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FAQs about Aquarium Clubs/Associations

Related Articles: Aquarium Clubs/Associations, Using the Internet: A Reefkeeper's Best 10,000 Friends by Travis Staut  Collecting Aquarium Literature, Finding Help on the Net

Related FAQs:  Aquarium Friends, Natural Marine Aquarium: Reef Invertebrates book

Re: Green Spotted Puffer, clown, snails..... 11/20/2007 Marco~ Thanks for your response! <Welcome.> I really liked the way you explained the genus differences between the puffers. I really tried to "pin down" more information from the girl at the LFS, but she seemed to be wishy-washy using a lot of "I don't remember" to my questions. The size of the fish, as SHE described them, matched the size of GSP's. I thought I was going to stumble on some kind of new "break-thru" information regarding GSP sexing and breeding. Silly me. Lol <<I don't think this was silly. There are several people claiming GSP were bred, but so far hard evidence is missing.>> <Here is were the problems began. If you do not want something he is bringing along, you have to say so clearly. When someone is trying to sell you something and you feel pressured leave him alone or send him away.> I hear ya, Marco. The way he handled things was very slick and I'm not nearly as naive as I used to be. As I've said, I really learned a lot. <<That's great to hear. The more knowledge, the less trouble, the more fun.>> <This is not a reef species. They can be kept at marine conditions, some zoological gardens and many hobbyists do that, but GSP most commonly occur in coastal mangrove areas, estuaries and frequently enter rivers. Although some of these environments may have full strength seawater salinity, none of their natural habitats is comparable to a reef tank. The main reason to keep a GSP at marine salinity is that due to skimmers and live rock it is easier to keep the water quality permanently high.> No wonder he was so unhappy. His current tank is only 28 gallons, but is what I could pull together on the spur of the moment. I know he'll be much happier in it. <<I wish him (and you) a long and happy life.>> <The diet sounds good, maybe feed more bivalves and snails as the main staple.> He won't touch clams or oysters...even when soaked in Selcon & Garlic Extreme. <<Did you open them? Smaller puffers are often unable to crush too large bivalves. It is true their teeth need abrasion, but bivalves are also good food, because of their nutritional value. So, it is ok to open them for the puffer. The GSPs I know eat almost everything (plants, flakes, wood, fingernails), your specimen seems to be more picky.>> There were some small bivalves that hitchhiked in with the live rock. He never touched them. Maybe in his new tank, where he is the only fish in it, he will become more "territorial" and more willing to "investigate" resulting in him eating more clams and oysters. Hhhhmmm....maybe he was "over stimulated" or on "overload" in the other tank and that's why he didn't bother anything in it. <<Possibly stressed by all the unknown life and Cnidarians in there.>> My snails just aren't living to sizes large enough to feed him right now, but I do supplement them with fish store nuisances when I can. <Yikes… does this tank maintaining person have a wooden leg, an eye patch and a hook instead of a hand? You wanted a tank for a GSP and not a high end reef tank, did you?> Yes, the tank was for the GSP. I said I wanted something very simple. But, then I "needed" this or "needed" that and with the additions that showed up....they were so pretty, and I'm sure you know how things like that often go. I would have never bought those things myself (file clam, tube anemone that I had to get rid of, etc. etc.), but when they were brought to my house and I was assured by someone "in the know" that they would be great in my tank....well, now I have a tank for THOSE things and a new one for the GSP. Boy was I stupid. My future plans are to have a 90-120 gallon tank. I really want a Dog Face Puffer. <<Great fish, too.>> <Start with some books, e.g. Bob's book, and sites like WWM instead of paying 1000s of dollars for questionable advice. Not all LFS employees and owners are pirates, but without researching much by yourself, you will have a hard time to evaluate whose advice is good and who will make you pay for thing you do not want or need. Reading is the easiest way to achieve enough knowledge to make your own experiences and reasonable decisions. Without reading you are likely to fail or become a treasure chest. Advanced fellow hobbyists re usually a more reliable source of information, local clubs are good places to get into contact with them.> I have TCMA by Mr. Fenner as well as Bornemann's book. I just bought Wilkerson's book on clownfish (now I'm in love with my clowns). I read all of these voraciously when I'm NOT reading WetWebMedia. <<Sounds like you are well prepared now.>> This has been my "home" since I found this site when searching for GSP information. AND, I was reading this site, but as I said in my previous post, I couldn't read enough fast enough and I was letting things get out of control. By the time I was learning what I needed to know about Zoanthids and Ricordea, I was having to learn about tube anemones....see what I'm saying? I don't know why it was so difficult for me to just put my foot down, but it was. A mistake I won't make again. <<We live to learn.>> I live in the FL panhandle and I can't find any local clubs (even when searching on the net). <<You could ask at http://www.swfmas.com/ if they are aware of clubs in NW Florida. Also check MASNA: Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (If you want to start a club it may be worth talking to them anyway). I'd be surprised if there was no club in the entire area, especially in cities like Pensacola, Tallahassee.>> I have a girlfriend who just got into the hobby not too long ago. We've talked about starting some sort of society, but I don't even know where to begin....but I'd LOVE to do it! Just in the last 2 months, my friend's 120 gallon tank broke on the bottom and flooded her house. She was able to salvage her live rock and a couple of fish and a bit of sand (her tank had just finished cycling). Another friend treated his 90 gallon reef tank with antibiotics and it killed EVERYTHING in his tank. He was devastated. Had I known he was GOING to do that, I would have done what I could to stop him. So, we NEED some type of society here where we can all get together and share information and frags and create friendships with others who love this hobby. If you can lead me in the right direction, I'll be glad to follow up with it. <<One way to get in touch with new fellow hobbyists to meet, share information and swap items and animals, possibly on a regular basis, are the different LFSs. Depends on how outgoing you are and if you like talking to strangers. Second way to find people is to look for local ads in newspapers and the net, especially people already selling or swapping frags. When you have found a small group of friendly reefers/fish keepers you could try to find a place and date to meet, have a drink and share aquarium stories. That's how it usually starts. Sometimes it stays at this informal level, sometimes a club is formed. Also consider thepufferforum.com as you are interested in puffers. It is a great place for experience exchange, too.>> I've duly noted your advice regarding my specific questions. <<Hope it helped.>> Marco, I think I'm on the right track now. This website provides a plethora of information. I just read and absorb everything I can and I just LOVE this place. Thank you and to all who offer such immeasurable information and support. Corinthian <<You are welcome and I wish you good luck with your future endeavours. Marco.>>

Aquarium organization/club   5/25/07 Bob, I have considered joining a club... the closest I've found is the Dallas/Ft. Worth Marine Aquarium Society meeting in Grapevine which is about 40 miles from me. <Have met this group... very nice folks>   Meeting starts at 7pm means I'd have to leave way earlier because of traffic that goes by the DFW airport. <Oh yes...>   So far my business has not allowed me to take the time to go.  My transcription work has me busy enough to keep me swamped but not busy enough to hire more transcriptionists than I already have.  So I've been attempting it for 6 months but something always comes up.  Thanks for the suggestion, though. Regards, Debbie <Well... we'll have our own club in the meanwhile... over the Net! BobF>

Texas LFS  4/21/07 Hello Crew <Hi George, Pufferpunk here>    I was wondering if you knew any excellent salt water local fish stores in or near League City Texas?  I am moving there and am interested in starting my first reef tank when I get there.  Any help/suggestions regarding this question is appreciated. <I suggest looking for the closest reef club in your area.  Most of the members can recommend their favorite store.  They also are very happy to help a new member with their tank.  See: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=80 ~PP>    Sincerely, George Browne

Re: Instant Ocean Reef Crystals, Snails, and a Klein's Butterfly, PA thereabouts Reefathons!  - 4/13/07 <Mmm, am hoping MichL, will see your physical address, direct you to fellow marine keepers, associations in your State. Bob Fenner> <<Would so gladly! Hi John, Mich here, there are several clubs near you.  Typically are tons of fun.  I would highly recommend you go out to an event or two, if you haven't already! Here are some local happenings for you! There are several in your vicinity.   There is the Philadelphia Area Reef Club (PARC) http://www.phillyreef.org/ http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=51 Meeting category: 2007 - April 28 (Saturday) !!!! LOCATION & DATE CHANGE for April !!!! Location: Pets Plus - 215-943-5229 151 Lincoln Hwy Rt. 1, Fairless Hills, PA 19030 1:00pm - 3:00pm (Adjacent to Pond Display) Agenda: Store Review and Coral Discussion Food: Misc beverages, bagels & Danish type munchies Raffle: Misc Coral TBD This particular store has been slowly upgrading their salt water section and has become quite impressive. All tanks should be stocked up with corals and salt water fish just before the meeting. Everyone attending will get 20% OFF ANYTHING IN THE STORE this day only. Also if anyone was interested in something special just let us know a reasonable time before the meeting and we've been promised a reasonable deal if possible. This included special orders on tanks. It should be an exciting time. We look forward to seeing you there!!! The New Jersey Reefers Club (NJRC) http://www.njreefers.org/forums/index.php#2 http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=70 APRIL Meeting: Sunday April 22nd in Washington, NJ We are having a split meeting at the homes of SpankYou and PnoyReefer.  The date is Sunday April 22nd starting around 10:30 at Williams (SpankYou) for Coffee/donuts and then on to Steve's house (PnoyReefer) for the meeting at 1:00. When: Sunday April 22nd Where: Part I spankyou's (William) @ 10:30am 211 Mountain Ave.  APT 115 Hackettstown, NJ 07840 Food: Donuts and coffee Drink: Part II pnoyreefer's (Steve) @ 1:00pm 31 Alvin Sloan Ave Washington, NJ 07882 Food: pizza and Chinese Drink: What To Bring: Any extra help would be appreciated and I'm sure we'll get a list going. Speaker: Steve from MASNA will be speaking at Steve's house around 3:00pm North Central Pennsylvania Reef Aquarium Society (NCPARS) http://www.ncpars.org/ http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=246 Delaware Reef Club (DRC) http://www.delreefclub.org/ http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=260 Next Meeting - Mon April 16 Our next meeting will be Monday, April 16, 7-8:45PM at the Newark Library. Right now we don't have anything special planned, so if anyone would like to show some tank pictures or discuss a DIY project or anything of that sort, we'd love to see it. Maybe we can get that promised tank tour from Gordonious as well? See you then. Hope you find something that fits into your schedule!  -Mich>> Inland Empire Marine Aquarium Society - seeking input - 02/07/2007 Greetings, Bob. <Bruce> My name (as evidenced below, and in my email address!) is Bruce Webster, and I am the Vice President of the Inland Empire Marine Aquarium Society (IEMAS - whose home, at least for now, is at www.inlandreefs.net ). <A good one> We have recently formed ourselves as a sister organization to SCMAS (and, probably, MASLAC and SDMAS - we haven't approached them with anything however I am sure we will be supportive of each other's efforts). <Worthy groups> As a part of our formation, the founding members are aware of the need for a vision or mission statement (I've always viewed both of those as interchangeable, so please correct me if I am wrong). <Am in agreement> I was looking for your feedback as to, perhaps, how the following ideas might be incorporated into that statement:  Responsible reef keeping (be that with regards to not just picking "pretty fish" but also making informed decisions with regards to whether or not the item is appropriate (will it be a "rental", too difficult to keep?), endangered or otherwise inappropriate. <Okay> Emphasis on captive propagation (whether that be breeding of fish/other livestock or corals). Promoting Education and Awareness (not only amongst ourselves but by educating others (for example, our club has already began sponsorship of a school, and we are encouraging our members to seek schools in their areas, as well)). Items I feel are important to emphasize on would be the ocean, it's ecosystems, the replenishment cycles of its life (for instance, stripping a reef of anemones - they live a long time and don't need <I'd drop the words "need to"> to reproduce that frequently. Just an example...) and how it all has an effect on us here on the surface (a by-product of this knowledge would also be a better understanding of ecosystems in general - be it a desert or the mountains or a small creek...). I know this may be a bit much to ask, however I have always had a high regard for your emphasis on conscientious care of our reefs and its inhabitants (someone should write a book on that someday... :P). <Mmmm, good idea> Also, I think it would speak highly of our club that we sought input from an expert in the field as well as a respected member of the community. <Don't know about that descriptor either> I thank you in advance for whatever input you may be able to provide. I hope this finds you well. <Yes my friend. I do like the gist of your statements... would go with them. Bob F, off this AM to give a pitch on what it means to be conscientious, an aquarist, in SC.>

Message for Graham T from Maine, SW club   Dear Graham T, I was reading through the daily questions yesterday and noticed you are located here in Maine.   <Yup.. I think we're actually part of the mid-Atlantic states though, based on the weather.> I am wondering if you know of the reef club, SWAM, here in Maine?   <Nope. Didn't think there was initiative-enough up here for a club... that's good to hear!> You may have seen some flyers or talked to club members at Aquatic Concepts.   <Well, to be honest, I frequent a different LFS now, as A.C. is not the same as it once was. (To say the least) ...unless you count the 13-yr old decor in the windows, and the same exact floor plan I helped to implement in 1995.> If you haven't heard of us, we are a fairly small group of hobbyists (mostly reef enthusiasts although I am converting back to freshwater) who try to get together once a month to discuss aquarium topics, swap frags, drink beer, and otherwise have a great time.   <That's cool! I'd like to get over sometime...> We also try to bring some well known folks in the hobby to Maine to give talks.    <I bet Rick wouldn't mind making a day of it sometime, though we both have pretty nasty schedules.> There is a SWAM forum on Reef Central and a website is in the works.  We are always looking for new faces to meet. Perhaps you could check out the RC forum sometime?  There is going to be a big frag swap coming up soon in the Portland area.  Hope to meet you sometime. <Thanks for extending the invite! I'll be looking  you up. BTW, do you frequent the A.C. competition? (I won't mention any names, here... -Graham T.> Sincerely, Jason Bartlett

Local Fish Stores/Reef Clubs in SC - 10/17/06 Hello Eric, <<Hiya Rob!>> I also live in the Columbia/Lexington, SC area and I'm in the process of setting up a 90 gallon marine tank. <<Neat!>> I have only been able to find a couple of LFS with marine fish. <<Only a "couple" in the area worth bothering with in my opinion>> I was just wondering which one you use. <<My fave is 'FINS' (best prices overall too)...but 'Fishy Business' warrants a visit from time to time>> I have no problems with the couple I have found.  I just wanted to make sure I'm not missing one. <<There is a least one more in the area (on Bush River Rd. across from Fuddruckers), but this guy shouldn't be in business as far as I'm concerned (trashy/smelly store, dirty tank, charges more than the posted prices because "someone forgot to update that price", and a very limited selection), but do check it out if you haven't already and make your own decision.  If you are willing to range a bit further there are some nice stores in Charlotte, Charleston, and Augusta too>> I have really enjoyed reading and learning from this great site. <<Happy you find it useful>> I have read 2-3 hours almost every night for the past 3 months. <<Indeed...learning can be addictive>> There is a lot to try and absorb. <<Agreed...but do press on my friend>> Thanks to you and the entire crew for all that you do. <<Welcome...a collective effort as you state>> Also are there any good local reef clubs. <<Ah yes!  Activity is a bit slow as the web site has experienced  some problems of late but take a look-see here (http://columbiamac.org/), there are also clubs in Charlotte (RASOC) and Charleston (Charleston Reefers) you can look in to>> Take care, Rob <<Regards, EricR>>

Speakers   9/4/06 Bob, <Jason> I'm writing you concerning the Greater Iowa Reef Society, we are looking into planning out next years schedule and I was curious if you could direct me   to some decent speakers. <Mmm, have you seen the list posted on MASNA's site? Mmm, just tried... unfortunately you have to "be a member" to see their speakers list> I've personally heard your speeches at IMAC and thought  they were wonderful. I'm somewhat new to the organization aspect of a reef club  as I just recently was given this task. I'm mainly just curious about how to get  in contact with well established speakers who would be willing to come talk with  our club and share there knowledge. I know in the past years we've had Anthony  Calfo, Scott Michael, and Mike Paletta. They all did a terrific job and we as a  club would like to keep that ball rolling. Any information would be greatly  appreciated. Thanks a Million Jason Glaspie     Greater Iowa Reef Society <I'd take a look/see locally... query the clubs constituency re folks, topics... ask for help re at local fish stores, colleges, other aquatic science and technology institutions... And cruise the Net for other marine clubs' goings on, speaker input... Bob Fenner>

IMAC Rate Going up   7/30/06   Hi; <Hello Dennis> As I mentioned in an email a couple of months ago this reduced rate of $99 for registration for IMAC will expire at the end of July, which is only a couple of days from now. <Yikes> We are still updating the IMAC website but we have enough of it set up for 2007, that we can offer you a special registration rate.  In 2007, IMAC will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Chicago on June 1, 2 and 3.  The registration rate on the website is $125 but if you have attended IMAC in the past you can register for just $99, for a full registration including speakers, the Reception, the Banquet and a great trade show.  Just go to the IMAC site www.theimac.org and go to the Program Book Advertising Page and scroll down to the "Make a Donation" button. When you click on that button, you will see a screen with registration at $99.  This offer will be good until July 31 so hurry over to the IMAC site and take advantage of this offer.  If you have previously attended an IMAC, you know what a great show we put on.  With hotel rates of just $113/night, IMAC is the lowest cost weekend conference you can attend. We would certainly like to have you back. Thanks, Dennis <Real good. Will post/share on WWM. I trust all is well with you and your wife in Chicago. Bob Fenner>

Aquarist societies    3/2/06 Hi, I have looked through all your lists of clubs etc. in my area, but I was wondering if there were any clubs especially for young people. <Mmm, not as far as I'm aware... though some clubs do have "beginner" and youth sections/programs> If possible, one predominantly email/newsletter based; I live in the UK, so obviously can't go to meetings in the USA!   Also, are there any which are of little or no membership charge?   Thanks for your help with all my other queries!      P.S I was reading through other posts and was shocked that some people were so rude to you guys! I mean, this service is free and everything... <Agreed... Do check with the clubs you can contact via the Net there in the UK that are nearby (enough)... Ask whether they have programs for younger folk... and do consider the very real possibility of starting one up yourself... Posting a few notices at local stockists (Brit term for LFS) stating your intent, contact info., may bring together a core of like minded young people... Not hard to do, and a great deal of fun. The FAAS: http://www.faas.info/ May well be of service here. Bob Fenner>

Visiting, the local marine club in San Diego ><Please see here: http://www.sdmas.com/ >actually... just did, and there is no meeting notice... though there is contact info. to MauriceB... Yes, open to all... Seven PM (or slightly earlier) on... in Mira Mesa. Bob Fenner> Bob, Thank you much for having me over to your house on Tuesday night. Sorry I did not get to stay longer. Hope to see you around soon, Joe San Diego CA USA <Please do come on out again... and up to LA if you have time/interest in visiting folks in the wholesale trade... Bob Fenner>

Re: Meeting last night Bob, <Jim, I'm just a doctor! Sorry, couldn't resist> It was a real pleasure meeting you and your wife last night at the SDMAS meeting.  Your passion and knowledge of the sea is truly amazing.  I really enjoyed hearing you speak on your trips and experiences. <Glad to share> I am hoping to have a chance to meet up with you again so I can introduce you to my wife Gina.  After getting into the hobby, we found that we both equally had the same "passion" for the beauty of undersea life.  She was so bummed that she couldn't attend last night, as she has also been a follower of yours for as long as I have. <Ah! Perhaps you two can come on out to HI, other dive, adventure travels with us> Anyway,  thanks again, and I (along with Gina) hope to be able to share some more time with you again in the future. : ) <Outstanding. A pleasure to meet you, and again, thanks for your help. Bob Fenner> Jim (The man with the I.T. mad skilllz. LOL )

Long-time Querier Going to San Francisco Dear Adam < Hey Narayan. > Thank you for all your help over the past year. I'd also like to thank the rest of the crew for answering my questions patiently. Yours is an awesome site that I wish I had come across before I set up my current reef. But that point is moot now...  Job opportunities require me to relocate from Rhode Island to the San Francisco bay area. At this point I've decided to take a sabbatical from this addiction for 3 to 6 months after which I plan to start again, utilizing everything I've learned so far. In the meantime I have much research to do regarding aquaria in earthquake prone zones...  < Well just so you know, there are a couple crew members living in the San Fran area. Also a few good aquarium clubs. Also, I may be traveling to San Fran as well, since my collecting scuba partner lives there. So good luck with your time off from the hobby, but know that you will have good resources in the new area. > Thank You, Narayan < Blundell > 

Re: New Club, MASNA kudos to you Mike on founding your local club! please do look into the (cheap) membership of MASNA.org... the society for fish clubs. They are a tremendous support for starting and building your club with advice on conducting business (incorporating if/when, doing frag swaps, raffles, etc). And (!) membership gives you access to some great databases of other clubs for shared opinions/contact, support (shared events, road trips, speakers)... as well as a speaker database that lists their contact info, expenses if any, location, lecture topics, etc. Truly... do consider joining MASNA.org my friend, and very best of luck to you. kindly, Anthony

Finding an Aquarium club in your hometown! 10/11/04 Crew, Thank you for the FAQ's, articles, books, and general knowledge which help many to succeed in this exciting and rewarding hobby marine aquaculture.  I was wondering if anyone was familiar with a Berks County, Pa reef club? I did notice the Pittsburg  and Philly clubs but my location sticks me just about in the middle of the two with each being a pretty decent drive since I work almost every day and sadly cannot make the trip. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks and keep up the good work! Charlie <cheers, Charlie... fellow Pennsylvanian :) I'm not quite sure how far you are interested in driving for a hobby club, but I'm delighted to hear of your pursuit of one and can reassure you they are perhaps the very best place for hobby information, support, trade and fellowship. One of the best places for aquarists and clubs alike to find each other and get information (even how to start your own club) is at: http://www.masna.org/ this is the society of aquarium societies... with a listing of over 130 clubs in the nation and counting! Lost of great information and a cheap membership with rewards and the support of a good cause. Do consider joining them my friend. kindly, Anthony> Marine aquarium clubs - SoCal/LA area 8/16/04 I live in Pasadena California.  I think I will need to talk to some experienced reefers.  As you know it is difficult to start this hobby on your own.  Thank you for the quick reply.  If you could recommend people/clubs, I would appreciate it. Thanks again, Dan <you are very lucky, my friend... there are a bunch of great clubs near you. I'm visiting one of them on Friday to present/lecture: www.SCMAS.org (LA/SoCal) you also have MASLAC.org (LA) and just down the coast is SDMAS.org (San Diego) you will benefit tremendously from attending these club meetings... great free advice, livestock trading, fellowship, education, etc. Best regards, Anthony Calfo> Fish Clubs?  I was wondering if anyone on your staff could tell me if there was a club or  organization for saltwater and Reef tank lovers in the Northern New jersey  area. Thanks!  <Am pretty sure there is at least one within easy driving distance (my wife's family leaves in this area). I would post your question on our chatforum: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/   where many folks look daily and will no doubt know the connection. Bob Fenner>

Product Support query 10/16/03 I bought a reef ready aquarium from a friend and it came with a Marine Technical Concepts BIO-PRO 1600 Biological filter and a PRO SR14 substrate reactor. The problem is I have no idea how to use them. I contacted Marine Technical Concepts inc., but have heard nothing. Can you help? I'd just like to know how to plumb it and what media to use. I am attaching a photo of the setups. <a description of the application of these products at length really cannot be done easily/well in the format of an e-mail. One of the many benefits of a local aquarium club is the support of fellow aquarists for such queries you might have - getting a hands on education and being able to talk at length. There is also the outlet of Internet instant messaging where you and another aquarist can interact in real time with your products and pc.s in front of you. Please do seek such counsel on the forums. Also, let me know what big city you are near/in and I will direct you to a club if possible. Best regards, Anthony>

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