making the best of it 112 gallon reborn in the north - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:47 PM   #1
corpusse
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Default making the best of it 112 gallon reborn in the north

*disclaimer This is a long read and may or may not be a good story :
Finally finally got my display tank 90% setup. After moving almost 700km from Mississauga to St. Joseph Island and having so much go wrong some 90 days later it's up and running.

First off I am really missing visiting all the local reef shops. Didn't think it would be too bad as I stopped buying stuff and browsing well in advance of moving to wean myself off it. Still was excited to have a reef or several reef tanks and finally get them out of the basement and into some sort of living room setup.

Other than the fact moving itself is hell, especially getting a 180gallon up the basement stairs things went okay. The tanks were moved fine. Every coral and every fish survived the trip although one or 2 things looked a little worse for wear. They spent a night or 2 in holding tanks then almost a full day in bags. Once I got here the problems started.. When my family moved up here we did not have a house. We moved in with my parents short term and I setup a 90 gallon and 55 gallon holding tank in their bathroom. The 2 tanks was a combination of bioload and splitting things up in case something happened. All the fish and softies went into the 90 and most of the lps went into the 55. The 90 is only 3x2 footprint and Achilles tang was beating on everyone. I decided to move my masked swallowtail over to the 55 so he wouldn't get killed. Well he was the first to go. All of my euphyllia's melted overnight and took him out. I have no idea what happened other than stress. I lost a ton of LPS corals too including a chalice that started as a spec in my 2 gallon pico and eventually grew up the acrylic sides. Whatever few sps corals I still had also were gone. The 90 gallon running skimmerless on well water for the first time however was doing fine.

Eventually we found a house! Lots to like about it, primarily the views, the fact it's newly renovated, and it's a tiny fraction of the cost of a house in southern ontario. Additionally there is a wall that is about 74" long that would almost perfectly fit my 180 gallon reef. No basement though, no problem, having a tank in an actual living space meant I didn't really need a fish room.

The weeks went by and we moved in. I had checked prior to buying the house which way the floor joists went and confirmed the tank would go across them. I hadn't gone directly to the spot where the tank would sit. I was planning on getting a couple of jacks and reinforcing the floor just in case but there just happened to be a large beam supported by concrete pillars. I have no idea why that is there but no additional support would be needed. Interesting side note our house was at one time 2 identical cottages that were joined together some time ago.

Anyway back to the reef. The reason we moved out here was to buy a business and have a different kind of life. We had quite a bit of downtime prior so I thought this would be a good time to buff the 180. It was full of tiny scratches but not many you could feel with your fingernail. I had read the reviews of Cerium Oxide and figured what the hell if it takes me 20 hours who cares. So I ordered many different products from amazon and really none of them worked very well at all. Deciding to go in another direction I would reverse my marineland reef ready tank. Plug the holes and get a slim overflow box. Who cares if the back is scratched and lots of additional space getting rid of the corner overflows. The overflow box arrived and I patiently waited to get some electrical work done. This tank is actually going to be safe. It's on it's own breaker. I had 4 gfi outlets installed and have a backup generator that eventually I will get tied directly into the breaker so I can just flip a switch to active. For now I can run an extension cord from outside should a power failure happen. As soon as the electrical work was done I went outside to drill the holes for the new overflow box. I know the 180 gallon tank is HEAVY. I've moved it many times. Many times by myself. Never had an issue. When I flipped it over on the grass with foam under to drill the holes I heard a crack. I couldn't believe it the back (formerly the front) cracked. I was done. The fish and coral were waiting to go back in. Electrical work complete and I had no option but to reuse the 112 gallon tank I kept for no reason since it was unlikely we were going to find a house big enough to keep all the tanks up and running unless it had a basement (not super common here).

So reluctantly I have re setup my 112 gallon tank. It's still in good shape. Far less scratches than the 180 had but it's a lot smaller. Going back to 18" wide sucks. On top of which the one fish that got me into the whole "I need at least a 180 gallon aquarium no matter what" was still around. Achilles tang. Not that I can afford it but I briefly considered ordering a 180 gallon but getting it shipped here. It's not going to be cheap and we need a lot of household things. If I had done that he probably would have died before it came anyway. Now he's doing fine, in a tank that's too small for him but if tang police would like to come, just bring me a new tank and we can move him to a bigger home. The other fish that remain are some chormis, my naked clownfish who just recently turned 10 years old, another clown and a single anthias. I will probably get some more small fish later but won't get any big guys until I can get a new tank. Setting up the 112 came with a set of new problems. First problem : sump wont fit under the tank. It's 16" wide plus however much it's bowed over the years. Old tank was 24" wide. No problem I bought 2 extra sumps. Second choice is also 16" wide... 3rd choice is a 29 gallon perfect. Except my protein skimmer doesn't fit in the sump! I just about lost it here but hooked up my extra skimmer a reef octopus diablo 160. It will do. It's weird I am not running my old ati bubblemaster anymore. There is a small fuge which I will have to reseed. Going skimmerless meant less feedings. It happened so slowly I didn't even notice but my achillies had consumed all of my macro algae!

At least my limited corals somewhat fill up his tank and it is still enjoyable to look at it. I can see it at every meal and while I work at my desk and type out really long posts on forums like this. Long term plans always change which is something I am just learning now. The adjustment to the country for me has been a lot harder than it has for my wife and we thought just the opposite. I really miss going to the shops. There actually is a bit of a reef scene here which really surprised me but no actual stores. I miss going to blue jay games and had to watch every playoff game on tv. Over time I'm sure I will get used to it, I plan on ordering some corals once I know everything is stable. Assuming everything goes as we expect it to in a couple of years when we pay off some debts there will be money for a custom tank, something along the lines of 72x30x24 If I want to finally try an sps dominated tank or 72x30x30 if I continue the no real plan mixed reef approach.

I should point out for the 180 I was planning on using dry rock I acid washed myself prior to moving and some additional live rock I kept in 55g barrels. Since this tank is much smaller and I don't really want to keep a 55g barrel going for what could be 3 years I decided to use most of the live rock I brought with me and will store the dry rock until it's time to upgrade. I will only use pest free rock at that point. I had a nice aquascape done out on the deck and was going to take my time gluing each piece using epoxy and rods ect instead using the live rock with the corals in the tank I just carefully stacked and used a couple of acrylic rods that were already predrilled from the last setup. I am running the tank bare bottom since I can't afford to lose anymore livestock. I prefer a sand bed but this is easier for now. The aquascape is decent. The marine block in the corner will be moved to the fuge in a day or 2. I just need to hook up a small feed pump. This isn't what I wanted, but I am lucky to still have this and still enjoy keeping marine aquariums after more than a decade. It's nice to know I can still read the forums too and keep up with what's going on. While the reefing scene in the gta has drastically changed since I got in, I still have found memories if waiting in line for stores to open, running inside to bag my own corals before someone else could grab it and even on occasion bagging my own fish. Plus all the times trading corals, meeting people and seeing some of the weirdest things I never thought I'd see. Stuff I ended up bringing home like cuttlefish eggs and having to bring in live mysid shrimp for them. Watching Octopus grow up in my house. Seeing Chambered Nautilus for sale! and keeping Garden Eels successfully for several years.

Once I skin the stand and build a proper canopy and or get new corals I will update the photos. If I remember I'll take a few of the house tomorrow too.





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Old 11-04-2016, 02:08 AM   #2
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Oh man ... I gotta hand it to you dude!! That's a long way from GTA and are you gonna fix or get a new 180 gallon tank (I know the long haul issue ...)

Next time you're down in Toronto, do let us know .... maybe I can "donate" a few frags on the way back to home!
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:33 AM   #3
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Default 112 gallon reborn

After all of the problems and set backs that you have had your tank looks terrific. Once winter comes I'm sure that you'll have enough time to finish the stand. Good luck on the move
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:08 PM   #4
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I don't think I will fix the 180. I sunk too much money in this imperfect tank. The scratches. The poor overflow design, the bracing ect. In addition I would have to replace the pane myself with little to no help. I did try my hand at an acrylic tank and while it was a first try I am sad to say it held water less than a year.. If the tang explodes in growth I will have to do something. I've had him about 2 and a half years and he has certainly grown, the teardrop was just a spec initially he has not gotten huge. If he can hold off I'd much rather save up for a custom tank then another bandaid solution that I hope to keep for a few years until I can do better.

I like to plan things long long term but really it's hard to. I never would have imagined moving here 5 years ago. When we initially moved here I thought it would certainly be forever but now that we are here I don't know. The same can be said about the tanks who knows. I had it all planned as far as the spot for the tank, the equipment long term goals ect. The one thing about being away from the shops is you can really plan out what you're going to do. It's easy to say oh I'm going to do an SPS tank, lets go buy some frags and get there and there is a rainbow acan I must have ect. I really wanted to get away from that "mixed reef" randomness since something is always struggling but for now this is how it's going to be. Of course money could fix a lot of these problems but right now the budget is just not there. Also time wise I needed to get this up and running.

I still have my 3x2 90 gallon which I may do something with once the main tank gets going. I was a little scared of the northern ontario hydro rates but so far so good. Heating the house with primarily wood and not needing AC should really help. Also aquariums in general are much more energy efficient these days. When deciding if I wanted 1 or 2 dedicated breakers for the aquarium I ended up going with one, as that still leaves plenty of room for additional equipment and being under 80% capacity plus I do have an outlet that is on a shared breaker that not much else is on for return pump and any crazy additions. Other than the tank upgrades I need to get a laundry room sink in our laundry room. It's a tiny room but has room for a sink and a 55g barrel and it's right behind the tank so bucketless water changes are coming and I am considering the possibility of setting up daily water changes in the future.

As for water itself I had some reservations about going from city to well water but you know what the RO filters have made a few hundred gallons and I'm still getting 1 tds before DI and 0 after. I was scared I'd need to change the DI really frequently as that is a factor on many wells but I am still on the first one after moving. I didn't actually see the water test but the water was tested before we moved in and we actually do drink straight from the tap which I'm sure is shocking to many.

From the front of the house we can see lake huron and the shipping channel, several big ships pass a day. Normally there are cows in front too but they are off to the side this morning.


We only own 2 acres, but it looks like our backyard goes on forever. Nothing will ever be built there too..

Neighbor is building a small barn that's about all the construction. Still a fantastic view.

A lot of people said fall wasn't that nice this year. I've never seen it this nice..


You could see a telescope pictured in one of my photos above. That is the reason why I wanted to move out here. To escape light pollution and allow photos like this to be taken.



In front of our house it's technically hwy 548 which is a provincial highway. The traffic is maybe 1% of winston churchill which is was right off our old place.

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Old 11-04-2016, 12:46 PM   #5
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... are those "stars & skyline" snapped by you? Cuz they're simply awesome!!!
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