May 21, 2021 7pm | Sean Stake | Breeding Goldfish
Meeting to be held at the New Berlin Ale House: 16000 W Cleveland Ave, New Berlin, WI 53151
Sean has been keeping fish and amphibians for around 30 years. He has breed over 50 different species, including everything from livebearers, cichlids, plecos, cyprinids, and even Banggai cardinalfish
He earned a BS in Biology from Northland College and has always had a strong passion for studying the natural world. While in college he was a founding member of Northland’s Wolf Research Team, studying captive wolves and tracking wild ones. He also started working at Wal-Mart which gave him first experiences in the pet trade as more than a consumer.
He worked in the pet department and quickly began responsible for fish orders. It was also at this tie when he was first afflicted with the aquarist ailment MTS (Multiple Tank Syndrome). As he transitioned from student life to being a real adult, he and his wife moved several times and Sean became quite adept at moving fish tanks and fish. Learning more and more through experience and literature he kept more types of fish. After moving to the Madison area, he was eventually promoted to Pet Department manager and had regular customers in the fish department. He had one of the most diverse selections of any Wal-Mart including rope fish, African butterfly fish, and even crocodile newts.
Eventually the guy delivering his fish was looking for another delivery driver and Sean tried that for a few years. He enjoyed it but when his second child was born the odd hours associated with the new baby and the delivery schedule were not compatible. While keeping fish at home (setup tank count grew steadily to over 40 tanks) Sean’s work life was in science not associated with fish.
Then in 2016 his friend Marcus Weesner noticed all his fish tanks, many of which were not setup and they began the plans to start Madtown Aquaculture. This side business quickly gained popularity as they had a little bit of everything on offer. Doing their own breeding, they also worked with other hobbyists to sell extra fish and did some importing.
In 2018 Sean and Marcus were given the opportunity to join Alpha Aquaculture, a clownfish breeding business as junior partners. Sean decided to sign on, Marcus remained with Madtown and they parted ways. This was Sean’s first real experience in the saltwater game and he learned much about that side of the hobby. He also gained a lot of insight into commercial aquaculture.
Two years ago, Sean left Alpha Aquaculture and quickly found his current career at Rose Innovations. He is currently the aquatics manager overseeing the goldfish breeding operations and the aquatic plants and water features.