About Albert Thiel

Albert has contributed to our hobby in so many ways, introducing techniques and products that were not in use in the US at the time.

Albert ThielAlbert Thiel has published a number of reefkeeping related books including possibly the first book on ‘nano reefing’ entitled, Small Reef Aquarium Basics – for smaller tanks and for beginner hobbyists. Other titles include:

  1. The Marine Fish and Invert Reef Aquarium (over 50K copies sold and still used, Amazon lists used copies for a very low price)
  2. Advanced Reefkeeping I
  3. Advanced Reefkeeping II (was not published in print but was an online “subscription only” e-book, long before e-books were even available and know to us)
  4. The New Marine Fish and Invert Reef Aquarium (not in print but published online only again as an e-book at http://www.nmfira.com)
  5. The Marine Reef Newsletter – a monthly 16 to 24 page publication that ran for nearly 5 years and was also available in hardbound copy by year)
  6. Numerous articles for FAMA and THF magazine, and also for foreign ones in French and Spanish
  7. Many articles published in Aquarium Society Newsletters and other vehicles under the pen name “The Blackfriar” (tons of hobbyists at that time wondered who The Blackfriar was but no one ever found out to our knowledge … so this is a first for you … Albert was and is The Blackfriar”

Albert spoke at far more Aquarium Society meetings than he can remember, including some in England, Germany, France and of course many many in the US.

He spoke at several MACNA Conferences as well

Albert has contributed to our hobby in so many ways, introducing techniques and products that were not in use in the US at the time, and through his books exposing hobbyists to approaches of running saltwater and reef aquariums that were based on best practices used in other Countries (in Europe and the Far East), but also by bringing products and equipment to the market that were not used in the Hobby before he did so.

Albert was born in Belgium, came to the US in late 1979 and worked for a few years for large US Companies before starting Thiel AquaTech.

Thiel Aqua Tech was the cutting edge Company at that time and originated or brought to the market almost all of our modern supplements and equipment.

Thiel Aqua Tech began back in the mid 1980’s and ran it till 1996 at which time Albert sold the Company as well as the web site he ran for many many years (http://www.athiel.com Unfortunately the purchaser did not focus on the business and made a number of mistakes and upset quite a few hobbyists and basically ran the company in the ground (the web site was also not updated any longer but as a side note, it still contains a large amount of information in its various libraries that is sill applicable today in 2012.

Albert points out that by going to the main page of the site and on the top left clicking on the search button you can enter topics and usually find several articles or postings on that topic, some by Albert and some by other Authors or saltwater and reef experts.

Thiel Aqua Tech is responsible for the very first trickle filters brought into this country (originally in glass but soon after that in acrylic) and introduced many products for the Marine hobby such as Liquid Gold, X-Nitrate, X-Phosphate, KSM, Iodine supplements, X-Silicate, and many many others.

Many of our supplements started with his Company or were improved upon, and so did: Sumps, Refugia, Skimmers, Reactors for all sorts of purposes e.g. KH ones and chemical filtration ones for carbon and other materials, and …. even Mangrove usage at a time no one had even heard of doing so. GARF (R.I.P. LeRoy) was soon to follow and advocate their use as well.

Based on his conversations with several German experts and Authors he also introduced the addition and use of Kalkwasser as one of the first companies to do so, if not the first.

His interactions with German and other Authors and experts allowed him to not only bring US hobbyists up-to-date on what was happening overseas, but also to develop new products based on all the research he did (e.g. he was the first one to introduce phosphate removers and for those who remember FAMA Magazine introduced it with a stunning advertisement that showed an aquarium the font of which was covered in green algae, and a razor blade being scraped from top to bottom of the front glass to make clear opening … and then underneath in the text asking: “is this the way you rid your tank of Algae” and suggesting that using X-Phosphate was a far better way to go. And it was …. nowadays what he introduced is still used but a new product has since also been introduced: Ferric oxide.