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Sanctuary Aquatics - Oshkosh Wisconsin

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Last updated on November 17th, 2023


Sanctuary Aquatics - Oshkosh Wisconsin

Sanctuary Aquatics

Sanctuary Aquatics is a new, large aquarium store in Oshkosh Wisconsin. While they started working on the business years ago, they waited to open the facility to the public until September 10th, 2022, providing ample time to perfect even the smallest details.During this time, Sanctuary Aquatics worked on over 24,000 gallons worth of systems to ensure everything was as high of quality as possible! This makes their grand opening even bigger knowing that you're not just buying coral, or equipment, you're getting the full experience and quality to match!

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The Systems

The aquarium systems at Sanctuary Aquatics are nothing short of astounding! They have a 10,000 gallon reef lagoon, a 10,000 gallon coral aquaculturing facility, a 300 gallon reef cube, a 1,600 gallon SPS and LPS frag system, and a 1,000 gallon soft coral frag system. If you're looking for less salt, they also have a 1,000 gallon Cichlid tank and a 500 gallon planted Discus cube, as well as a small stingray pond!

The theoretical relationship between carbonate alkalinity and pH for seawater in equilibrium for preindustrial air


When working with large amounts of water, there is almost no other option than to heat the aquariums with natural gas. Sanctuary Aquatics has even installed dedicated boilers for heating their aquariums! Dramatically decreasing the cost of heating their facility compared to electric heat, and demonstrating their innovative thinking.

Coral Lighting

The aquarium lighting around Sanctuary Aquatics differs by tank and system. For example, the low light coral uses ATI T5 lighting, while most of the other coral tanks use Reef Breeders Photon Lighting, but you'll also see a mix of Kessil Lights around the facility.

In addition to this, the large coral pond is lit using a variety of HIGH POWER LED fixtures as well as metal halides. The PAR in this system is not enough for SPS coral, but does a great job at creating a natural looking soft coral pool! If memory serves correctly, the PAR in this pool is around 100-150 in the upper half, but don't quote me on that.

The theoretical relationship between carbonate alkalinity and pH for seawater in equilibrium for preindustrial air


Personally, I applaud the ingenuity for the filtration being done at Sanctuary Aquatics. Each of their systems is utilizing a Nitrate Destroyer. The theory behind this is to carbon dose a tower of different substrates where oxygen is removed from the water and allows the bacteria to thrive and consume the nutrients. While I personally use cheato and providing enough surface area for beneficial bacteria, they are having great success with this method. Keep in mind, they are also working on a MUCH larger scale of water!

Coral Farm

Most of the coral at Sanctuary Aquatics is farmed in house and consumes an entire additional building in the back of the property. The coral is grown, cut, quarantined, and treated on site to make sure you get more than what you're looking for in terms of quality.

The theoretical relationship between carbonate alkalinity and pH for seawater in equilibrium for preindustrial air

The Aquaculturing Facility, or Coral Farm, in the back building utilizes a large number of tanks to grow all sorts of coral. The top racks contain the highest demanding coral, primarily acropora, using metal halide lights and, in addition to standard return pump flow, the top growing tubs use a tidal swell flow method (More on this in a moment).

The water then flows down to the next vat using a lesser power light. Moving downward, you'll find less demanding SPS such as montipora. This method of farming is innovative for sure, and is not something you typically see out of other large coral farms. That being said, it has been working for multiple years and proven effective!

The LPS farming is done in another room in the facility. These growout tubs utilize Kessil Lighting and the flow is primarily supplied by return pumps rather than the Tidal Swell from the SPS facility.

Tidal Swell Flow

The tidal swell method of providing flow is quite simple, yet ingenious for large aquaculturing facilities. They utilize a brute trash can with a pipe that reaches the bottom, goes up near the top, and back down with an angle into the growout vat. A return pump pushes water up into the trash can, and when the water is above the pipe, it begins to drain like an overflow. However, this creates a vacuum that pulls all of the water out and drains the trash can within a minute or two. Creating a massive flow of water across the tank! While very cool, I do not think it would work well in a home setting, mostly because setting trash cans above the aquarium is likely not going to pass for living rooms!

Coral Quarantine and Treatment

All coral that comes to Sanctuary Aquatics is treated with Coral Revive upon arrival. The next day, coral is dipped in a high concentration of Beyer (BioAdvanced). This continues weekly for 3 weeks! Montipora get a special treatment just to be safe for Montipora Eating Nudibranchs. These coral are dipped every 3 days for a minimum of 3 weeks, giving them at least 7 dipping treatments!

This 3 week minimum of treatment gives you much more confidence in what you're buying! And remember, you should always dip your coral (and even quarantine if possible) when you buy them to be extra safe!

Fish Quarantine

As the trend picks up (thankfully!) Sanctuary Aquatics is among one of the few local fish stores that quarantines their fish before selling them! While I still encourage putting your fish through quarantine at home as an extra precaution, Sanctuary Aquatics does a good job at treating the fish for you ahead of time as well.

All fish are treated for 14 days in Copper Power at 2.9ppm concentration. Then, they are observed for another 14 days without medication to ensure there is no sign of illness or parasites. After all of than, the fish are treated with PraziPro Soaked for to treat for potential internal worms and parasites.

Invertebrate Quarantine

Much like I suggested in my article on how to quarantine invertebrates, Sanctuary Aquatics even QTs their inverts like snails and crabs! All inverts are kept in fishless systems for a minimum of 90 days! Preventing parasites like ich from getting into your reef on their shells.

Fresh Water

While I personally have not kept fresh water aquariums in many years, I am still impressed with the freshwater setup they have as well! There are a few cool tanks including a planted tank, angelfish display, cichlid tank, and even a freshwater stingray pond.

The theoretical relationship between carbonate alkalinity and pH for seawater in equilibrium for preindustrial air

What They Offer

Sanctuary Aquatics offers nearly everything you would want for fresh or saltwater aquariums. They offer supplies for both, fish, livestock, driftwood, coral, equipment, plumbing supplies, I mean almost everything! I do have to specify almost, mainly because they do not carry some of the lighting and other equipment I recommend, such as Neptune Products.

The theoretical relationship between carbonate alkalinity and pH for seawater in equilibrium for preindustrial air The theoretical relationship between carbonate alkalinity and pH for seawater in equilibrium for preindustrial air


I've been asked a couple times about the pricing you can expect to see at Sanctuary Aquatics. At the time of writing this, their pricing hasn't been posted. Nor am I affiliated with their business. As such, I encourage you to take a trip to their store in Oshkosh and check out the pricing for yourself. ;)

When you do check out their pricing, keep in mind all of the steps taken for quarantine, treatment, aquaculturing and quality in general. This is NOT your standard LFS that sells their livestock as soon as they arrive!

Where to Find Sanctuary Aquatics

If you're looking to visit Sanctuary Aquatics, you can stop by the facility at the address below. While they do not currently offer anything for sale online, you can also check out their website.


2923 Jackson St,
Oshkosh, WI 54901

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If you're in the Oshkosh Wisconsin area, I highly suggest taking the trip to Sanctuary Aquatics to see the vast selection and impressive display tanks! You won't be disappointed in their facility! It really is stunning, and the nicest aquarium facility I have personally seen! Tell them John from Reef Stable sent you!

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About the Author

Reef Stable Founder John Krenzer

John is a Software Engineer with a passion for saltwater aquariums, as well as the founder and president of Reef Stable. He started in the aquarium hobby as a child with a 20 gallon freshwater aquarium. His interest in aquarium life grew and in 2008, John set up his first saltwater aquarium.

Today, John maintains an over 300 gallon reef tank system, consisting of a 120g reef and a 210g reef. These large tanks are contained within the same system, sharing a sump as a means to reduce total maintenance and increase total water volume.

John writes articles for the blog as a means to learn about more reef aquarium topics. These articles act as a reference for the readers as well as himself. John updates these articles frequently to provide additional information or make corrections as new information becomes available.

If you would like to request an article, tank tour article, or to collaborate, let me know via the Contact Me Page!

About Reef Stable

Reef Stable was initially founded in 2019 as a reef tank parameter log to fill a need. Reef Stable quickly grew, becoming a location to solve all of your reef tank problems as well as a place to learn.

Reef Stable now provides a Reef Blog, Reef Aquarium Guides, Coral Care Guides, Identification and Solutions for Pests and Algae, and Reef Dosing Calculators, in addition to the original Reef Parameter Log.

Reef Stable continues to grow, striving to provide a single location for all your reef tank needs!

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