Thomas Frakes
Bio Topic - Friday September 3 @ 5 pm

I have been involved with the marine aquarium hobby for nearly 40 years but I was not a hobbyist originally. I started working with marine culture work while still in college growing marine algae to feed bryozoans. After graduation, I spent my first year (1971) at the Florida Marine Research Lab as a field biologist on their research boat. I transferred to the mariculture department and worked on food culture (rotifers and copepods) and larval rearing for Macrobrachium shrimp, Pompano and Sea Bass. At this time Martin Moe was just setting up his first operation across the bayou from the state lab. In 1974 Frank Hoff and I were hired to set up Neptunes Nurseries to raise marine tropical fish. It was later renamed Instant Ocean Hatcheries Inc. We commercially raised 9 species of clownfish, several hybrids and Neon Gobies for nearly 10 years but were not able to become profitable. I went to work as Vice President of Aquarium Systems (Mentor Ohio) from 1984 to 1997 and was editor of SeaScope (1983-2002). In 1994, I was granted the second Live Rock Aquaculture lease from the state of Florida and built a live rock reef near Tarpon Springs, FL. This operation had high potential when Florida stopped the wild harvest of rock in 1997, but was a victim of the Fiji live rock price wars. In recent years I have worked as technical consultant for OmegaSea Ltd., manufacturer of OmegaOne fish foods. I have a small lab for testing and a number of aquariums from 120 gallons down to numerous 10 and 20 gallon test tank systems. My aquarium interests are water chemistry, filtration systems, lighting, and fish nutrition. Academically, I am interested in the issues of invasive species, origins of life and climate change. I enjoy scuba diving when I find time. In my spare time I play league volleyball in the winter and softball in the summer. My wife Terri and I have a large family with the most recent additions being triplet, who are seven years old now and they keep us very busy.

Conventional Wisdom, Myths and Misconceptions

A collection of aquarium issues from marine chemistry to greenhouse gasses.

I will review a range of topics that are often misunderstood or forgotten. Beginning with sea salts and low salinity, I will move through nitrogen issues, theories on HLLE, "toxic" brine shrimp, pigments, to carbon dioxide effects and its origins.