Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dan the Pieces of the Reef man

If you've ever been diving on a wild reef, you know that what you see isn't a coral here, a coral there, with lots of space in between. It's a solid mass of corals growing right up next to each other and mixing together. This is the look and feel that we try to recreate with each of our unique Pieces of the Reef, as if we had taken an entire section from the reef and brought it to your home tank.

Dan is the creative mind behind many of our Pieces of the Reef creations. One of his favorite hobbies is pottery, and he brings that same artistic bent to his work on these coral combinations. He carefully selects pieces of liverock that will make interesting and sturdy bases for each Piece of the Reef. Then he decides on the frags to use for that piece, chosing those that will combine to be both attractive and to coexist as peacefully as possible.

Once selected, frags are cleaned up and mounted one by one.

Completed Pieces of the Reef are then placed in one of our holding vats. They will be allowed to grow and fill in a bit to make the piece look more natural before being sold, a process than can take anywhere from a week or two to several months depending on the types of corals being used.
Now the Piece of the Reef is ready to be sold. They are ideal for jump starting a tank as you can place two or three and be well on your way to having a mature, natural looking reef without the long wait for individual frags or corals to begin filling in on their own. We have lots available so make sure you check them out, you may just find one of our carefully constructed pieces is the prefect complement your own tank!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Christmas Letter to our Customers and Friends

To all of our Friends and Family, Customers and Fans,

We would like to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season, and also to share with you some of our thoughts and experiences from the past year.

Clearly this has been a busy, and sometimes difficult year, for many of us and that's no different here at Pacific East. Many of our challenges this year have been positive. We have continued working with local university students on various projects. New contacts and sources are always being sought after to find the very best maricultured, tank-bred, and captive raised livestock available anywhere. Anyone who's been in to the shop this year can tell you we've done quite a bit of rearanging and upgrading to allow us to expand our in house aquaculture efforts and add some great new chalices and other corals to our LE selection. All of this is part of our continuing effort to offer you the best possible livestock and the best price, and also to do whatever we can to minimize the effects our wonderful hobby has on the environment and natural reefs.
Other challenges we've faced this year have been somewhat less fun. This economy is unpleasant for everyone, of course. And then there are unique problems that can arrise in this business, like the 215 gallon tank that cracked in the middle of the night. But we think those of you who've seen the rebuild will agree that the new tank is every bit as nice, if not nicer, then the one it replaced. Every difficulty is an opportunity to find ways to improve, after all.
And then there's our favorite part of the work we do, interacting with you! We at Pacific East Aquaculture value every chance we have to interact with our customers, be it having a chat at our retail facility, helping you trouble shoot tank problems over the phone, email, and message boards, or just working with you to make sure you have the best possible livestock for your tanks. MACNA was absolutely fantastic this year as were all the smaller regional and club events we were able to attend. We've had the opportunity to host several of the local clubs here at our retail facility, as well as giving tours to local Senior Centers, school groups, Boy and Girl Scouts, and many others. Educating the public about our work is something we take very seriously, and also enjoy immensly.

All and all it's been a good year. Once again we wish you all a fantastic holiday season and we look forward to working with you in the new year!

Your Friends at Pacific East Aquaculture

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Shipment

We've got lots of great new livestock arriving today and tomorrow. Thought you all might appreciate a sneak peak...
Some of these guys we haven't had in stock for awhile, including sweet little tank-raised seahorses and colorful carpet anemones.

Everyone is nicely acclimated now and getting settled. You'll see better photos on the site once we're all happy and ready to go. We've got a couple more shipments expected tonight and tomorrow, so you never know what other surprises may show up!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Setting Up Our New Display Tank

Things have been busy at Pacific East Aquaculture lately. MACNA has come and gone and we are moving into the hectic fall season. This week we have been working on setting up a replacement display tank. We had a 215 gallon display set up in the front of our shop for almost 5 years, which cracked overflow to overflow in the middle of the night a couple of months back. Those of you that have had tanks fail know exactly how much fun that was. The replacement tank is a slightly smaller 210 All-Glass dual MegaFlow. Same footprint as before, just a tad shorter.

Setup was fairly uneventful. We only knocked one piece of molding off the wall, and that's easily replaced. Rock is in and has been rearranged half a dozen times.

Water's added, only one minor leak from an old fitting. So far so good. Plus we managed an awesome hitchhiker. Found him swimming around the new tank this morning. Shot's a bit blury but he's a fast little guy. Check him out!
The tank will need a little time to cycle of course, and we still need to get some sand in there. Expect updates as we move forward with it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome to our blog.

It's time for an update. Some of you that have followed our blog have seen some of these images before, but some folks have not seen our previous updates. To check the previous updates click on the Archives to the left or if you scroll to the bottom of this page you can click on "Older Posts" and see all our updates.

10 years ago I designed and built Pacific East Aquaculture, Inc. located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in a land called Delmarva, a peninsula surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

I am Dr. Mac, a retired veterinary pathologist. I started keeping saltwater aquariuums in 1968 and as a kid worked for Marine World in the Chicagoland area, at the time they were one of the nation's largest saltwater fish/invert importers, retailers, and wholesalers. I did everything from unpack and acclimate shipments from around the world to communicating with collectors via Telex and calling wholesale accounts and packing orders for retail stores and helping hobbyists design and set up their systems. This experience gave me a solid foundation of knowledge about the animals and the business so that I could create and conduct my current business in a moral and ethical manner.

We operate a retail outlet, mail-order online operation, and wholesale to retail stores around the US. We produce and sell about 10,000 coral frags each year. I also set up a coral farming operation in the Solomon Islands and with the native Solomon Islanders produce many maricultured corals.

I designed my facility with beauty and efficiency in mind. As a kid growing up in the industry I visited many stores around the country and always said that if I ever set up my own facility it would be state of the art and not like the typical "pet shop". Our facility is a coral farm and utilizes an attcahed greenhouse, natural sunlight via Sola Tubes, geothermal heating and air conditioning and also coral system water temp. control, energy effecient 3 HP water circulation pumps, and many other unique designs.

This photo shows some of the hundreds of Chalice coral frags we grow. We grow every type of soft and hard coral.

Here we see some of the 6,000 Zoanthid frags we are currently growing.

Our facility is regularly inspected and is a State of Maryland licensed coral aquaculture facility.
We import directly from overseas collectors and hold a US Fish and Wildlife Service import permit.
Take a look through all the posts on our blog and please visit our website.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my business. I think you will find that we offer something a bit different from the average pet shop, basement coral reseller, or the big-box online mega sellers. I have 40 years of passionate experience in the hobby and have operated our retail operation with a solid reputation for providing knowledgable and friendly professional service. I look forward to serving you soon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Expanding Propagation Efforts

We are constantly updating our efforts to captively propagate corals. Recently we added another 12 foot tank for the propagation of more zoas and palys, chalices, and Acans. The tank is illuminated with 400 watt 20,000K metal halides inside Lumen Max fixtures along with T-5 flourescents.

12' Tank with MH and T-5 Lighting

We Grow Several Thousand Frags in each Tank

Our Propagation Process starts with careful examination and multiple dips for all newly acquired stock that is appropriate for propagation based on type and color. In the photo below an intern is shown examining Zoanthid colonies and dipping them in several propietary baths.

The new stock is housed in our greenhouse and examined daily for health.
In the photo below our resident frag expert evaluates each parent colony for growth and determines when frags can be taken for further propagation.

Small frags are taken from the parent colony and then grown into a secondary propagation colony.

Frags for sale are taken from the secondary propagation colony and are examined and cared for on a daily basis.
Below we see some Chalice frags that have grown out into secondary propagation colonies and are now ready to be fragged for sale frags.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pieces Of The Reef--A Pacific East Aquaculture Exclusive Creation

Our Pieces Of The Reef are unique cultured corals we offer for sale. We developed the idea for Pieces Of The Reef a couple of years ago following our adventures in coral farming in the Solomon Islands. You can read more about the inspiration behind Pieces Of The Reef here:

We offer two different sizes, our mini Pieces Of The Reef are typically about 3 inches and our full sized Pieces Of The Reef are about 5-7 inches in length. Each Piece Of The Reef is like a chunk of the real reef. They are pieces of cured live rock that have several cultured corals attached and every one is totally unique.

In the case of our SPS coral, mushroom, soft polyp, and zoanthid Pieces Of The Reef the corals will fully encrust the rock. Our LPS coral Pieces Of The Reef have the corals secured to the rock with super glue and the corals grow upward rather than encrusting the base of the rock.

Pieces Of The Reef are a great addition to any reef aquarium, they are especially nice for nano tanks as you can add just a few small rocks that serve as a base and then stack Pieces Of The Reef on top of this base and immediately achieve the look of a fully established reef. Pieces Of The Reef are economical, instead of buying lots of small frags you can get a Piece Of The Reef and skip all the messy glue work.