Matt Pedersen: Tips for turning your hobby aquaculture into a business, successfully. | MACNA 2019


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Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor & Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media LLC for the saltwater and reef aquarium publication CORAL Magazine, as well as the publications’ online presence at Serving in the same capacity since the 2011 launch of AMAZONAS Magazine, Reef To Rainforest’s freshwater counterpart to CORAL, Pedersen and partners Stephan Tanner and Michael Tuccinardi took over the publication of AMAZONAS in 2018 under the new Minnesota-based publishing company Aquatic Media Press, LLC. Along with limited wholesale offerings of fish and plants to the pet trade, Pedersen occasionally offers digital and aquarium-related consultation and production services through his own company, MiniWaters LLC.
Originally from Chicago, IL and currently living in Duluth, MN, USA, Matt’s professional background is in interactive software development and digital marketing. Additionally, Matt has diverse past experience as a professional orchid breeder, a part-time fly fishing guide, and certified fly rod builder.
Matt has been a marine aquarist for 30 years, and an aquarist for 35. After spending time on every side of the aquarium industry (retail, commercial and private maintenance & installation, wholesale, hatchery), he currently considers himself a “professional hobbyist”. Matt has currently spawned 31 species of marine fish, successfully raising 9 of them to date including one worldwide first (the Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris), as well as attempted another 6 invertebrate species to date. Most all of this was accomplished with less than 100 gallons of total working capacity, and all in closed culture. In 2010, Matt Pedersen was selected as the breeder of choice to work with the now famous “PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish” from the SEASMART program and chronicles the efforts to propagate this one-of-a-kind fish online at The Lightning Project. In 2016, Matt launched the online retailer to compliment his wholesale livestock offerings primarily consisting of regionally-produced aquacultured saltwater aquarium livestock, well-conditioned and privately-bred freshwater fishes, and purpose-grown vivarium plants for the herpetological, paludarium and terrarium hobby.
Matt Pedersen is credited with starting MOFIB (Marine Ornamental Fish & Invertebrate Breeder’s Association) and writing for multiple publications including CORAL, Koralle, Practical Fish Keeping, Marine Habitat, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Reef Builders,, Advanced Aquarist and more. Matt has spoken at numerous aquarium clubs and events from coast to coast. He currently sits on the MBI (Marine Breeding Initiative) Council, a project dedicated to bringing the concept of a unified Marine Breeder’s Award Program to hobbyist organizations across the country and around the globe. In 2009, Matt was recognized as “Aquarist of the Year” by IMAC West, and subsequently awarded with the MASNA Award, aka. “Aquarist of the Year”, by MASNA in 2009, in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to the marine aquarium hobby.
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