This story is submitted by Massimiliano Pardini to tell us about his progressive Italian reef club, Goccia Blu.
Our story starts from a forum, Acquaportal, where many of us moved the first steps into the aquarium communities. Tired of hiding behind a digital platform, we decided that it was the right time to arrange a meeting in order to know each other in real life. We met in Florence, with the excuse of a dinner a small group of tuscan people put the basis for the future association.
From this moment on we met very often, trading our coral frags growing in our tanks, talking about our hobby and how we can do it in the correct way and in full respect of the animals we keep. During one of our meeting in Andrea’s living room, we decided to formalize the association, giving the birth to “Goccia Blu Toscana”.
The association has a primary goal to disseminate the aquarium culture, to help the newbies to move their first steps in this hobby, and why not, to meet each other frequently and have fun together speaking about tanks and reefs.
For this reason we organize many events, trying to involve special guest that talks about many different topics, giving always preference to this aspect instead of the commercial one. Recently the “goccia blu” phenomenon has expanded from its Tuscan origins, and other association all over Italy were formed, moved by the same ideals and principles of us.
In 2013 we had the honor to have an international speaker, Tony Vargas, and also this year we try to do even better inviting also Jake Adams from ReefBuilders, and of course our compatriot Dr. Ike Olivotto. The event of 2013 was in Livorno, in the fabulous contest of the Windmill Park, where thousands of aquarium enthusiastic people from all over Italy came to assist the conferences and to observe the marvelous animals brought by the retailers.
We organized a “coral fragging” workshop, “how to make an hole in a running marine tank” in order to add a sump to an existing aquarium, and also a workshop when we have demonstrated how to reproduce sea urchins. One of the retailers also organised a workshop on “how to adjust a skimmer”.
During this event we showed many associate tanks, as an example of how we can build a successful reef aquarium. ?The 2014 will be an year full of Goccia Blu events, and we hope that our story will continue for many years to come! [Goccia Blue]