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  1. #1
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Talking Photo Diary: Roadtrip to Reefraft Aug-20-2005

    4am.
    My alarm woke me up, and though I was a little dazed, I knew that today was the day of the road trip to Toronto to check out Reefraft’s Grand Opening, and some other stores in the area.

    Seahunter arrived at exactly 5am as agreed. After loading up my camera and a few coolers into his Mercedes (if you must travel far, why not do it in style?) we were off to Toronto. Before going on, I’d like to state that even though it was just Seahunter and I, we had wonderful conversations stemming from Aquaria to Politics, never was there a dull moment. We met that morning for the first time, threw ourselves into a car for a total of 11 hours together, and got along wonderfully. I would gladly do this again, and can easily say that I walked away from this with not only some nice corals, but better yet, a new friend.

    Anyhow, getting back to the subject…. Our aim was to arrive at Reefraft in time for the opening. After driving for just over 5 hours, we finally arrived at 10:30. Upon walking up to the store, we couldn’t believe our eyes.

    Aquariums were lined up along both sides of the store with 2 giant cube tanks in the middle holding hundreds of acro’s. Well over 50 people were crowded around these 2 cube tanks, bagging their own corals. It was reminiscent of a blowout sale at a flea-market. We walked into the fray of arms and were greeted with some of the most colorful and healthy corals we had seen. Acro’s, Blasto’s, Acan’s, Ricordia’s, and more in every color imaginable as far as the eye could see…. Mari-cultured, Aqua-Cultured, and wild-caught specimens...







    Some beautiful 12” blue-spotted vlamingi tangs were cruising around the cube tanks, curious of all the people crowded around their little world.



    Beauties like these Acanthastrea’s were available in ample quantities…







    I came home with this little beauty!
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Some of the acro’s…









    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Reefraft’s display tank was nothing short of beautiful. A wonderfully aquascaped 4ft by 4ft cube, standing 2ft tall was a mesmerizing display of colors. This tank was lit up by 2x 400w 20,000k XM’s, 2x 175w 20,000k XM’s, and 2 super actinic VHO’s. These pictures do this tank no justice.
















    I caught a glimpse of this Mystery wrasse swimming around in the cube tanks… Unfortunately, he wouldn’t stay still for a picture. He was already sold to a lucky customer.



    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    After Reefraft graciously allowed us to put aside our picks, we went outside to grab some burgers that were being offered on their BBQ. Then, we were off to scope out some of the other prime destinations in Toronto.

    Our first, stop, was BigAl’s in Oakville. Having been here before, I knew what Seahunter was about to witness….

    This hallway leads into the livestock area… Each side of the hallway was a panorama of fish. One side an artificial reef, the other side a fresh water beauty.







    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    This hallway was only a glimpse of what was ahead… a beautiful cylinder tank stocked with some of the largest and healthiest tangs, sharks, angels, eels, groupers, rabbitfish, lookdowns, soldierfish, and more….







    Bubbles! My bubbles!!!


    Yes, that is a full grown Sohal tang above this immense tang.




    Look ma! Some Lookdowns!


    Gray Angel
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    This was the premier BigAl’s location. Their stock was healthy and tanks were clean. We were offered a quick tour of the filter room sustaining the cylinder tank, and were surprised to see that it consisted of a large wet/dry filter, and a skimmer not much larger than out Aerofoamer 830 clones that we had at home.

    Walking around the store, we found some other tanks, also in pristine condition.

    This cowfish was about 8” large… about half of it’s full adult size.














    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    A quick walk across the street brought us to Oakville Reef Gallery. A beautiful shop with more beautiful corals that had just been received a few days prior. Tom runs a very well operated store, and is a premier Euro-reef dealer for Canada. Beautiful Euro-reef skimmers were visible everywhere, including a 6 foot custom recirculating one that was attached to their upcoming display. Deltec Calcium reactors were also visible, as were some beautiful stock tanks full of some very healthy stock. Oh yes, and this 18” Tridacna Giga’s Clam was also on display…

    Yes, that is a full grown cleaner shrimp on the clam’s mantle.



    We didn’t buy anything as our wallets were already light from our visit at Reefraft. So we left, and made our way back there to pick up our prizes.

    Back at Reefraft, we noticed that much of the stock was sold. However, Jensen and Jay informed us that yet another shipment of well over 200pcs was due to arrive at 5pm! We were in awe at the amount of coral that was already sold…. And yet here they were bringing in another shipment! Simply incredible!





    Before leaving, I managed to get some more pics of their beautiful display tank.



    Ricordea garden:







    Seahunter and I bid farewell to Jensen, Jay, Roger, and all the others helping out at the store, loaded up our corals into the coolers, and made our way out of Toronto, looking forward to a long drive back to Montreal.

    We made great time on our way home… and even managed to stop by a Dic’Anns restaurant to refuel.

    All in all, we had a very good day. Seahunter came home with a beautiful blue-tipped pink millipora, and a blue/green acro. I scored 3 different blastos, an Acan, a wild acro colony, and a small acro frag.

    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Swimfins's Avatar
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    Super photos, almost like being there. Well worth the gas money lol
    Canons shooting coconut creme
    40 guns in a steady stream. :coolmad:

  9. #9
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    Very nice pics Vince. It's too bad i had to work i would have loved to go.
    But hey maybe we could organize another trip when we know that they are getting a lot more stock.
    Are they open on Sundays?

  10. #10
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    look like a trip of a life time i allmost wrote you to see if the where room for me but whit the vacation that are just over and hockey season for my son and i the budget was not to be, but hey save me a frag of that acan , the only thing to left to say is i envy you guys and like people say in this hobby i'm sure that the pictures dont realy do justice of the beauty of this trip even if the picture are great thanks for sharing.
    rick

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