Saturday, December 31, 2016


Today is the last day of 2016 and it also marks 4 years of me returning to reefing. I guess, in a way, I have come a long way and things have changed a lot since I re-started on 1 Jan 13. I have also decommissioned Aquarium 1 as reported earlier, so the updates are on aquarium 3 only. It is the first time I am posting the year end update at 1 am.

Here are some past photos as a form or recap.
FTS of my 56 litres aquarium on 31 Dec 13

FTS of my then new 250 litres aquarium taken on 31 Apr 14

FTS of the same aquarium on 31 Dec 14

FTS taken on 31 Dec 15

FTS taken on 31 Dec 16

The purple glow seen in the earlier FTS photos were from the Maxspect lights and since changing to the AI Hydra 52HD, I must admit the photos do look much better. 

Some of the things I learnt, some the hard way, in these 4 years are:
  • a black background looks better in photos;
  • a bare bottom is definitely easier to maintain than a sand-based tank but it is not aesthetically pleasing and provides no media for fishes that burrow into the sand when they sleep;
  • stacking rocks to create height is silly and is not the right way to do it because air circulation is poor and there are limited spaces for fishes to swim through;
  • there is no need to fuzz with a lot of additives every day but it is essential to maintain right levels of kH and Ca;
  • choosing a good light and adequate wave action are important but it doesn't mean it has to be the most expensive; 
  • a chiller is essential if SPS are kept; and
  • it is better, more fulfilling and easier on the pocket to keep stuff that are within our means than to keep forcing oneself to keep difficult stuff.
The following is the last update of the year.

Aquarium 3 (3 x 1.5 x 1.5 feet and sump - 250 litres)
I lost all my shrimps in last month's operation and I am not too eager to replenish them just yet.

I found out that there was nothing wrong with my Aqua Illumination Hydra 52 HD lights at all. It blacked out every night at midnight for half an hour because I clicked on the lunar effect previously and didn't turn the effect off.

Interestingly, my existing big and smaller Royal Grammas get a long fine from day one of introducing the smaller one and I am keen to introduce more, if possible.

So anyway, the final livestock is as follows:
  • Fishes
    • 2 Blue-yellow Damsels
    • Flame Angel
    • 2 Royal Grammas
    • Yellow Clown Goby
    • Yellow Tang
    • 2 False Clown Fish
  • Invertebrates
    • Turbo and Nassarius snails
    • 3+1 Sea Urchins
  • Corals
    • SPS
      • Horn Coral
      • 2 green Poccillopora and 3 frags
      • orange Cyphastrea
      • red Acropora digitata and 4 frags
      • 2 green Poccillopora frags
      • red Montipora
      • red/brown Poccillopora
      • 2 pink Birdnest
      • green branching Stylophora
      • beige/purple Montipora plate
      • blue Acropora browned out
      • Acropora valida
      • 2 Radioactive Birdnest frags
      • red Montipora plate
    • LPS
      • Hammer Coral (purple green)
      • green Candy Cane
      • Duncan Coral
      • yellow Torch Coral with one head left
      • Bubble Coral
      • green Goniopora
      • green/brown Frogspawn Coral
      • green Elegance Coral with blue tip
      • red Brain Coral that bleached
      • green Frogspawn Coral
      • green Plate Coral
      • orange Plate Coral
    • Mushrooms
      • green Ricordea yuma mushrooms
      • red mushroom
      • green mushroom
    • Soft Corals
      • Chilli Coral
      • Toadstool Leather Mushroom with luminous polyps
      • luminous green Tree Coral
      • pink Rose Bud Tip Anemone
      • green Tree Coral
    • Polyps
      • purple Zoas
      • Fiery Red Zoas
      • 5 assorted Zoas
      • 2 green Palythoa
      • 4 types of green Star Polyps and 
      • 3 gold Clove Polyps
      • pink Zoas
      • green base purple skirt Paly
      • green base brown skirt Zoas
      • orange Zoas
      • Sympodium
      • Organ Pipe Coral with sea squirts
  • Macroalgae (in sump)
    • red Bamboo
    • green Bubble algae
    The technical details are:
    • Jecod Marine DC Pump DCS-7000 return pump
    • Aqua Illumination Hydra 52 HD
    • Sanrise Aqua Pro (without wifi) 30 cm
    • Hailea HS-66A chiller
    • Skimz SN143 skimmer
    • Two Little Fishes Phosban Reactor running Phosguard
    • Two Little Fishes Phosban Reactor running NP reducing biopellets
    • Jebao Cross Flow CP 25
    • Jebao WP 25 Wavemaker
    • Tunze Nano Osmolator
    • Marine Magic Triplet Dosing

    top view with wavemaker on

    top view with one wavemaker off

    Aquarium 4 (30 x 23 x 20 cm - 13.8 litres)
    I changed the crystal shrimps tank to this new tank but the red and yellow shrimps eventually died out. So now I am left with these plants and an Otocinclus. I do not know the names of the aquatic plants other than Water Lettuce, so no names are listed.