Only a few days to go before the biggest single day swap in the whole US! Anyone even close to CT should give the Frag Farmer’s Market a shot. If you have never come out, you will not be disappointed. With 100+ vendors, mostly livestock, there are more corals at the FFM than at any other swap for sure. If you have come out in the past, you can vouch for that info!
Here are some of the FFM FAQ?
“I have to drive 4 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 some of the shops I like best. What if I could drive 4 to see all of the fish stores in one place. With almost 80 coral vendors again 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 a $5 entrance fee (and SUPER low vendor fee). The room after room of corals at the FFM is overwhelming, even to me and I have been at them all!
“How do I get tickets?”
Admission is $5 per person,kids under 12 are free! All ticket sales are at the door for the FFM. There are no advanced sales.
“Will there be high end Zoas and SPS at the FFM?”
-Yes, there are a TON of high end Zoas and SPS at the FFM, sold by many of the vendors. The FB group for the event has been blowing up with ?Who is brining (Fill in crazy name here) to the show?? and a few different people coming who have it answering. 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 and 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 and would be happy to share!
“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:
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…
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 still much cheaper. 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.
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+.
“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. Let me give you 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 this year) You see five 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 weight 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.
“Should I bring a cooler?”
Yes, bring a cooler. The good news is that you don?t have to lug it around all day. The FFM has added a FREE cooler check station. The volunteers at the station will watch your cooler for you all day. 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, coral, controllers to pumps, to AIO tanks, LED lights (including a Gen 5 Radion!) and a TON more! This year we even have TWO, yes TWO Neptune Tridents in the raffle. Raffle tickets are for sale all day at the FFM and the raffle is pulled at 4pm.
We also added a “High Rollers” raffle this year, where people who spend $50 in raffle tickets get an single entry, in addition to their $50 in tickets, into a special raffle for a dirty dozen coral pack of 12 SUPER high end corals.
“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 schools 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 $4000+ in scholarships over the last four years to students who are going to college to study marine science. So it all goes to a good cause!
Hope to see you all in a few days!