November 13, 2010: Last weekend, our club had it's semi-annual frag swap. This one is open to members and guests. One thing that I've noticed over the years is how progressive these events are becoming. The first few that I attended, you had corals in about a cup's worth of water in a ziplock bag lying on a table. If you were lucky, the name and price was written on the bag with a Sharpie. A couple of people would go to a lot of trouble to bag their corals up in a professional manner, floating their corals upside down affixed to styrofoam blocks. They would bring 60 to 100 frags for sale, and end up taking home 50% probably.
Fast forward to 2010. Everyone wants power to run their little display tanks, using T5s or LEDs. Finding a suitable location that offers up power for 15+ tanks can be challenging, and something tells me that those numbers will increase as more people step up their game.
We began setting up at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, and by noon people were arriving to shop for new corals. Myself, I was there to support whatever the club needed. I brought a small acrylic tank and my Evolution LED light to host the donated corals that went into the raffle. We had 18 items donated that day, which were then won by attendees at the end of the event.
Drew, our club president wanted a small frag tank to display his corals, so I built him this little tank. It holds about 10g of water, and has a divider to capture any particulates or slime that the corals exuded. He needed a way to hang his MH pendant, so the acrylic hanger was fabricated to match.
One of our members is from far east Texas, and that couple never misses an opportunity to attend our frag swaps.
Anton likes to bring his corals in a cooler, which keeps the area dry and the temperature stable.
Jason recently picked up this frag tank with external overflow, and painted various zones to indicate coral pricing.
Ryan went old-school, using product placement to both support his lights and show some sponsor love. hehe
Uchin made his own LED system to light his corals.
This member used tiny magnets to hold his frags on the glass walls of the aquarium.
Jeffrey's system used a LED light fixture as well. It has acrylic support legs, and the dials on top allowed him to adjust the color temperature.
Jeff set up a drygoods shop of used stuff.
Speaking of shops, a few guys from Oklahoma showed up with some great pricing. I'm pretty sure they were a business.
Here's another member selling corals from a simple display tank.
Stephen always shows up early and stays late to help with setting up. He uses a huge T5 fixture to light his corals, and uses racks to display corals at different heights.
Tito probably had the neatest display, using two PAR 38 all blue LED bulbs to light his tank from up high.
Christopher created quite a set up, one that is portable and displays beautifully. LED lighting affixed under the eggcrate.
Eric, another club member, used tiny plastic signs in his tank.
We met in a big room with plenty of space. I'd imagine 100 to 150 people showed up during the three-hour event. Sodas were on hand, and a nearby vending machine placated the grumbling tummies, like my own.
If you aren't attending your local frag swap each time it occurs, you are missing out. Our event ended with a raffle of both corals and dry goods, and we got to hang out with a bunch of hobbyists for a few hours. The more people that attend, the more motivated sellers will be to show up with their goodies. Be actively involved in your club's events, and they will blossom into bigger events with even more opportunities.