Local Customer Testimonials

Thank you so much for the beautiful Neon Green Sinularia..... within an hour it was fully extended, and appeared very happy to be in it's new home. We still can not believe the coloration it has, it will be a center piece in our reef. We are so excited to have found you, we recently moved to Maine from Boston, upon doing so I realized that Maine did not have the volume of local fish stores we had there, and I was not looking forward to mail order or Chain stores to purchase live stock from..... So when we walked thru your doors it was such a pleasant surprise, and well worth the 1 hour drive from Bath. We enjoyed talking with you..... And my son has a tank all planned out for his room after seeing your display tanks...lol. Long story short.... We could not be happier at this time, the Mandarin we purchased is absolutely gorgeous, and he has some of the best coloration I have ever seen. I can't wait to come back and pick up more..... This hobby needs more people as dedicated as you are to helping people succeed. Thank you, until next time (very soon)
The Martin's, Bath, Maine

Baby Banggai Cardinal Born & Raised With NO Assistance!!

My customers Bob & Dot Morin who have been running a 90g AquaCorals setup over 4 years just found they are grandparents!!  Most may know that these Cardinals readily spawn in captivity BUT what's soooo very amazing is that this baby was born & raised with NO assistance in their reef tank!!  Normally the fry of any fish are placed in their own tank outside the reef and target fed.  Didn't happen here!  This baby was just spotted in the tank one day!  I personally have NEVER heard of this happening especially when the tank is populated with so many fish!  I think it's soooo cool that our minimalist reef systems are so healthy (thanks to Bob & Dot's care too :c) & obviously produce enough plankton foods to support a baby fish!  Did Daddy Banggai teach Jr how to eat frozen Cyclopeeze etc.?  We may never know.  Congratulations Bob & Dot!!  Yes, it's time to mow that ocean garden too!  :c)

Baby behind Dad's butt
Look close  :c)
Baby Banggai
Baby Banggai 
Bob & Dot's 90g reef 

Subject: I Loved It

Hello Penny, this is Mark.  I was blown away with all the knowledge and info you gave me today. It is the best feeling in the world to be in your shop and I'm looking forward to dealing with you.  I told my son and better half that we might stop in to see you again real soon.  I think they would love the shop. I'm going to check on that sand I told you about and I look forward to more wonderful knowledge that you have. Thanks again.  I loved it so much and thanks for your patience. We need more people in the world like yourself.
Thanks, Mark, ME


Thank you for the receipt. We went up there to make a purchase and instead got a whole experience! Your store is amazing!  We will keep you informed of our progress and hope to see you up there again soon!

~Peter Kenyon, ME

Hi Penny,

I just got home from looking at a 72 bow front reef on craigslist a town over. It was a complete train wreck.  He told me of two pet stores that helped him set things up.  He had no powerheads, and old wet dry filter, an older protein skimmer that wasn't working, UV sterilizer and a Sunpaq with 2 of it's original bulbs still working. The tank was covered in cyano and hair algae.  The rocks couldn't be seen.  It was kept at a steady 83 degrees.  It's no wonder this guy wanted out of the hobby and was a motivated seller.  I passed on it because I don't want the headache of fixing it.  Even when my aquariums got a little less love after Nolan was born they were still in decent shape. The whole ride home I was so angry at the bad advice that he was given. I remembered my first trip to AquaCorals wanting a small tank with 2 clownfish and an anemone, finding a passionate, caring enthusiast that did her very best to teach me everything I needed to know before taking the plunge, even making me fight my urge for that first fish until everything cycled and in general getting me off on the right foot.  If only he had the fortune of meeting you first. I'm in awe by how much better my experience and the lives of my countless critters have been because of AquaCorals. Keep educating the new reefers!

Thank you,

Scott M
Old Town, ME 

Hi Penny;
I received your e-mail concerning your sale, and the bubble anemones. Also noticed the article on the bristle worms. Even recognized my strain in one of the pictures! It was comforting to see a pic of the strain I have, as now there is no doubt of what I have in my tank.
"...Will definitely be back sometime in the near future though. It is comforting to know however, when someone buys from you, the transaction does not end there, but you are willing to baby sit us through the learning curves.

Thanks again for everything you do for your fellow aquarist.

Joe Barbee
Milford, ME

Hi Penny~
I came in to your store a couple of months ago for the first time with my kids (who loved looking at your tanks) looking for something to fatten up my mandarin goby.  You suggested PE Mysis and I cannot express how grateful I am to you for recommending the mysis.  My mandarin, who was very emaciated when I purchased him from PetCo, is now a fat, happy little butterball.  All of my other fish have improved, as well.  I thought they were all doing fine, as I fed them a varied diet of San Francisco Bay foods (Marine Cuisine, Emerald Entree, Brine Shrimp and Butterfly and Angel food) and they all seemed to be happy little fish, with the exception of the goby, who was not doing well from the first day I brought him home.  Now...the change is just amazing in all of the fish.  Their colors are more vibrant, they are all more active.  My Blue Tang has doubled her size since I started feeding the mysis.  The only change I have made is feeding the mysis and again, I am so very grateful for the recommendation.

"...We will be getting a larger tank (at least 125 gallons) when we redecorate our living room in a few years and at that time I will be certain to come to you for all of my livestock and live rock purchases..."

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  You've absolutely secured a customer for life with me. 
Rachael Robbins
Augusta, ME

Hello Penny,
Thank you so much for all your help and the tour of AquaCorals yesterday. You are really fun to be around and you can tell you love your fishies! Your store is so nice and clean and all the fish and corals were thriving. Myaquarium tomato clown LOVES the bubble tip anemone. He hasn't left it since I put it in the tank! It's so fun to watch him "snuggle" the BTA.
Thank you again and the metallic orange mushroom is so awesome! SO glad I did get it...haha
I hope to visit again soon! And maybe pick up some more seahorses in the future ;c) haha
Kind Regards,
Bristol, Maine

Hi Penny,

     I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to show Abby and I around yesterday.  What an eye opening experience for both of us.  I could tell that you really love what you do.  In today’s world, no one ever seems to take the time like you did to explain things like you did.  I really appreciate you showing and letting Abby touch different corals and cucumbers.  I would like to say that maybe someday we will have a tank that we bought from you.  Until then, I will continue to let everyone know about what a great store you have.  Good luck in the future and have a great day.
Thanks again,

Hello Penny,
Barry & Michele here from P.E.I. We had a great trip home. Thank you so very much for all your info while we were there.  We left you $29.00 but you could have sold me $100.00 worth of fish, but you didn't.  Shows you really care, I thank you .  I would love to have a setup like yours some day? You never know!!!.

"(tank upgrade instructions) ...I know you said all this when we were there, but I was in to much of a daze with all the sights for it all to sink in.
Thank you again,
Barry & Michele
P.E.I., Canada

Hey Penny,
Just wanted to let you know despite the 2 hour ride home the tangs are doing excellent.  They became buddies instantly and my clownfish swims around now with them.  The tank looks amazing now.  I'll send some pics soon.

N Waterboro, ME

Subject: todays trip Thanks again Penny. You are such a great help and the snails are all doing their jobs well. I really appreciate everything that you do for us and we can not be happier that we found you. Thanks again for everything and we will definitely be back soon.
Chris and Stacey Shaw
Readfield, ME

Subject: Many Thanks

Hi Pen,

Wow what a night, I just wanted to thank you again for being so awesome and helping me save "Romeo" my seahorse. Who would have thought we could be so attached. If you hadn't taken the time to call me back, I don't think he would have survived. I was so scared, I have never preformed surgery on a seahorse, or anything else for that matter. I followed your directions, and with a needle removed all the air bubbles from his pouch. I still can't believe I did it. Wow!

Oh, and by the way, The aptasia in the seahorse tank is now official GONE since I purchased the Lemon peel Angel.  Now my 46 gallon has the same problem, so I will be in to purchase one for the other tank.

Thanks for all you do!

Burnham, ME
Notes From Penny:  Kelly used the blunt end of a needle to gently open the seahorse pouch to evacuate the gas bubbles.  If you have a seahorse that has GBD (Gas Bubble Disease) please contact me & I'll be more than happy to help you remedy it.

"... I also want to say thanks again for taking care of me on this situation, I consider it above and beyond in the range of customer service, I truly appreciate it. I cant wait to come down again to see what else you've gotten in since my last visit.
Bangor, ME

I really want to thank you for taking the time to give me all that helpful information and point me in the right direction starting in this awesome hobby. The trip was totally worth the drive!!

New Hampshire

Subject: Aiptasia Anenomes
Hi Penny, 
I wanted to let everyone in on my experience and the great outcome from finding your store on line.  I have a 75 gal tank, have had it for around three years and started to notice things finally growing out of my live rock I was so excited until they were everywhere in the sand, all over my rock, and three of them were huge!  I e-mailed Penny and very quickly she responded to tell me they were aiptasia and they were very bad.
Penny suggested I purchase a Lemon peel Angel.  I brought one home thinking no way would this one fish take care of my HUGE problem.  Within 2 weeks all the aiptasia are gone except the 3 big ones that I have thought about injecting but the angel seems to be picking away at them, so I might wait and see what happens.  Thank you so much for the great advice Penny!  I am a new comer to Aqua Corals and have really enjoyed talking with you and just looking at your beautiful tanks.
Thanks again
Wiscasset, ME

Subject: Lemon Peel and Aiptasia

Hi Penny, 
Just wanted to say, thank you for your advise on the Lemon peel Angel. Like Leaslie, I too had a problem with aiptasia. After the first couple of weeks I didn't see any difference, and didn't think it was going to work.  However, today when I was cleaning the tank, they were almost gone. It seems that Mr. Lemon Peel has munched most of the pesky aiptasia away.  I still have a couple of large ones in the tank, but the smaller ones are gone and I am confident that he will clean up the rest of the problem.  Thanks for all you do!

Burnham, ME

Happy 1 Year Birthday!  Customer Tank:  Tom & Dawn's 90 Gallon!
I am proud to feature this tank.  Setup using the AquaCorals "recipe" Tom & Dawn's tank has blossomed & "grown" in just a few months.  Click on any of the pictures to see a larger, more detailed version.

3/07 - Newly set up.  Only 2 coralline "seed" rocks.
6/07 - In just 3 months!!  4/08 & what a beautiful transformation & gorgeous reef tank!  Tom & Dawn's tank is a true testament to the success of this system as well as to their personal commitment to it. Congratulations Tom & Dawn & Happy Birthday!  :c)

Subject: Thank You

I just wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you.  My wife and I were very impressed by you and your store.  It is nice to see a store owner care for their live stock as much as the people purchasing it does.  Unfortunately that is not always the case in your profession.  The Xenia is doing great.  Opened immediately once in the tank, and has since attached itself to the rock is was placed on, and the snails...  Their never ending appetite is amazing.  They will have the tank spotless in no time.  Again thanks and we are looking forward to seeing you again.  You and your store are well worth the trip.
Aaron & Rachel
Berwick, ME

Subject: Xenia Split

Hi Penny,
I came back to Bangor today after visiting my parents & stopped into the office and my Xenia is now two Xenia's! It's amazing how quickly this Canary Coral has grown. Everything's looking really nice. ... I was in Portland this weekend and checked out another reef/saltwater store. The corals were bleaching or bleached, some of the fish were not healthy (or reef safe),  one tank had two huge Aptasia's growing in it, and the way the water was circulated was leaving bubbles all over the coral, many of the corals were dying, they had a what would have been a beautiful pink hammer coral that was down for the count. There were so many customers in the store buying things left and right. This experience made me aware of the knowledge I have gained since being introduced into this hobby, following your advice and learning from your experience has made me a more knowledgeable  consumer, and a more competent reefer. I want to express my thanks for the help and wisdom you've shared with me as my mentor.
Have a great week,
Scott M.
Old Town, ME

Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience regarding starting and maintaining a saltwater aquarium. I have been in this hobby for almost five years and I'm hooked. Initially, I went the unconventional route of reading, gathering information on-line, and purchasing corals/fish at Pet Shops along with on-line not knowing Penny was available to assist me. My first meeting with Penny was information, reassuring, and comforting to know I could turn my failures into success. She was so knowledgeable and so accessible to me. I have been working with Penny for well almost four years and have been extremely successful with my current corals and fish tank.  Television is a thing of the past. I love sitting in front of my fish tank for hours enjoying the fish and admiring how beautiful the aquascape is.
Penny is more than an expert at saltwater aquariums. She's a friend. Thank you for helping me be confident and successful in this fun hobby.
Johnna Bowen
Benton, ME

Title:  Fish Color vs. Food Quality

 Hi Penny,

I’ve always fed my tank the foods that you’ve recommended.  I used to feed them a mixture of Mysis shrimp, cyclopeeze, and formula two flake.  After my last visit to you, I replaced the mysis with PE Mysis.   Until recently I always bought my fish in groups and I’ve only bought fish from three different sources.  The fish I’ve bought from you have always been beautifully colored in your tanks and they continue to maintain their colors months after I’ve brought them home.  Some time ago, I purchased a pair of oscellaris clowns from another location.  They looked great, healthy, they acclimated well, and they were eating well.  The smaller one never really adjusted to it’s new surroundings and after a month of increasingly timid behavior, it died.   A few months ago I bought my remaining clown a new buddy from the same store that the pair originally came from.  When I was in the store,  this new little guy looked great.  His color was good, fins, behavior, eating, so I brought him home.  After he acclimated and I released him,  he headed straight down for the frogspawn that my established clown is hosting  and guess who came out to greet him.  Aside from the fact that it was one of the cutest moments I’ve seen in my tank when the established clown came swimming up and did a body twist like I never saw before to say “Hey buddy”, it was then that I noticed that the new clown was such a pale orange in comparison to my established one that I was almost worried.   To make a long story a little shorter….Today they are both a beautiful deep orange.  They look today like they came from the mother instead of looking like different species when they first met up.

 Thank you for recommending high quality food, but even more important than that.. Thank you for feeding your fish the same high quality food you recommend even though it’s more costly instead of cutting corners.

Thanks as always,

Hi Penny,

Can you believe that almost a year has passed since I first walked into your shop? It was Labor Day weekend that I had set up a saltwater tank with no knowledge of how to do so. I had visited your shop many months prior to that, but hadn't convinced myself to take the plunge yet. It was on my mind though, that's why I got it going on Labor Day. Then I  decided to take a little trip to see your place. That was the beginning of my reef addiction for sure! !!!! I remember clearly when I told you how I had my sand placed in it, you said I had it backwards. I had coarse on bottom and fine on top You said fine goes on bottom-coarse on top. I was so ticked that I hadn't come to you sooner. I had worked all day getting it set up wrong. haha. So, reluctantly, I went home, drained it, took out what seemed to be a ton of sand, removed all of the rocks, put it all back correctly. got the sump set up, hooked up the overflow box (another one of your suggestions when I was there) and away we went again! Only this time, it was right. It worked and I have a beautiful tank to show for it. I may have ignored someone else, but the appearance of your shop with its beauty and comfy atmosphere made me feel so good that I wanted to have a tank of my own that made me feel that way.  And now I do. My husband was sold on your ideas from the beginning. He said that your shop was so beautiful that it was apparent that you knew what you were doing and that we should listen to you.  Since then I've had some beautiful corals from your shop and many I've split, many have grown so much that I had to set up a new tank. Ya right! Had too?? This hobby has truly consumed me. Its the best hobby I've ever had in my life. I enjoy it every day and never get tired of looking at it or taking care of it. I faithfully do 10% water changes every week .My tank perimeters are always perfect and the water is always crystal clear. I wouldn't have this beautiful tank if it wasn't for you, your advice, helpful hints, know how and most of all your patience.  You taught me how to set a tank up that would remain stable and beautiful for years to come.   I now have one beautiful tank and another heading in that direction.

See you soon!
Thank you so much.
Glenda Knowlan
Wayne, ME

I really appreciate your attentiveness and care to your product and service.....it is unfortunately a rarity these days. It sounds like you love this hobby as much as I do and can relate to how important it is for me to succeed.... I will speak to you soon.....thanks again Penny.

Brian, New Jersey

Subject: Kent RO filter

Hi Penny,
When I was setting up my reef, I went with all of the equipment you recommended with one exception.  I decided that I could save some money if I bought an RO/DI filter on EBay instead of getting the Kent Ro filter that you recommended.

As my reef settled down from all the cycling and expected initial algae blooms etc, I seemed to be contending with much more algae, planaria, and cyano than I should have.  I wasn’t overfeeding, lighting was appropriate, I added an additional powerhead to eliminate flow as a potential cause, and finally I had my water tested for TDS.  The output of my DI was reading 33 TDS.  DI should be at zero and RO should be far below 33 itself.

I finally listened to you and bought a Kent RO filter.  I haven’t tested the TDS of the new RO, but I don’t have to.  The difference has been more apparent with every weekly water change I’ve done since.   Algae growth has slowed to the point now that it’s not growing back where I remove it from.  I have not had any cyano trying to take hold since the first new Ro water change.  The top of my sand is staying much cleaner with each change.  The coloring of the sand bed against the glass is becoming much less pronounced  again with each change.  The growth of green on the inside of my glass has slowed considerably as well.

In short, as you said, the Kent Ro filter made a huge difference.  Trying to save that money up front was certainly not worth it with all the additional work and aggravation over the past months.   Thank you for recommending top quality products like this! 
Paul - NH

To: 'Penny - AquaCorals'

Hi Penny,

I just wanted to share a quick update with you regarding my reef.

I’ve crossed the 5 month mark and things are going quite well, really. My buddies in the reef have survived a few power outages over the winter and everyone is looking happy and healthy. I have to thank you for the confidence to overcome my latest two challenges. The first was Cyano bacteria. Hopefully anyone with a new reef will believe you when you tell them that they can expect many forms of algae and bacteria outbreaks within the first year of their reef. Cyano may be the most trying between visible patches and required maintenance.

As you told me, low flow is a major contributing factor to cyano. In addition to your recommended scrapings/siphons/nettings of the cyano, I added an extra powerhead and again at your recommendation left the lights off completely for two days and I have not seen cyano since then. As I read forums etc about the hobby, that is a huge victory and I only did what you recommended. Thank you.

The next scourge is red flatworms. I have to admit that I panicked when I first saw them. I wanted to pull the rock I saw them on, get natural ‘feeders’, quite frankly the day I first saw them, I may have done anything, whether it was the right thing to do or not….

The advice I got from you was to relax. Go figure!

You told me that these little guys aren’t really the scourge they are made out to be. You told me to maintain my 10% weekly water changes, siphon any of these critters I could see, and stay the course. Ha! Imagine that I’m the skeptic, but wetwebmedia completely agreed with you. They mentioned potential natural predators but they may have also threatened my existing reef population, so even though they were all included in my initial email to you, they were all excluded from the fix.

Patience became the mantra.

This wasn’t new. The months it took me to build my system proved that nothing worthwhile would come quickly. You told me to stay on course with my weekly 10% water changes, siphoning of the red flatworms as possible, and run carbon and phosphate remover hard.

The next step, I think makes a huge leap of faith that starts at the beginning of the reef.

What do I know? The answer to that is Nothing.

One of the huge reasons that I built a reef according to Penny’s specifications is that Penny is right. I don’t know better than her, If I want to start a reef that builds it’s success on what Penny has seen, Then when Penny says be patient, I’m patient!.

My red flatworm population recently reduced by 2/3 with no action on my part but regular water changes and siphoning and attention to water parameters. I was doing just this and overnight the flatworms reduced by 2/3 easily. They are still there, but what Penny told me, that my patience would be rewarded, is true.

As always , I’ll keep you posted.

Paul, NH
PS...Methods are just methods, methods and in a science of opinions, one is as good as another.  I’ve yet to find a true mentor besides you.  Every lfs has their prescribed ideal system, but do any of them give the bottom line like you do in your  “Tips for beginners”?  Of all the ‘stuff’ I read online before I started building anything, nothing made more sense than that.   That set the hook.  =)


How is it possible that you are ALWAYS right?  It is incredible!  I used 2 of your Reefing Tips in the past 2 days! 

1. The mysteriously missing 6 Line Wrasse ...Guess what....I found a Mantis Shrimp in my tank!!  I had heard some clicking..but I always thought it was my 2 Pistol Shrimps.  I have a feeling that a sleeping 6 line would be no match for a Mantis  I saw him a few days ago...and I had NO idea how I was going to catch him.  I was showing (okay bragging) about the tank to a friend of my wife's who was visiting. At that moment, I saw the Mantis sticking out of a hole in a small piece of base rock. I immediately ripped off my shirt asked my wife and her friend to hold the light up. I quickly put my arm in the tank...picked up the rock as fast as I could and threw it in my refugium. I then saw the mantis come out of the hole...I got him! Hopefully no more missing fish.  The new Wrasse is doing great.

 2. My Skimmer was making an awful noise....it wasn't doing a great job anyway...so I turned it off and would deal with it after work.  When I got home, I pulled the skimmer out to see what that problem was.  Since I had to pull it all out...I figured I would clean it...since I have only cleaned the collection cup since I got it.  I rinsed it and used a maxijet prefilter sponge to scrub in the inside...It was filled will ickies and silt!I pulled the pump out and took it apart.  The noise was a piece of Plastic Bag the got lodged in the impeller...cleaned up pump.  I put the skimmer back in....and I am getting skimmate like I have NEVER seen before.  I had to put the adjustment bar all the way down or else I feared the cup would overflow.  It is working better than it ever has. 

Just wanted to thank you for your weekly reefing tips!  Keep them coming!  It is a wonderful service you give your customers! 

Steve Charles
Penny Replied:

Hi Steve, 

All I can say is...Wow!....& thank you for sharing your stories!  You were so VERY lucky to get that
 Mantis in one shot!  I'm so glad you did too!

It's nice to hear my Reefing Tips are helpful.  They are just tips from my own experiences....& that of customer issues I've dealt with.   All in hopes by reading them, people can avoid or identify & cure problems in their own tanks.  I'm super happy they helped you fix a couple of BIGGIES.  :0)

To: Penny - AquaCorals
Subject: Re: Another Newcomer--Another Question

Hi Penny,

Thank you for the great experience at your store yesterday. What a place and wow you must work around the clock to keep everything going. I'll definitely be back with styrofoam and some choices next week.

"...Thanks for everything,


Vinson's 300 Gallon - Soft & Stony Mix
System Details:  8 ft tank - 4/250watt 10K HQI Halides & 4/39watt T5 actinic - 400 Lbs live rock,
over 150 corals - setup 1 year from 180 gal transfer

Subject: My Tank

Hi Penny,

Just letting you know how much you have helped me with my tank. when I started with saltwater the LFS told me I would need 2 inches of sand. I had problems with nitrates always running around 20 ppm. After talking with you and putting in a deep sandbed my nitrates are at 0 :). This past week my tank leaked I put everything into totes and 5 gal buckets. After trying to repair the leak and having to buy a new tank 3 days passed. I did not loose anything. My Zoanthids, clove polyps, cabbage corals opened right up, my xenia took 2 days to start opening up :). Think you for all the help. I enjoy talking with you and looking at all the corals. I learned a lot from you.

Carl Creamer

Ryan & Tracy's 29 Gal - First Reef 
Ryan & Tracy's 75 Gal - 2nd Reef
Ryan & Tracy's Aged 75 Gal - 2nd Reef

Subject: testimonial

Hi Penny 

I'll tell ya what. If there's any hobby that can suck you in, this would have to be it. In under a year I've upgraded my tank three times, from a baron 29 gallon to a 75 gallon reef that became over crowded up to my new 150 gallon reef. It wouldn't have been this easy without your help and knowledge.   When I started with my first corals I certainly never imagined that I would be growing my own frags and using them to buy more corals.  This is definitely a very expensive hobby but the amount of enjoyment that Tracy and I get out of watching our tanks far outweighs the cost and maintenance. Thanks for all your help and you can expect about 20-30 more pink anthelia and green star polyp frags from me in the near future.
Thanks for all your help. 

Ryan Sweatt & Tracy Wheeler
Ryan & Tracy's New 150 Gal Reef!!

Subject: Proof sand bed works

Hi Penny:

As I was telling you in your store the other day, I am now a firm believer in a deep sand bed.

We set up our 90 Gallon tank in 2000 and have spent the past 6 years battling Nitrates.  We had mechanical "over the back" filtration and not even an inch of crushed coral for our bottom.  Even with water changes, we have battled with losses greatly over the past 6 years.  About a little over a month ago, we bought the supplies for a six inch deep sand bed from Penny, and that in addition with the live rock we did already have, along with taking the top off......... we dropped our Nitrate levels greatly over the past month!!!!!!!!  It truly is the way to go!!!

 Kristina and Mark

Laurie & Levi's 75 gallon
New set up in August 2006!
Picture taken 11/20/06 - only 3 months old!

Hi Penny,
I must say you were right about those little green pest anemones being a potential problem, like I said to you today in your store, they definitely stung my neon green BTA to death. I've decided to get rid of them and try my luck with another green BTA. Either way, so far in my tank I've got a four different types of sinularia, one very large toadstool, nothing like yours but it will be in time, I've got four bunches of green star polyps all about 3 inches across. some blue striped and mint green striped mushrooms that are spreading like crazy, also some neon orange, solid neon green and some orange/green zoanthids. I have a bunch of dark green/brown zoanthids that I believe are called button polyps that are growing a lot too.

Some of my pink anthelia has survived the recent salinity spike and seems to be growing back quite rapidly. I must say your suggestion to use coral vital has definitely improved the health of my corals by a lot.  As far as fish go, I have a nice fat blue hippo tang along with a nice yellow tang. A true Percula from your store and a larger clown that have formed a pair, hopefully to lay eggs in the future. A mated pair of scooter dragonets that flirt every night as soon as the lights go off. also I have one baby ocellaris clownfish, and 4 inch lawnmower blenny and a six inch engineer goby.  Its a fun setup and I find myself glued to it every night not to mention I have to go over and look at it ever time I go downstairs. I've definitely learned a lot about this hobby and have become greatly addicted to it in a short time much thanks to you and my time spent oogling over everything you stock in your store and talking to you. In time I hope to have a tank as beautiful as your 220. 

Thanks again for your help so far
Ryan Sweatt

Steve Charles
90 Gal Reef 

Subject: Aquarium Pictures and Thanks 


I have enclosed some pictures of my recent 90 gallon upgrade from my 40 gallon breeder tank.  The 90 gallon is SO MUCH BETTER!  Size does seem to matter with Aquariums....I hope I can convince my wife to upgrade to a 220 gallon in a few years.  I have implemented most of your teachings in this tank, and it is working out wonderful!  I have a nice 6 inch sand bed with Agaramax on the bottom and Seaflor on the top, which should start helping take care of nitrates.  I set up a sump in this thank with 2 overflows feeding it and using a Mag 18 for circulation, and I am getting at least 12-13 turn over rate though the sump and add the 2 Maxijet 1200....I am getting between 15-18 turn over rate in the tank.

My sump is a 30 Long Aquarium, separated out with the overflow and skimmer in 1 section, some baffles to decrease bubbles, the large return pump area, and a refugium that is fed from the return pump and flows back down into the return area.  I have used your advice and have my RO/DI water using a float valve for automatic water top offs, and also have the RO/DI going into a 13 gallon kitchen trash can under the tank for saltwater mixing.  The automation you recommended has been GREAT...and has saved me many trips up and down into the basement to get top off and mixed salt water...my back thanks you.  And weekly water changes are a breeze...and only take about 10 minutes.

I have a open top...mostly.  I have a 260 Watt Compact Florescent fixture that I had when the 90 gallon was a freshwater tank, and changed to 10K bulbs.  I also had my old regular florescent fixture that I fitted with 2 x 40 watt Actinics (with just 2 small pieces of glass to protect the bare bulbs from water splashes)...giving me a total of 3.8 watts per gallon...not the best yet...but I hope to upgrade to metal halides in the future.    I also have the tank set with dusk to dawn lighting with reverse lighting in the refugium to help balance out the pH changes that occurs at night.

The clean up crew I bought from you is doing a great job...I could use a few more emerald crabs though.  The sixline wrasse I bought last week is doing great...and has as big a belly as when you had him.   He is eating very well.

I was so glad I could stock up on the Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt during the sale.  I have been using that salt since you introduced it to me 1.5 years ago.  Before that I was using a "less reef friendly" salt mix and had to add a lot of Calcium and Alk increaser to keep things at bare minium.  Since switching to Tropic Marin Pro Reef, I have not add much for additives at all...unless I get behind on my water changes.

I would like to thank you very much for all your help and expertise is helping me set up my tanks.  They are doing wonderful and are low maintenance with all your suggestions and advice.  My wife and boys really enjoyed their visit last week and your new store and it is wonderful for kids to enjoy.  The boys really liked watching "Fish TV" in your wonderful tanks while I looked for purchases.  I have enclosed pictures of my 90 gallon...the tank looks even better in person that with pictures.

Thanks again for all your help and I hope I get to visit Fairfield a little more often.
Steve Charles
Greene, Maine

Subject: RE: Your AquaCorals Order

You are packing very well. I have received many online orders in the past for apples snails for my freshwater tanks and the packing is no where's near as secure. No leaks, double bags was nice and they were still warm. In fact, that heat pack and the inside of the container were still warm late in the evening. You did a fine job.

Thanks a lot. I love my stuff. I'll probably be over soon to get another anemone. I love it and so do my clowns.


 Dan Small's 155g Bowfront Reef
Lighting is a Hamilton 3-250w 10K & 2 VHO Actinic System


Subject: Thanks

Hi Penny,

 Just wanted to thank you again for all the help and knowledge you have given me in this hobby. I don't believe I could have done this without you. I started this project in March 06 with 155 gal Bow front for my first salt water tank. I thought I had done all my research on the internet getting this going. Once I had the tank home I notice this tank was even bigger then I thought. I was feeling lost and went looking for help on the Internet again, this time I found AquaCorals. I decided before setting it up maybe I should take a ride up to meet Penny. Best decision I ever made, I have taken all of Penny's recommendations, Lighting system, RO, Wavemaker, Skimmer, DSB, and automate the water makeup and sump. My tank has really taking a life of it's own. Even now when I go to my local pet store, I get the wrong advice or no answers to my questions. It's worth the time and gas money to go to AquaCorals and get good advice and healthy specimens. Looking at this decision now I would have been out of the hobby very fast if not for Penny. The money I have spent in her shop would have doubled if I had to pay for her time and knowledge while I kept her away from her work. With that said I believe that there is a little of Penny in all our tanks.

 Thanks so much.



Leisa Wallace - 36g Bowfront

Note:  This beautiful seahorse tank is tagged onto their new 220g reef system which is a recent upgrade from a 150g.  Can we say "reef addiction"?   :0)

AquaCorals Customer: Jeff - from Kansas  

Subject: Pulsating Xenia Pink

A couple years ago, I purchased a Xenia polyp from you.  They are still pulsating today.  They have attached themselves to several different surfaces, one being my filter box.  They use to spread quickly but for the last 6 months, I have seen little growth.  How can I get them to start growing again?  I want to fill the tank up with these.  Everyone gets a kick out of watching them pulsate.

I have also attached a few pictures of my tank.  Everything in the tank came from your store, except the fish and frogspawn.  The quality of your corals has been excellent.


Hi Jeff,

 Great to hear from you!  Thank you for the pics as well as your message.  Made my day to hear my corals are thriving for you….though I can’t take any credit for that as you’ve been their caretaker for the last 3 years.  ;) 

What I see in your pictures regarding the Xenia is that they are very healthy colonies but have basically gone as high as they can go in your tank.  They will always travel up to light & it seems they can’t go any higher.  Where you’d like to “fill the tank” with these pulsing maniacs (one of my personal favorites too), I suggest the following… 

I’ve attached one of your pictures I made some notations on.  (Click Here For the Picture)  As you will see I circled a colony of Xenia at the top.  This would be a fairly easy colony to propagate by either peeling some up using your fingernail or razor blade.  You would then place the foot/bottom of what you peeled down on a piece of rock – let’s say about 3 inches wide & gently bind the Xenia to the rock using a rubber band.  Xenia tissue is soft & cuts easily so only bind as hard as will keep the foot/base of the colony(s) against the rock.  Place the new rock & colony at the base & against your reef structure as noted.  Xenia wanting to travel towards the light should migrate off your propagation rock & up your reef slope!  Kind of like they did from your rock to the overflow!  You can make multiple rocks this way to start new colonies in other areas of your tank.

 Have fun doing this & please feel free to keep me updated on your progress!

 Penny - AquaCorals

Note:  In 2003 I shipped Jeff my famous Red Sea Pink Pulsing Xenia along with other corals.  His message is a true testament to the hardiness of tank raised corals & his reefing abilities!

Kelly & Steve ...tank(s) progression in 1 year!  :0)

Quotes From Kelly...
20 Gallon:  Our first tank (2/27/04). We had NO idea what we were doing and got crummy advice from "the-store-that-shall-not-be-named." See the "pirate skull" on the bottom left! Haha!! Then...Steve found out about Penny!!! Yay!!!46 Gallon:  (7/23/04) We still really weren't sure what we were doing, but we upgraded to a 46 gallon bowfront 5 months after we got the 20 gallon. Before the tank was even cycled, we did the unthinkable!
(11/2/04) We realized the 46 gal just wasn't big enough!  So...
 125 Gallon:  (2/1/06) We tore the kitchen apart to make room for a 125 gallon! Lost 3 cabinets and a closet, but we didn't care!  And, this is where we are today. We're really happy with our tank, but there's always something else we want to do! We owe our success to some great advice, assistance, and dedication & love for the hobby from Penny!!! :o)

Subject: Tank Progression

It's our 2 year tank anniversary!!!

I don't know if you're interested in these pics or not...they are the progression of our 3 tanks. It is funny now to look back and see how far we've come in 2 years!  And, we have you to thank for that. You really showed us how easy it is to be successful if you are patient. :o)


Kelly & Steve

Notes From Penny:  Kelly & Steve are my "poster children" for why I recommend going with as large a tank as your space will allow & pocketbook can afford...right from the beginning!  You guys are awesome & thank you for sharing your story.

Annette and I started with 75 gallons of problems and after visiting AquaCorals and talking with Penny we finally got on the right road.  We then moved to a 125 and now to our present tank a 220.  If not for Penny's help I believe we would of sold the 75 and never continued the hobby that we really enjoy today.  Thanks Penny for all your help.

Notes From Penny:  More "Poster Children"  :0)

Adam & Annette's 125 Gal - Before...& NEW 220 Gal Now!
August 2006 

Jeanine's 72 Gal Bowfront - Before
February 2006...& After!
August 2006

Hi Penny,

I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for: offering great advice and making it a pleasure to visit with you, having wonderful specimens and a fun shop to visit.  As I said before; I struggled so much with my first 30 gallon tank for over a year - getting misinformation from the local pet stores; improper materials to set it up, etc etc.  I sunk a lot of cash into fish that only died shortly after bringing them home. 

NOW, I have the 72 gallon tank, set it up to your specifications and recommendations and I'm in great shape.  Enjoying this immensely and not losing cash down the lieu.  I've had no problems and have enjoyed my success immensely - very gratifying.  I've slowly moved some of my 30gal "survivors" into the 72gal and will eventually fix my 30 gal to make it work properly.

Thank you for excellent advice and recommendations - I look forward to a long business relationship and friendship with you.

Jeanine Brown
Notes From Penny:  Jeanine is one of my "Poster Children" for hanging in there.  It took us a while to revamp her system from another store's setup which inevitably cost Jeanine dearly, both monetarily as well as emotionally from loosing beloved fish pets.  She is a testament to the passion & drive one develops for this hobby.

Margot's 150 Gallon Reef:

 Notes From Penny:
Margot's system was up & running when she  found AquaCorals.  Struggling with nigh NitrAtes then a bad breakout of cyanobacteria (Red Slime) we made a couple of modifications by increasing her sand bed depth (picture is deceiving as the tank sits down inside the stand rim) as well as increased her internal water flow with powerheads.  Margot & her tank are one of AquaCorals poster children of success!  Way To Go Margot!

Penny - AquaCorals wrote: 

 Hi Margot, 

Thank you for the pictures.  Your tank is incredibly beautiful!   You should be very proud of yourself.  I sure am.  You stuck through some very rough times ...& now look at you.  :0)  I want to post your tank on the web site if that's ok with you?

I look forward to seeing you.
Penny - AquaCorals

Subject: Re: My Tank 

Wow! Your words make me so happy. I would be flattered to have you post my tank on your site. You have been such a huge help and support to me and I really appreciate all that you have done, and continue to do, to help me find my way in this wonderful hobby.

Most sincerely,

 Proof that Ocellaris & True Perculas WILL go to a Bubble Tip Anemone!  :0)Pam Guerette's Reef

Successful Seahorses!
Wynne Keller 

 Scott & Sue's 75 Gal Reef

Subject: Automation

Hi Penny,

I'm AUTOMATED!!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to explain to me how to automate my reef system. After I left your shop yesterday, I went straight home and by evening, everything was finished. (see attached pictures) You were right, it was pretty easy and the benefits will be great! Thanks again Penny!

See you soon,

The tote on the top is RO water from an RO unit in the basement. I drilled a hole in the floor and ran the line up through the floor and through the wall behind my tank to that tote on top. I also installed a bulkhead in that tote with a ball valve that I use to fill the tote on the bottom where I mix my salt water. I also have a RO line that is a gravity feed from that top tote, through the wall, to my sump which is on the other side of the wall behind both of those totes. I installed float valves in both my sump and the RO water tote. 

Subject: Visit today... 


It was great to see you and your wonderful store today.  You really have a fantastic store and you should be proud of all you've done, it really looks great.  Of course your enthusiasm and knowledge about the hobby makes it all come together.  I am definitely planning on a return trip for more advice and a few more items.


Thanks for the help on this.  Maybe I just need to chill a bit and let all the new guys settle in.  Of course you are welcome to use any and all of my message to you.  You really are a treasure to all of us in the hobby.
Take Care

Hi Penny,

We just wanted to let you know that our first SPS, which we purchased at your store, is thriving in our tank. We don't add any extra calcium supplements, and the coral has noticeable growth in the couple of months we've had it. However, we are adamant about weekly water changes, using Tropic Marin Pro Salt. This has proven to be all that our tank needs to grow healthy corals, even an SPS!


Kelly & Steve


Hello Penny.
I just visited your web site as I was parousing the web for information. Just reading your introduction and I made your web site a favorite. I am a transplanted Floridian in (of all places) Arizona. I just got the nerve to set up a 24 gallon nano reef in my office here at work. I have a mentor here who is the service director who has a 100 gallon reef. But I liked what you had to say so much I had to email you. I will continue to read your advice and liked the fact you gave me a couple of books to read, as that is what I really want right now. I have discovered a new love and that is all of the soft corals. I really do not want any fish except MAYBE a yellow watchman goby but that is way in the future. I have a small colony of orange zoo's and a small frag of star polyps. I just set this up about 2 wks ago. so you see....I am truly a newbie..... I know your busy so no need to email me but I did want to tell you that I loved your "tips for beginners" page. You came across honest and true to what you love and in this day of  $$$$$ it is refreshing. (especially in this hobby);-).

Have a great week and thanks for the advice.........
Rene Nicely
Phoenix Arizona
Hey again Penny,
No permission needed.....go ahead if you want to post my email.!!:-) I guess I forgot to tell you that my tank sand had been in a small tank prior and that my rock is "cured rock"???. I think that is right...any how I wrote my email too soon as I went further on your website my suspicions about you were indeed correct!! You do care and you do love what you do as is obvious by all the customer testimonials. It was so cool to read all those. thanks for posting them. I just wish I was closer so I could visit your store!

I will always welcome your advice...and I am sure if you don't mind I will continue to email you!!! I don't know you but I trust you!!! ...

its funny ...I feel like a kid... I watch this tank ALLLL the time. its better than any book or T.V.

well, I better go back to work.....I look forward to sharing stories and emails with you..and if possible do you ship to AZ if I wanted to buy corals from you???

take care and thank you for the reply!!!

I wanted to take a minute and thank you for your great advice penny.  We upgraded our lighting on our tank and added a sump and it has made a huge difference. The fish seem happier and our tank Is starting to look great. The coralline algae is starting to spread in the tank and it looks very nice. Our new anemone is doing well also. He seems to have settled in pretty good and hopefully our tomato clown will take to him soon. I have attached a couple of pictures and we will be in again soon.
Thank You  Randy & Paula Hasson

Subject: nitrate help


 Thanks for the help with my tank.  I had such a nitrate problem it was at about 130PPM. I came and spoke to you, you gave me the advice to add more sand.  I only had 1-2 inches of sand bed. I increased the sand bed to 4-5 inches and its been one week my nitrates have already dropped to 80PPM and keep dropping.  Penny is a huge help to me and my tank.  I wont deal with anyone else again.  Thanks for the help Penny. 

                Erich Rendall


Ted McLaughlin

Subject: nice store

 Hey Penny,

            Just wanted to say thanks for the time you took with me today - I have to say I was a little bit skeptical coming into your store having lived here in Maine for a few years and been quite disappointed with both the lack of knowledge and selection in Maine for the salt water aquarium hobby and it was refreshing to find a store of your quality. It was great chattin with you about the marine industry and such - there isn't really many people up here that I can have conversations like that with. About that propagation of the rose Entacmaea quadricolor, if cutting it doesn't seem to work out for you I can send you some information on the methods for the temperature shock. In fact you should probably check the tank I got the large green mushroom out of-there were two green
E. quadricolor clones on the back of the rock you sold me that I found when I placed the rock into the tank tonight. One must have made a bunch of clones from the moderate stress of you moving your tanks and such. Anyhow thanks for all your help, great store, I will deff. be back to support a REAL reef store.
Thanks again,

            Matt Tyree
            University of Maine School of Marine Science

Steve & Kelly Cochara 125g
Haw. Naso Tang & Ocellaris Clown in a Bubble Anemone! Matt Ryle 120g Harold Trenton  - 125g   Brian Riendeau   Before  After!Steve Maheux - 90g   

Hi Penny,

I never could have set up my system without your help and great advice. It's something I have wanted to do but I didn't have any idea how. Thank you so much!


Subject: new fish

Hi Penny,

I just wanted to let you know that my new livestock is doing great. The angel, scooter blenny and eyelash blenny are all eating like pigs. You were right, the eyelash blenny will eat anything. I'll see you in a couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend,


Subject: Sweeney visit yesterday Thank you Penny!!!!

Dear Penny,

    I would love it if you posted the following paragraphs in your testimonials.... 

    My husband and I are in the process of acclimating our Green Spotted Puffers from fresh water to brackish and eventually to a salt environment. It has been a long, demanding process, but it has increased our awareness of marine fish. As a result we started to ask ourselves why we don't have a Marine tank. We started our research and we finally found the Aqua Corals web site. We come from southern New Hampshire. It was a long drive to get up to Aqua Corals to visit the store, about three and a half hours. Penny offered to set some time aside for us though she wasn't open. For anyone wishing to get into this hobby, people should know that Penny is a warm, friendly and genuine person, who is completely dedicated to the success of the marine tank, both for the people and for the animal's sakes. Those qualities are rare to find these days. Penny is concerned with the health of the animals that she sells and is very dedicated to helping both beginner and expert alike to be able to succeed with these animals and helps her customers to be able to create the environment to make this happen. Penny definitely earned my respect when I heard her telling one of her obviously long-time customers that no she shouldn't purchase a particular coral because her tank was not old enough and the coral wouldn't do well. Her customer trusted Penny and valued her input and decided to wait. That is the colossal issue that I have with the average pet store, that it's all about sales. People should remember that there is no humane society for fish. But if there was one Penny should be the president. Penny guides her customers and from what I saw her customers highly value Penny's advice. She is so very careful about netting and transportation home. She works hard for us and for the fish and corals to minimize stress and her business is so not about the sales.

    We came into Aqua Corals armed only with our knowledge of fresh water fish. It is a different world than marine. We had lots of questions. Penny answered every question that we asked she never made us feel stupid for asking the simple questions. She spent two and a half hours with us, we discussed many many issues, filtration, lighting, feeding, who could live with who in harmony. Some people have incredible knowledge and yet cannot communicate that information in an understandable way. Penny has great teaching ability for she was able to explain everything to us. We totally understood everything that she explained. My only apology that I must make is that my husband asked 98% of the questions, I asked very few and the problem was that I was so completely amazed and enthralled with all the life forms that I was unable to focus on the technical. I would say that I will do better next time, but faced with the store and its inhabitants I think it will again be impossible for me!

    At the end of our visit Penny said that she hoped that we felt it was worth our three and a half hour drive up to her. In response to that Penny. When I knew we had to go home, we lingered watching you tend to your customers, watching you ever so gently catch the things that were going to their new homes, listening as you talked with your customers about the feeding of baby seahorses, or starfish that had shown up in a customers tank. When we got to the car I said that the whole thing had been an unbelievable experience for me. My husband said "It was amazing". He added that " I have never seen so many healthy looking corals in any store that we have ever visited!" I noted that although the store is small I have never seen such a large variety of different things anywhere. And then Penny we talked. We talked all the way home! For three and a half hours! We talked about our plans and when we could get started into the marine hobby. We talked about the filtration etc. and our ten year old son kept interrupting us, because he was reading through Bob Fenner's book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" which you said was a good book. He was showing us pictures from the book and reading the captions and dreaming about what he might be able to add to the tank once we get it going. He liked the shrimp of all things and liked the clams. By the way Penny was also great with our son, which is really important to us, since we share our fish keeping hobby together as a family. (The Green Spotted Puffers are actually my son's fish.)

    If you are within driving distance of this store go see it! Make a day of it! Ask questions and enjoy all the life around you!

Good Luck Penny, we wish you all the success in the world and we will definitely be in touch, and we will definitely be visiting Aqua Corals again and again as we get started despite the long drive!

Thank you     The Sweeney Family()


Subject: Ro unit

Hi Penny,

I thought I'd let you know how the RO is doing. It truly has made a major change in our tank, the green water went away in days and the corals are coming to life, when I think they were just hanging on. The toadstool that had broken away from the base is reattaching it's self, the polyps are out on everything, we can't tell you enough just how thrilled we are. We just should have listened and done it in the beginning, it would have saved us a lot of heart-ache and money. But, nothing except forward from here on out!

Naples, Maine

 Subject: Thank you 

Hi Penny! 

I'm sorry I didn't email you sooner!! I want to thank you for the time you spent with me last Friday!! For someone to spend over two hours talking to a newbie shows great patience and I truly appreciate it!!  Seeing your setups has brought the total picture together. I was impressed by your tanks, and will strive to have my tank reach the point of your beautiful and healthy tanks. I had a rough idea of what was needed but the visit really brought everything together. So, now it's time to start building (stand and sump), so that I can start on this fantastic voyage. I am truly excited, and I look forward to your continuing guidance. Once again, thank you!! 

Best regards,
Chip Harlow
Lebanon, Maine


Subject: Thanks

Hello Penny 

 I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed visiting your shop. I've been thinking about setting up a salt water tank for some time now but where I live so far north and didn’t have anyone to give me advice.  Now that I drove to your place I know I can do it. You was so nice, talked to me for 2 hours at least.  I learned a lot and as soon as we are moved into our new house ill be there to get the stuff I need from you to start setting up my tank. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me the stuff ill need to know.  I really like your shop and the tanks were awesome and you even took me upstairs to see your tank in your house.  It was definitely worth the trip.  I will definitely recommend you to anyone I meet who wants to set up a salt water tank.
Yours truly,
Stephen Conroy - Washburn, Maine

We have been doing saltwater for about 4 months and in that time had a lot of bad information.  We were ready to give up on our dream of having a saltwater tank, but we found Penny in the Uncle Henry and decided to give it one more try.  Penny helped us upgrade our tank and told us everything that we would need to have a happy reef tank for half the price that we had already spent.  If we had any problems we would always get a fast response to our email and if needed a phone call.  I recommend Aqua Corals to everyone wanting a awesome reef tank and the best customer service.  Thank you Penny for all your help and knowledge that you have shared with us. We look forward to having our tank grow with you. 

          Shawn & Dianne - Brunswick - 120g
Updated Images...


Subject: RE: Your AquaCorals Order! 


I just wanted to let you know my order arrived today and I am thrilled with
it.  I want to thank you so much for all of your patience and the extra work
you did to ensure my order shipped through the post office.  As a purchasing
agent for the federal government I deal with hundreds of companies.  I have
seen both poor and excellent customer service.  I want to tell you that the
service you and your company provided me was top notch.  Rarely have I seen
a company who is willing to go the extra mile like you did.  Being overseas
where Fed Ex and UPS can't deliver and the post office is the only way to
get supplies, it is getting harder and harder to find reputable companies
who will mail it.  You can count on my next order to be with Aquacorals.  I
also plan on spreading the word of your excellent customer service on
reefcentral.com.  Please feel free to post this email on your website.
Every customer visiting your site should know that when they place an order
with you they will not be disappointed!
Thank you, 

Jeffrey Bolles

Subject: Tank Pictures

 Hi Penny,

Here are the long awaited photos of my aquarium.  I wanted to wait until the carpenter was able to finish the cabinet.  Thank you for helping me establish it.

If anyone wishes to see it, feel free to tell them to contact me at 877-9450.

Roland Fournier


Molly's 180 Gallon - New Setup Cycling 


We started the tank in the middle of December.  Why our success....  there are so many reasons.
Your advice for one!
Being patient and not throwing things in to fast.
Not going crazy when it cycled the red slime, algae, etc.

After hearing other people talk about what their tanks have and where they are in aging their tanks I truly believe that the RO system makes all the difference in the world!  I think it helped age the tank faster, get rid of the nuisance bacteria and algae faster, and allows the coralline algae to grow faster.

I feel that when you take on a project such as this you need to pick one source of information and advice that you trust and go with it.  Otherwise you are second guessing everything you are told and do.  By relying on your experience and going with it, my stress was half of what many have creating a system like this.
Other that I would say just that we did not give up!
Talk to you later,

Molly's Red Sea WaveMaster Pro Testimonial: 

I recently purchased a Red Sea Wavemaster Pro from Aquacorals.  Penny had explained to me that it helps the growth of the corals and creates a more natural environment for all.  It was amazing the effect the wavemaster had on my 180 gallon reef tank!  The corals expanded and waved in the current happily!  The feeding mechanism makes feeding time easier for all and gives the fish & invertebrates time to eat before the food gets sucked into the overflow.  I underestimated the effect the wavemaster would have on the tank but never again!  I would highly recommend this product to anyone who wants a more natural looking tank and happy corals!

-Subject: Re: Thank You for your AquaCorals Order!

 Hi Penny,  Thanks for the info.  Actually my Sinu is already looking happier.  I'm glad you responded so quickly because I did have my Xenia in a stronger current flow then you recommend.  I am VERY happy with my order & you will be hearing from me fairly regularly-I'll be checking your website. As I said before, I live in the country (Finger Lakes area) & the closest reef shop is in Rochester which is a 70 mile drive, so I am very glad to have found you & really appreciate your your quick e-mail respnses.   Thanks again.
Kathy Johnstone, your new, very satisfied customer.

Subject: Thank You

As I sit in my living room this morning enjoying my latest acquisition, the sea horse'. I figured it was high time I properly thanked you. However, I don't know what to thank you for first......possibly for showing me how all the mis-information I was getting, was the cause of the two rounds of complete die-off in my tank. I remember you saying "trust me, follow my instructions, you can do this".  Low and behold I did trust you and did it ever pay off!!!!!!!!! My 75g is becoming amazing....corals are growing at incredible rates and fish are florishing.  Subsequently I took your advice again recently and piggy-backed a smaller bow tank to my 75g.  Sea horse' now reside in that.  It is so much fun just to sit and watch them.  But I think  I would have to say the best part of your advice and store is that you help individuals setup a system that fits their budget and space.  After all, we are all individuals with individual needs, and you address that so wonderfully.

Thank you again....my success I attribute to your knowledge of reefs and your never-ending support.

Subject: Re: Black Amiracle box 

Hi Penny. 

I wanted to share my very pleasurable experience with you and AquaCorals.  I
was looking everywhere for a particular product, an Amiracle U Tube overflow
box in black.  I use a black background and using black plumbing parts
really helps them to be less noticeable.  I called and emailed many vendors
with no luck.  It turns out that the manufacturer randomly ships out the
clear and black ones.  There is no way to tell what you have in stock or
what you are getting.  Most vendors didn't want to be bothered to check to
see what color they had. 

A Google search turned up your site, and I figured I give you a shot as
well.  I was initially disappointed to hear you did not have any black units
in stock either.  I think you could tell my frustration with the situation
and offered to sell me the one off your display tank.  This required you
uninstall it, replace it with the clear one you had in stock.  A lot of
trouble for a small sale and someone who is not a local customer!  A also
appreciate all the time you spent on the phone giving me tips on setting it
up, and suggestions for my tank that had nothing to do with the product I
was buying from you.  It is obvious you are a person who loves what you are
doing.  The personal service, even on the phone in another part of the
country is refreshing. 

I look forward to doing more business with AquaCorals in the future.

Scott Manley

Hi Penny:
I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the order
I received today. All the critters arrived alive and well and appear to be
acclimating well to their new home. I was thrilled to see three separate
Xenia clusters on a very large chunk of live rock. The Hairy Mushrooms
were every bit as extraordinary as you described on the phone. The Branching
Sinularia is a beautiful purple (your picture did it no justice) and its
polyps are already extending. And thanks so much for the 10 free Astrea Snails.
It happens that I really needed more snails. And your attention to detail
in the packing is appreciated. I had almost lost my faith in procuring livestock
via the internet but you have restored my faith. I will definitely be doing business
with you again in the future. With that in mind, please place me on your waiting list
for the Pink Pulsing Xenias, Green Nub Finger,  & Green Clove Polyps.
Thanx again for a terrific order.
Dr. Jerry Duvinsky

Follow-Up Message...

Subject: Re: Waiting list 

Hi Penny: No problem posting my e-mail. The praise was warranted. I have done
business with other aquarium livestock providers and have been almost
invariably disappointed. You show a much greater personal commitment to
your livestock and customers. And no reefs are being pillaged. By the way
all the critters you sent are flourishing. Aquacultured critters clearly
show greater adaptability and resilience.

Subject: tribute 

Hi Penny,

I thought it was high time I wrote a testimonial for your website. Here it is: 

I've had freshwater fish for a few years, always thought marine was too hard, too expensive, too much to learn/know. I'm pretty sure I never would have found the courage to try marine if I hadn't found
Aqua Corals.  Penny is willing to spend hours with her customers, explaining, hand holding, crisis managing. No matter how many things I thought of to worry about, she always brought me back to reality kindly and gently.

Central Maine is lucky to have such a wonderful resource. Penny is very careful about where and how she gets her fish and corals, and tries to minimize stress for them all along the way. She really cares about her animals and her customers. You can't go wrong with Aqua Corals. I look forward to years of building and maintaining my reef with Aqua Corals.

Wynne Keller

Subject: Testimonial 

Hi Penny,

Just wanted to say thanks for all the wonderful advice you've given me this past year!  It's been a huge help; I went from a person who'd never seen a skimmer to having a reef tank that I adore.  Also, many thanks for turning me onto Tropic Marin salt; I just finished a very long switch-over period and everything in my tanks seems to be loving the TM.  And the best part is that I feel much more comfortable that I'm giving my tank inhabitants the best possible environment. 

Thanks again! 


Hello Penny,

I just received my book and I am very pleased.  I was not counting on an autographed copy, very nice.  The book has much of the info that I was looking for and tons of great pictures.

Thank again,

Wes McNeil

Subject: Re: coral purchase

Happy Holidays Penny

The new corals are doing fine
I attached a picture of our tank
The picture quality is not the greatest though.

AquaCoral Note:  ...10 months later...same tank......WOW!  :0)

Subject: Reef Tank Pictures

Hello Penny,

Here are the latest pictures of my 40gallon reef. It is going on 8 years old now but I am getting ready to move all of this into the new 72g bow front that I purchased from you. I would also like to say that the advice and techniques that you gave me about this hobby have been a great help.

Dave P :)

Subject: Very, Very Happy!!

Hi Penny,

Well, I'm home and have acclimated my treasures! Scooter is having a ball eating on the algae
hair rock, I can see him gaining weight already, LOL. I think I'll leave the sand till tomorrow.
The light makes all the difference in the world and Tango was real interested in the lettuce guy,
but she backed off after awhile.

Penny, I want to thank you for all your time tonight. I feel I got so much more education than
from anyone before! The rest seem to just take the money and run sort of thing. Oh, and
you're not any farther then the Portland area for me. I will be back and soon!
Thanks again,

Subject: Testimonial from Alan Buonforte

Hi Penny,

I hope your doing well.  I wrote a testimonial of my experience with AquaCorals.  Feel free to use it on your web site.  I put it up on a web page.  Please click the link below to view it.


Click the above link for Alan's Testimonial

Click the picture of his tank for a larger pic.


Hi Penny,

I just wanted to write you a note about the amiracle mini-quad protein skimmer I purchased from you about a month ago for my 48 gal reef tank.  All I can say is "HOLY CRAP", this skimmer is unbelievable.  I was using a prism skimmer before and after constant adjustment would get dry foam, but not much.  I switched them and without any adjustment, the amiracle is pulling about 5 times the skimmate that the prism was, this thing is awesome.  I was going to buy a bak-pak because that is what everyone said to get, but I tried the amiracle because it was so much less money.  It was even $60.00 cheaper than the prism that I bought locally.  Thanks for the good advice on this skimmer, it is simple to set up, runs great, and is easy to clean.  Great product and a great price.
Thanks again,
Kevin Napolillo

Subject: THANKS ALOT!!! Hi Penny,
Thank you very much for spending so much time with us the other night.  Steve certainly came away from there feeling good about his tank.  And he has lots of confidence in you, unlike MANY other people he's talked to.  He now has two-thirds of the new substrate in place and will finish next week (he has to time this so the tank is not cloudy all day when we're open).  Anyway, thanks again for your time...you've gained a new customer!

Subject: corals

 Hi Penny
Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know I received my shipment on Friday and everything looks great. Will let these settle in and order some more of your amazing corals in a couple of weeks. Thanks again.
Chris Trayer


Subject: Corals are doing great!

Just a little bit of positive feedback:

  The corals are in their places and doing great.  I gave them about 2 hours of acclimation last night, as I typically keep my pH and SG quite high.  There didn't seem to be any signs of stress whatsoever.  Actually, both the Sarcophyton and Sinularia had polyps fully open while still in the bag after only one hour of acclimation. 

The Discosomas are incredible.  They love the VHO lighting.  I'm currently using 2 URI Super actinics and 2 URI Actinic whites.  The flourescent colors can't be described...  I've got them under a ledge, and they're doing very well.

I'm still waiting for the 'lil Sarc. to let some polyps out during daylight.  Last night, 2 hours after lights out, I saw some swaying polyps under my moonlight lamp.  I have no doubts that I'll be seeing some polyps later this afternoon.

I guess pictures speak for themselves.  They're not the best, as I was playing with the Exposure Value... but they show how adaptive your Aquacultured corals are.  These pictures are about 30 mins after the lights come on, their first day in their new home.

Thanks again, and we'll be in touch.



Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2001 10:01 PM
Subject: Hey Pen

Hiya Pen,

Thanks so for the help the other day with all the reef info!
I was very happy with the frags and will be back up to bug you soon :O)
Heres a pic of of that 58 gal oceanic tank I picked up. (any pointers are welcome not taken as picking on)
It's coming WELL for just transplanting it all I think
Talk soon & thanks again!



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