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Chicago 2019 Speakers


Mark Callahan / Mr. Saltwater Tank 11AM

There is a central theme in Mark’s life: WATER. WATER. WATER.  Growing up in Tennessee meant trips to the local lakes and rivers on the family ski boat. Spring break was always spent in Hawaii cruising the reefs and forever ingraining memories of the beauty of the ocean on his mind. Mark maintains a 375 gallon tank and mrsaltwatertank.com, a website dedicated to taking the confusion out of setting up and maintaining a saltwater tank.

Marc Levenson 12PM

Marc “melev” Levenson has been in the hobby since 1998, blogging his experiences about his own reef on his website melevsreef.com to help others learn husbandry skills. Most recently he’s become an online personality with tens of thousands of followers on his YouTube channel (melevsreef) also geared at helping other reefers through his personal experiences.  His website’s articles, blogs, and Critter ID cover topics like pest control, feeding techniques, working with acrylics, reef photography and water chemistry to name a few. Marc is a nationally recognized speaker, who regularly recommends supporting local club events, shopping local fish stores, and interacting with others via social media.  His other hobby is diving, exploring natural reefs. His current tanks are a 400-gallon reef and a 60-gallon anemone cube, filled with captive bred fish and aquacultured corals. 

Chris Lukhaup 2:00 PM
Richard Ross 3:00PM

Richard Ross is known for his“Skeptical Reefkeeping” article series, his groundbreaking work with cephalopod husbandry, his entertaining and informative talks, and for managing the ambitious 212,000 gallon reef tank in the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences.

Joey Mullen (KENOTE SPEAKER) 4:00 PM

Joey Mullen, The king of DIY, is the first dedicated aquarium channel to reach 1 million subscribers on YouTube. He has produced hundreds of videos documenting almost every time he has worked on his aquariums. Joey is one of our keynote speakers for 2019!


George Farmer 11AM

George Farmer is an internationally renowned aquascaper and planted aquarium expert with a large international following on YouTube and Instagram. Based in the UK he travels the world providing aquascaping workshops, seminars and commercial consultations.


Celebrity “YouTuber” JEOPARDY - Joey Mullen, CoralFish12g, Mindi’s Reef - Hosted by Marc Levenson

Joe Yaiullo 1PM

As a kid, Joe spent much of his childhood maintaining home aquariums and exploring the marine life surrounding Long Island, New York. Now he gets paid to basically do what he did as a kid and has been keeping reef tanks for over 29 years. Joe is the curator and co-founder of the Long Island Aquarium, where he maintains a 20,000 gallon SPS tank! 


Austin Lefevre founded and owns Aqua Box, a group of passionate professionals who bring unique aquarium systems to fruition worldwide and offer fully quarantined and conditioned fishes to the US retail market. Austin has been a bonafide fish nerd for his entire life. When the kids in elementary school were reading Dr. Seuss, Austin was reading Jacques Cousteau. He's been in the aquarium industry since 2002 working in local fish stores, coral farms, and headed up a fish breeding program. He's been an avid SCUBA diver since the age of 12 and consistently seeks new aquatic adventures.


Cory McElroy, creator of Aquarium Co-op, spent the last year traveling the world visiting different fish facilities and collecting fish in the wild. Come learn about the international world of fish, with Cory's experiences on everything from armed guards protecting Arowanas, to the crazy Betta/Guppy competitions in China. While every culture does things differently, he is able to speak the universal language that is the fish hobby.

Cory McElroy  3PM