Thursday, July 31, 2014


It is quite an exciting month, considering I am starting to rebuild the corals colony gradually with LPS and SPS and started trying out some firsts, such as the Trachyphyllia Brain Coral, Favites Brain Coral, some Birdnest, purple digitata etc.

Here are the livestock and technical updates and photos:

Aquarium 1 (1 ft cube - 27 litres)
After a few rounds of clearing the basal sand, the layer is barely 1 cm thick now. I won't go for a a bare bottom aquarium because I don't think the fishes such as gobies like a bare reflective base. However, I do notice the basal sand do get dirty easily.

I recently bought a number of Angel Fishes out of impulse and tried to introduce a 1" Potter Angel into this aquarium. However, the slightly smaller Flameback Angel was fiercely territorial and would have none of it. It immediately went in pursuit of the Potter Angel and I had no choice but to net the latter out and put it into the main display aquarium 3.

It is still very, very bare and I am considering to let the marine macroalgae grow out and cover the base instead.

The list of livestock is as follows: 
  • Fishes 
    • Flameback Angel
    • Yellow Shrimp Goby
    • 2 true Percula ocellaris clowns
    • Hector Goby
  • Invertebrates 
    • 2 Cleaner Skunk Shrimps
    • big red Hermit Crab & 3 small red Hermit Crabs 
    • 3 Turbo Snails 
    • Nassarius Snail 
    • medium Clam
  • Corals
    • LPS
      • 4 bleached Acans
      • mega Blasto
    • Soft Corals
      • Rose Bud Tip Anemone
    • Polyps
      • unknown green coral
      • Green Star Polyps
    • Mushrooms 
      • a few blue Actinodiscus mushrooms
      • a few green Rhodactis mushrooms
      • bleached Elephant Ear mushrooms
  • Macroalgae
    • green Caulerpa
    • red algae
    • purple algae
The technical information is as follows:
  • Dolphin H-200 hang-on-back filter
  • Shiruba XB-303 External Filter
  • Maxspect Razor Nano 60W (10,000 K)
  • Tunze Osmolator Nano
  • Aqua Cool Fan 
the very uninspiring aquarium 1

the pair of 1" true Percula Clowns

Hector Goby

Flameback Angel

fishes and two shrimps

Aquarium 3 (3 x 1.5 x 1.5 feet and sump - 250 litres)
I think there is a slight progress in this aquarium from the previous month. 

With the numerous LPS and angels additions, it is getting a bit more colourful although I must say I would have to give up some of the fishes e.g. Regal Angel, when they grow bigger. I feel suddenly intrigued by the angels colouration and started buying them even though I was really concerned about their compatibility with the reef aquarium and their territorial behaviour. So far, the smaller Regal Angel and Potter Angel are getting along just fine with the other fishes. Having said that, I don't think I want to take anymore chances to buy more angels because of my small 3 feet tank.

The most aggressive fishes in my aquarium right now has to be my normal False Percula Clown which has been with me since last year and the blue-yellow damsel. Recently the small False Percula clown that was raised together with the former was found dead on my floor and I suspect it was chased by this fish or other fishes and surfed out of the aquarium to escape their bullying. This remaining orange 2" clown and my two other black clowns have also been hosting on my once gorgeous Torch Coral which is now bleached, almost always retracted and never seemed to open up.

I tried re-introducing some SPS and so far, the two orange Montipora digitata frags appear to be doing well. The Monti cap looks fine and the big yellow Birdnest wasn't showing polyps extension and I am still watching the pink Millepora, Horn Coral and the Acropora valida, which was blue when I bought it but looks purple now because of inadequate lighting at the corner. I have 2 Stylophora which initially looked good but now seem to be bleached and losing its polyps extension. The ATI Power Module 4 x 39W T5 lights finally arrived and I put it up and dared not turn it on for more than a few hours straight for fear of raising the water temperature too high and inducing bleaching. I seriously wonder if the non-ideal temperature would have anything to do with polyps extension or is it purely due to the unstable water parameters. I had a green Millepora that exhibited rtn until its white skeleton was shown within a few days and I had it removed. I would rather have browned-out SPS than bleached or dead ones anytime. I was also excited with trying out 7 SPS frag plugs - purple digitata, green digitata, Birdnest, pink Birdnest, red Monti cap, pink Pocci and blue deep sea Acro. I bought some dosing stuff and was pleasantly surprised to find polyps extension after trying out Pohl's Xtra, Korallen-Zucht Bio-Mate and Korallen-Zucht Bio-Mate although I am unsure which is the product that brought on this amazing polyps extension.

Separately, I am feeling somewhat disturbed by the population explosion of miniature fan worms all over the aquarium, including the sand. I don't know what eats them but I do think if I don't control them, it would overtake the aquarium someday.

The updated list of livestock is:
  • Fishes
    • false Percula Clown Fish
    • 2 black Clowns
    • Yellow Tang
    • Purple Tang
    • Blue-yellow Damsel
    • Six Line Wrasse
    • Yellow Wrasse
    • Yellow Shrimp Goby
    • Hector Goby
    • Dispar Anthias
    • Regal Angel
    • 2 Flame Angels
    • Potter Angel
  • Invertebrates
    • Turbo, Nassarius and Bumble Bee snails
    • electric blue Hermit Crab
    • red Linckia starfish
    • small yellow, big brown and yellow-brown Feather Duster worms
    • Cowry
    • Tuxedo Urchin
    • 4 small Hermit Crabs
  • Corals
    • SPS
      • 2 orange digitata frags
      • yellow Birdnest
      • Monti cap
      • 2 Stylophora
      • Horn Coral
      • pink Millepora
      • Acropora valida
      • frag of purple digitata 
      • frag of green digitata
      • frag of pink Pocci
      • frag of Birdnest
      • frag of pink Birdnest
      • frag of red Monti cap
      • frag of deep sea Acro
    • LPS
      • 4 Acans (bleached)
      • 2 Hammer Corals
      • 2 Bubble Corals
      • 2 Blasto (bleached)
      • Sun Coral
      • Supersun Coral
      • 2 Torch Corals
      • red Brain Coral
      • green Brain Coral
      • red green Favites Brain Coral
    • Mushrooms
      • Ricordea yuma mushrooms
      • rock of blue Actinodiscus mushrooms
      • brown hairy mushrooms
    • Soft Corals
      • 2 Chili Corals
      • green Carpet Anemone (bleached)
      • red Flower Rock Anemone (bleached)
      • pink rose bud tip anemone
    • Polyps 
      • mixture of Zoas
      • green Goniopora
      • pink Goniopora
  • Macroalgae
    • Caulerpa
    • Chaetomorpha
    • red Bamboo
The technical details are:
  • Jebao Marine Aqua DC-6000 return pump
  • Maxspect R420R 16,000k 120W
  • ATI Sun Module 4 x 39W T5 lights
  • Tunze 9004 Nano Skimmer
  • 2 Two Little Fishes Phosban Reactor running Phosban
  • Dymax cooling fan (42 CFM)
  • Fluval 3 external filter
  • MP25 and RW-8 wavemaker
  • Tunze Nano Osmolator
  • Marine Magic Triplet Dosing
the miniature fan worms popping up everywhere

the Yellow Goby behind the plate of bleached Acans

the 1" Regal Angel

big bully hosting the Torch Coral
beautiful red Trachyphyllia Brain Coral

the active Regal Angel which still looks cute now

a FTS under T5 lights

the left side

the right side

the sea diving the two islands has diatoms

new Monti Cap, yellow Birdnest and Stylophora

Stylophora and yellow Birdnest

Monti Cap and a stn SPS

green Trachyphyllia Brain Coral and bleached Flower Pot anemone

blue Acropora valida that turned purple

mega Blasto that I switched to aquarium 1

Favites Brain, Trachyphyllia Brain and orange Montipora digitata

polyps are not fully extended


new pink Goniopora

new Torch Coral and rtn Millepora

Regal Angel with white patch on its body

the clown wants the pink rose bud tip anemone too

two Flame Angels but one disappeared

pink Millepora

the beautiful Potter Angel

I hope this pink Goniopora will do well

I relocated the twin red Trachyphyllia Brain

one of two orange Montipora digitata frags

the new Torch Coral on the right

yellow Birdnest with polyps extension

Favites Brain

the left side with LED lights on

the right side with LED lights on

FTS with LED lights on

the Acropora valida looks purple now
slug that I transferred from aquarium 1 to 3

top view of left side

top view of right side

close-up of left side

close-up of left side

close-up of left side

close-up of right side

Horn Coral and Stylophora

view of left side under ATI lights

view of right side under ATI lights

purple digitata

pink Birdnest

red Monti cap

green digitata
pink pocci

blue-green deep sea Acro


Horn Coral, pink Birdnest and purple digitata

green digitata and red Monti cap

blue-green deep sea Acro, pink Pocci and Birdnest