Good evening fellow TCMAS members! A LOT has happened in the past few years. As many of you may know, I've been a fish breeder for a long time, and yes, the Lightning Maroon Clownfish (www.Lightning-Maroon-Clownfish.com) came to fruition up here in Duluth, MN. At the same time, I was busy working on the Banggai Rescue Project (www.Banggai-Rescue.com), which had forced a large buildout of my Duluth fishroom. Knowing that success at breeding means you have to find homes for fishes, I also undertook a truly eye opening run at breeding freshwater Angelfish on a somewhat commercial scale. I looked at what we produced as finding a way to support local shops with superior quality fish that customers couldn't find at their competitors / through other avenues. It worked extremely well for the customers who understood how to market what I produced. At the time, I was strictly wholesale, and remained that way for the past few years. The fish we've produced up here have been seen at local aquarium shops in MN, although not necessarily with my name directly attached to them. We had a rough couple years starting in that really bad winter of 2013/2014 - our home suffered extensive winter storm damage; we had ceilings and walls collapse with multiple water incursions, and by spring, we had a massive mold problem in the areas that had been damaged. At my wife's request, I kept this out of the "public eye"; she didn't want people to think we were looking for pity, which I understood. On the other hand, it was tough not being able to vent and commiserate with friends. The resulting mayhem in our lives was confounded by an insurance company directive to remove EVERY aquarium from my home (long story very short, for a while they tried to tie our damage to the aquariums, although later that was refuted. Of course, they also used them as an excuse to drop us following our claim, even though documentation was shown that they knew all along and, afterall, they carried my business insurance). I had sold off my angelfish production, and had stopped all breeding efforts while wading through this difficult time period. Things only somewhat returned to normal for our family by June, 2015. On the one hand it feels like forever ago, and yet on paper, we're not even a year away yet. As I fired business back up in late 2015, it became apparent that with offerings now primarily of admittedly expensive fish like Lightning Maroons, it could be very difficult for a shop to place an order. After some soul searching, and many frustrating attempts to connect interested buyers with their local shops to purchase through the LFS, I came to the decision that things would have to change. With that, I spent over 2 months feverishly building the online retail presence for my company; www.MiniWaters.FISH - It officially launched January 1st, 2016. Now, before I go one step further, I need to emphasize one very important point - I am STILL offering WHOLESALE pricing to every LFS, and our retail markups are such that any LFS in the area *should* be able to undercut my online, direct pricing to you. Now, not everything I offer is available at wholesale to your preferred LFS, but if it the wholesale availability on the bottom of the page says "yes", then they can buy it direct from me and make a profit on it! So Why Retail? Adding retail solved a number of issues AND created new opportunities. For starters, finally, when someone in Texas says "I'd like a Lightning Maroon", they can just buy one direct if they want. This was the most frustrating part of the last few years...turning away customer after customer on the premise that I was "strictly wholesale"...sadly these leads never turned into purchases from a LFS. Next, adding retail has allowed me to pursue relationships with suppliers and vendors that before wouldn't have done business with me, or simply wouldn't have made sense to deal with. Adding a retail side to MiniWaters allows me to bring in fish purchased at different pricing levels...some things I'm able to buy in bulk and offer at a reasonable wholesale price to a LFS, while other things come in so expensive (being already purchased at wholesale) they can only be retailed. By expanding the diversity of what I can offer, both wholesale and retail, everyone wins. Within that diversity I'm able to offer up fishes, particularly captive-bred variants, that are being overlooked by the mainstream online retailers and even your LFS. Items like the "Stripeless Cinnamon Clownfish.... Or the Fijian Sunkist Pink Skunk Clownfish.... Or heck, even something like a tank-raised Black Ghost Knife Fish! So while www.MiniWaters.fish serves to make these fish available, it is also an educational platform for you, and my LFS customers alike. These fish are out there, and they are fantastic. And now you know. And yes, you can still get a WYSIWYG Lightning Maroon Clownfish: For MN residents, yes, I have to charge you sales tax...this is a 100% above board company! Delivery in the region is amazingly affordable if we use SpeeDee Delivery; I also have FedEx options at our disposal if you want your shipping guaranteed. Of course, I highly recommend that you ask your LFS to get in touch with me to place an order - I still, to this day, believe strongly in supporting our LFS. If we've done business in the past, generally there won't be issues sending a shipment to a LFS (provided they're able to meet a reasonable minimum wholesale order). http://www.miniwaters.fish/wholesale-inquiries-with-miniwaters/ Going forward... Going forward I'm going to keep my user profiles here very distinct. MiniWaters is in fact ME, Matt Pedersen, but in the interests of keeping the "commercial" vs. "personal" firewall up, I will generally post as mpedersen, but if it's anything to do with selling or buying livestock - MiniWaters is the username to contact. I can be emailed directly at firstname.lastname@example.org - that's the FASTEST way to get a response. As far as the TCMAS Saltwater Expos, at this point in time I still only plan to be on hand representing LSMAC, doing our traditional huge frag grab box blowouts. That said, pre-paid deliveries of orders can be made at events I am attending. And NO, pickups are NOT available in Duluth; we are not insured for walk-in customers. If you want to buy and pick up something in Duluth, order it through Mark or Lisa at World of Fish up here. If you have any questions, please ask. This an exciting, and admittedly challenging chapter for my aquarium livestock offerings. The fishroom is in a state of flux and redesign to accommodate this new side of the business. Breeding should resume here in the next couple months if all goes well. Yes, there will be an interesting mix of Freshwater and Marine fish on hand, and if things go well, you might even see the addition of locally-produced coral frags too! I look forward to hearing what you all have to say, and look forward to sending you all some great fish in the weeks, months, and years ahead.