The Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society is a regional aquaria club with over 100 members from greater Cincinnati and the surrounding tri-state area. Our members range from beginner to expert and work together to fulfill the club’s motto, “Knowledge, Propagation, Interaction”. Our club interactions aim to increase knowledge of marine ecosystems, focusing on the husbandry and captive propagation of coral and reef inhabitants. We are a proud member of the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America.
The formation of the Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society began around 1998 with a small group of passionate marine aquarists who utilized an online networking tool in an effort to connect with other hobbyists in greater Cincinnati.
With the captive husbandry of corals still just beginning to grow, these aquarists were looking for ways to obtain captive-raised coral fragments propagated close to home. Their sporadic rendezvous to exchange coral fragments with fellow reefkeepers eventually led to informal group meetings. These meetings became invaluable opportunities to learn the methods, mistakes, and accomplishments of the increasing number of fellow marine aquarists in the tri-state area.
In 2001, this small group of hobbyists formally founded The Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society to lay the framework for a resourceful, diverse, and connective club. Remembering these humble beginnings, The Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society always strives to preserve its neighborly roots while guiding and supporting its ever-growing number of members in the husbandry of their own coral reef aquaria.
The third, climatic term in the motto of The Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society is "Interaction". Through interaction, the first and second terms in the motto ("Knowledge" and "Propagation", respectively) are accomplished. The club offers many exciting events throughout the year to assist, educate, and inspire its members.
Every March, as we embark into the new year, the "Kick-Off Meeting" is held. Open to all, this event features an informative and exciting seminar with an authoritative marine aquarist. The meeting concludes with a large raffle for members.
Each month thereafter a club meeting is held, usually at a member's house. Here, after introductions and club announcements, members of the club discuss reefkeeping topics in a causal, inviting atmosphere. Some meetings may play host to various demonstrations, lectures, or hands-on activities and usually conclude with a small raffle of donations from club sponsors.
In January, there is no meeting as the club hosts The Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society Annual Frag Swap. At the swap, hundreds of hobbyists from miles and miles around gather to exchange coral fragments propagated in their own aquaria. Club sponsors and vendors also set up booths. A very large, impressive raffle concludes the swap featuring hundreds of items donated by club sponsors, hobbyists, and national/international companies in the industry.
In addition to these monthly events, occasional club field trips are held. Destinations have included the Newport Aquarium, various club sponsors, and other vendors in the area. Along with the family-friendly discussion forums at cincyreef.com, these events serve as the main facilitators of club interactions.
The view of a coral reef is, perhaps, the most captivating and awe-inspiring sight on earth. The fact that this environment, seemingly from a distant world, can be enclosed in a glass box and brought into our very homes is nothing short of incredible.
As the marine aquarium industry continues to grow so does the responsibility of The Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society and its members to educate and support prospective hobbyists so they can successfully contribute to the hobby and enjoy the fruits of their labor. With this growth come unprecedented opportunities for thousands of individuals to study the specimens contained in marine aquaria, to perfect husbandry techniques, and to pursue captive propagation.
With "Knowledge" of the marine ecosystem and the organisms within it, captive "Propagation" of marine species, and the "Interaction" of marine aquarists to share knowledge and techniques, the efforts of The Cincinnati Reefkeepers Society, other members of Marine Aquarium Societies of North America, and dedicated hobbyists the world over will sustain marine aquaria into the future.