MACNA 09' - Marine & Aquarium Conference of North America
Marine & Aquarium Conference of North America was held in Atlantic City, NJ. While I am not a practicing "reefer," it was close enough that I could not pass up the opportunity to meet some new people and experience more of the reef aquarium community. I set off Saturday morning at 8am for the 2-hour drive to Atlantic City. The event began two days before and would continue until Sunday. I arrived at the Atlantic City Convention Center at 10am and found my way to registration. I quickly paid my dues and received my name badge.
I was meeting a friend of mine, but she wasn't on the floor yet, so I took some time to walk around and explore the vendor booths. The scale of the event was quite impressive. There were vendors, clubs, and society booths from all over the country. The floor buzzed with reef enthusiasts wearing witty t-shirts that said things like, "I frag a lot!!" What stood out to me most was the impressive number of frag tanks!! Almost every other booth had some full-sized tank set up to highlight a pump, a tank, or sell frags.
After a loop or two, Erin met up with me and she quickly introduced me to anyone who passed by. She was quick to mention that I was a planted aquarium enthusiast and even displayed some of my work on her iPhone. I was half expecting ridicule and ejection from the event, but all showed admiration and interest. I found myself answering many questions about planted aquariums, as well as asking many about reef aquariums. I felt very welcome and safe walking among the "reefers!"
After several fantastic conversations with many great people, it was time for lunch. We took a stroll down to the boardwalk and found a place to enjoy some lunch and spirits. Every second after that was a blur of amazing people, remarkable information and festive adult beverages! Let's just say the excesses of MACNA made my one-day stay into an overnight effort!
My visit flew by. With all the things to do and see, it became clear why MACNA requires the multi-day schedule. Before I knew it, morning had come and it was time to make the drive home. Half way home, I realized that I didn't see one break-out session!! I guess I will just have to go again next year!
Even the vendor booths were offering talks and demos!
Justin Credable - Seriously, that was his name!!
Frag Tank - Nice shirt dude!!
Awesome triple-tier Zero Edge tank
LOOK!! A reef tank with composition and negative space!!
Rimless Reef Aquariums - I wonder where they got that idea?
Atlantic City Boardwalk
Salt Water Taffy - One of New Jersey's finest offerings!
Julio and Greg
Nothing better than late night street meat!
Late night Rock Band!
Special thanks to MACNA, all their sponsors, Erin and Heather, Jon Warner from Warner Marine Research, and all of those that I met.
Maybe a reef aquarium will grace Project Aquarium sooner than you think.
If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to Help me continue helping everyone.