My trip to Cleveland to speak to C-SEA

November 20 - 22, 2008: The Board of Directors from the Cleveland Saltwater Enthusiasts Association contacted me to come out and speak to their club... This trip included visiting a couple of stores in Columbus, a bunch of snow, and a visit to Savko.

Prior to my arrival, I requested snow during my visit. I usually try not to be too demanding, but it just seemed appropriate. Leaving DFW airport bright and early, I had high hopes. The plane was small, but it was a direct flight and miraculously I made it on time. There was a delay before departure, so I arrived in Cleveland about 40 minutes late.

I was met at the airport by Jeff, the vice president of the club. It was cold, but no snow in sight. The clouds held promise though.

He told me about all the snow that was to the east of Cleveland, and I told him I was happy to make the trip to see it. Where I live in Texas, snow is very rare and I love the stuff. So the challenge was on - would he deliver? We drove east to Chardon. Here are some pictures along the way.

Now that's what I'm talking about! Bring it on.

Because the snow was early this year, people had to relearn how to drive on the stuff.

Once we arrived at his home, we quickly ran inside. It was cold, and just beautiful.

Jeff dug this pond himself.

Jeff has a reef tank in his office, but all the gear is in the basement. His reef is young as it had to be restarted after the extended power outages that occured after Hurricane Ike passed through. I still can't believe Dallas / Fort Worth were spared, and somehow that storm leap-frogged from Houston to Ohio.

Jeff's corals were quite small, but all of them were the kind we often yearn for. The more I looked, the more I discovered. There really were a number of the choice pieces, and in a year they should be stunning.

In the basement, he had a nice spot set up for all his gear. The two reservoirs hold RO water and mixed saltwater.

Frag tank plumbed into the system.

Refugium and reactors beneath.

The return pump was behind a sheet of acrylic to keep it dry. Good thinking.

The plumbing on the wall made me nervous, which has since been corrected.

The protein skimmer was a beast, and the waste collector was almost full.

The quarantine system was plumbed separately, and had its own sump.

I liked his refugium in a bucket, which drained into the glass sump. This is a nice solution for those tight stands. It drained into a bubble tower to avoid microbubble issues. Water drains in from the display (50% to the bucket, 50% to the sump), and a clamp light provides the lighting for the macro algae to grow. The eggcrate keeps it from clogging the exit drain, plumbed via Uniseal out the side of the bucket into the sump.

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