Sunday, December 30, 2012


The title may be a bit confusing. It does not mean I used to be a marine, but that I used to keep a 3 feet (about 180 litres) marine tank, mainly stocked with fishes and soft corals, then downsized it to 1.5 feet then completely stopped keeping any aquarium from 2006 onwards.

I was suffering from a bad back then and had no choice but to give up my hobby because I had a hard problem keeping up with the regular water changes.

In fact, I have been keeping freshwater fishes for so many years before finally taking the plunge to delve into the marine aquarium hobby sometime around 2003. Sadly, I don't have many past photos to put up and when I do, like these photos, I discovered that my lighting was bad. The lights I put up did not show my aquarium in good light, literally.

Anyway, it was a hobby that was both gratifying and yet gruelling. Gratifying because I really had fond memories sitting in front of the marine aquarium everyday and at every moment staring at the swimming fishes, which included my favourite clown fishes, banana and sixline wrasses, fire gobies, damsels, and invertebrates, such as cleaner shrimps, leather corals, mushrooms, star polyps, feather duster worms, zoanthids, Xenias, with their polyps etc all waving against the water currents. It was gruelling because this hobby was time consuming and a lot of hard work went into keeping it this way. All the water changes were a nightmare because every week was spent maintaining my aquarium where I had to bring buckets of water too and fro between the aquarium and the bathroom and to wash the sand and so on. Eventually due to neglect, cyanobacteria won the battle and covered my entire aquarium with the slimy red algae and I officially ended the marine aquarium saga. 

It was a very bittersweet experience, I must say, and a lot of experience I did pick up. Even though I gave up my marine aquarium for years, I continue to keep freshwater aquariums in small tanks of about 10-15 litres. Of late, I picked up the interest in keeping crystal shrimps. Now, I have a renewed interest to start a pico marine aquarium again towards this year end although I know I must cut back on a lot of my favourite fishes and corals.

I am currently scouting around for the materials and will be converting my former freshwater tank, which I am using to keep plants, to a saltwater one soon. With a capacity of only about 10 litres, I know there are a lot of limitations but unless I try to push the boundaries, I won't know what I can achieve with it. I must admit that El Fab's Pico Reef:2007-2010 gave me a lot of inspiration.