Hello all! Name: Randy Info: Age 60. Recently retired physician. Ancient degrees in biochemistry and microbiology. Been with my wife Raylene for 21 years; no kids between us, although she has a bunch of great kids and grandkids scattered to the winds overseas who we nonetheless visit frequently. My First Reef: For 5 years starting in 1987, I kept a 100g custom acrylic system from a long defunct company called Lahaina Aquariums, with all the 'modern' features including a wet-dry trickle filter, external countercurrent skimmer with limewood stone, and metal halide/actinic lighting. And even though some of the techniques are no longer considered optimal, the tank did pretty much thrive and with much less effort that I expend now, despite all the intervening advances. It did have one huge design defect though - Return water was directed to the surface as usual, but also straight through the bottom of the tank into a plenum beneath the coral rubble substrate, where it flowed from right to left. Which meant that the only thing keeping the tank from draining completely in the event of a power failure or return pump failure was a huge check valve. Sure OK Fine, unless the valve develops a buildup of organic microfilms and crud and sticks open next time the power fails. (Maintaining proper operation of this valve was a high priority! I never did have that catastrophe, but I came close once.) The huge slate blue palythoa colony, as well as many other critters there, I got direct from a Hawaiian diver. Many other large pieces like that Elegance were routinely available at shops. Unfortunately the stores at the time would also stock many creatures, including obligate corallivore butterflies, non-photosynthetic gorgonians, even basket stars, that we now know would have had little chance of surviving (and they typically didn't, for long) and that are rarely seen in stores or online at present. I did manage to get some corallivores eating frozen food though, including a beautiful Chaetadon plebeius that was one of my tank favorites for several years. I sold the tank when I moved for work. The Seattle area, even though on the coast and offering great boating and diving, surprisingly did not offer much support for this hobby at the time, and I was also extremely busy with my new position, so I didn't get back into the hobby until just a couple years ago, when I retired. Current Tanks: I have two Reefer 450s operational. The first has been up for 18 months, and is a fairly high energy low nutrient system that is becoming increasingly SPS-dominant. The second has been up for 8 months, and is also a mixed reef although more of a back reef environment, and with a large number of BTAs and other nems. I recently added a group of 23 young ocellaris clownfish from Sea&Reef (arrived in fantastic health, btw); we'll see if they form a harem or just wind up attacking each other as they get older. Other interests: When I moved to Seattle, I got my SCUBA certification and spent the next 20+ years diving first Puget Sound on the weekends and then the world on every vacation, always looking for destinations with healthy reefs, abundant fish populations, and relatively few other divers. My avatar and below is a photo of me taken by a fellow diver in the Galapagos, cruising along next a very chill whale shark. I am a science and science fiction addict. I collect vintage movie posters and movie props, particularly of and from science fiction films. I also enjoy sport shooting and riflery. And as much travel as my aquariums will allow. The Reef Squad is a great idea and it's an honor being part of it. I plan to help out any way I can.