The beginning of 2003 was a good year to be a livestock slinger in the marine aquarium industry. The reef aquarium hobby was ballooning and new collecting locations were opening up left and right. The ratio of buyers to sellers was extremely skewed in favor of the market and it seemed like new online vendors were popping up every week. In April 2003, Reefer Madness was launched and it can be argued that they single handedly reinvented the high-end coral scene. They had the best wysiwyg and every few days it would be updated with the most mind-blowing corals anyone had ever seen. For the SPS lover, the RM wysiwyg was an obsession to be shared with fellow SPS nuts. Even if you couldn’t afford to buy their top-shelf corals (at top-shelf RM prices), at least you could see what kind of corals were being imported from week to week and you could be on the lookout for species from certain regions. Additionally, the RM staff had an eye for the most unusual coral species and NO ONE could touch their selection for the sheer number of oddball corals that they could pick out from the more commonly seen species. Also, RM didn’t invent the over marketing of coral names but with a different colorful, descriptive name for every single coral for sale, RM took the goofy naming convention to new heights. For about two or three years RM was the top dawg in the online coral vending world but beginning around 2006, the markets began to saturate with corals and prices for even the choice colonies were going for much more reasonable prices. Early in 2008 the company was sold to owners which very poorly managed what was left of RM into the sand bed. We are unsure as to when the site was officially shuttered, but RIP ReeferMadness and Monty, Poseidon knows we still have some of your corals and even more of the crazy pics you used to share with us every week.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.