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Josh Saul

About Josh Saul

Josh Saul is a technology consultant for large global banks. He has been involved in the aquarium hobby for 15 years and has been SCUBA diving for more than 20.
Latest Posts

LIVE SALE – Dr. Mac & Pacific East Aquaculture – THIS SATURDAY

Dr. Mac's Fall Festival
This Saturday, at 6PM EST, Dr. Mac will open up his famous farm and join us in an online chat and live sale event.  The Live Sale System allows people from all over the world to participate in a timed event where the fine folks at Pacific East Aquaculture will offer some incredible deals and lots of fun for 6 hours on our website.  Unlike all other live sales, this one is actually LIVE.  You don’t need to refresh the page at all.  The chatroom is live and the products drop every few minutes.  There is a counter at the top to indicate when the next item goes on sale, so you can hang out and talk with other buyers until the right moment.  When products show up, you have to be FAST in order to get things, but don’t worry there will be plenty of items for everyone.  This live sale is a fun and fast paced event, but you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home and even view it from a mobile device.  All sales are for mail order shipment the following week and you buy a shipping pack according to what day you want to receive your goodies.  So don’t forget to join us this Saturday the 26th and good luck! Find the latest live events at

MASNA Aquarist of the Year 2015 is Awarded to Terry Siegel

TS1Hot off the press, MASNA announced the 2015 winner of their Aquarist of the Year award, and it goes to our friend Terry Siegel.  Terry has been a long time aquarist and teacher of reef science through his work with The Marine Aquarist, Aquarium Frontiers,, and Advanced Aquarist.  We’re delighted that Terry has been honored with this award and are looking forward to the presentation of the award at the MACNA banquet in Washington DC on Saturday Night.  Congrats Terry!… More: at MACNA 2015

macna-2015-floorplan-reefs-blogSo we’re en route to MACNA, doing our best to not get Sanjay-ed, and we obviously brought the whole suitcase of fun activities and antics we’re known for.  This year’s floorplan is HUGE, and since we’re not all in the same room you may have to look around to find us.  You can visit our lounge by heading to the Hawkfish logo on the map above.  We’ll be waiting for you with comfortable seating, snacks, children’s activities, video games, and FREE BEER.  So come by, relax, and take a break from the madness that is MACNA.  If you get lost, find the Hospitality Lounge on the map.… More:

Encrusting Corals Can Create Art

skeleton-coralWe spend a lot of time talking about the intersection of reefs and the art world, and this photo is a great example of something near and dear to any reef aquarist, encrusting corals.  As many people know, encrusting corals typically have very fast horizontal growth rates and demonstrate very interesting patterns and formations when left to grow on flat objects like tiles and discs.  But what happens when you give the coral a head start by growing it onto an actual 3D object?  This skeleton encrusted with Meteor Shower Cyphastrea is a great example of how to take your typical underwater decoration and make it into something entirely new.  Having gone through the process a few times with Moai statues, it is only for people who have great patience, but the rewards are striking in their appearance.  If you decide to try your hand at this process, make sure you give the object plenty of room, having another coral sting your piece mid-growth can set you back an entire year.  Also be sure to pick a coral that has a high growth rate or you will be waiting forever.  Lastly, definitely pick a coral that does not typically plate out when it grows as this will create a shadow and prevent your piece from being completely encrusted.  Have you ever done this yourself?  Drop us a note in the comments and tell us how you did it!… More:

Reef Aquarium Forums 2.0

reef-forumsWe are pleased to announce a major new project on, Forums 2.0.  We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes to make our forums much easier to navigate, but more importantly, we’re putting the right people in place to foster interesting and accurate discussions. With the advent of thousands of Facebook groups devoted to reefing, many experts felt that the ability to provide quality advice and guidance to a large group was lost.  Facebook groups can sometimes be a case of the blind leading the blind, so we sought out some of the foremost experts on the reef aquarium hobby and gave them their own forums to discuss a topic of their choosing. 

Check out the forums now!


Eshopps Announces New Channel Design (ECD) Sumps

Eshopps has just released a new line of sumps that integrate their Channel Design system to optimize the flow pattern in the system.  Instead of a standard trickle/overflow system where the water moves from one area to the next, the ECD sumps force the water through the various sections through some clever engineering and acrylic work.  The pattern allows for the water to have a nice slow route through the fuge or filtration area before returning to the tank.  You can check out the intended use below.  Be sure to reach out to our friends at Eshopps for more info!.

MASNA’s 2015 Scholarship Application is Live

MASNALogoR600Every year, the good folks at MASNA give two lucky students a scholarship of $4000 to pursue their academic interests related to marine aquaria. The process involves merely submitting an application, and if you are selected not only do you get the money but you become a bit of a celebrity at this year’s MACNA when it is announced. Imagine telling a room full of 1000+ gala attendees (who are eagerly waiting to devour their choice of Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian dinner) about your interests in aquariums and how the money will help you in your research efforts? Nervous about public speaking? There is a cash bar so we’ll leave you to figure out how best to prepare for the moment, but it is truly an honor to receive these scholarships and we expect many of our readers to apply. You must be an undergrad or graduate student with at least a 2.5 GPA (so obviously I can’t apply), and there are a few other criteria, but in general this is an easy way to get funding for your research project. You can apply here now and look for information on the winners around September at MACNA in Washington DC.… More:

Announcing Reefs:Dispatches strives to be the world’s leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. As such, we think it is vitally important to inform our readers about aquarium trade issues pertaining to sustainability. There are few more important issue for sustainably minded aquarists to be following right now than the legislative efforts to close Hawaii’s aquarium fishery.  This new series will focus on issues related to the aquarium trade and what individuals can do to better understand industry concerns and long term sustainability activities. To bring you some perspective on those efforts and how aquarists can respond, we reached out to Ret Talbot, who has covered Hawaii for CORAL Magazine since 2009. We are pleased to bring you a special report on a very important and timely topic.More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.