A interview with Frank Lim; Coral Guru, Hobbyist and head of U.S. sales for Real Reef Mfg.
I caught Frank a few days after returning from the Dallas MACNA 2012 show. With all the MACNA eye candy, and inside scoop fresh in his mind, I wanted to sit down with Frank for a one on one Q&A interview to get his perspective as a hobbyist and industry insider. Lets see what Frankie had to say about MACNA 2012 and Real Reef Rock.
Q: So…. how was Dallas Macna 2012 and what made it better or worse than last year?
A: Seemed to be more vendors and hobbyist than last year in Iowa. Hotel accommodations were really nice and it was well organized. Overall I had a good experience and it was one of the better MACNAs. It was good to see alot of familiar faces!
Q: Which products and companies do you feel are upcoming and should keep an eye on?
A: Well of course Real Reef Rock and the release of Real Reef Branch in 2013. I also liked Aqua Genesis’s Robotic Magnetic Cleaner. It’s pretty crazy to see that bad boy in action! I had to laugh….. are we all getting that lazy to have a Robot keep our glass algae free ! LOL !! I also really liked the fact this year’s Vendors had a big emphasis on sustainability and aquaculture. Really good to see the industry growing up.
Q: You manned the Real Reef booth with co-owner Gareth Scott this year. How was the overall response from the public and dealers regarding this eco-reef friendly product?
A: People who have used the product love it, ones that haven’t yet, really showed alot of interest. Overwhelmingly everyone really liked the idea that the product didn’t harm the coral reef habitat.
Q: Of all the hobbyist and industry people you spoke with, how many do you feel are really aware of the environmental impact wild Live Rock causes on the World’s coral reefs? What percent do you think know the truth on how wild rock is collected, handeled through the chain of custody from countries like Fiji? Please elaborate.
A: Seriousley very few… maybe 10%! I actually had hobbyist tearing up while explaining the reality of how wild Live Rock is collected. It’s shocking how many hobbyist, retailers and industry people have no idea how it’s collected and shipped.
Q: Where do you think the disconnect is?
A: They just don’t think about wanting to know the truth. Most hobbyist are just to busy with thier daily lives. Even the retailers don’t know the truth, and as a result don’t have the information to educate their customers. Hopefully with more emphasis on sustainability like in MACNA this year, we can help educate and change the future of the hobby.
Q: Do you think MACNA as a venue has done a good job educating the hobbyist on this front?
A: I think the Speakers emphasise sustainability, but the MACNA venue could do a better job shedding more light on these issues. It is getting better every year, but hope MACNA makes it more of a priority.
Q: Overall was MACNA 2012 a winner?
A: Yes, every year keeps getting better! Had a blast, good times! Looking forward to Miami next year. The whole Real Reef Team will be representing next year. Can’t wait !!!
Thanks Frank, appreciate your insight and time with this Q&A about MACNA 2012.