Reef Builders Magazine – Editorial 1

By on Jan 19, 2013

Welcome to a new chapter in the history of Reef Builders, what a great way to kick off a new year by introducing Reef Builders Magazine, a new on-line publication ready to promote excitement in this fascinating hobby of ours.  Whether you’re a novice aquarist seeking relevant information, a hobbyist with only intermediate skills or an advanced aquarist seeking more knowledge and looking for the latest news, Reef Builders Magazine will have something for everyone.  We will provide material that will inspire as well as motivate from some of the leader and groundbreakers in the field.

It’s my pleasure and an honor to become part of this ground breaking publication.  As we bring to life the creation of Reef Builders Magazine I reflect on one of the most groundbreaking magazine ever created, Aquarium Frontiers.  When Aquarium Frontiers magazine was introduced to the reefing community it instantly received an enormous amount of attention and excitement, it was something that was need at the time.

The community wanted to hear from people in the know, what they were doing, their thoughts, accomplishments and more importantly their fallers.  All that information would help strengthen the hobby and propel it forward with more successes.  A brand new concept in the form of a magazine dedicated to saltwater marine and reef aquariums.  This is what we will accomplish with our publication.

Aquarium Frontiers

Aquarium Frontiers Magazine

I repeat once again, it is such an honor to be chosen by Ryan Gripp and Jake Adams to be part of this historic passage.  With so many years as a reef keeper and my tireless travels across this country to share my passion with those that would listen – I have accomplished quite a bit – still I have much to learn.  Those are some of the qualifications among others that led to my position as Editor in Chief for Reef Builders Magazine.  With this editorial you will be privileged with a photo of my first large reef aquarium back in 1992 and later in future editorials I will display photos of the same system re-rocked in 1994.

Tony Vargas 150-Gallon Reef Aquarium

Tony Vargas 150-Gallon Reef Aquarium

I started keeping saltwater aquariums in the mid 80s and what a huge learning curve as very little information was available back than for the novice.  A few of the advance hobbyist of the time would not share any information with others – this allowed them to keep success for themselves.  The challenges of keeping most stony corals in captivity were resolved by the late 80s early 90s when the Berlin method of reef keeping became the fashion and out went undergravel filters and Bio-balls.

By the early 90s the late great Greg Schiemer and I would venture out almost every weekend, traveling great distances in hopes of finding that great, but rarely encountered coral.  Most Acropora corals back then were sandalwood in color and we didn’t care as we often hunted for unique shapes with colorful tips.  Just about that time I started to write articles on stony corals for Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (FAMA) magazine.  The topic of choice for me back then was Acropora, so I walked, talked, ate, wrote, and slept Acropora.

That was just the beginning of a hobby I’ve seen change and evolve right before my eyes.  Now, I mention all of this to help most understand why the creators of Reef Builders chose me as the person to head Reef Builders Magazine.  When approached by Jake Adams for this appointment I asked why me, what qualifies me for such a position?  He quickly elaborated on my history and the most amazing part of the conversation was quoting some of my articles (from the 90s) he read as a young man.

Our inaugural issue will have four very exciting articles; the first will be Mr. MASNA 2012 award winner Kevin Kohen.  Kevin has been an enthusiastic hobbyist for more than 20 years and is the director of LiveAquaria.com.  His job is envied by many and it’s easy to see why.  LiveAquaria.com gets their hands on many of those hard to find fish and Kevin gets to observe them before they go off to their new homes.  His first article for us will focus on the elusive Narcosis Angelfish (Centropyge narcosis).  He will share with us some of his observations and conditioning techniques of the very first narcosis to land on American shores.

Kevin Kohen

Kevin Kohen

The next article will focus on one of the least appreciated corals in our hobby, Gorgonians.  They are often overlooked by many simply because most think they require occasional feedings, and that may be true with some species, but many of these corals are photosynthetic.  They require similar conditions that are mandated by most sps corals, which lead to good light and excellent flow.   This awesome article comes from Morgan Moore founder of Reefgardener.net.  Morgan is a regular blogger here at Reef Builders.

Morgan Moore

Morgan Moore

Our next article is by world renowned blogger and international speaker Jake Adams.  He will take a deep dive and give us a product review on the Aquatic Life Power Deluxe Reverse Osmosis unit.

Jake Adams

Jake Adams

And lastly, my article will focus on my many years of experimenting with the Australian Leopard-wrasse (Macropharyngodon choati).  I will share one of my favorite techniques for acclimation and quarantine.

Tony Vargas

Tony Vargas

So, not only do we get the 25th anniversary of MACNA this year we also get the start of an epic magazine!

We pledge that we will put forth a conscientious effort to provide our readership the most relevant information available to the industry.  RBM will gather some of the most enthusiastic authors on the planet that lead in their fields and are more than happy to share their passions with our audience.

Welcome to Reef Builders Magazine.

Tony Vargas

Reef Builders Magazine Editor

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