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MACNA came to Dallas-Fort Worth for a three day weekend: September 28-30, 2012.  

MACNA is a big deal for each club that takes on the challenging aspect of organizing the annual Marine Aquarium Conference of North America.  The bidding process starts at least 24 months in advance, with candidate clubs submitting their information to MASNA with clear cut goals and high expectations for success.  MASNA’s board of directors then considers the applications, consults amongst themselves, and bestows the honor upon the winning bid, with a signed contract that stipulates specific requirements that must be upheld.   Here are some of the pictures I took that year.  

Friday night was Casino night, and I spent a few hours gambling away my Fritz bucks.

Marine Geek hosted the guys from Tanked.  Lance was one of many that got his picture with the crew.

Tanked built this Texas-shaped aquarium, sump and stand, and raffled it off.  A lucky DFWMAS member won it.

This gentleman flew 24 hours to be here, hailing from Australia.

While in Texas, some chose to try out mechanical bull riding.  The winner earned some horns to take home.

The saltwater was provided by SeaChem for all the livestock vendors.

The view outside of my hotel room was great. One of the nicest suites I've ever stayed in, in fact.

James of Acan Lighting enjoyed a margarita shot with me, in the official Melev's Reef $1 margarita cups.

Blake, listed as working at ReefAddicts, got his picture with Jessy.  Yes, that's her natural hair color. ;)

Jean-Michel Cousteau was present on Saturday. I had breakfast with him that morning, and he wandered around the vendors hall to see what we hobbyists do. He did book signings in the afternoon, and was the keynote speaker Saturday night.  Here he is being mobbed by appreciative banquet goers to meet with him briefly after the banquet concluded.

How did I not manage to get decent in-focus pictures... very disappointing.

After dark, karaoke singers emerged. It was fun, loud, and silly too. :)

This massive banner welcomed hobbyists upon arrival.

Even the floor was adequately labeled with a projected image.

I made a few new friends this year.

Reef2Reef was all smiles.

My company provided all the RO/DI water vendors needed each day for top off. Hotel staff constantly turned off the water, but we added a few signs to keep the tank full.

There were many aisles of vendors displaying their wares, including their latest products coming to market. That's usually a highlight for me.

DFWMAS celebrated 20 years with this MACNA event, and we had a custom-made cake for the event.

Here are two hobbyists from Portugal visiting my booth and wanted proof to show their friends back home.

Yuki went as a French Angel fish. He runs a LFS, listed on his shirt.

A massive display from AGE.  1200g I think.  It took a forklift to bring it in.

This was a new invention that year, though I've not seen it since. It used an underwater drill bit to yank algae off rock by twirling it around the shaft. 

One of our club members is a local butcher, and his beef jerky was a popular snack for many at the show.

This is Bob Fenner, author of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, among many other publications. He also owns and runs Wet Web Media, a huge resource of information.

This tank was built each day of MACNA, and was a prize on the final day for one lucky person. Seeing how a tank is built is interesting to many.

In the Deltec booth, here's a rolling fiber filter to take the place of filter socks. It just rolls ahead when it is clogged up, providing a fresh section for stuff to get trapped against, and so on until you have to replace the roll.  

The Dallas World Aquarium was present, and one of their marine biologists spoke at the event and answered questions at their booth. Several of the DWA staff attended and learned quite a bit what we hobbyists do, which is not the same as what public aquariums contend with. They really seemed to enjoy finding out all the neat things we do and use. Case in point, we usually are the first people to buy new gear and use it, well before a public aquarium ever will. We tend to spend our money as we see fit, while they have to stay within their budget. 

Fish Tank Kings were present as well.

Karen Talbot painted the Bangaii Cardinal fish each day until it was completed.  

Kessil's new lights were on display.

I was the water sponsor, ran a booth, and was the margarita sponsor too.  And I gave a talk. It was a busy MACNA for me.  This was the prize my company donated that year, which ended up being won by a guy that ran a tank servicing company. Perfect, right? However, he later decided to sell it to a public aquarium in South Texas that have been using it ever since.

Shameless plug for my company. Thanks for posing, Aaron. :)

This was a discussion about digital testers. I can see the Milwaukee Digital Refractometer that I myself use.  It's that green thing on the table. However, mine was in a cardboard box, not that nice hard case.

Apex controllers are showcased every year at MACNA.

ORA's round zero-edge tank is my favorite tank to see every year. Everything in it is tank raised.  They make their own rock, place fish, corals, clams and inverts all grown from eggs / DNA at ORA.

These pretty Peppermint Angels are fakes bobbing on fishing line in the flow of the tank.  It made everyone stop to look at what they thought were $10,000 fish.

A photo contest was also held at MACNA, and the winners would be published in the 2013 Calendar.  That was neat; lots of great submissions. Attendees voted for their favorites in those buckets.

There was a photo booth for shenanigans.

One person won a grand prize to Tahiti that year!

RedSea's beautiful all-in-one system is ideal for a plug-and-play hobbyist. That paint job was stellar, done by an autobody paint shop for the show. That metallic red was epic.

This is Julian Sprung of Two Little Fishies. Author, inventor, diver and all around great guy to know.

Some Tunze gear on dislpay, including an underwater LED fixture that held in place magnetically but could be adjusted very easily.

The show ended Sunday afternoon, and this is what it looked like by 8 p.m. that night.  I had a blast.

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