Reef Discussion

Sam Parker

May 6, 2013
Mexicans Invade Nsw!!!
Hi Guys,

thought I'd post a thread here for the trip that @Wrangy and I had coming up to NSW for the day. Hopefully we can make this bit of a regular thing and build numbers up a bit more for future trips. Really was a fantastic day!

OK - Saturday morning, 4am, alarm goes off. Not that it was hard to wake up anyway as I knew I was off to crawl through some different fish shops that I always see posting stuff on facebook and from word of mouth. Shower, dress and get in the car, off to avalon airport. Meet Wrangy (Dom) inside the terminal and we are set for our $29ea way flights for the day.

Here is @Wrangy taking cash out in preparation for a big day :P

We arrive in Sydney ahead of schedule, but still took the lazy (and correct!) option of catching a taxi to Black star cafe. We meet up with @Felicity goodall who has volunteered to be our amazing chauffeur for the day. After a quick bite to eat, something to drink and bit of a chat - we get in the car for Asquith. This is the longest drive of the day, as we then head back in towards the city from there.

We get to Asquith a little early (they open at 10am) so got some fuel and then basically just waited out the front like desperate reefers till they open. @Jimsim met us there and that was our group of 4 for the day (seriously NSW - we need more of you next time!!)

Happy sight to see this light flick on!!!

Once inside, we are greeted with some lovely display tanks and plenty of nice stock. The two staff there (I dont have the business cards on me, damn!) were very friendly and willing to deal. These guys really have some nice stock, so I buy 4 pieces and then start to wonder how I am going to get it on the plane... Was almost out the door and then bought some dry stock just to add to the degree of difficulty :) Picked up an awesome rainbow acan frag for only $10, looks insane in my tank right now. Plus grabbed a rare plating SPS piece, a beatiful lobo and a small black sun coral.



Next stop is Reef River and Reptile, just up the road. To be honest, this was added in as it was so close to Asquith and we weren't expecting much more than a 5min visit. The amount of marine stock they carried was actually pretty good, prices still a little high, but some things were quite competitive (especially some fish). The dry goods on hand were quite impressive and Dom's eye spotted the full Ultra Marine Balling lite range. This opened up some conversation with Eric the store owner. WOW, this guy is knowledgeable, friendly and really willing to spend some time with us all. What's even better, he would like to get involved with the Reefuge and Dom and I got the ball rolling on a group buy of the fantastic Ultra Marin balling lite range (@Wrangy will post more details on this product soon - but it looks the goods!). Eric also carries a fantastic range of top shelf marine aquarium books that Dom also was very excited to see these and purchases one of these I believe on coral propagation for some coffee table goodness :)

This skimmer we think was for the new store - HUGE


This store had a number of very nice pairs of clowns in. Referred to as "Solomon Island clowns"


The range of suppliments that Dom got very excited about!

Here is the gang taking up the whole counter while Eric was showing us a very nice aquarium calculator software that is available free and we also showed him the reefuge (of course!)

Eric also mentioned that they are moving a few doors down to a much larger premises and will be setting up the marine side of things much better, including a large sustainable coral frag tank stocked with corals from there farm. Also said that if we had more time, he would take us up to the coral farm for a look. We grabbed some details off him as Dom and I are certainly keen on flying back up in a couple of months to see the new store and also to visit the coral farm. Will organise a Reefuge group day for all interested.

OK - back on the road after starting to get off track time wise (well worth it though) we are off to Eastwood aquarium. The first thing you notice when you enter this store is the incredible display tank. WOW, this is top shelf. Incredible SPS display with one of the cleanest looking tanks I have ever seen. A few pieces here caught my eye, but nothing enough to make me purchase more. Was very tempted on some of there cheap SPS pieces (Poci for $18!) but figured I have probably got enough to smuggle home! This was the last stop for James as he had family commitments that night. AS we left, we was heading back in to negotiate some pricing on a few pieces that caught his eye :)


OK, Felicity, Dom and myself loaded up for the final stop, Aquaristic. This is Felicity's local and she is very proud of the store. Good reason to be as well, they have some beautiful tanks there. Well worth a visit to see the planted fresh water tanks alone, they are something special! I notice a blue goni for $35 that I figure I can find room for somewhere and also some other dry goods (filter socks, TLF coral revive etc.) Felicity tried to talk the staff there into selling her a yellow tang and almost succeeds, perhaps next time!

( I did take pics here, but they seem to be lost? I was really impressed with the large range of dry goods on the shelf here. You could pick up everything and read the labels, compare with other brands etc. Prices were decent too)

I forgot to mention that Felicity did the right thing for us tourists, took us over the harbour bridge and also past the opera house. Beautiful day to see both these landmarks and it was greatly appreciated! Oh and the late lunch at that chicken shop was awesome - popcorn chicken by the kilo? That is insane!

Finally, we went back to Felicity's house to see her Cade tank that she had been talking down all day... Haha, it was amazing - have no idea why she would think otherwise. Dom and I are quite impressed and I fall in love with the Kessil lights she has over it, lovely look they give out!

Finally our day is coming to an end. We get dropped off at the airport (I leave my jumper behind, lol) and we nervously make our way through security checks. Turns out the explosives test guy has a tank (freshwater though) and wants to talk about the corals I got and look at them - purely personal interest, no official security business!!! Jump on the plane, check mid flight that the bags haven't popped open (all was good, just!). Land back at Avalon, get home - sort out corals, shower, eat, sleep, have a wine and pass out.

Awesome day - cannot wait to do it again. Perhaps a different city next time? I could really see this growing! Flights were $58 return and parking was $39 for the day. Not bad at all! The purchases in NSW soon added up, but any trip to a LFS has that effect on me....

Must give a huge thanks to @Jimsim for coming along and the biggest thanks of all to @Felicity goodall who was an absolute star. The day just wouldn't have been the same and the courtesay from forum members to other forum members (who to be honest are total strangers!) was incredible. Looking forward to hosting you down in Vic for a crawl in the short term future :D



Mar 1, 2014
Oh gees shucks @Sam Parker. You make me blush.

It was a great day and beautiful Sydney weather. Thanks to @Wrangy for being your travel buddy and @Jimsim for making the effort to equal up the Sydney numbers.

After five minutes of knowing each other we realise we are all the same, just different levels of crazy reef junkies. Great laughs were had and a pity we couldn't do a few more shops ( maybe next time you can make it a weekend next time..?).

Im keen for sure to have a travel to Mexico to see what you have got and meet more crazy reefers.

@Wrangy keen to see the results with your balling products!

so nice to meet you all

Felicity. Oxo


May 7, 2013
It cant be summed up much better than that @Sam Parker!! :)

It was a wicked day to say the least, the 3:30am wake and hour long drive to the airport wasn't much fun but they day certainly made that worthwhile!
As Sam has said, we can't thank you enough @Felicity goodall for all of your driving and taking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge :D You really did make the day and I'm glad that we all got along so well!!
Awesome to meet you @Jimsim and I'm glad you came along too!

The product and series of balling additives that I'm about to start is the Balling Light range of Fauna Marine, which aren't sold any where else in Australia but by Eric at Reef River and Reptile :) We had a huge discussion (well I did a lot of talking :p ) and he was just an awesome person and I certainly can't wait to go back up and see the farms with him and whoever else comes along!! :) It really is worth it!

All in all it was one of the best days and really good just to do something different and go someone different :) I work every weekend so it was a nice outing for me :p

Hopefully some of you NSW folks will come down to Melbourne for a crawl or come along next time we go up (it will be happening, Sam and I have already decided that haha). I look forward to it whatever happens next!


Nov 9, 2013
Just the 2 purchases on the day, have settled in nicely and I fragged about 5 tiles worth of the zoas so I'm quite happy!
I scored the green Birdsnest for $23 which I think is very good @Eastwood Aquariums and this wicked Zoa colony for $85 @Asquith Aquariums


Feb 25, 2013
Glad to hear you guys had a good day considering the moved the aquarium expo on you .
Thats one very nice SPS tank. puts mine to shame.....
P.S did you get to see the king at the rear of the shop ;)

Sam Parker

May 6, 2013
Finally found 2 of the missing pics, just an example of one isle (there was 2 or 3 isles) of dry goods on offer at Aquaristic. One of the other isles had pretty much the entire tunze and ecotech range on the shelf. It was a really nice touch that you just don't see at many stores these days, most are behind the counter, or in a display cabinet.


Jul 10, 2013
Day 1: sightsee and buy some stock (ask for a hold overnight after you pay).
Day 2: LFS hardcore crawl with purchase pick ups and check in one large foam box with all purchases. Or courier it home... from sydney to melbourne it's about $25 for a 20kg box.