April 18 - 19, 2008: The Board of Directors from the Cleveland Saltwater Enthusiasts Association contacted me to come out and speak to their club... While I was there, I had the opportunity to visit a couple of fish stores and see a member's tank.
That Friday morning I had to be at the airport bright and early to catch the first flight to Chicago, then switch planes to continue to Cleveland. During my two-hour layover in Chicago, a member from Reef Central recognized me as I was heading to the next terminal, and we exchanged a few pleasantries. Yep, I'm famous. LOL I arrived in Cleveland around 2:30pm, and John was waiting to pick me up.
He was ready to take me to a local fish store, which ended up being one of Reef Central's sponsors. I was excited to check out the place at last.
Salty Critter sells all kinds of dry goods and livestock, so it was like being in a reef candy store. If you needed some random item, they had it. The store was expanding with more remodeling to come.
The livestock was plentiful and the prices were great. He ships livestock as well.
You probably noticed the super thick coralline on these tanks. This lobster (below) was pretty big, and those zoanthids and acan polyps help you get a sense of scale.
Check out all the blood shrimp in this LPS tank.
These pink zoas are getting out of control, even engulfing a blue A. tortuosa frag.
He needs to clean his skimmers. ;)
I liked the clean power controls.
I'm assuming these were priced for locals. Great prices for very pretty frags!
This was different. Different water choices for their customers, with salinity at 1.022sg and 1.025sg..
From there we went to Applebees for a dinner and a drink prior to the meeting. These guys know how to have a good time.
The club meets on the third Friday of each month. The sun was out, the weather was beautiful, and the flower beds were bursting with color.
I don't know what was in this building.
We met in the education center.
People signed in with John, and then purchased raffle tickets for the various prizes they hoped to win.
I liked the little raffle ticket spinner GEO created.
The meeting was eventful with a little excitement before my part began. If you want to know more about it, ask them. ;) After my presentation, everyone won their prizes and we headed to our respective homes for the night.
Saturday morning, I was picked up from my hotel and I got to see Chuck Stottlemeir's very interesting filter-feeding tank. It was featured in the February 2008 issue of Reefkeeping Magazine.
He did have a huge Vlamingi tang in the tank.
Most of the corals in this tank are heavy filter feeders that don't fare well in our normal reef tanks, but Chuck has been able to keep difficult species for years and years. When I arrived, it was early in the day and not when the corals would normally be open. If you want to see more pictures, check the link to the Reefkeeping article to see some great images.
Below you can even see a spiny oyster, just to the right of the stunning purple-blue gorgonian.
When you compare the picture above from the one below, you'll see the black basket starfish about to unfurl to eat some food. That curly corkscrew looking gorgonian is neat, right?
Daily he doses Phytoplankton into the tank for the corals to feast upon.
I got to head into the basement to see the sump, refugium, propagation, and the clown fish breeding station.
Pretty amazing stuff. Thanks for having me over Chuck.
We went out to lunch, and then stopped at one more fish store. It was huge, with an attached green house.
The first propagation trough was up and running with some frags growing out.
Shade cloth has to be opened and closed based on the amount of light and heat coming in.
Tons of drygoods were available. And I never remember to check to see what I need before I go on these trips, like replacement test kits.
Chuck checking out the tanks.
Another basket starfish begging Chuck to go home with him.
This favia had huge sweepers out, trying to nuke a neighboring coral (clove polyps).
This was a huge Wobegong shark (below).
I'm always surprised when I see various invertebrates in small acrylic cages, although it helps the staff quickly bag them and lets the customers see them easily.
This diver provided oxygen in the tank, but the Yellow tang was not impressed.
One other store I stopped in briefly was this one:
This lionfish was pretty expensive, but I heard most of the prices were high in this store.
And it wasn't long before I was back up in the air heading home.