Successful Reef Aquariums – Friday @ 8:00pm
Saltwater Lessons Learned – Saturday @ 3:30pm
Dunai Giant Tanks – Saturday @ evening Awards Banquet
Tubbataha & Apo Reef – Sunday @ 11:00am
Tony Vargas started his aquatic adventures at the age of seven, with Guppies in a pickle jar. Shortly thereafter, he was breeding a large host of freshwater tropicals. In the early eighties he took a giant leap forward and assembled his very first saltwater aquarium (fish only). Moving on to more challenging waters, in the mid 1980's, he took another leap forward and experimented with marine invertebrates and corals.
Moving forward in the late eighties, a handful of aquarists including Tony were among the first in United States to successfully keep and maintain Acropora alive in captivity, long term. Tony began to share this experiences and knowledge with others through the many articles he wrote in a column titled "Feature Coral" for FAMA magazine. One of the Acropora articles in FAMA was acknowledge in the Carden Wallace text book on Acropora titled "Staghorn Corals of the World".
Tony SCUBA dives around the world taking underwater photos and observing many of these creatures in their natural environment. With his writings he has effectively communicated his experiences and observations. Tony has traveled the States, Europe, and Asia giving lectures and consultations on corals, reef fish husbandry, and complete system design.
In August of 2011 Tony released his book titled "The Coral Reef Aquarium", which was the best selling Aquarium book in our digital era. The book focused on the basics of reef keeping, how to properly assemble a coral reef aquarium (five great examples), and the long term care of these critters in a captive environment.
Currently, Tony is working his forthcoming book titled "The Coral Reef Aquarium Vol 2".
The LED Revolution – Saturday @ 2:00pm
Reef Tank Basics – Saturday @ 5:00pm
Les Wilson is one of the founding partners of Cobalt Aquatics , overseeing Marketing, Product Development, and Sourcing for Cobalt. Prior to founding Cobalt, Les spent 17 years with United Pet Group Aquatics. Wilson began his career with Marineland as an aquatic biologist, working in and then managing the aquatics lab. After eight years, he joined the marketing department as the product development manager. His final position was the Director of Marketing for the Equipment and Consumables group, responsible for the Marineland, Tetra, Instant Ocean, and Jungle brands and private label projects in those categories. Les personally spearheaded many of the projects you know today, including his favorites Marineland LED lighting, Bio-Spira Nitrifying bacteria, Corner flow tanks, and the Marineland Deep dimension aquariums. In May of 2011 he left UPG to start Cobalt Aquatics with the goal to get back to his roots as a fish geek and give back to the hobby the lessons he learned.
InSciEdOut – Saturday @ 12:30pm
Seth Thompson is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota that researches the linkages between the aquatic and terrestrial carbon cycles. Seth started working with the InSciEd Out program in the fall of 2012 and has been primarily responsible for helping in the development of an environmentally focused InSciEd Out curriculum that has been implemented at two partner schools in the Twin Cities area. To date, Seth has trained over 100 K-12 educators and supported classroom activities for over 2,000 students in the twin cities area.
How to Choose the Right Fish – Sunday @ noon
Teresa Seaberg was bitten by the fish keeping bug when she was just 12 yrs old. It all started with a science teacher who gave out guppies for each 'A' that was earned, and from those 10 guppies, grew a colony that lasted through high school. In college she worked at a pet store in Missouri, where she learned a lot about freshwater fish other than guppies and then when she moved to Virginia, she worked at a tropical fish wholesaler, and then another pet store. It was there that she fell in love with the fish hobby, and learned as much as she could about as many different species as she could.Multiple Tank Syndrome became full blown at this time, and there were always 3 or four tanks running at her house witha rotating cast of fish shrimp and plecos, even some saltwater gobies and crabs! In 2007, Teresa and her husband Nathan moved to Minnesota to take over the tropical fish store,Terre Quatics, that had been in his family, and a fixture in the Twin Cities since 1973, their claim to fame being their large variety of species, as well as the odd and rare fish. Shortly after arriving in Minnesota, Teresa went to her first MAS fish show, and has been an active member ever since. Currently, at home, she breeds as many different kinds of shrimp as she can find, as well as crayfish and snails. She also manages to"accidentally" spawn a number of different cichlid species in the tanks atTerre Quatics, causing more than one "cichlid guy" to shake their head and mutter "How does she even get all of those to LIVE together much less breed?"