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Helping Mike Foote-
Be patient with me as I stumble through the best way to present this post. A few weeks ago I was contacted by Michael through email. He inquired about a 150-200 gallon marine fish-only aquarium. As we began to work through the quotation process, I learned he was in a wheelchair and couldn't speak. He also let me know he has a support staff who will help him with the tank. During our exchanges, I could tell Mike was passionate about saltwater fish. He sent me pictures of his favorites and began asking compatibility questions. He also shared that he had been watching hours of video on how to care for a marine aquarium.

Here is Mike's story in his words-
"I was born with cerebral palsy near the Puerto Rico coast. I was the son of a 15 year old mother who lived in a mud hut. She walked in the jungle 10 miles to a hospital. I was adopted by two super loving people who are my mother and father of my life. I am very interested in animals and fishes. I am a disabled man in a wheelchair. I went to school through high school and college. I am very smart. I am having a hard time with PTSD and I found that fishes and my cat calm me down. I am very interested in bigger fish and invertebrates in the sea, and I will do anything to get a hold of a tank."

When I presented him with a few 125 gallon fish-only aquarium quotes and we discussed layaway options, it became apparent that this was a long term project (2-3 years out). I'm not gonna lie, I was discouraged for him and wondered if this tank was ever going to become reality. What was amazing was Mike's response. He said "Cy, this is more than just an aquarium to me. I will make it happen. I will fight for it. I will do anything. This is my dream." I was moved. I told Mike that I would help him until he achieved his dream.

Not more than twelve hours after that text exchange Mike's friend Tom learned that he was looking for a tank. Tom happened to be trying to get rid of a 150H (48x24x31). Tom is donating the tank, stand, canopy, and light to Mike.

Mike has a monthly budget set aside for this aquarium but he is still a long way from completing it. I'm hoping Barrier Reef, and maybe some of you hobbyists or product manufacturers, can help us speed up the achievement of Michael's dream.

Mike is still in need of everything else that goes into a fish-only aquarium. Used items donations are appreciated as well as new. I've also set up a GoFundMe option if anyone prefers to contribute that way. Barrier Reef will be helping by donating missing items or fish ($500 in value).

GoFundMe - https://www.gofundme.com/mike-footes-aquarium-dream

Here are some of the items Mike needs-
Substrate 120 pounds - CaribSea Aragamax Select ideal
Protein Skimmer- Octopus NW 150/BM Curve 7 ideal
Wet/Dry or Sump
Media Reactor w pump - TLF Phosban 150 or similar
Magnetic Glass Cleaner
24" AquaTongs
Ecotech Vectra M1 Pump or Eheim 1262 - Quiet and reliable a must due to tank location and support staff.
Eshopps Eclipse L Overflow Box
Neptune Apex with leak detectors, flow monitors, etc - needed due to unique situation and support staff helping.
Frozen Foods
Dry Foods
Black or Blue Background
Phosphate remover
Test Kits

We really appreciate your time and consideration in helping.
Cy Forell, Michael Foote, and the entire Barrier Reef staff.



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Anything you all want to do is fantastic. We have seen an incredible amount of support from hobbyists, stores, and product manufacturers. At this point we only need a bit more donated towards the Neptune Apex that will help us, and his support staff keep tabs on the tank, the Eshopps Eclipse L overflow box, and gift cert donations he can use for fish and frozen foods. We have some carbon donated by Fritz but more carbon can always be used.

Thank you all!

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