View Full Version : Ward's Island Reef

10-14-2014, 03:37 PM
I lurk in this community allot. Time to step in with my new build.

Equipement list:

Miracles 80x20x20 Rimless 3/4" Starfire. Herbie Drain System.

Return Pump:
Ehiem 1262

DIY 40 Breeder Sump

Avast Marine CS1 recirculating skimmer with Swabbie kit

Media Reactors:
GEO's Reef UMC 420 x 2

1 for GFO and I haven't decided weather or not I will run bio-pellets in the other or occasionally just carbon.

Calcium Reactor:
GEO's Reef CR 612 with Reef Fanatic regulator

Reef Keeper Elite

Avast Marine ATO

Flow in the DT:
1x Maxspect Gyre
1 x VorTech MP40wes

Blue Line titanium
1x 500 Watt
1x 250 Watt

3 x Echotech Radion
2xG2 and 1xG1

We just bought a house on Ward's Island (Toronto Island). My wife was on the waiting list for 20 years and finally her number came up.
The house is a 1937 - 800 sqf cottage. How big of a tank can we squeeze in there?


There was one suitable wall for a long tank but it had a built in cabinet, we are doing a reno on the place so the cabinet is coming out anyway.


My buddy Anthony made short work of the Cabinet.

My friend Ben cheerfully scrapes up 3 generations of flooring to get down to the original Douglas fur subfloor.


And here will be the final resting place of the new tank.

The tank will be made custom by Miracles, 80x20x20 rimless starfire... aprox 135 Gallons.

(We have already removed the light sconces and baseboard heater)

One of the drawbacks and at the same time one of the most awesome thing about being on the island is that there are no cars allowed. You can get a permit to bring a moving truck or construction material over but for this I had Miracles drop off the tank at the ferry dock and it was up to me and a buddy to transport it over.

Waiting for the Ferry

On the Ferry

10-14-2014, 05:28 PM
Looks like it's gonna be a sweet build

10-15-2014, 01:57 AM
here's some pics of the stand.



That is my waterline coming out of the wall. My RODI will be in the stand. It will be a manual operation, I am not plumbing it directly into the sump. I have 2 x16G Tall aquariums, one for mixing saltwater and the other for ATO. The ATO tank will double as the quarantine tank when needed and be replaced with a 5 Gallon bucket for those times. The idea is to have everything from making and mixing water and waterchanges to happen in the stand. I even have a drain line in the wall that goes under then out the side of the house into the bush.

10-15-2014, 02:02 AM
Here you can see the tank on the stand in the middle of chaos!
My ATO tank and my saltwater mixing tank are currently housing the livestock from my last tank... most of it is surviving.... for now...

I got my lights hung last night, I still need to tune up the rigging a bit.

Customary kid in the tank photo before filling:

10-15-2014, 02:03 AM
So after several plumbing setbacks the tank is wet, the sump and skimmer are online and the salinity and temp are stable. I have'nt checked other parameters.
This is not the final aquascape, the right side is pretty much done though.

10-15-2014, 04:30 AM
Alright, here we are, all caught up. I actually have put my livestock in a couple of days ago. Things are looking good. I haven't done the FINAL aquascape or permanently placed any corals yet as I want to look at it a while before I make those decisions and move things around until I am satisfied. I am loving it though and am really happy with the way it's coming together.
I took some measurements and I have a few questions. This is copied from a separate thread that I started, if you are following along and have any suggestions or answers please answer here.

My Parameters are all kinda low for NSW.
Calcium - 330
Alk - 7.7
Mag - 900

Not sure what's going on with those numbers. The salt was mixed in the tank(empty) 10 days ago and I added the rock a week ago.... corals a couple days ago.
Could it be that the Reef Crystals was a "bad" batch? I did have a fair amount of sediment after mixing the salt. I assume calcium precipitation, but it wasn't too drastic...

I have a GEO 612 Calcium Reactor, I still need to clean it and get the tank filled. Should I be in a rush?

Anyway here's my question. How fast should I get the calcium reactor online. Do I need to bring my levels up a little before bringing it online like I would before using kalk? First time calcium reactor user... long time wanter.... Any tips?


Skimmer King
10-15-2014, 03:21 PM
looking good bro

10-15-2014, 10:41 PM
Looking good far, nice ferry trip with a tank, that's amazing! Ward Island looks like a pretty interesting place to live, your post is the first I've heard of it.

10-16-2014, 03:51 PM
Ward's Island is the Eastern part of Toronto Island which is located a 10 minute Ferry ride from downtown Toronto.
There are about 300 houses left on the island, the community fought really hard to keep their homes during the 1980's and succeeded in saving the community. Strict legislation was set up along with a Land Trust to ensure that the community remains economically diverse. The houses are not sold on the open market but to a purchasers list and the houses are sold at their assessed value not market value. We bought the house and we have a 99 year lease for the land the house sits on. If we were to sell we have to sell it back to the Land Trust and then it would go too the purchasers list for sale. The list is chronologically ranked. There is no way to sell your spot or buy your way up the list which keeps things fair. It took my wife being on the list for 20 years to buy this house. We live on the waterfront, on a beach, downtown Toronto which we would never ever be able to afford.... we are pretty lucky!
Here's the view from our from gate:
Here's the wiki for Toronto Island if your interested, it's pretty damn cool!

10-24-2014, 08:45 PM
The tank is doing great, I still need to fix up the rockwork on the left side and place corals. Things are slowly finding homes and being glued down.




I brought the GFO reactor online yesterday. I still need to hook up my calcium reactor.

11-07-2014, 12:26 AM
The tank is doing great! I now have my flow all sorted out. I was leaning heavily on 1 MP40 and several MJ 1200+900s while waiting patiently for the Maxspect Gyre to be released. It caught my eye several months ago in a MACNA video and I knew it would be perfect for my a long peninsula tank.
I finally got it and installed it a couple of days ago and WOW!
I mounted it on the far end from the overflow I started at %50 in the default A-B Paddle combination.
With no other pumps running this thing is easily providing enough flow at %50 for the whole tank. Detritus is being kicked up from all over the place and is being suspended and is moving back towards the Gyre then it is being spit back towards the overflow meaning the flow is ricocheting off the far end (as advertised) and there is defiantly a Gyre effect in the tank.

There are 4 modes to run it in
1. Constant speed - this provides a sheet of water that creates turbulence across the surface of my whole 80 inches at %50.

2. Pulse. You can set it to pulse at intervals from .4s to 30 seconds. there are 20 pulse time options here.

3. Alternating Gyre mode. - This is where it gets interesting!
The pump can can switch directions, spinning opposite has less power than forward because of the paddle design but you can set it to compensate for example 50% forward and 100% reverse. You can set it to switch directions from 2 minutes to 12 hours with 10 intervals in between. I have set mine to 50% forward, 100% reverse switching every 15 minutes.

4. 1 button 10 minute feed mode

The controller is very easy to use and looks good. Apparently 3rd party controllability is in the works.

I turned off the MP40 at the opposite end of the tank when I first set up the Gyre. I don't think I'll need to turn it back on... But I will, I am going to keep it and run it on ReefCrest to provide random counter flow... or I may sell the MP40 and get a second Gyre... ya that's probably what I will eventually do but I will wait for the smaller 35 watt version.

The Gyre is very quite. Running at %50 constant the hum is less audible than the hum of a properly seated MP40 on constant (green) at %50. Sitting here typing I can't even hear the Gyre anymore under the hum of my Eheim 1262 return pump. I could hear it at first because I was trying...


Here's some photos:
New Hippo tang- My wife absolutely loves this fish
Forest Fire and Bird of Paradise colonies from my old tank...
New Flame Hawk- i lost my old one in the move- I absolutely love this fish
Clown and Anemone - notice the tentacles of the anemone are pointing away from the overflow. That means that the flow from the Gyre goes all the way across the top, hits the wall with the overflow and come round the bottom with enough strength to push the tentacles of the anemone which is situated in the 3rd quarter of the tank back towards the Gyre. The flow actually comes all the way around the 80 inches.
Zoa Tree from Fragcave

11-07-2014, 06:11 AM
Ferrying a tank to a carless island ?? Ok, now that's HARD CORE. Wow. I had no idea that island had people living on it and I used to live in Toronto and Mississauga :lol:

12-01-2014, 01:43 AM
One of the first SW fish that I ever saw after googling around with the idea in my head that maybe I would like to set up a reef tank (I knew absolutely NOTHING about the hobby including FW at the time) was the Borbonius Anthias and I immediately fell in love. I am a circus clown by trade (NOT a birthday party clown, not that there's anything wrong with that.... :P ) It was pretty obvious what my attraction to this fish was.
Today I "joined the club" thanks to a buddy and my MUST HAVE fish list is now complete:
Redfin Waspfish
Midas Blenny
Flame Hawk
and now finally the Borb.
My only regret is what will I long for now....
I wish I could have a Dogfaced puffer, Longhorned Cowfish and a Clown Trigger... (see the pattern here)
Anybody got a suggestion for another funny little fish I can pine for?

Pictures of the Borg to follow....

12-01-2014, 02:12 AM
Nice build thread! What a great place to live!! I can imagine the looks you got on the ferry. So did you have to move the tank on the dolly to your place??

Can't wait to see how this fills in!! Keep posting!

12-01-2014, 02:52 AM
here's little Borby McGee