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Name / User-name About
Melissa Melissa is a full time fourth grade teacher at a local public school district. She lives in Ballston Lake with her husband, cat, turtle and multiple aquariums. She has been a member of CDMAS for two years and is in her second year of serving as Vice President. 

As a teacher she is actively involved in teacher coaching, curriculum leadership in social studies grades K-4, and union representation. Her pet project is co-chair to the award winning Community Service Program; something she firmly believes in as a way to change the world, one child at a time.

Melissa's hobby experience includes 20 years experience with freshwater and 7 years saltwater. She currently has a 55 gallon freshwater community tank with clown loaches. Her saltwater systems include a 75 gallon sump/160 gallon slow feeder mixed reef tank. Her current build project is a 40 gallon sump/80 gallon coral grow out tank. She is fascinated by gobies, pipefish and dragonettes. Ultimately, Melissa encourages all to find their passion in life and live life to its fullest potential. "You'll never know your true capabilities without risk. Face challenges head on and don't be afraid to make a splash!" 


 Who am I?
Good question, I've spent most of my life trying to figure that out. 

I'm Married with 3 children, and blessed with a wife who tolerates my obsession with this hobby. I've been keeping something in water for as long as I can remember. And I've always had a strange fascination with the water end everything about it. I spent 6 years of my life as a nuclear water chemist in a steel tube called a submarine, the USS Ohio to be exact. Then, I spent 6 years doing HVAC and mechanical maintenance at a printing company in Saratoga Springs. Now I pay the bills as an engineer at a building automation company in Ballston Spa. If you can see how those dots connect, please tell me, because I have no idea. But I like what I’m doing now, so I suppose it's the result that matters, not how I got here, right?

I currently have 2 salty tanks and 2 fresh tanks. I have a 3 gallon homemade planted tank on my desk at work for shrimp. I also have a 37 gallon cichlid tank, full of fish that won't stop breeding. On the salt side, I have a 29 gallon biocube with a dwarf fuzzy lion, and a 33 long mixed reef that's become my little programming project. I have the tank pretty much fully automated, and the controller is a recycled HVAC controller that I wrote new programs for and wired up everything. It works great, but it's a little....... Unconventional.

I'm on the site pretty much every day, and my PM box is always open. Thank you for being a part of CDMAS, it's the members that make us what we are!


John works for the government managing several research projects, a number of grants, and program contracts. Is a noted author and expert on program financing, homeless services and disability programs.

John is a professed card carrying “geek” and likes to think of his interests as more of a renaissance person with an interest in lots of topics and expertise in a few. He has a 150 year old Italianate House overlooking the Hudson River which has been his labor of love restoring and decorating with antiques. Most of the restorations on the house he completed himself or with the help of friends including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, painting and landscaping. An avid reader, John has a large library including many first editions. His passion related to cooking is clearly evident if you attend any of the parties or events he enjoys hosting. Playing games on mainframe computers in high school began John’s passion for technology seeing the slide rule give way to his first computer (an Osborne). His interests in computers are easy to see here as he is the webmaster responsible for administering this site.

Fish interests began early and by the age of 8, John was rearing freshwater fish, often raising brood and then providing them to other or taking them to school. John set up his first marine system in 1979 and has been keeping marine life off and on since. His first marine tank started as a 55 gallon system, which advanced to a 90 gallon display, and then a 180 gallon trophy. His pride and joy is his a 450 gallon mixed reef tank in his dining room with a 800 gallon total system including sumps and fuge. As a true “geek” much of his tank is automated with an Apex automation system. He maintains several other tanks in addition to the large system and is always learning more about the hobby, so give him a shout to engage him in any discussion.


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