Taking it to the next level. From hobby to happening!
- Helping Hobbyists
- Making Money
- Having Fun
Our founder and President, Ken Hahn, is an experienced Product Engineering Manager who has, until recently, worked in the commercial and consumer display industry developing flat panel, rear projection and front projection products which included high powered LEDs for back illumination or projection systems.
In the Spring of 2013, Ken decided to meld his passion and hobby of over 20 years with his electronic and technology background and turned his hobby website www.reefcorner.com into a new business venture, that not only supports fellow hobbyists as it always has, but also offers products utilizing updated technology that have a positive impact not only on the pocketbook, but on the environment as well.
A wise mentor in several successful startup companies had the company motto of “make money and have fun”. That always made sense to us on several levels since if you can achieve those two, pretty much everything else tends to fall into place where it needs to be, so we have adopted it as our own.
When I started college after high school, back when disco was alive and well, I was majoring in Marine Biology which has always been a passion of mine. Soon though, I decided to give back my scholarship and I joined the Marine Corps instead. It had ‘Marine’ in the title and it promised me a steady paycheck unlike Marine Biology, so I made the switch.
My first duty station was 29 Palms in the high desert of CA where I taught in the electronic schools for the Corps. This is where I got my first saltwater tank. The lionfish and large, ugly liver colored anemone in the tank were fed mosquito fish that I netted out of the (no doubt contaminated) drainage canals on base. Though I’m not exactly sure how, they seemed to survive just fine.
After a couple years, I was transferred to Kaneohe Air Station in Hawaii and the saltwater bug just got stronger. I had 3 tanks setup within a couple of months. There was a 10 gallon tank filled with cool looking little glass anemones (I had no clue what Aiptasia anemones were back then) along with a 29 gallon tank and 55 gallon tank which housed various fish and invertebrates that were collected by snorkeling or scuba diving. Part of my collection included a moray eel that was my favorite fish until he decided to take a carpet dive one day. I tried catching another one to replace him and learned the painful lesson, to never flick the tail of a moray eel to scare him out of the rocks without knowing where his head is first.
I even tried putting an occasional coral in the tanks and wondered why they would always die under the incandescent light fixtures on the tanks. This was before reef tanks were in existence and no one had any knowledge about keeping corals or thought twice about prying them off the rocks, bleaching them and turning them into curios. I still feel remorse to this day about that.
Years later, it eventually became understood how to keep corals alive and the reef tank concept was born. I have been in the hobby keeping Saltwater and reef tanks on and off for the last 30 years including propagating corals to help pay for my hobby.
About 13 years ago, I created the website www.ReefCorner.com in an effort to chronicle my own experiences and to pass on useful information to others in the hobby. Though the website received quite a bit of traffic, it was not maintained for the last few years as work kept me quite busy. That, and a major tank crash in my 225 gallon reef tank I had at the time, sucked the fun out of the hobby for a while, as anyone that has gone through a major tank crash knows. Here is a picture of that tank shortly before the crash.
Our most recent tank was a 300 gallon tank that was setup like a tide pool and half filled with water. I referred to it as the ‘Puddle tank’ since it was more puddle than tide pool. It was also my first (and last) attempt to setup a reef tank with only man-made live rock and lace rock. This tank never really got much traction since it was built into the wall between the house and garage and shortly after setting it up we had decided we were going to sell the house. We convinced ourselves that a wet bar would be more appealing to potential buyers than a 300 gallon tank poking through from the garage into the family room, so it was dismantled. Subsequently we decided not to move after all, but we still have a nice wet bar.
The puddle tank was originally designed and setup as a paladarium which is a freshwater tank that is half water and half land as though you are looking at a cross section of a stream so it was specifically designed to be only half filled with water. Below is what the tank looked like during that setup. In the picture below it is in a 225 gallon tank, but I subsequently upgraded it to a 300 gallon tank after a nail gun incident during some remodeling.
Along the way, I have also been interested in horticulture of various types and I currently have a 10’ Coffee tree in my garage under artificial lighting which is putting on its first bunch of coffee berries. This was grown from a seed given to me by a coffee farmer on Kona a couple of years ago. Though it will be fun to roast up the beans when they are ready, I’m guessing that they are going to taste more like Oregon coffee than Kona coffee.
This brings me to the present time where I have decided to reinvent ReefCorner as both the informational website that it used to be (only better) as well as to start leveraging my knowledge in electronics and LEDs to be able to start offering products that offer good value to both the reef aquarium and plant growing enthusiasts since both areas can benefit greatly from the latest in LED lighting technology.
My wife and business partner Shelby is a Program Manager for an electronics manufacturing company. She also enjoys the reef keeping hobby, but more from the viewing side of the tank glass.
She will be focusing on the accounting and marketing aspects of the business in her spare time while I focus on the website, sales and technical aspects of the business full time.