was first drawn into this hobby by the vibrant and colorful fishes
that I see so frequently in documentaries and started a modest 2ft
FOWLR tank with a couple of clownfishes and some damsels back in 1998.
As I learnt and progressed in this hobby, I gained confidence and
decided to go for something that I always wanted, my personal piece of
The chance to upgrade came when I moved to a new place (late
2003) and found the right location to place a 180 gallon tank
with a 80 gallon sump.
My aquascaping ideology was mainly 2 rockhills on each side
of the tank and some minimal rockworks in between to link the
2 rockhills so as to provide more swimming space for my fishes
and a “central” communal area for the fishes to interact.
I was bored seeing many colorful reefs out there that seemed
to have something missing. Life.
And thus, I set out to make my reef full of life and yet making
sure that the livestock have a good environment to live in.
To me, fishes are the most important part of my reefing and
corals are secondary. Corals add colors to the tank but do
little to interact with me. The joy of seeing my fishes interacting
with me during feeding times is a joy and sight to behold.
I know that with the number of fishes I have, I would need
a powerful skimmer to remove organics before they enter the
ANN cycle, which was what my DIY skimmer was able to provide.
Together with my matured deep sand bed in the refugium/sump,
I am able to maintain a thriving reef bio-system.
I hope my tank would bring the emphasis of reefing back to
the wonderful world of fishes and let the corals take a backseat
for a while.
- Iwaki MX100 magnetic pump as return via 4 outlets longitudinal
to the tank length, as well as teeing off to feed Artica
1/2hp chiller which returns to the tank.
- Tunze TS07 wavemaker that pulses between mid-max setting.
- Eheim 1262 external pump which feeds my backup Daeil 1/2hp
chiller which returns to the tank.
- 3 150W DE retro-fit pendants, running Phoenix 14KK bulbs
- 1 54W T5 DIY fixture, running ATI Blueplus tube (12 hours)
- 1 150W DE Giesemann pendant, running BLV 10KK bulb lighting
my refugium (reverse lighting cycle)
- DIY quadruple beckett skimmer (over 2metres tall)
- DIY calcium reactor
- Artica ½ hp chiller (main chiller)
- Daeil ½ hp chiller (backup chiller)
- PH monitor
- APC UPS that provides power to my Tunze TS07 wave-maker
for over 5hrs in a power outage.
- The Artica chiller is set at 27.6 degrees Celsius….which
means it kicks in at 28.0 and stops at 27.2…..under normal
circumstances…..temperature will not rise above 28.0 degrees
The Daeil chiller and set it to 27.8, meaning it will only kick in should
temperatures reach 28.2 and then stops its operation at 27.4 degrees Celsius.
- I feed pellets, mysis and Cyclop-eez every day. I occasionally
feed Golden Pearls and DT phytoplankton.
- Every now and then, I harvest macros from the refugium
by feeding them to the fishes in the tank.
- I run rowaphos in a fluidized reactor and occasionally
run carbon as well. Water changes are done every 5-6 months.
- I test my water parameters regularly with Salifert test
kits for calcium, alkalinity, nitrates and phosphates.
- Achilles Tang
- Jewel Tang
- Juvenile Atlantic Blue tang
- Black Tang
- Chevron Tang
- Sohal Tang
- Sailfin Tang
- Small school of Bartlett anthias
- Sunburst anthias
- Neon gobies
- Blackcap gramma
- Royal gramma
- Flame angels (paired)
- Goldflake angel
- Coral beauty
- Golden angel
- Elbi angel
- Cherub angel
- Flameback angel
- Rusty angel
- 4 fire shrimps
- 4 cleaner shrimps
- Various snails, tubeworms
- Red bubbletip anemone
- Hammer coral
- Candy canes
- Red Scolymias
- Assorted unique mushrooms and Ricordias
I wish to convey my thanks to everyone in my local as well
as the international reefing community for the immense amount
of reefing information and knowledge that are so freely shared
and available in the internet.
And also the support of my fiancee Serene who has helped me
in many ways when it comes to my hobby. Hopefully I will have
her support for an even larger tank when the time is right.
Lastly, thank you for reading my article and allowing me to
share the wonderful world of fishes.