The Aquariums at Pacific Shores Resort

Pacific Shores Resort & Spa in Parksville, BC features the largest privately owned aquarium in the province.  The connected twin cylindrical aquariums in the restaurant total more than 6,000 gallons!  The tanks are stocked with cold-water fish, anemones, urchins, starfish, and other species native to our Pacific Northwest. Two smaller aquariums are featured in the resort’s lobby and spa.


An impressive array of equipment keeps the massive system running. All three aquariums within the resort are plumbed together into one system. The majority of the water movement is provided by pumps hidden in the equipment room, we also noticed a few Tunze Stream pumps in each tank.

In the equipment room, trays of poly pre-filters, a huge carbon canister, and a fluidized bed filter handle basic filtration.  UV sterilizers and ozone reactors help prevent parasites and disease.  An unknown controller system uses a touch screen for pump and solenoid control.  The protein skimmer is large, but we see more skimmate from our Vertex Alpha skimmers in our store.  I would love to see how a Bubble King skimmer could rip on this system! A water temperature of 54 degrees F is maintained by a two ton heat exchanger with an eight foot long titanium chiller barrel.  Lighting is minimal, with 2,400 watts of metal halide shining over the restaurant system.


Water changes are performed weekly by pumping water from the sea.  An open system with water continuously circulating from the ocean was purposefully avoided for control over water quality.  Glass is cleaned with a magnetic cleaner.  We didn’t get to see this device, but I imagine it’s a behemoth…the acrylic tanks are 1 3/8″ thick!  The tanks are fed daily, PE Mysis Shrimp, whole squid, anchovies, and shrimp.  Feedings are scheduled daily so guests can see the action…just stay clear of the splash zone!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. As owners at Pacific Shores we have enjoyed the aquarium on many occassions………………….a tour of how everything works is educational is a must see !!!

  2. It is well worth visiting the aquarium at feeding time – I have seen the large eel emerge when this happens. You don’t have to eat in the restaurant to see the feeding….but the food is extremely good!

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