CT Frag Farmer's Market Invite- Storrs CT 3/7/20

I know its a haul for you guys but I know a few of you have made the journet and it is WELL worth the ride up!
The 13th annual Frag Farmer’s Market will be held this coming March 7th at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs CT. It has grown into the biggest single day swap in the country! Doors will open at 10am this year to give you an extra hour of coral madness! With over 100 vendors - including many of the big names, great local hobbyists and some exciting new faces for this year, who we never see in the northeast. You will not find a better selection of corals at any other show, and the set-up fee is so low for sellers, the prices for you end up better than at the other big shows. I pasted the coral vendor list for you all to drool over for now and will post the dry goods vendors in a week or two, when I get it finalized. All that and admission is just $5 to get in. Oh yeah, and the raffle already looks to be bigger and better than last year!!! I’ll post more info in the coming weeks as the details for this year’s FFM comes together. Hope to see you all at the FFM!

Coral Vendor List
AC Corals
Alex’s Advanced Aquatics
Antonio Silva
Aquatic Creations
Back Woods Reefs
Blake’s Aquaden
Blue View Aquatics
Cheesy Corals
Coral Reef Connection
Covey’s Coral Cove
Credable Coral Labs
Dirk’s Aquatics
Donovan Stout
Dr. Salomon Corals
E.O. Smith Coral Project
Exotic Fish and Corals
Fish Ninja
Frost Corals
Golden Basket Corals
Greg Demos - Aquacultured Acropora
Greg Hiller
Greg’s Corals
Hall High School Coral Project
Headie Corals
Jason Fox
Koral Craze
Marine Science Magnet School
Mike Herbas
Mod Corals
**** Corals
Motor City Corals
MR Reefs
Mystery Box
No Comp Clowns
NY Reef Aquatic
Ocean State Aquatics
Pacific East Aquaculture
Paul Spinnato
Pieces of the Ocean
Pop Corals
Reef Crazy Coral Propagation Center
Reef Creations
Reef Junkeez
Reef Trends
Reefshine Guys
Rich Beck Jr.
Rick Correira
Roaming Reefer
RozArt Corals
School of Fish
Sea Gardens
Sickn’Twisted Corals
Son and Sand
Talon’s Cove
Tank Breakers
T-A-R Corals
The Reef Shoppe
Tidal Wave Aquatics
TJM Corals
Ultimate Corals
Underwater Bliss
Wet Pets

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Thanks for posting Jon!! The kids and I had a blast last year. It only took us about 4 1/2 hours to get there. It is the biggest swap I have ever been to.
I traded some of my stuff for a few nice additions to my tank. Many of the vendors are ones we know, and sooooo many more.
We are definately making the ride again. We made it into a two day adventure by stopping in Manhattan, NYC to have lunch and see the Empire State building.
Who knows what we will get into this time…

If any one is wondering if it’s worth going, I would say it is! Do something adventurous, plan the trip!

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Thanks for the good word. I know it is a haul but I think anyone who trucks up will enjoy it. If you do make it up, make sure to stop the school’s tanks and introduce yourself. I’ll post up more info as it comes together!

Here is the preliminary list of “Dry Goods” companies that will be at the Frag Farmer’s Market this year. I still have a few “might come outs” but these are all the confirmed companies. We have some super cool additions to the list this year!

Aquatic Creations
Boston Aqua Farms
Building An Obsession
Champion Lighting
Colchester Pet
Custom Aquariums
Dirks Aquatic Store
Kimmie’s Cupcakes
Koral Kreations
Mike’s Phyto
MR Reefs
Mystery Box
Neptune Systems
No Comp Clowns
Ocean Nutrition
Octo Clowns
Red Sea
Reef News Network
Reef Nutrition
Reef Rax
Reef Shine Guys
Reef Trends
Rock Hard Reefs
Rod’s Food

I have three events that are happening at the FFM that I wanted to reach out and offer to you guys and girls.

#1- The 2nd annual FFM Corn Hole Tournament
Sponsored by the E.O. Smith Coral Project, OSA, and The Reef Shine Guys, it will be a single elimination tournament with matches every 15 minutes starting at noon. I have 16 spots open for play. The brackets will be released and shared prior to the FFM so participants can plan ahead. The winner of the tournament will receive:
-a $50 FFM gift certificate, good at ANY FFM vendor - thanks to the EOS Coral Project
-a Maxout Aquatics Package - thanks to OSA
-a Reef Shine Guys swag pack - thanks to the Reef Shine Guys

#2- Paint and sip (without the sip) with Rachel Fogel of Reef Weeds
At 1pm, Rachel will be hosting a paint along session with her in one of the open classrooms. After you are done, and it dries, you can take your painting home. All materials are provided (paint, canvases, smocks, etc…) Just bring your art skills and clothes that might get a little paint on them. There are 12 spots open for this.

#3- Make your own Koral Kreation with Kris Kaz
Kris is going to host a paint a coral event. Kris is going to prep a number of coral skeletons and bring them along for participants to choose from. Then you will get a lesson on Kris’ magic process and be able to create your own Koral Kreation that you will get to take home at the end of the day (after it dries). Again, all materials are provided for the painting session, just bring your creativity! There are 12 spots open for this.

All events are open to people 12 and older (younger kids can do the painting but need to have an adult painting with them). The best part? All three are FREE! Just shoot me an email at swansonjl@hotmail.com to let me know that you want a spot. The first people to email me get spots and I will make a wait list after that if spots open up.

The Paint a Coral session is full, still some space in the other two.

Less than a month to go! Here is the line up for the talks at this year’s FFM. I put together a nice variety of topics to try to hit something that everyone would be interested in. As with previous years, these talks are free with your admission to the FFM (which is only $5). Come out, shop for a while, take a break and listen to a talk, then go back and shop some more!

Here is the map for the 2020 FFM. Inevitably there will be some changes that get made but this should be pretty close to what it looks like for the day. I will have paper copies of the map available at the door that day!

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Wish they used frag swapper and not just the facebook page to setup trades. Is this ever going to be a option again? Seems fragswapper is falling to the waste side

I had one, a while back. Didn’t really work for the event. It is more of a market than a swap, and not many people used it. Think of the FFM more like a RAP, than a club meeting. There is so much shopping to do there, and so many people, that not many people want to trade stuff. I am always in a tough spot with people selling outside of the actual vendors because they pay to be there to sell (not much but they do make a donation to the school project) so I feel like I shouldn’t encourage other people selling. At the same time, I want to encourage you, as a hobbyist, to do more aquaculture of corals and make them available to other hobbyists. Its a tough spot for me, every year.
Here is a video that Craft Aquatic did last year on the event- should give you somewhat of an idea of what it is all about.

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:

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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!


I was going to go after lining up some CSB deals but now I can’t. Unfortunately I have 2 funerals to attend this weekend.
A lot of nice stuff is going to be there guys if you can do it you should.

Sorry to hear about your losses. Next year, March 6th, 2021?

I sure hope so. I have been wanting to go for some years now. I will make it one of these years for sure there are some high end acros I am looking for and some other goodies as well. I do plan to at least make reefapalooza this year.

Let’s see some pics of ur scores