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Last Updated.
May 2007.


About Me

My name is David Pugh, I live in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK. I have been keeping fish for the last 28 years.  I started like most people with a freshwater community tank in my bedroom.  This soon gave way to more tanks and I bred a number of cichlid species such as kribs, auratus.  I can remember having 4 tanks in my bedroom as I was still living at home with my parents.

About 23 years ago I started with marines (still at my parents). At that time under gravel was all the rage, so I setup a reverse flow under gravel tank.  The tank was setup with tufa rock, dead coral skeletons,coral sand and a couple of blue devil damsels to seed.   I knew that these fish were pugnacious, but the way they tore into each other was unbelievable.  In a 5 foot tank, I had 2 little fish at the extreme ends.  My biggest mistake came next, I thought that I needed to have a fish to stand up to these little devils.  So I added a 3” Picasso Trigger.
The next day I woke up, and looked into to the tank and to my horror I saw 2 half eaten bodies.   The trigger had killed the devils over night, he hadn't been in the tank 24 hours.

I tried introducing all sorts of fish, but the trigger wasn't having any of it and he would attack anything I put into the tank.   In the end I was left with a 5 foot tank and 1 fish, I could not bring myself to buy any more.   The trigger was very easy to feed and his favorite food was moths.   The tank was situated in a window alcove and in the summer months, I used to leave the windows open and the top of the lid open.  The moths would be attracted to the lights and drop in the water.   Within seconds the trigger would tear them to bits and eat them.  After about 4-5 years, without any signs he mysteriously died.   Throughout this time, the tank was covered in cyno, I could never get rid of it.

As I couldn’t add any more fish to the main tank, I setup a smaller (4 foot) tank to house corals.   Again I used a reverse flow under gravel system.  This tank was much more successful.  Algae was not a problem, as at a very early stage I introduce caulerpa to tank.  This grew like wild fire and needed harvesting weekly to stop it over running the corals.  I also managed to keep sea horses in this tank for 3-4 years.   But my weekly trip to local fish shop which was situated 35 minutes away became a chore to collect live food for them.   This tank came to end when I was on holiday in Australia.  One of the hoses became disconnected and the tank half emptied itself killing everything other than a clown fish.

Having now moved out of parents house and into my own house, I decided I would setup my biggest project yet a 6’x2’x’2.  This would house a mixture of corals and fish.   The setup had it’s own sump, which was my own design.   It had half a dozen compartments of coral gravel and worked well to keep ammonia and nitrites at bay.  The tanked looked good for about six months and then green hair algae took hold.   It covered everything!  I kept on performing extra water changes, but to no avail.  I then tested the mains water for phosphates and found that it had higher phosphates than the water in tank.  I was on a losing battle.  At the time, the only RO water units available were very expensive and due to the fact I was considering moving again.  I gave up!

After a five year break in my new house I setup a fully planted community freshwater tank, this has been very successfully.  But every since I set this up, I knew in my heart that I wanted to get back to marines. 

Picture of my current freshwater tank

This tank has been setup now for about 6 years,  I have decided that the freshwater tank will be moved to my office and a 6‘x’2’x2’ reef tank will go in it’s place .