fish1I am 32 years old and work for a large assurance company as a manager.  I am married and have one little boy of 2 years 7 months.  I got into fish because of him. Both my  passions involve the sea, one is marine aquariums and the other is rock & surf fishing. Had a freshwater tank for all of three months and then I wanted Marines. Started  Marines in July 2007., it’s about  two and half years now. My First set-up in the same tank did not have a sump and was primary a FOWLR system.  I ran it with a canister filter and a hang on skimmer.  The dreaded white spot came and I took the opportunity to upgrade a bit. If I learnt anything from that ordeal it was to take your time and not to rush.


Description and Short History

fish1Started my current set-up in August 2008. It’s an Aqua H20 tank with rounded front corners and came with own MDF stand. The dimensions are 1000X500X450 display tank with a 900X400X350 Sump. The tank was drilled for the overflow chamber. I used Carib Sea aragonite as a substrate and also in my DSB.



Filtration Methods

fish1The live rock mainly comprises of Fiji Live Rock, with some Kenyan pieces at the base  and also two pieces of Tonga branch.  There is about 40kG of rock in the tank.  This is my major form of filtration. I also have some caulepra in my DSB.  I run carbon in a filter bag for 1 day a week. I have a Reeftek TS2 skimmer on duty and to date has given me hassle free operation.  I want to upgrade the impeller next month though.  





Circulation & Waterflow

fish1I use a 4400 l per hour Aqua H2O up – pump . A Seio Prop P320(1200l/h)
 and a Seio Prop P1000 (3800l/h) power heads.




fish1My primary light is a Aquamedic Ocean Light 150 T.  It comprises of a 10 000 K 150 watt Metal Halide with 2 12000 k 24watt T5’s. It is suspend from my ceiling. 

Well basically my lights are off during the day as I am not at home.  As I do not have a chiller yet, in summer I reduce my photo period.  So at the moment the blues come on at 16:00 and then the Halides are on for 4 hours from 20:00 to 00:00 and the blues go off at 04:00 the morning. In winter I extend the metal halide to six hours and the blue to start two hours earlier.


Other Equipment

fish1I basically use red sea test kits for Alk, PH, Nitrite, Nitrate, Calcium and Ammonia. Heating is taken care of by 2 300 watt heaters.  I must say my desk fan on the sump has managed to do a good job of keeping my temperature steady at 25 degrees Celsius at  most times.  The highest I’ve seen the tank this summer was 27.8 and the fan was off.  I keep some RO water in the fridge in case of emergencies.



fish1I think the major reason my tank has done this well is because of the regular water changes.  I change 50 litres a week of two oceans aquarium water and if I skip a week the following week I will change 75 litres.  I clean my glass on a daily basis or it will be full of calcerous algae in no time. I siphon my aragonite, clean my sump, my skimmer thoroughly aswell as my power heads once a month. Vinegar has been a great help with cleaning the hardware. I currently do one test a week since the system is quite stable.  That said I have’nt check PH for quite some time and it was on 7.1 , stressed my Powder Blue out instantly.


Feeding & Additives

fish1I feed my fish twice a day Ocean Nutrition Formula One and Reef Prime.  Twice a  week I put out Nori , both green and the red types.  I also feed mysis and blood worm twice a week, for my sun coral (which needs to be fed more). For the corals I feed them Kent Chroma Plex and Expert Series Chroma Max. Argent Cyclop-Eeze. Brightwell Aquatics Zooplanktos_L and Marine Snow. 

I feed one every second day. On the additives sides I am basically dosing Cape Coral Products once a week, Calcium, Buffer, Iodine, Magnesium and trace elements.  I also use GroTech Vitamino.



fish1Flower Pot Coral Yellow – Goniopora
Flower Pot Coral Green – Goniopora
Sea fan – ?
Candy Cane Green - Caulastrea furcata
Candy Cane Luminous Green - Caulastrea furcata
Various Mushrooms
Various Zoa’s
Chili Cactus Coral - Nephthyigorgia
Toadstool Leather -  Sarcophyton Sp.
Devils Finger leather – Lobophytum Sp.
Colt Coral -  Cladiella sp
Purple Tipped Hammer - Euphyllia Parancora
Green Tipped Hammer – Euphyllia ??
Pineapple Coral – Favites sp
Open Brain -  ?
Trach - Trachyphyllia geoffroyi
Pacific Rose Coral –Welsophylia - Trachyphyllia Radiata
Blasto -  Blastomussa Merletti
Cauliflower Coral - Scleronephthya
Some SPS Pieces



fish1Powder Blue Tang - Acanthurus leucosternon
Regal Tang - Paracanthurus hepatus
Pacific Sailfin Tang - Zebrasoma veliferum
Orange Diamond Back Goby -  Valenciennea puellaris
Pyjama Cardinal - Sphaeramia nematoptera
Coral Beauty - Centropyge bispinosus
Flame Angel - Centropyge loricula


Other Livestock

fish14 Turbo Snails
3 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs
1 Fire Shrimp
1 Cleaner Shrimp
1 Boxer Shrimp
1 Deep Sea Star Fish
1 Red & Orange Coco Worm




Tank Specification and Water Params

fish1Tank Specifications

Tank Dimensions: 1000X500X450
Sump Dimensions: 900X400X350
Refugium Dimensions: N/A
Tank Volume: ~200L
System Volume: ~300


Water Parameters

Temperature:        25 degrees Celsius
pH:                          8.3
Salinity:                  1025
Ammonia:              Zero
Nitrite:                     Zero
Nitrate:                   Zero
Phosphate:           Do not test
Calcium:                500ppm
KH:                         9
Magnesium:          Do not test
Iodine:                    Do not test
Redox:                   Do not test




fish1Firstly thanx to MASA for this recognition, never thought my little system would make it this far.  That said I could not have started this journey without the assistance from IMARINE.  A huge thanx to him.  Then there is also the guys in hobby who are always willing to assist or for the very least lend a sympathetic ear.  AMalick, Al and Jay have always been just a phone call away.

I have’nt really lost any corals yet, just move them to better homes I guess. I have lost quite a few fish though mostly due to poor traveling.  For me tangs seem to be worse off and the stress of getting them to eat and to settle down is quite big.

Started planning my new set-up which will in effect be more than double the volume of my current system.  Really looking forward to that and the challenges it poses.

If I had any advice it would certainly be regular water changes, it’s crude but essential.  Then keeping your hand on the tank daily.  I think I spend at least a hour on the tank a day