» Fragswap 2013 Speakers
|Justin Credabel Grabel was born and raised in New London, CT. He starting keeping and breeding fish at the ripe old age of 11, which kicked off a lifelong passion for all things aquatic.
Over the years Justin has developed methods for propagating the various species of Goniopora, fusing coral through grafting techniques, and pioneered the use of hydrogen peroxide in coral husbandry.
Recently Justin and his lovely wife and children moved back to the East Coast from Los Angeles, where he was running large scale coral aquaculture operations.
After 18 years in the aquarium industry on the retail and wholesale, it was time to start a new venture, Reef Generation, with fellow industry veteran Laura Birenbaum. In partnership with Atlantis Long Island Aquarium, ReefGen is growing and marketing coral, fish and other aquatic organisms with the dream team including aquarium curator and co-founder Joe Yauillo, and fish breeding expert Todd Gardner.
Justin Credabel’s food, Goniopower, developed for the successful aquarium culture of Goniopora has been released by Two Little Fishies, and is available at retail and online stores around the globe.
Justin is also a musician and finds the line between art and aquariums blurred. His band Incognito Sofa Love has been playing the last 13 year and can be seen online, heard on CD or experienced in person.
|Todd Gardner grew up on Long Island where his aquarium-keeping habit, which started around age 6, was encouraged by his parents and an abundance of local marine life.
In 1988, Todd began attending East Stroudsburg University where he founded the ESU Marine Science Club. In 1991, while working as an intern at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Todd became acquainted with the techniques of algae and rotifer culture, two skills that would open up a whole new world to him. In 1993 he graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and marine science. After graduation he spent a year working for Blue Earth Films, assisting in the production of a National Geographic Explorer feature film about coastal marine life. His job was to collect and maintain as many interesting creatures as possible for filming in aquaria. It was in those tanks that Todd experienced his first successes in the spawning and rearing of marine fishes. He found fish culture to be so addictive, and such a worthy cause, that he felt he had little choice but to devote his life to it.
Todd spent the next 3 years working for Bill Addison at C-quest, the world’s largest marine ornamental fish hatchery, where he worked on developing technology for the production of new marine species. His most important contribution was the development of a technique for commercial scale production of the Pseudochromids (dottybacks), allowing for the first widespread availability of several species including Pseudochromis fridmani, P. aldabrensis, P. flavivertex, and P. springeri.
In September 1998, Todd decided it was time to get more serious about aquaculture research and with some regret, left C-quest behind to pursue a Master of Science degree in biology at New York’s Hofstra University where he completed a thesis on the early nutrition of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus.
Todd currently lives in Calverton, NY with his wife, Ashleigh and son, Finn. He works at The Long Island Aquarium, a small but highly regarded public aquarium on the east end of Long Island where he cares for a number of exhibit tanks, leads collecting excursions, and continues his aquaculture research behind the scenes. To date, he has raised 50 species of marine fish. In his spare time, Todd dives, photographs marine life, writes about marine life, competes in triathlons, and plays music.
Todd's topic- Frontiers in Marine Fish Culture: a look at some of my successes and failures in breeding marine fishes over the last 20 years, with an emphasis on recent breakthroughs at the Long Island Aquarium, including, of course, the Liopropoma and Lipogramma basslets. I will also address the role of hobbyists and professional aquarists in the advancement of marine aquaculture and encourage people to take on new challenges using tools that are readily available to all of us.
Jon Warner and Warner Marine
As you all know... this is a hobby that borders on addiction.
I started a freshwater aquarium at age 11, kept discus at age 12 and started my first marine aquarium at age 13. I remember it well. It was a 55 gallon Show glass aquarium on a pine stand. I decorated the back glass with some of that foil background in a nice bright green. It used an undergravel filter, an air pump driving the lift tubes and a long bubble wand on the back wall. I decorated it with dead coral, several bleachy white pieces a red pipe organ and a brown sea fan. It was lit with a single fluorescent tube and filtered with an Eheim canister filter. I was quite the fish-killer at age 13. I'm sure I went through dozens of fish and kept restocking. Eventually I got the hang of it and managed to keep the same fish around for a while.
After college I started my first "advanced" marine aquarium. It was the 1980's and I went with a 180 gallon acrylic tank on a white washed oak stand with matching canopy. It was lit by a bank of T12 tubes, had a Thiel Aqua Tech sump and skimmer and series of reactors. It was quite advanced for it's time, bleeding edge really. It was decorated with aragonite based rock, no dead coral this time.
I dedicated this 180 to a collection of Red Sea fish. At this time, Red Sea fish were quite rare. So I remember finding a mail order advertisement in the back of a 1980's aquarium magazine offering Red Sea fish out of Egypt. I started conversing with the Egyptian dealer and proceeded to buy his fish. I had a beautiful and extensive collection including Chaetodon Semilarvatus, Mesoleucos, Falcula and Collare. I had a very rare (at that time) Asfur Angel, Arabian Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus Assasi) and assortment of wrasse and Pseudochromis.
At this same time I was managing a local fish store and learning how to purchase fish at the wholesale level from the livestock dealers. Within a few years I'd started my own business servicing aquariums and selling handpicked livestock to retail stores nationwide.
By the 1990's I was a partner in a retail store, still involved in livestock on a wholesale level and started my first reef aquarium, a 275 gallon custom glass tank. As a partner at the retail store we would purchase chemicals for our store systems. I would think, $10 for a little bottle of "what"? With my previous Chemistry background in College I knew what compounds were most likely in their products so I figured I could purchase the highest quality chemicals available and mix up my own products for the same price as the commercial products with their unknown quality raw materials.
I clearly remember going into a small Laboratory Supply store and purchasing Analytical Reagant Grade Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride in little 1kg. jars. So I started mixing up my own chemicals for the store systems and the corals were looking great. Our customers started asking what chemicals "we used" on our system. So the next time I went to the Laboratory Supply store I'd buy the 5-10lb sized bucket of raw material, buy some empty plastic bottles and make some extras for our "special" customers.
Fast forward a year or so and I was receiving chemicals in drums and pallets. I was working out of a small warehouse and selling to dealers nationwide.
But we have always maintained the same mission statement. We use the highest quality raw materials in the hobby, better than what the other guys use. We have innovative products, unique formulas that perform better and our popularity with "advanced aquarists" is testament to the performance of our products. We were the first company to add an organic Carbon source to an additive in the 90's and our patent pending ecoBAK released last year is recognized as the leading Solid Carbon pellet in the industry, superior to the "me-too" repackaged pellets sold by numerous companies.
In 2007 we also started to offer protein skimmers and other accessories. In fact, we have a new line of models in stock and for sale now. These products are built with Warner Marine patent pending VBT technology and we're excited to offer them to the hobby.