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MVP Aquatics introduces....


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I thought I should introduce myself...and my company. My name is Mike Mahar. I own MVP Aquatics, LLC. We are a small (for now) aquarium/terrarium maintenance and installation company in Corvallis, OR.


I went to OSU for a little over 6 years. I was a JR in business school when I decided to make the big switch (to the shock of many) to major in zoology (hence the extra 2 years UGH!). However, I absolutely love it and would recommend it to anyone. It also sets you up perfectly for vet or med school (I am not going that route-too much school/$!) But again I can't say how cool it was to go to school for a degree that you get to apply to your hobby so intensely.


I also worked at Animal House Exotic Pets for 5 years and have been in the hobby for about 10. I quit Animal House recently to better my own business and was looking to get out of the retail area.


Many people think I am a store because of the amount I sell (livestock/mostly corals or cleaners) and the prices I sell at (I know good prices because I looked at wholesale lists for 5 years(nutty)). The fact is I am not. I shop at the same stores as most of you, online and local. I really have to shop around for the best deals, most wholesalers won't even talk to maintenance people. My freshwater, saltwater, and dart frogs tanks are all packed into my 2 bedroom, 1000 sq ft apartment (luckily they have no tank policy!) Sometimes I need to bump up an order just to get free shipping so I will ask friends if they need anything, usually at cost. Sometimes I don't need to make money, just make minimum order. I have absolutely no room for storage, so I HAVE to price the FEW items I do have to sell fast. When it comes to my personal tanks, I "spare no expense." I love gadgets and toys, the bigger and more complex, the better!


My personal tanks consist of a 100 gallon reef display, that is attached to a propagation/banggai breeding setup of a 20L and 33L. I have probably over 100 kinds of corals and some clams. The main display is 5 feet x 18 inch x 20 or 22. It has 3x250 watt halide with 20k, and 3x110 VHO 2 actinic, 1 daylight. I shot for the 1000 watt mark to make it a little over 10 watts per gallon, I wanted crazy bright! The 33 gallon "timeout" tank is where I put hermits and things who aren't behaving. It just has corals/inverts and my parent pair of Banggai Cardinals. The 20L has a 175 watt 20k halide with frags and baby banggais. The system as a whole is about 7 years old but has been running where it is for 4.


My other tank (which I am looking to upgrade) is a 72 gallon bowfront slightly brackish water tank with a monster size silver scat, even bigger gold datnoid (my fav fish), Synodontis eupterus, blackspot eel and various plecos and catfish. It has 2 fluval 405s running it. I have had all these fish for about 7 years and would probably keep them over my salt fish (whistle). I have always run a UVB bulb on the tank (used to have a turtle) and think it might account for the supersized fish in the tank and lack of algae. I am setting up an experiment to see if in fact it UVB bulbs might help fish grow and keep algae down, despite hearing numerous times it doesn't penetrate water deep enough (we will see!:D)


My other tank is a 54 gallon corner tank with 6 Dendrobates leucomelas dart frogs (the yellow&black ones). It is a thicket of plants of all kinds. I have another 40 or so gallon exo-terra with Dendrobates azureus (the bright blue/black ones). Both tanks have power-compact lighting with 50/50 bulbs and automated mister and foggers that come on a few times daily. The only real maintenance here is keeping fruit fly culture up and running, trimming plants, etc.


There are at least 6 other tanks running at all times. They could be for any client that needs one at the time. There is usually both salt and fresh tanks going at all times. I always have rock/driftwood to store, fish to quarantine or treat, corals and inverts to store temporarily. There is a lot of shuffling due to lack of space, but I would love to have even more tanks!


MVP Aquatics specializes in freshwater and saltwater aquariums of ANY kind. However, I have recently taken my dart frog hobby "public" too and will be installing/maintaining a few shortly(clap).


I am desperately trying to track down a nice, yet affordable, camera to photograph my setups, clients setups, and create a website (one thing I have no idea how to do). If you know of one (nikon or canon), please let me know, I'm always looking!


WOW, I think that is enough for now, I am sure more will come up, I hope to meet you all soon! Is there ever a Corvallis area meeting? Please don't hesitate with any questions!

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What a sponsorship? Send a pm to Michael7979


I am definitely considering a sponsorship! Where do I find info about what to do and what comes with it? I need a place to consolidate my information


Send a pm to Michael7979.The price is not very expensive and then you get your own page! (clap)He's our vendor relations person!

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I work mostly in Corvallis, Philomath, or Albany. But I definitely know qualified people in the Portland area.


Dart frogs are very easy to maintain...they are like corals in that they are very sensitive but once established can be very long lived and hardy. The kinds I keep can be in groups. A 10 gallon could easily support a pair. The "hardest" part about keeping them is keeping up on fruit fly cultures, which isn't very hard at all once you get a system down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

ALSO: Since I will be traveling from Portland/Beaverton area to Corvallis once weekly, I am thinking about offering "courier" service for corals and goods among members.


I am not sure which day will be my planned weekly trip to Corvallis, either Tuesday or Thursday. I would be willing to transport goods/livestock for people from my house to a "convenient" drop-off for me, meaning where I am in Corvallis, or any exit on I-5 corridor between Portland and Corvallis.


Shipper: Would have to have goods at my house the night before I leave, or that morning (WILL BE EARLY AND I WON"T WAIT).


Receiver: Must be able to meet at my schedule (on my way there or back). I can stop at pretty much any I-5 exit, but want to make it close to the exit.


Fee would be determined on individual basis, but honestly I am not looking for a lot, just to offset some of my own travel expenses. Nothing compared to a shipping service. I would not be responsible for any of the packages condition, that is between the shipper and the receiver, but what other shippers are zoologists? I take incredible care, and my girlfriend laughs that I have a no music policy when livestock is in the car...haha!


Let me know if you would be interested and I can plan out some options...


I am still considering sponsorship, just need to make the move first. Many New Years Resolutions!

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