Frustrated in Ontario - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 29
Frustrated in Ontario

Hi guys, I feel so frustrated with the fact that everything you need in this hobby has to be ordered in, usually from the states. You can't see the product you are buying, hold it and compare it to other similar products except by photos on line. Even the large aquariam stores have nothing in stock, ever. It takes weeks to get things in, they promise and don't deliver for weeks or months. Then the products being sold, you look at reviews and crap, why does everything have to be DIY, why can't there be a great complete co2 system with tank for example. For the amount of time people have been in this hobby why can no one agree on the best combination of bulbs for planted tanks and reef tanks? Needed to vent.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 03:21 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 37
Hey Missy,

I feel your pain! The only thing that has made this situation a bit better was joining a local aquarium club. Most of them have monthly meetings which usually include a member driven auction or sale. You can get some neat stuff that way. Find out if there is one near you. is offline  
post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 03:24 PM
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Location: Artesia, nm
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i feel the pain as well, my small town in the states has almost no decent fish stores. but since i like diy i am fine going that route. most of the time
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 04:54 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 883
At least you guys can order stuff in .
Up here in canada we have to order internationally and get killed by shipping, and IT'S STILL CHEAPER THAN LOCAL.

I do have a Big Als here in Edmonton but i find their prices ridiculous.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 06:07 PM
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Location: SoCal
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Having been in the reef hobby for 20 years it was a lot easier to find equipment and supplies locally. Starting in with a planted tank I get funny looks when I ask for anything not for a guppy tank. I was looking for a GH test at a store that's been open for over 20 years. The said they hadn't sold one or been asked for one in at least 5 years.
Don't even think about asking for something CO2 related unless it's a SW calcium reactor. I did find a Red Sea drop checker at one store. They must have had it forever. The rubber o-ring gasket had half way reverted back to crude oil. lol
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 06:11 PM
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Location: Citrus County,Florida
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Nearly everything for the hobby other than tanks I buy online. Nothing to speak of local within an hour of the house.

The Fraternity of Dirt
If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
2-75g planted, 5-55g planted, 5-20g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 8-10g, Refugium, doghouse/newbie
2012 update adding table top pleco pans & a 90g (Nutz)
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 11:27 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ontario,Canada
Posts: 116
There is a place called MOPS in the Hamilton area-I am on the mailing list. MOPS stands for mail order pet supplies.
he also sends out a very good newsletter periodically. His name is DAN
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 07:01 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Montreal
Posts: 28
I know exactly how you feel! Right now I'm absolutely DYYIINNGGG to buy the Petco Bookshelf Aquarium. It's only $39.19 - even LESS because our exchange rate is so good - but with international shipping, it's over a hundred bucks! argh!

I guess I could always drive to Burlington and pick one up...but then I'd be spending lots of gas money grr why can't they just have Petco here in Canada?
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 05:13 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
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Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by mousey View Post
There is a place called MOPS in the Hamilton area-I am on the mailing list. MOPS stands for mail order pet supplies.
he also sends out a very good newsletter periodically. His name is DAN
+1 Dan's a good guy to deal with, polite and professional. Good prices as well.Totally took care of me during the Marineland stealth heaters issue. Got replacements within a week shipped from Illinois.

You could also look at hydroponics stores, there's plenty of these in Canada. Lighting, ferts
For CO2 you could look for welding supply companys near you.

"an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure"
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 05:35 PM
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Location: Bancroft Ontario, Canada
Posts: 307
I get my CO2 supplies from a home brew shop. There is one in almost every city.

Quality plants on the other hand are virtually non existent.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 10:59 PM
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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I joined this forum in 2004 I believe. I was 15 at the time. I could find nothing. Not a single thing. I had DIY yeast co2, shop lights from home depot and no fertz.

We are slowly getting a more things at the LFS and I've been able to find almost everything I could want through this forum and local clubs as well as creative thinking.

Things like Manzanita and seiryu stone through the swap and shop. Some people wont ship here, but most will ship dry goods if you pay shipping. I just try to bulk up and sell some to locals. I got my regulators, needle valves, solenoids from swap and shop. Lots of wood and stone too. All for less or a fraction of what it is locally.

Co2 parts you can get at many stores, you just have to call everybody.I never buy wood or rock locally unless it's from a landscape store. SNS is cheaper.

Find a good SW or reef forum and there you can find dosing pumps, tanks, co2 gear, awesome lighting and the best part is it's dirt cheap. These SW guys blow money and find a reason to upgrade every 3 days so there is a constant supply of great stuff.

Plants are by far the hardest. Locals are best for this, mainly found through clubs or a local forum. I have found most things painstakingly, but it can be found. Mosses are the hardest to find.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 04:26 AM
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Location: Calgary
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if you look around you will find that small town anywhere can be lacking, but I never had any trouble finding anything in Toronto.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-20-2011, 12:41 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 320
I'm in Ottawa and I only have Pecetera, Petsmart and Big Al's! Pecetera has poor fish selection, Petsmart fish aren't always healthy and Big Al's, there's lots of fish but VERY expensive (10$ for a Red Cherry Shrimp)!!! I also have Animalerie LaNiche in Gatineau but it's a good 40min from here, but I can contact the owner and he can import virtually anything I want!! Worth the trip if you ask me!!

Plants are the hardest, but I think I will order from Aquatic Magic!! Again, not a huge selection of plants though!!

I would like to be in a club or local group that meets every month or something but my mom doesn't want to drive me there (I'm 13)!!

Anyways, just don't give up!! Where theres a will, theres a way!!!
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 12:05 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 101
You guys sound lucky.

I live in New Brunswick and the nearest pet store is close to two hours away (a Pets unlimited).

There is absolutely nothing on the east coast.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 12:39 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 602
Hi Guys, I can understand where your coming from. I too couldn't find what I wanted when I started looking for freshwater shrimps to buy in ON, soooo I contacted people in the US and started buying from them. I have them shipped to my US address, then breed them in my tanks here at home in ON, some for resale.

I am probably the first person to bring in Yellow/OEBTs to Ontario and have increased the popularity of Crystal Shrimps throughout the GTA area!

I have (16 tanks ) of freshwater breeding shrimps, and ship regularly to BC, AB, NS, NLFD, and all over ON.

If there is something you are looking for that I might be able to get for you, please let me know.

I do charge commission on top to get it in, as I have to do all the work of getting the shipping arranged and then re-shipping once I have the items here at home. It may or may not be cheaper than what you are getting now.

Just drop me a line at with what you are looking for and I can see what I can do....not promising anything, but might be able to help out.

I ship freshwater shrimps on a regular basis to all Provinces in Canada and have a very good reputation! I am also a breeder so if you are looking for something just ask.

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