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Nautilus
01-31-2007, 04:16 PM
Welcome ORCA Members both old and new to a brand new year of Reef Keeping in 2007. My name is Matt Kantz and am now the acting President of ORCA. I believe I've met just about everyone in the club, but for those whom I haven't yet met let me share a little of my past history with you.

I began in this hobby as a freshwater guy. A small 2 gallon hex tank as I recall was the first tank I had. In it were two small fancy tail guppies and a Cory catfish. Simple as it may seem, it was the spark that began what has been a 15 year endless and rewarding journey into the world of reef keeping. The 2 gallon guppy tank was replaced a short 4 months later by a 55 gallon tank occupied by cichlids. The fish were getting prettier as I recall. The Jack Dempsey, Fire mouth and Green Terror cichlid's weren't just pretty names. No, these were beauty's for sure. Those fish were the first colorful fish I remember, with the neon and electric blue and green colored scales. The bright red color under the belly's of the Fire mouth Cichlids were really something to behold.

Of course the Cichlid experience only lasted about six months and then I discovered Saltwater fish. Now the ball really started rolling. I had saltwater swim tank after swim tank. Friendly fish and predator fish. You name them and I had them. But then, one day while visiting my local fish store in Tifton Georgia, I took the plunge into Reef Keeping and never looked back. I would say that I've been successfully keeping saltwater reef tanks now for over 13 years. In these past 13 years I've built and maintained at least 12 reef tanks, varying in size from 12 gallon to 210 gallon reef tanks. Some systems have been more successful than others, but none more successful than the 210 gallon Berlin Reef now running in my home. This reef has truly given me the greatest pleasure and satisfaction of all.

I must thank my Wife Melissa first and foremost for her ongoing tolerance and patience. Those married to a reef hobbyist really do carry the heaviest of burdens. And to all my fellow hobbyists especially those here in Orlando for the constant reinforcement and ongoing education I receive from all of the members of this great club. Whether you are just getting started with your first reef tank or if you are a seasoned veteran, there is always something new to learn here at ORCA. The primary objective of ORCA is educating the reef hobbyist and that is what we do best. That along with the great friendships, social events and just plain old fun is what makes ORCA such a wonderful club.

I along with the entire ORCA Board of Directors welcome all of you back to ORCA 2007. I am looking forward to a great year of reef keeping and fun.