Sunday, November 9, 2008

Welcome to Pacific East Aquaculture

I would like to introduce myself and tell you about my business, Pacific East Aquaculture, Inc.

I am “Dr. Mac”, a Board Certified veterinarian retired from the poultry industry. My training and veterinary career was in pathology and microbiology research. As a veterinarian I worked for very large corporations and smaller companies and traveled the world extensively doing research and speaking at veterinary conferences. I attended veterinary school a bit later in life and had a couple of careers prior to vet school including working for the FBI as a surveillance photographer.

I have been a marine aquarium hobbyist since 1968. I set up my first tank with an undergravel filter and was quite successful at keeping many types of marine fish over the years with an understanding of the basic nitrogen cycle and not a lot of fancy equipment. During my high school years I worked at a store in the Chicago area called Marine World, one of the nation’s first and largest marine fish importers, wholesalers, and retailers at that time. I learned a lot by working at Marine World and I did everything there from packing wholesale orders to cleaning tanks and unpacking the many shipments that arrived daily from around the world filled with every imaginable marine fish. I vividly recall seeing many rare fish and delighting in the uniqueness of Pineconefish that glowed in the dark and seeing the then rare Flame Angels and Miniatus Groupers that were so sought after by hobbyists at the time. I was very fortunate to have worked at Marine World, the owner Don Sporleder kept the store immaculate and had the philosophy that we were there to educate the hobbyist and try to make them as successful as possible. Over the years Don’s words stuck with me and I operate my own store much the same way now with a dedication to helpful advise and sharing of my experience with hobbyists to make their hobby as joyful and successful as possible. I enjoy talking with fellow hobbyists and will freely share my experiences and enjoy learning from yours. While I have almost 40 years of experience in this hobby I do not consider myself an “expert”, rather I consider myself fortunate to be able to enjoy my time in a hobby I love, sharing and learning daily.

Upon my retirement from active veterinary work I started a small basement internet based business and called it Dr. Mac and Sons Corals. My sons Ben and Zak and my wife Rachel are still very much active in the business. As the business grew over the years with many loyal repeat customers we realized that we needed to expand beyond our basement. In 2003 we purchased an empty steel framed warehouse about 10 minutes from our home and worked for over a year in designing a new state of the art facility--not just a retail reef store but a coral farm and the finest retail outlet in the nation. Working on weekends and evenings we custom built the facility with care and with the idea that we could build something different from the many stores I had visited over the years around the nation and in many other countries during my business travels. From the initial designs we wanted to create something special that a serious hobbyist would enjoy coming to and have it be a memorable experience. Energy efficiency and minimal eco-impact were paramount in our design along with creating the optimum habitat for all the reef creatures we planned to house and propagate.

The facility was completed and opened to the public in November 2004 to large crowds and rave reviews. In the first year of operation we worked out the “bugs” in our systems and perfected our propagation techniques. It was a challenge to get all the small details in place in our greenhouse coral farm, but after a year of study we began to intensively propagate many types of corals. We now grow and have multiple captive grown generations of many types of larger polyp and smaller polyp stony corals, soft corals, zoanthids, Ricordea, and many other corals at our facility.

The fragments we now grow had been taken from healthy wild collected corals. We never take frags from half dead or diseased corals as we have found over the years that these corals have a very poor survival rate. Also, we keep all imported corals we sell for a period of time to be sure they are fully acclimated to captive life before selling them. We do sell wild collected corals and also ocean propagated corals. However, our focus is on propagated corals, both those we grow ourselves and those we import from many South Pacific coral farms in Fiji, Tonga, Bali, Surabaya Java, and the Solomon Islands. We have found that these propagated corals are much easier to keep and survive well in reef aquariums. At Pacific East Aquaculture we have in stock more corals than any other online or retail vendor in the nation!! We also have the healthiest corals, invertebrates, fish, clams, and seahorses. Plus the experienced advice of Dr. Mac free for the asking! On our web site we offer for sale a wide variety of corals and every colony we sell has a photo of the actual piece, what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG).

Our goal is to have available to marine aquarium hobbyists the largest selection of the finest livestock, provide superior customer service, and offer free expert advice so that your buying experience is the best possible. We are dedicated to making you a successful marine aquarium hobbyist.

For the last nine years we have been the number one livestock vendor in the nation, please browse our site and allow us to help you create the marine aquarium of your dreams.

On this blog I will post from time to time showing you a behind the scenes view of our business, check back often to see updates.