_hoeksemai.JPG
Acro_Raspberry_millepora.JPG
Acro_Red_Millepora.JPG
Acro_Yellow_polyp_tenuis.JPG
Acro_Yellow_tenuis.JPG

Monti_Enc_monti1.JPG
Monti_Enc_monti2.JPG
Monti_Monti_digitata.JPG
Monti_Plating_monti1.JPG
Monti_Plating_monti2.JPG
Monti_Purple_digi.JPG

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Pink_pocci.JPG
Pink_stylo.JPG

 

Growth Sequence Shots

Growth_Blue_Stag.JPG
Growth_Orange_Digitata.JPG
Growth_Purple_Digitata.JPG
Growth_Purple_Tenuis.JPG

LPS

  • Frogspawn
  • blastomussa
  • acanthastrea
  • micromussa
  • lobophyllia
  • cynarina
  • trachyphyllia

PhotoPhoto

Blasto1.JPGBlasto2.JPGBlasto3.JPG

Softies

  • Ricordea florida
  • Zoanthids

PhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto

Zoanthid1.JPGZoanthid2.JPGZoanthid3.JPG

Fish

  • Yellow tang
  • Blue tang
  • flame angel
  • Potter’s angel
  • multicolour angel
  • rusty angel
  • leopard wrasse
  • yellow wrasse
  • wheeler’s goby
  • 2 nos. orchid dottyback
  • mandarin goby
  • 2 nos. true percula clown
  • 5 nos. blue chromis

PhotoPhoto
Photo
Photo

Invertebrates

  • fire shrimps
  • boxer shrimp
  • coco worm
  • numerous tube worms
  • assorted snails
  • maxima clams
  • crocea clams

Photo
Photo

Acknowledgements

I would especially thank my wife, Serina, for all her patience
to put up with this hobby of mine; as well as my 2 kids, Megan and
Tristan, who constantly amaze me with their newfound knowledge on
marine aquaria. They are the ones who started me on the hobby,
which has since evolved into a daily conversation topic on the
dinner table.

Many thanks also to the fellow reefers in Singapore who have
helped in one way or another to make this a truly fascinating hobby
for me. You are a great bunch of guys.

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