It is a sad time in the reefing world a we recently found out Albert Thiel, a pioneer of the hobby lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, April 23. There is a GoFundMe campaign to help his family that has been left dealing with the exorbitant medical expenses and can use your help.
The campaign was started in October, but has only raised $3,560 of it’s $20,000 goal. Reef2Reef has been helping publicizing the fund and we’d like to extend the request to the Reef Builders’ family. The good news is, just under $1,000 was raised in less than 24 hours, but it is still far from the goal. Any amount can help.
Albert had a unique story. He was a businessman, author and speaker who helped revolutionize reef keeping in the late 80s and early 90s and whose name you still come across today. For anyone that started in the hobby in the pre-internet days, Albert and other pioneers were instrumental in sharing ideas and pushing the hobby forward.
Like many people entrenched in the hobby, his passion for reef keeping shone through all he did. He always gave of his time and shared his knowledge with hobbyists on message boards, reef forums, and in person. He has penned many books and spoke at several MACNA conferences along with countless local and regional events and clubs in the US, England, France, and Germany.
Born and raised in Belgium, he moved to the US in 1979 and started his own business in the mid-80s, Thiel AquaTech. The company originated or brought to market many of the supplements and equipment we still use today, before being sold in 1996.
Albert authored several reef keeping related books, a monthly newsletter, and many articles for magazines like Tropical Fish Hobbyist (TFH) and Fresh Water and Marine Aquarium (FAMA), as well as several foreign publications in English, French and Spanish. He also published many articles in Aquarium Society Newsletters and other vehicles under the pen name “The Blackfriar.”
Here is a list of his printed books and newsletter:
- 2013 – Nano-Reef Aquariums, The Optimum Guide for the Nano-Reef Hobbyist
- 1993 – Ten Easy Steps to a Great Looking Saltwater and Reef Aquarium
- 1989 – Advanced Reef Keeping I: A Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up Your Reef Tank
- 1989 – Small Reef Aquarium Basics: The Optimum Aquarium for the Reef Hobbyist
- 1989 – The Trickle Filter
- 1988 – The Marine Fish and Invert Reef Aquarium: Advanced Techniques & Instrumentation
- “Marine Reef: The Newsletter” – A 16 to 24 page monthly publication that ran for 5 years.
As the Reef2Reef team stated on their post where we graciously borrowed most of this information, Albert would not want anyone to be sad for his passing – only to celebrate his life and continue with his ideals by helping each other the way he was so willing to help everyone he could.