Angelfish and Butterflyfish are two unmistakable iconic families of reef-dwelling fishes that everyone would love to keep in their reef. Until we read a bit further and see all of those pesky "not reef safe" notes attached to these beautiful animals. Yet sometimes seemingly crazy aquarists mix these benthic feeders with their prized coral collection. How do they do it? What is their secret? This talk walks you through the process of mixing benthic feeders with coral successfully… most of the time.
Austin is the founder and owner of Aqua Box, a company that installs unique aquarium systems worldwide, and professionally quarantines and conditions marine fishes. Austin has been in the aquarium industry since 2002, previously working in local fish stores, coral farms, and heading up a fish breeding program.
"As aquarists, we have the responsibility to allow all of our animals to thrive, not just survive. Our animals are stewards to their wild counterparts that can inspire others to push for better conservation. We have the ability to keep animals alive far longer than in nature provided the right care. My mission is to spread sound science-based information to keep animals thriving long term."
Austin has been published in Reefs Magazine, Reefs.com, and Reef Edition Magazine. He has presented at MACNA (2016), Michigan Coral Expo (2016, 2017), and Manhattan Reef Swap (2016).
During his free time, he can be found hiding in a dark corner of his office watching fishes interact in one of a dozen fish conditioning systems. He has a soft spot for Pomacanthidae, particularly twilight zone reef dwellers. He’s been an avid SCUBA diver since the age of 12 and consistently seeks new aquatic adventures.