Here is the vendor list for this year's FFM:
Alex's Advanced Aquatics
Boston Aqua Farms
Boston Reef Society
Blue View Aquatics
Coral Reef Connection
Covey's Coral Cove
Dan Rigle’s Corals
Dr. Salomon Corals
E.O. Smith Coral Project
Exotic Fish and Corals
Fifth Alarm Corals
Golden Basket Corals
Greg Demos - Aquacultured Acropora
Hall High School
Hall Memorial High School
Marine Science Magnet School
Motor City Corals
Natchaug Elementary School Neptune Systems
Norwich Free Academy
NY Reef Aquatic
Ocean State Aquatics
Pieces of the Ocean
Reef Crazy Coral Propagation Center
School of Fish
Rock Hard Reefs
Salty Coral Wizard
Son and Sand
The Coral Farm
The Reef Shoppe
The Sound School
The FFM vendor list is FULL again this year and I still have a big waitlist of people who would love to get a spot, with more reaching out every week. I would love to have everyone set-up but it just isn’t feasible so I have been running a system where old sellers get their old spots back and then I add in new people if spots open up. As a result, there are a TON of people who want in and just have not gotten a spot to sell their crop at the FFM. To try to see if we can make a little contest of it, and get some sweet swag into the raffle (which looks to be the best FFM raffle ever already), I am going to hold the second annual “Free Vendor Space Contest.” The winner of the contest will get a guaranteed free spot at the 2023 Frag Farmer’s Market! All you have to do to enter is donate a frag into the FFM raffle. The raffle frag that receives the most tickets in its cup at the end of the day will win the contest and the person/place that donated it, gets a free space for the 2023 FFM. Contest Rules
-Anyone is eligible: shops, hobbyists, current vendors, waitlist vendors, new vendors, etc…
-Donations can be individual frags or frag packs but must be specific corals.
-Donors must let me know, via PM, what they are donating and send along pics to include in this thread and at the raffle table. I will update and post the various frags/packages here leading up to the FFM.
-Frags donated to this contest will all go into the FFM raffle and all proceeds will go to the school program.
-Frags must be present at the FFM to be eligible. I need to have them so the winner of the raffle for that frag can get them. They can be dropped off the day of the FFM or ahead of the FFM.
-Winner space is not transferable to another person/shop.
-Winner need not be present to win.
-Winner will be announced and notified after the FFM.
Any questions, feel free to ask!
I have had conversations with a few FFM vendors and some shared that “attendance is down at shows.” I hate to hear that, and some even told me that it “isn’t worth” coming out. I have other people who are more than happy to step into those open spots, no problem there, but “not worth it?” That one I can’t work with… I need you guys to PROVE THEM WRONG. COVID numbers are falling faster than the Bucs playoff odds for next year and I feel like the FFM is going to be the re-start for the reef hobby in our area. I want to be able to post a big smile after the FFM is over with the HUGE FFM turnout so the vendors who decided that it “wasn’t worth coming out” regret it. Here is what I decided to do…
The Prove Them Wrong Contest!
How to play:
Print out the FFM poster from the “CT Frag Farmer’s Market” group page on FB and bring it to a LFS, or shop that sells salt water/reef related items.
Put the poster up in the shop to let people know about the FFM (front desk, door, bulletin board, etc…). Please let the place know you are posting it! If they are reluctant, negotiate, or have them reach out to me I have a way to help them out with the FFM, even if they are not selling at it.
Take a selfie with the poster hung up in the shop and post the pic in this thread on the FFM FB page, with the store name and location, or send me a copy of the pic and I can post it on FB for you. That gets your name entered into the contest.
For every time you find a new LFS to put the poster up in, you get one entry into a raffle for a $100 FFM Gift Certificate that can be used at ANY of the vendors at the FFM!!!
Limit one poster per LFS and one entry per shop. So, only the O.P. gets the entry for that shop.
You get two entries if you post a pic of a receipt from the shop to prove that you bought something while you were there. Support your LFS!
No limit to the number of shops you can “claim” by hanging a poster and posting yourself with it.
“Local” is a relative thing. Let’s get the FFM poster up ALL OVER the East Coast and beyond. This is not just a New England thing.
Winner will be pulled from the list of posts on March 4th and the winner will be posted on the FFM group page on FB. The GC will be ready for pick up at the front gate at the FFM on March 5th.
Now, let’s go prove them all wrong and make the FFM the biggest it has ever been!
I realized that I had not been posting the raffle updates and such here. Trying to manage the FB group for the event has become a full time job... I thought I would take a few minutes and give you guys an update on some of the things that are going to be in the FFM raffle this year!
Tideline 10g AIO Tank - Thanks to Aqua Dreams
Photon V2 24" LED Fixture - Thanks to Reef Breeders
Reef Nano LED Light - Thanks to Reef Breeders
PAR Mapping of your Tank - Thanks to Reef Assist-CT
MP10 - Thanks to 5th Alarm Corals
AI Prime 16HD - Thanks to Covey's Cove
A80 and A360 LED Lights - Thanks to Kessil
75gpd RO/DI system - Thanks to Bulk Reef Supply
MP10 and AI Prime 16HD - Thanks to Ecotech Marine
HO Algae Scrubber - Thanks to Santa Monica Filtration
Reef Diaper Starter Sets - Thanks to Reef Diaper
Rack/Look down box/Camera Tube - Thanks to Building an Obsession
Proflux Controller Starter Set - Thanks to GHL
Hydros Control X3 Starter Set - Thanks to Coralvue
and that is just the stuff I have announced so far. I am saving some of the more exciting stuff for the next two weeks! Hope to see all my brothers and sisters from the city and surroundings up at the FFM on March 5th!
Good morning! Most of my posts are "Yeah Ra-Ra" posts for the FFM but this one is a tiny apology for screwing something up. Someone just pointed out that I had an old version of the FFM poster up here. All of the info on it is correct but the admission cost was not. It is $10 to get in this year, not $5. Although I do not pay to use the building for the FFM, I do pay for the custodians who help out. With the FFM as big as it is, they are there ALL day, even after we leave for the night. The cost for them has gone up each year so I made the call to bump the admission to $10 this year to try to offset it. Hopefully this isn't an issue for anyone who was planning to come out. You could look at it this way, all the $ goes to the school coral program anyway so it is just a slightly bigger donation?
High Roller Raffle Time!!!
Sometimes you see a frag in a raffle and are like, “Wow, that’s an awesome piece!” This is the FFM, we need to up out game a little so I put together TWO elite frag packs for the 2022 FFM High Roller Raffle! A number of vendors helped out to create two AMAZING frag packs this year, which means that TWO different people will win this year. The contents of the packs are listed below. I had 2022 FFM poker chips made up again this year (more on those to come) and here is why you want one of the special ones…
The first 22 people who purchase $100 worth of raffle tickets get a Limited Edition FFM 2022 Poker Chip with a raffle number on the back. These chips give you an entry into the FFM Elite Frag Pack raffle with a chance to win one of the following elite frag packs.
High Roller Raffle Pack #1 - Stickhead’s Delight
Angry Birds Acropora - Thanks to TJM Corals (Front of Lecture Hall)
Cherry Bomb Acropora - Thanks to Greg's Corals (Room 101)
Cofefe Acropora - Thanks to Pieces of the Ocean (Room 105)
GB Mars Attacks Acropora - Thanks to Golden Basket Corals (Room 109)
Orange Passion Acropora - Thanks to Son and Sand (Room 108)
Tiger’s Blood Acropora - Thanks to Marc Fishtank (Glass Hallway)
VooDoo Majick Acropora - Thanks to Marine Science Magnet School (Front Hallway)
High Roller Raffle Pack #2 - Mixed Bag
Dizzy Spell Montipora - Thanks to Jason Fox (Room 111)
Eclectus Mushroom - Thanks to NY Reef Aquatic (Glass Hallway)
Exosphere Zoas - Thanks to Backwoods Reefs (Front Hallway)
Gold Hammer - Thanks to Crazy Corals (Room 115)
Hellfire Gold Torch - Thanks to The Coral Farm (Front Lobby)
Rainbow Gonipora - Thanks to Salty Coral Wizard (Room 109)
Rajamelon Coral (one of a kind hybrid) - Thanks to Dan Rigle’s Corals (Room 101)
Spitfire Montipora - Thanks to Ocean State Aquatics (Back Hallway)
Yellow Submarine Favia - Thanks to USC Tom (Room 116)
There will only be 22 people in this special raffle and the only way to get entered into it is to be one of the first 22 people who buy $100 worth of raffle tickets. The raffle tickets are "normal" tickets and you can put them into cups for other raffle items, this is just a “buy in” for a chance to win one of the two packs. Support the school, win amazing coral packs, WIN-WIN! These spots went FAST last time and will go fast again this time for sure… Find Brian Pagan or myself to buy your tickets and get entered. Winners will be picked as soon as all the chips are out. The winner will be announced and contacted by phone to come pick up their pack. First winner gets first choice of the two packs. Second winner gets the remaining pack.
Okay, time to answer the question that everyone has been asking…
For starters, there are no vaccine requirements for the FFM, so there is no vaccine card needed to come. That was never really a thing here in Connecticut.
The town of Mansfield had a meeting on Monday to discuss the mask mandates in the town, and the school’s BOE met yesterday to make a decision regarding the mandate for the school itself. Both groups opted to follow the guidance of the CDC and EHHD (the local health district) and drop the mask mandates- making mask wearing optional for both the town and school. After much thought on the subject, I have decided to follow their guidance and do the same for the 2022 FFM. I am going to request, but not require, that people wear masks at the FFM this year.
That said, I do understand the concerns that people may have with that decision. Please understand that this was a lose-lose decision for me in that no matter what I decided, half of the people were going to be upset. We are in a strange transitional time from where everyone was wearing one to hopefully where no one feels that they need to. I had a number of things in place to make the 2022 FFM as safe and comfortable as possible for everyone and I think they still help. I have expanded into new areas of the school, without increasing the number of vendors, which should result in more space to move around. I also have fewer vendors in the halls and most of the rooms, again, more space. The layout of the FFM does result in some crowding but also gives you the chance to skip a room and just go into a less crowded one. The crowds always seem to shift from one room to another through the day. I believe that this year’s FFM layout would be better in a “normal year” but should also give people the ability to make choices that they are comfortable with while they are here in this transition time. I will also have masks available at the front table for people who would like to take one. Hopefully everyone understands and respects this difficult decision for this year.
I am not leaving this thread open for comments because I do not want this to become a venue for a mask/no mask debate, nor do I want that to be part of the FFM. I would encourage everyone who wants to wear a mask, do so, and everyone who would prefer not to is free not to. Please respect everyone’s choice in this, regardless of your thoughts and let’s get back to making this the best FFM ever!!!
Only a day, or so, to go before the biggest single day swap in the whole US! Anyone even remotely close to CT should give the Frag Farmer's Market a shot. If you have never come out, you will not be disappointed. With over 70 coral vendors, (over 90 total), there are more corals at the FFM than at any other swap/show for sure. If you have come out in the past, you are already coming out, so I will see you there! If you have never been, it is definitely worth the ride.
Here are some of the FFM FAQ?
"I have to drive 3 hours to get to the Frag Farmers, is it really worth it?"
-I always look at a big show this way; I drive an hour to go to a good fish store. What if I could drive 3 to see all of the fish stores in one place. With almost 80 coral vendors this year, this is the single largest grouping of corals you can find anywhere. No conference, no show, no swap focuses on just corals like the FFM. With a number of vendors similar to a RAP, or MACNA, but focused on just corals and only $10 to get in, you get a better selection here than anywhere. There is also a SUPER low vendor fee so the vendors tend to have better prices and a little less stress, so its a much more “chilled out” environment for everyone… with better prices!. The room after room of corals at the FFM is overwhelming, even to me and I have been to them all!
"What are the typical prices at the FFM?"
-The prices at the FFM tend to be better than you will find elsewhere for three reasons:
~One, the shops always stock up to sell at shows and give better pricing than you would see in their store, or online. They often do package deals, 5 for $50, etc...
~Secondly, the buy-in for shops is so low, they don't feel the pressure to make back their set-up fee. Typical shows this size charge $1000's for the space, mine is WAY under that, and only $30 for hobbyists. People always ask why don't I charge more, and the answer is I'm not in this for the money. I just want to be able to run my coral project with the kids at the school.
~Lastly, with so many vendors, you can find the same coral at multiple stations. That competition causes better prices. Frags range anywhere from free (yes that happens!) all the way up to $1000+.
How do I get tickets??
Admission is $10. All sales are at the door for the FFM. There are no advanced sales.
"Will there be high end corals at the FFM?"
-Yes, there are a TON of high end Zoas, LPS, and SPS at the FFM, sold by many of the vendors. The FB group for the event has been blowing up with “Who is bringing (Fill in crazy name here) to the show??” Pretty much everyone is answered with a few “Yeah, I’ll have that.” Every year, I see things at the FFM that I didn’t even know existed?
"Can I find easy to keep corals? I have a new tank or am just looking to fill some space."
-Yes, that is there too. Lots of the hobbyists farm easy stuff, GSP, mushrooms, leathers, xenia, etc... Our school project keeps mainly easy to keep stuff, stop by 107 and look!
"Do vendors accept credit cards?"
-Some do, some don't. Most of the shops do but some of the hobbyists do not. I always suggest cash, it’s a sure thing.
“How much money should I bring?”
This is a tricky question. Here is a word problem to describe it (sorry it's a teacher thing): When you leave home, you have $X you are planning to spend. You spend it in the first room of the FFM (there are 16 and three long hallways this year) You see two other things you want in the next room. You visit the ATM across the street and take out $Y for those pieces. Your cooler now weighs Z lbs. You leave having spent $X + $Y, and wishing you had bought that one other frag that you had never seen before. How long will your wife make you sleep on the couch when she finds out how much money you spent? and can you see the tank from the couch?
Seriously, I always suggest that people bring 2-3X what they think they will spend. The deals and variety are too good to pass up at the FFM and it only comes once a year.
“How do I get my new corals home?”
Bring a cooler. The good news is that you don’t have to lug it around all day. The FFM has a FREE cooler check station. Just drop your cooler off and we will keep it safe for you. If you need to drop something off, just stop by the table and throw it into your cooler! Don’t worry your stuff will be safe at the cooler station!
"Is there a raffle?"
Yes there is. It is one of the biggest you will see at a swap with anything from rock to supplements, fish to coral, controllers to pumps, lighting to AIO tanks, cutters to coral saws and a TON more! Raffle tickets are for sale all day at the FFM. Just find one of the guys walking around selling them.
"Where does all the money from the FFM go?"
Unlike most shows, ALL of the proceeds go to support the E.O. Smith High School Coral Project. I teach my students about corals, aquaculture and conservation by having them help me run the school’s coral farm. The FFM has become so successful that I have been able to start helping other schools get going with similar projects in their classrooms. I have also used the proceeds from the FFM to give out over $3000 in scholarships over the last six years to students who are going to college to study marine science.