Over the last twenty years, and even more so the last decade, the contributions of Vincent Chalias to the global reef aquarium hobby, industry and community have been incalculable. As one of the first pioneers of coral farming in Indonesia, Mr. Chalias has personally hand selected thousands of corals destined for coral farming, and subsequently shipped these strains and species all over the world.
Since around 2011 Vincent has become much more involved with the well-connected reef scene producing some of the highest quality content about the natural reef. This engagement extends to speaking at major reef aquarium events all over the world, and more recently serving as a crucial spokesperson for the current state of coral exports from Indonesia. Since Vincent Chalias is turning 63 this week and at the tail end of a long, productive career, we wanted to revisit some of his best work and what makes this Coral Dude so influential in the reef aquarium world.
We developed a kinship with Vincent Chalias back in 2011 when we started receiving his exquisite photographs of some of the rarest, most delicate and obscure deepwater Acropora that Indonesia has to offer. If the sensational images weren’t enough, the perfectly identified image file names definitely struck a chord with our OCD about properly identifying corals with latin names, not cartoon names.
The halting of all live coral exports from Indonesia has been a tremendous blow to the global supply for corals, affecting availability, diversity, & the price of corals not to mention how many coral farmers are out of work in Indonesia and especially Bali. But the unintended side effect of this ‘ban’ on the Indonesian coral export industry has freed up Vincent Chalias to participate in more reef aquarium events, travel to other coral reef areas, and especially to write the best, most expert and educated articles about corals and the natural reef.
Since the beginning of the reef aquarium hobby and even to this day, there is a waterfall of misinformation and incorrect ‘ideas’ about wild corals, the natural reef, where corals actually occur on the reef and just a lot of notions that are far removed from reality, being propagated by ‘experts’ who’ve never seen a coral in the wild. Vincent Chalias is the antidote to these demagogues, vaccinating us against bovine excrement with real, actual facts, data and observations about where corals come from, and why.
Vincent Chalias has written and contributed to nearly 100 articles on Reef Builders alone, and they span a great number of topics from fish, to habitats, to obscure corals, to popular corals in their natural environment. If you’re looking for a particularly good read, we’ve hand picked some of Vincent’s best articles down below but be sure to peruse his complete archive to see even more great stories about your favorite corals, and corals you’ve never heard of.