I got my first start like most people at a young age with a 10 gallon freshwater tank. I then moved to a 55 gallon till I moved out of home. I grew up watching my father with his tanks has he moved up from a hexigon tank with a lionfish to a 220 gallon tank built into the wall today.
Because of him I was always interested in the Salty Side, and 6 years ago I dived into the salt water world with a 29 gallon eclipse tank that was mushrooms, a 6 line wrasse named Bob and a Nemo. From there I have just gotten bigger and bigger as well as getting more tanks. I know have a 210 gallon tank, a 24 gallon nano, and a 30 gallon tank at my work.
I joined the club in April of 2010 and have loved being a part of this great club. I am excited to help out this year and look forward to seeing everyones tank grow and see everyone continue to help and support the saltwater community in UTAH! Thanks for this opportunity!
Responsibilities: Vice President
I got my start in this hobby at the age of 7, when I won a goldfish at a local carnival. He didn't last too long, but I was hooked...I set up my first saltwater aquarium at the age of 13; it featured such "cutting edge" technology as the UGF (undergravel filter), dead coral skeletons, and dolomite gravel. At 15, I got my first job ever working for a LFS that happened to carry SW fish and supplies - a rarity in 1978.
Over the years, I've kept almost every type of fish there is too keep; from African Cichlids to Killifish, from Piranhas to Discus; from Lionfish to Seahorses - you name it, I've probably had it. But my favorite has always been the Marine / Reef aquarium. Currently I have 2 systems running - a 225 gallon show tank, and a 37 gallon "almost-a-nano" setup.
My wife Peggy and I have been married almost 23 years, and we have 3 teenage children. I work for a large pharmaceutical company in SLC. When I'm not messing with my tanks I enjoy bicycling, weightlifting, working on the house and watching football. (Oh, and making giant skimmers )
I've been a WMAS Member since 2007. This is my first time serving in the Presidency Council. I look forward to a great year ahead, working to make your WMAS experience the best that it can be.
Past Presidency Council - Council members are the support staff for the president and the vice-president.
Responsibilities: Industry Relations, Past Presidency Council
I'm Adam and I'm a science guy. I love this club and I love our club members. I first started coming to WMAS meetings before I could drive and have spent years making some wonderful memories with new friends. To me, that's what this club is about. Friendly people enjoying a hobby.
My experience with this hobby has been going on for 25 years. Like most people I started with a small 10 gallon freshwater aquarium, and then two, and then a 55 gallon, and then some saltwater tanks, and eventually a basement filled with fish stuff. Learning about reefs, ocean ecosystems, and all the life they support is just fascinating to me.
My job is to help educate, support, and encourage hobbyists. I spend a lot of time working hard to promote this club and to reach out to our local hobbyists. I look forward to the great time ahead with all my fish friends, and many more people we've yet to meet.
Responsibilities: Past Presidency Council
We got our first aquarium when I was about 7 years old. I've been hooked ever since. My first tank was a 55 gallon freshwater tank with a variety of tetras and other beginner fish. After several moves we decided it was time for the tank to come down. After a couple more years the bug hit me again, and I started another 55 gallon freshwater tank and a 10 gallon brackish water tank. From there the tanks kept getting bigger, more complex, and contained a large variety of fish and inverts, until despite many people telling me to stay away from saltwater due to expense, high mortality rates and complex chemistry I took the plunge. Over the years I've kept many aquariums ranging from 10 gallons to my current 180 Gallon reef, although I have plans to go much much bigger in the very near future. I really enjoy researching marine ecosystems, and learning everything I can about marine life. Like many others I plan our vacations and other activities around this crazy hobby, and I'll sneak in a visit to the LFS, Aquarium, etc. any chance I get when we go somewhere new. I currently work as an EMT-I for the Ambulance, and as a Cardiac Technician in the local Hospital's ICU, but I am also studying to work as a respiratory therapist and then plan to go to medical school. Besides my aquariums I enjoy a few other hobbies. I currently play for a sponsored paintball team based in the greater SLC area. It's a blast and I get to travel and compete in national tournaments against some of the best teams out there. I also love to longboard, it's a great way to relax and unwind. I love the outdoors and will try just about anything once. I'm looking forward to serving in the WMAS presidency, and giving back to this great club!
| ||Responsibilities: Past Presidency Council|
I've been involved in the salt water aquarium hobby for nearly 15 years! Like many of my good friends, what began as a hobby has ultimately become a lifestyle. I plan many of my activities - even vacations, to include or work around my reef keeping hobby. My first salt water aquarium was 55 gallons and I've kept many tanks of varying sizes since then. My showcase accomplishment (to date) was my 120 mixed reef. You can view pictures of it in the glory days here: http://www.utahreefs.com/tankofthemonth/ShaneHeil/tank_of_the_month.htm I have also kept many smaller tanks dedicated to certain species of fish, coral or invertebrates.
My wife Heidi and I have a large family – two boys and four girls. We’re all very active in the community and competitive sports. If it involves a ball of some type, you will likely find one of our family members participating. When we find the time, we enjoy skiing together in the winter and boating together in the summer. The family is very supportive of my hobby and they enjoy seeing my tanks develop. It is always thrilling to me to see them gather around to see what new and exotic “thing” dad has brought home this time. They can each recognize most common fish and they will even reluctantly help with water changes if they don’t have practice.
I have learned so much on my journey through the reef keeping hobby. I've learned more biology and chemistry through my aquariums than I ever gleaned in a classroom. I've learned to appreciate the reefs of the world and how dependent we are on their continued success. I've learned that a community of hobbyists can have far more success (and fun) than any single person on their own. I've learned patience and tolerance for the opinions of others. These lessons will be with me long after my tanks are dry.
Responsibilities: Web Master, Past Presidency Council
I started my first salt water aquarium when I was 12. I was 10 gallons and I keep dwarf seahorses and pipefish (believe it or not these were some of the easy fish back then). I had good luck raising and breeding them due to my diligence in raising BBS (baby brine shrimp). I have keep many fresh and saltwater aquariums since then. My favorite freshwater fish is the arowana and my favorite saltwater fish is the frogfish (at least for the moment). I currently have a 180 gallon reef, 55 gallon reef, 65 gallon reef, and a 24 gallon nano.
I manage a medical supply company called Premier Medical Distribution. Since 2008 I have also owned Coral Planet. Over the years this company has "morphed" from an Internet only company selling live rock->selling fish and corals->aquarium maintenance->Internet hard-goods->retail store->wholesale fish and corals->wholesale aqua-cultured corals, which is where it stands today. Coral Planet sells to a limited number of Pet Stores. We specialize in aquacultured corals. I am an entrepreneur at heart and have ran a few other businesses over the years (flowers, web design, restaurant review, sporting goods, financial, etc.). I also have a website called aquaticdatabase.com, check it out.
I am married to my wife Pepper. We have 4 children. Natalie, Nicole Coral, Jake, and Eli. I am lucky to have them as they all put up with me and my hobby. Some of my other hobbies are fishing, camping, boating (wake surfing), paintball, board/card games, scuba diving, hiking, and backpacking.
Having started in the aquarium hobby at 10 years old I naturally had wanted a salt water tank for many years. Upon getting a 150 gallon tank at my office and thinking about all the possibilities for it I decided it was time to try a Salt Water adventure. Having no experience with the salty side of the hobby that first tank started with 300 lbs of lace rock that had come with the tank. Upon finally getting the tank up and running I finally thought to seek out others in the hobby for advice and found the WMAS. I attended my first meeting and found out everything anyone ever wanted to know about what was in Salt Water, (most of which I didn’t understand at all.)
Shortly after that meeting I went on my first Reef Tour. I saw many beautiful tanks that day and knew I just had to have one of those for myself. Over time I learned where I had gone wrong with my office tank and went about the laborious task of overhauling it, including a trip with Mark out to the desert to get some Utah Rock.
I learned so much from the club in my first couple of years that I decided that I just had to give back to the club and ran for office. The first year I ran for a presidency position I didn’t make it. Very few people know who I was. The next year I made sure I had gotten acquainted with more club members and ran again. Since becoming a presidency member I have had many opportunities to serve my fellow hobbyists and have learned a lot and had a lot of fun doing so. I look forward to serving the club as President and hope to help make the club even better.
I'm not only about Fish though. By trade I am a tax accountant and have recently started my own business out of my home preparing personal and business taxes and doing accounting work for small businesses. I enjoy the outdoor sports of fishing, hiking, camping and horseback riding.
Responsibilities:Memberships, Past Presidency Council
I have lived in Sandy area since I was eight years old and graduated from Jordan High School. In 1993, after received my Associates Degree, in Computer Information Systems, I started working for Qqest Software Systems as a Computer Programmer. I have always loved the aquarium hobby started with a 55 gallon FW aquarium in my office. I also had a 35 gallon FW tank at home. I especially enjoyed cichlids and eels. Another of my favorites were my Oscar and Clown Knife. My boss, not be out done, decided to start a 150 gallon SW fish-only tank also in the office. In 2002, our family relocated to a larger home. I inherited the 150 gallon tank from my boss and traded my FW tank in on a 75 gallon SW reef aquarium and never looked back. I first joined the WMAS in early 2003. It has been great!!. With five sons, I am also very involved in the Boy Scouts of America, and am currently serving as Scout Master. Some of my other hobbies are (when and if I have time) rocketry, RC trucks, hunting, camping and fishing. Other pets include, dogs, frogs, lizards, birds, and rats. Yes my house is a zoo.
|Justin Wootton|| |
Responsibilities: Thread Master, Past Presidency Council
Growing up I always had a salt water tank in the house, my father is a huge influence on my love for salt water fish tanks and always had one as far back as I can remember. He nurtured my love of the ocean and for salt water reef tanks.
I had my first fresh water aquarium at a young age. After I left home I spent some time away from aquariums but couldn't stay from the hobby long. Two years ago I decided to setup my own reef tank, and have been heavily addicted to the reef keeping hobby ever since much to my wallets chagrin. We currently have my 45 reef tank as well as my wife's 29 gallon bio cube and a small 12 gallon JBJ nano in my home office.
I have been married for nine years to my wife who is very supportive of me in this hobby. We have one daughter, Madeline, with another daughter due in April. I'm also a huge cycling enthusiast and a giant nerd.
I discovered WMAS shortly before setting up my first reef tank, this club has been a huge influence on always keeping me in the right direction. I look forward to being able to give back to this community that has helped me so much in the past few years.
Presidency Council - Council members are the support staff for the president and the vice-president.
Responsibilities: Special Event Committee
My family always had freshwater aquariums while I was growing up (probably back to age 3), so it was only natural for me to have an aquarium when I moved out on my own. My reefkeeping addiction started about 7 years ago by accidentally walking into a saltwater aquarium store, and about a year later I found a free aquarium at a yard sale (silly me – I thought the expensive part was over!) From there, I spiraled into having several reef aquariums, modifying my house for a tank, and even studying coral pathology “for fun”. I’ve also written articles for a couple websites and was vice president for a couple years for an Ohio reef club. Although there are a lot of things I love about the hobby, my absolute favorite is rescuing dying coral, followed closely by hitchhiker identification/pest control, and then photography.
In 2009, my husband, Will, and I started scuba diving, and it’s a close tie with reefkeeping for being the most addictive. So far I’ve dove Curacao, Jamaica, Catalina Island, Honduras, Bahamas, and several places in Utah. I love seeing the interaction in nature as it can vastly differ in the home aquaria.
If I come across as lacking social skills or just plain being a nerd, it’s for a good reason (and I apologize). My husband, Will, and I are both engineers (he’s much more social), and we really enjoy the technical aspect of the hobby. We currently reside in South Weber, and live beside Kevin (Fatman), who we can’t thank enough for his help.
Responsibilities: Special Event Committee
I am a bit unique in that my wife was the one who got me into the hobby. With a quick call three and a half years ago that began with "Petco is selling fish tanks on sale" our journey into saltwater aquariums began. Soon I was hooked. We started up our first tank (a 55 gal mixed reef) and shortly after found the WMAS website and started attending meetings. We felt behind in the hobby with terms like "frag", "SPS" and "Par" but quickly came up to speed. We used the site as a resource and slowly built up our confidence. It was at the first MWRF that we decided to take our reefing up a notch. We listened to a talk on unique aquariums and decided to build a dedicated garden eel tank in our basement. Soon our reef tank was getting too small and we wanted better for our garden eels so we planned out our dream tank. It took a year to slowly build our 180 gal mixed reef tank but we love it. We also moved our garden eels to our main level and improved on their 55 gal tank. We are always thinking and dreaming about our next tank but for now we will enjoy the two we have. We love to continue our knowledge by going to club speaking events and even traveling for large shows like Reef-a-poolza, MAX and MACNA.
Whenever possible I like to go diving and see the fish in their natural habitats.
I have been married 8 years now to my wife Bacot, we both have a passion for saltwater and are happy to be enjoying this hobby together.
We have learned a lot from this club and look forward to giving back!
Responsibilities: Merchandise/Public Relations
I've been in the hobby for almost 2yrs and I've been a member of the WMAS for 1 1/2yrs. I'm from CT, and enjoy real seafood. I grew up by the shore and marshland in a small town called Westbrook. So there is where I fell in love with the sea and all it holds. I hope to meet more people with the same level of passion as I.
Responsibilities: Special Event Committee
I got my first fish aquarium when I was 10 and was instantly in love with keeping fish. I stuck with freshwater fish, having heard how hard it was to keep a salt water aquarium and never gave it much thought until I came across an ad for a salt water aquarium on a grocery store community board. I could not resist. I bought it not having a clue what I was doing and pretty much crashed the tank in one month. Thankfully a month after that disaster I went on the Reef Tour and discovered the WMAS and have not crashed a tank since. Though I am years into the hobby I still feel like I am learning, and love every minute of it.
My husband Bryan and I have two children. I am a former middle school teacher who now spends my time raising kids, painting mermaids, and selling my artwork online to people around the world.
Responsibilities: Special Event Committee
Arthur is one of our newer club members and he is excited to join the presidency.
Arthur has met many wonderful people in the club and enjoys sharing this great hobby with new people.
When Arthur isn't busy getting his hands wet, he works as an engineer doing top secret stuff (that's all he'll tell us).
Responsibilities: Tank of the Month
My name is Shelby Kurys. I have been happily married to my wife, Leslie, for nearly 18 years, and I have a 16 year old daughter named Ashlee. When I am not working, I trill to fill my time with as many projects as possible. I enjoy remodeling houses, playing with RC cars and helicopters, and most recently my saltwater fish tank. I am pretty new to saltwater/ reef tanks. About a year and a half ago, my wife and I decided to convert our 75g freshwater fish tank into a saltwater tank. I maintained my freshwater tank for about four years. As you may know, there are only so many combinations you can do with a freshwater tank, and it does get pretty boring looking at the same color of fish and the fake plants. Over the years I had seen several saltwater set-ups, and I found all the vibrant colors, variety of shapes, random movement, and sea life very fascinating. When I decided to take the leap and make the switch, I soon realized I had a lot to learn. I’ve spent endless hours reading, talking to people in the hobby, and trying new things. I soon found that I had out grown my 75g tank. I knew it was time to upgrade. I now have a 220g saltwater / reef tank. I’ve had my ups and downs with the tank, but I do have to say this is by far one of the most rewarding hobbies.
I have been a member of the Utah Reef Society for a little over a year. I joined at last year’s reef convention at the Red Lion Hotel. I appreciate all of the advice and help I have received from the members over the past year. I look forward to the opportunity of being able to pay it forward.
Thanks for the opportunity to serve on the presidency council for another year. It is my joy to serve on such an awesome and active council as this club has elected.
I have found the pursuit of marine aquaria to be an absolute addiction. The pursuit to achieve environments that can support and sustain these precious life's is what drives me in the hobby. At this time we have a little over 600g of salt water, 80g of fresh water and a 300g pond. We breed and sell Bangaii Cardinals for the pure joy of it.
We enjoy pursuing the knowledge necessary to achieve these things and in sharing all that we have learned and in helping any one interested.
Besides this addiction, I have the most wonderful wife in the world. Alice and my 6 children (3 mine, 3 hers) and grandson are my life and the driving force in my existence. We have a small carpentry company that specializes in custom cabinets and remodeling.
Welcome to our home away from home. Hope you enjoy your stay.