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2019 New England Frag Farmer's Market, Storrs CT 3/2/19

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Its back!!!  I am putting together the 2019 edition of the New England Frag Farmer's Market to be hosted at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs CT on March 2nd, 2019 from 11am till 5pm.  The event started as a chance for me and my students to host a frag swap at the school, promote aquaculture in the hobby, and show off the work that we are doing at the school with our corals.  This will be the 12th annual FFM and it has grown into the biggest single day event in the country, drawing over 1300 people last year (with a snow storm the day before...).  With over 60 coral vendors there are more corals at the FFM that at any other show.  I have a few talks lined up and a few other tricks up my sleeve to make this year's FFM even bigger and better than last year!  Admission is still just $5 and all the proceeds go to support the school's coral project.  I have started to use the funds to help support other school coral projects in the area as well- so it all goes to a good cause!

Hope to see you all in March!

-Jon

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I just got word that Caribsea will be supplying the water for the Frag Farmer's Market again.  With 60+ coral vendors, all wanting just a little water, that is no small thing!  Thanks to Betsey and the crew down at Caribsea for helping out again this year, and for their continued support of the E.O. Smith Coral Project!

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This event is so good I’m going to drive 2+ hours with a 7 month old and 2 year old.  If you are within a few hours drive its worth the trip.  You’ll see corals you wait all year to find and score freebies from vendors like food samples, I even got free live pods last year.  Only paying 5$ entrance fee is like highway robbery for all the work that goes into the event, just go.  Be warned if you are claustrophobic it gets tight as the crowds grow so go early and see all the fire before it’s sold.

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If you haven’t gone to this, you absolutely have to.

So many amazing corals and the prices are very reasonable (typically). There are plenty of big name hardware manufacturers and vendors there as well. The raffle is always incredible, though it would be better if I actually won something 😜

 

There were some really good talks last year too.

 

It’s about a two hour drive for me and well worth it. There are vendors that come from across the country and hobbiests that travel from several states away. No excuse to not show up.

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If not, it is still worth the trip. The first year I went, I didn’t have anything set up. It was still a good time.

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3 minutes ago, Beer said:

If not, it is still worth the trip. The first year I went, I didn’t have anything set up. It was still a good time.

I can't wait, it's just shy of an hour from me. I'm to the west of hartford. Not bad, plus it's a nice ride up that way.

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I work over in Windsor, but live in MA.

 

Do you know of CTARS?

It is the local club. The current board is stepping down (they have been running it for a few years now and need to step back) and we are trying to find new board members. It looks like we’re going to be able to keep the club going, but people haven’t fully committed yet. I’l try to remember to pop back in here to let you know if everything works out and when the next club meeting will be.

 

There are two of us currently that run nano tanks. I’d love to see more people in the club with smaller tanks. Most people see these as a novelty and don’t realize how viable or easy they can be to maintain.

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1 minute ago, Beer said:

I work over in Windsor, but live in MA.

 

Do you know of CTARS?

It is the local club. The current board is stepping down (they have been running it for a few years now and need to step back) and we are trying to find new board members. It looks like we’re going to be able to keep the club going, but people haven’t fully committed yet. I’l try to remember to pop back in here to let you know if everything works out and when the next club meeting will be.

 

There are two of us currently that run nano tanks. I’d love to see more people in the club with smaller tanks. Most people see these as a novelty and don’t realize how viable or easy they can be to maintain.

I have heard of it, Id be interested if you guys keep it going. I'm in Plainville, so not far. My 20 needs more things lol so it's time to start saving..

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[Edit: I just looked at your tank journal, you have more experience that I realized. The name threw me :D]

 

Start doing your research on what types of coral you want to keep now. That way you have an idea on what to look for and what to avoid (compatibility, size, and difficulty). Most of the vendors are willing to talk with you, but if it is really busy, it can be difficult to get detailed care information. There are certain times when things are slammed and peices are moving fast, hasty decisions get made, and you end up with something that isn’t well suited for your tank.

 

You can find pretty much everything you could want there for corals. Vendors will bring specialty items and fish if you ask.

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8 minutes ago, Beer said:

[Edit: I just looked at your tank journal, you have more experience that I realized. The name threw me :D]

 

Start doing your research on what types of coral you want to keep now. That way you have an idea on what to look for and what to avoid (compatibility, size, and difficulty). Most of the vendors are willing to talk with you, but if it is really busy, it can be difficult to get detailed care information. There are certain times when things are slammed and peices are moving fast, hasty decisions get made, and you end up with something that isn’t well suited for your tank.

 

You can find pretty much everything you could want there for corals. Vendors will bring specialty items and fish if you ask.

I'm more of an lps guy. I love my acans, favia's, blastos and hammers :-). That is mainly what's going to be in the 75..ooo and rock flowers lol. My 20 will eventually be all rock flowers I think, will see though.

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I like LPS as well. Not typically too big on euphillia due to long sweeper tenticals in small tanks, but I just ended up picking one up yesterday.

 

I’ve been considering a rockflower lately. There were some intense color morphs at the show last year. With my bigger tank, they should work out, as long as there is no risk to my dragonette or future fish.

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45 minutes ago, Beer said:

I like LPS as well. Not typically too big on euphillia due to long sweeper tenticals in small tanks, but I just ended up picking one up yesterday.

 

I’ve been considering a rockflower lately. There were some intense color morphs at the show last year. With my bigger tank, they should work out, as long as there is no risk to my dragonette or future fish.

I don't think they are too bad. I've heard torches are the big stingers. My next coral I want is a frogspawn. Want a really good looking one.

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I think Blake’s Aqua Den had a bunch yesterday.

There was a huge hammer colony that they were fragging up for $10/head. Green with purple tips.

 

Last year there were a couple vendors with tanks dedicated to euphyllia.

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With the number of vendors at the FFM, you can find ANYTHING that you are looking for.  There are tanks filled with GSP frags all the way up to Jason Fox's Homewrecker.  The great thing about it is that if someone has it, and is asking too much, just find it at another vendor- its a two minute walk.  With the mix of shops and hobbyists there are SO many corals that it is overwhelming.

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zoas.jpg

Okay, lets start with some of the FFM announcements!!!

 

This year, we are going to host something different at the FFM- a celebrity painting session! At 1pm, in one of the classrooms, Rachel Fogle of Reef Weeds is going to be running a painting session for people to come in and do a Zoanthid painting with her. Its like a "Paint and Sip" but without the sip (sorry, it is a school...). You will spend an hour or so with Rachel, painting and at the end of the day, get to take ...your painting home! It's a great chance to have some fun, spend some time with Rachel, and learn a little painting. It would be great way to spend an hour at the FFM for any frustrated artists, bored spouses, etc... Best part- it's free! I only have space, and materials, for 18 people to come paint with Rachel, so the first 18 people who email me at swansonjl@hotmail.com will get a spot. I will make a wait list after that.

*We were really thinking of this for adults. Kids are welcome but any kids under 12 must have an adult painting with them.

 

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Moai-post-size.jpg
 The 2019-2020 FFM Coral Topiary Contest!

Jon Simmons from Boston Aqua Farms is in the process of custom making me 50 of these Moai (~4" tall) to send home with 50 different people at the FFM this year. Your challenge is to take the Moai home and turn it into something amazing by growing coral, sponges, anemones, whatever on it in your reef. As it progresses over the year, post your best pictures in the CT Frag Farmer's Market group on FB, to show your work. One week before next year's FFM (which will be on 3/7/20), we (my students and I) will look through all of the images from the year and pick the best, most creative, Moai topiary. The winner will receive a $50 FFM Gift Certificate for the 2020 FFM, and a Boston Aqua Farms fragging prize package. Thanks to Jon for agreeing to help out with this. 

 

"Official" Rules:
 -Email me at swansonjl@hotmail.com to get your name on the list to be one of the 50 people to take one home - first emailed, first in
 -Only one Moai per person
 -Must be picked up at the 2019 FFM
 -The Moai must be added to a saltwater tank (no cactus Moai, painted Moai, etc...)
 -Photos must be of the actual Moai in a tank, not photoshopped

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Ct isn't too far from me.  Does my spouse HAVE to be under 12 to get in free? :lol:

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36 minutes ago, patback said:

Ct isn't too far from me.  Does my spouse HAVE to be under 12 to get in free? :lol:

Oh shit you should come😀

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54 minutes ago, DSFIRSTSLTWATER said:

Oh shit you should come😀

The wife does owe me one big reef related trip since we went to Vegas during macna, but never actually made it to macna....

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31 minutes ago, patback said:

 

The wife does owe me one big reef related trip since we went to Vegas during macna, but never actually made it to macna....

Well shit if you end up going will have to meet up. Itd be cool to meet someone that I talk to all the time at a reef show. I plan on getting lots of goodies, hopefully for the 75 👍

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I get a bunch of your LI tribe up at the FFM every year.  Take the ferry, its just easier.

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A few people have asked me if they can grab a Moai but not have to do the Facebook aspect of it.  Being someone who is not all that FB connected (I only use it for the FFM and reef related things), I understand.  If people would like to do the Moai contest, but not have to join or post on FB, that works for me.  I just ask that you do me a favor and email me the pics, or PM them on the forum, so I can post them up for people to see.  Hopefully that works! 

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