Discussion with Science Teacher Robert Lutz
FYI - Last night I talked to Robert Lutz and he appears to be legitimate.
I believe that we should support him financially one time and eventually with frags when the new tank is up. He appears to be legitimate.
The current 75g reef system is 4 yrs old and they are outgrowing this system.
In the past, he has received donations from Kent (via Ian Poole and apparently Don/Doug [sales rep] also knows and has helped this school tank) and from Aquarium Systems (with Instant Ocean and Reef Crystal salt donations).
He has currently raised several hundred dollars for the purchase of a 120 g stand, tank and canopy. The current 75 g is already outfitted with the proper equipment to handle upgrading to a 250.
He wants a bigger tank for more depth for a larger sandy bottom for low light corals and also for more fish.
He's been in the hobby for 4 yrs and has received past support from the PTA, "Yamaha", Kent and Aquarium Systems and very recently the BOD of the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association approved donating $100 to him even though his tank is a reef tank (I've confirmed this with discussions with Ken Davis and Mark Powell).
2-3 Middle School kids are responsible for maintaining the tank. Robert oversees a 7th grader instructing a 6th grader about proper feeding, care and maintenance.
He incorporates the reef tank in his science instructions:
* to 7th graders he uses it to teach Life Sciences
* to 8th graders he uses it to teach Oceanography and also light wave behaviour (e.g. Diffraction grading)
It is in a very visible location (main entryway) while located along the library glass wall. It is viewed on both sides and has LR in the center of the tank.
He has LPSs (e.g., galaxia and bubble coral) and a few SPSs (e.g., montiporia [sp?]), but primarily has soft corals (e.g., zooanthids). There are 4 110-w VHOs powered by an Icecap: 2 actinic, 2 50/50s.
The system also has a 20g refugium with macro algae and a seahorse.
He has his own reef tank at home and keeps things separate.
Since he lives near the school, he plans to continue to maintain the current 75g tank through the summer just as he has in the past while he gathers the funds for the 120. He plans on buying the 120 and doing the upgrade this summer while school is closed. Once the 120 is in place, he will transfer the equipment and livestock into the 120. The tank currently has a yellow tang, kole tang, hawkfish, neon goby, false perc, engineer goby, pajama cardinal and a yellow chromi along with the above corals.
He is currently seeking monetary donations for buying the 120. In addition, he'd like a few more powerheads (1200) and another ballast to have 2 sets of light [rather than all 4 that come on together] so that it can mimic daylight gradually increasing and decreasing.
He's also willing to trade frags to increase the diversity. He has fragged the galaxia 4 times which now are baseball sized frags.
I sent him an email about the current ARC thread regarding Jenn buying a customer's 120.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding what I discussed with Robert Lutz.
****** End of Background discussion with Robert Lutz ******
Personally, I'd like to see us support an effort like this on the northern or northeastern side of Atlanta since that's where the majority of the members reside, but since I know of no other similar effort, I'll support this educational project.
I also agree with William that the membership should vote on this since this borderlines the normal scope of the BODs. It's in our scope since it promotes education, but it's somewaht outside of our scope since it's promoting/benefiting folks outside our membership.
I'd also like to see us do something like this (i.e., maintain a reef tank) in Garden Eden if we make that our permanent location, but that's another discussion.