I haven't posted on this forum yet, but have been in the fish hobby for quite some time. I have been noticing something that has really concerned me and it just seems to be getting worse.
I live in the greater Seattle area and have noticed that we have been continually losing our quality fish stores over the last 10 to 15 years. Especially saltwater stores. We don't even have a reef club or reef swap to anymore (the Tri Cities even have one!!). With Red C Aquarium store closing down. We now have Dennys Pet World, The Fish Store, Barrier Reef Aquariums and a few others that make up the available retail stores we can visit between Everett and Tacoma. Sure I missed a few of the smaller shops or mixed pet shops but you get my point. We really have a limited selection. When we look at meet ups or frag swaps, this is even more limited with what is available. I remember there used to be a much larger selection of events that were held yearly for aquarium hobbyists. But it seems, with time, they keep dropping off.
Aside from online retailers what do you think the cause of this is? You look around the US and every region has big yearly expos that bring national attention to their regions for fish and reef hobbyists. Then you look at the Pacific Northwest and it is a black hole. We need to work together to bring this back!
I know we can be introverted people who don't like to always go outside of our house. But this is something that I dearly miss and believe many of you do as well.
So I propose we try to work on getting ourselves back to what used to be. We need to stat supporting our local fish stores. Regardless if their prices are a bit more expensive. Soon enough, we will reach a day where you have an emergency and are unable to find a store anywhere that can assist you quickly. Instead, you have to wait two days for your order to show up, which in many cases, will be too late.
I'm not trying to make this a personal rant, but something to wake us up to take notice of this issue and work on finding a solution. I, like many others absolutely love this hobby. As well as the people it attracts. I want to see our area known for having a great environment for aquarium hobbyists so we can bring in better stores and maybe, just maybe host an actual national expo here!
That being said, what do you all think we can do to bring this back? Do you agree with my thoughts on our dying culture here? And if so, help me to get this back on track! It will take a group to make this work so please help!
As many of you club members know we have a nice roster of reputable sponsors here on the PNWMAS forum, we don't have to look far for much around these parts. And I do enjoy giving different establishments my business, not only to increase my own aquariums diversity but so I can get a good idea of what said vendor has to offer. One of the most recent places I have had the pleasure of frequenting is a web site known as Zoanthids.com.
A fellow Zoa collector Mr.Bret and I decided it was due time for a purchase and pulled the trigger on an order from the fine establishment. I had frequented the site many times but never made the actual buy, until recently.
Very interesting shipping methods used here. Triple heat heat packs, wrapped, on top of styro peanut insulation, all inside a thick styrofoam container.
Within the shipping container was yet more containers in place of bags, each labeled with the name of the precious contents within...Mmmmm, Double Trouble.
After unscrewing the lids of the zoanthid compartments there was yet another form of insulation and protection for the polyps.
This little guy isn't going anywhere!
Pretty nifty idea right!?
As far as my purchases I had to have the Sun drops, Temptations, and Fairy Tales and Bret got the Monarchs and the Double Trouble zoas. We had only ordered one polyp of each but every frag we received was at least two or more heads. And, to top it all off there was Two bonus freebie frags included in the order that we had no idea were coming. So Cool!!!
I am giving Zoanthids.com a thumbs up!
I need to get some pictures of the polyps with a decent camera, some of these are intricate and need a macro shot to truly enjoy them without being here in person...Bare with me here.
For those of you who are not into the SPS Acropora scene it looks like we still have a few of the zoanthids left from the Oregon Reef Expo as well and this means there will be another auction. And as with the other auction going on right now all the proceed will be going straight to the Tanks For Teachers program.
Just look at this nice and colorful coral frag pack going on here.
A couple mini colonies about to start here. Blue Eyed Girls, Armageddons, Dragon Eyes, Purple Deaths, Fire and Ice, and two other nice looking frags to complete the paly polyp pack.
The bidding will end on Friday the 19th midnight, with preferred pick up at the August 21st meeting at Emeralds House.
Let the bidding begin.
Once again I hope Jesse does not mind me utilizing most of his write up for the rules of the competition. If it is uncalled for please let me know and I will see that it is taken down but if it is fine with you then it is much appreciated.
Well Contestants this is the official thread to post your entries! If you post your entry in another thread it will not count. Contest begins May 1st! You have a week before and a week after to post up your picture. This competition will run 4 months!
Ground Rules: The goal of this competition is to be both educational and fun. I am hopeful the winners will be able to share their "secrets" and truly see how different lighting, supplements, dosing, and tank parameters can make a difference in growth.
Rules and Guidelines for The Premium Aquarium Grow Out Competition.
1.Your first post must include a quick write up of your system in the competition thread. Including tank size, flow, lighting, placement of the frag, frag measurement, equipment (ie calcium reactor, dosing, etc), feeding regiment, etc.
2. You will be required to post photo updates. The contest will start May 1st. You will be required to post a photo update once a month. I will remind you of this when the time is soon to post. I know life gets busy and people go out of town so you have a 2 week window to post.You will have 7 days before the 1st and 7 days after to post your update. If you do not post within the allotted time frame you will be disqualified.
3. Please no cheating. This competition is meant to be fun and for bragging rights. Cheaters will be disqualified and banned from any future competitions(PEDS were not used for Frankenfrag).
4. The frags must remain on the original or similar plug. You may modify the plug if needed example cutting off the stem for placement but only once. You may place the frag anywhere you want in your tank and you may move it to a different spot during the competition but it is frowned upon and you cannot move it to a new tank as the point is to see how the frag does over time in different systems.
5. Initial photos of frags need to have a top down as well as side shot so we can all see the frag and what you are starting with, a ruler next to the frag to provide proof of coverage is preferred. No hiding encrusting parts in your photos. Not following the rules will cause you to be disqualified, I know that sounds harsh but it is out of fairness to the rest of the group. Remember a lot can happen in 4 months. During the last growout many were DQ'd due to not posting. It's really simple. JUST DO IT. Length of competition: The competition will run for 4 months. This will give us enough time for the frag to grow. A lot can happen in 4 months and a lot of people could drop out, so if you are persistent, you have a chance to win the grand prize. This will give EVERYONE the same advantage\disadvantage with acclimation and so on. Pictures will be required frequently for updates. Final post will be September 7th 2016 for the winner.
Judging a winner: Will be a little different this grow out. The most growth over the frag plug from the initial size wins, Mounding will not be a factor. We will make the final measurements by September 7th preferably with the same ruler used in the initial few posts.
Winner of each category shall have glorious bragging rights along with the honors of choosing a desired "Nick Name" for their winning Goni.
and there will be prizes...
The first being a $50.00 gift certificate to The Premium Aquarium
and Second wins a choice zoa or SPS frag pack.
and Third will get the zoa or SPS frag pack not already taken by 2nd.
Here I will be including a list of people who have checked in that will be updated over the length of the competition.