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Our New Reefing Journey

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After putting it off for quite some time (years), I am re-entering the hobby and starting a new tank build! The catalyst for this build has been my wife who also expressed her interest in having an aquarium in the house and sparked back my interest in having a piece of the ocean at home.

So, like most things we put our hearts into, we wanted this to be a well-planned, slow and steady project. The planning process started in Dec last year, where we begin exploring the idea of renovating a portion of the house and creating a cozy corner to relax and enjoy the aquarium.

We want to create a tank that looks awesome, simple, easy to maintain and hopefully follows some sustainable practices.  I have never done a tank build thread before but thought to myself why not! This will help us journal our progress as well as share and hopefully learn from the wealth of experience in this forum.

Tank Philosophy

Now for the tank build, these are our basic requirements/principles that were used to guide the designing, placement, equipment and livestock.


Tank, equipment, sump and the whole package has to look clean, neat and presentable. If it can fit with the existing house style would be even better. Minimal exposed wires, pipes etc and if they have to be exposed it should look good. Routine maintenance should also be planned to keep things neat. My wife is very OCD and this was her first rule. :P The colour theme was also chosen by her to make that area look cozy, neat and seamless.



New power points to be added with a dedicated breaker for the tank. Power points will have the outdoor rated covers to protect against any splash.

Adhere to weight loading requirements of our apartment. A few emails to HDB and we had approval for the tank size and placement in our intended location.  



The design of the tank and sump should allow us to interchangeably use different equipment as we upgrade or decide to follow a different system.  The design should also be flexible enough for us to relocate the tank to any other parts of the house.


Aquacultured/maricultured Corals

The tank will be mostly SPS with some LPS therefore we want this project to be more environmentally friendly than my previous tanks and reduce the impact to the reefs. With more and more LFS bringing in maricultured/aquacultured corals amd hobbyist sharing their frags, this hobby can be a little more environmentally friendly than it used to in the past. So as much as possible, we will aim to purchase aquacultured/maricultured corals. Our rock work will be from mined aragonite rocks or the artificial rocks instead of live rock. We might also look at frag swaps as well once we have system running. This may not always be possible but we will try to stick to this as much as we can.

We are hoping that in years to come, we will have little to no reason to take anything from the reef. Aquacultured corals and captive bred fishes should be encouraged and supported wherever possible.



The tank will be a 120 X 60 X 60 cm external herbie overflow system with 3 sides crystal glass.  12mm thick glass with clear silicone and euro-bracing.  The tank will be peninsula style tank on an aluminium profile stand with hang-on wooden doors. Sump tank is 90 X40 X 40cm and baffled only for the return pump.

After going around to a few LFS and a few calls to tank makers, we decided to get Suprem9 to build our tank. We were not in a rush and wanted the builder to go through the tank design with slowly and be patient enough for us to design out the tank according to our needs.


The type of filtration for the tank were based on my experience when I was in Australia working for the Marine Biology & aquaculture research facilities. I was involved in building algae scrubbers and carbon dosing biofilters. So naturally I wanted to this tank to be based on carbon dosing or a refugium dominant or both! Having heard so much about zeovit system, I thought why not try out the system and see what kind of results they produce. So, the tank filtration will be a simple 4 part starting with a mechanical filter, skimmer, zeovit reactor and a carbon.


Additives and water top up at the moment are still not completely decided. I might go with a 3-part balling method or a 1-part calcium hydroxide/calcium formate route. We will consider a calcium reactor in future when the tank becomes high demand. The sump design allows addition of a calcium reactor for future use.  Auto water top up will be gravity fed and will be away from the tank in the kitchen.


As for other supporting equipment, we wanted the right equipment from the start as much as possible without the need to upgrade later on and eventually spend more money. Considerations were also taken for agent support for the critical and high cost items. Nothing will piss us more than having to spend so much money and not get any proper technical or warranty support. If the equipment can be repaired locally or have a 1 to 1 exchange it would be a plus. Below is the list of supporting equipment we have decided.

·         1/4HP Artica Chiller

·         2 X Radion G5 XR30 Pro (May add a 3rd in future or add strip LEDs)

·         2 X Vortech MP40

·         1 X Reefwave45

·         Vectra M2 return pump

·         Clarisea SK5000

·         Nyos 160 Skimmer

·         BM Zeovit reactor



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