What to bring!

What to bring!

How to prepare for Carolina Aquatic Expo

CAE is right around the corner! How are your preparing?

What to bring

  • Masks – masks are mandatory in any indoors location! We will have masks for sale at the merchandise stand!
  • Coolers – bring an insulated box or cooler to keep your fish and corals warm/cold! Heat packs and styrofoam coolers will be available for sale at the merchandise stand in the lobby
  • Cash – some vendors take card and electronic payment (PayPal, Venmo, Cashapp), but everyone accepts cash! There will be an ATM in the lobby by the merchandise stand
  • Tickets – print or display your email receipt at the door for entry! Any proof of payment will work!
  • Patience – please be patient with vendors and staff as we are all doing our best to accommodate the needs of our guests. If there is any emergency, please look for volunteers wearing STAFF t-shirts!
  • Friends – everything is more fun with friends! Bring a buddy and share the fun! Tickets will be available at the door!

Check out our awesome raffle prizes!

All proceeds will go to Sustainable Reef, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting sustainable aquaculture and protecting coral reefs!

Raffle highlights include:

  • Brand new in box Fluval FX6
  • Original UV Mandarin Goby Painting by “Artistic Reeflections”
  • Brand new tank and plant LED combo

Full list at https://carolinaaquaticexpo.com/raffles/


Vendor Highlight – Reef and Fins

Vendor Highlight - Reef and Fins

Founded by a Master Scuba Diver and 40 year aquarium hobbyist, Reef and Fins LLC, has always been concerned about the sustainability and the health of our oceans. For this reason, most of their livestock is aqua-cultured in-house and they never compromise when packaging and shipping live items.

Owner Pete feels that the diversification of many of the ocean’s species across millions of marine hobbyists aquariums is a hedge against catastrophic species loss and helps educate people on the fragility and beauty of our oceans. With those sentiments in mind, Pete and the entire Reef and Fins team work tirelessly to help educate every one of their customers on the proper care and treatment of each piece of life that comes out of their tanks.

Don’t miss Reef and Fins in the Coral Room at Premium Booth 1!

Get your tickets now!

Vendor Highlight – Sunfish Exotics

Vendor Highlight - Sunfish Exotics

Sunfish Exotics is a new vendor this year! As Carolina Aquatic Expo looks to branch into new directions, we are always looking for exciting new vendors to participate in our shows! Sunfish Exotics is just an example of the type of variety we love having in vendors.

Sunfish Exotics is a passion project owned and operated by Morgan Carpenter.

Morgan has always had an obsession with animals. She actually began in the aquarium hobby, but her first leopard gecko changed all of that! After completely falling in love with reptiles, Morgan spent the next few years learning the ins and outs of reptile keeping.

In 2015, she began her breeding career with her first leopard gecko clutch, and has been expanding ever since!

Apart from the animals, Morgan is also a fantastic artist! Most of her paintings are of animals and plants, but she also does custom pet portraits and logo design. Her strongest mediums are watercolors, acrylics, and digital media.

Sunfish Exotics will be selling stickers, prints, and some reptiles at Booth 5 in the Main Room!

Get your tickets here now!

Vendor Highlight – Splashy Fish

Vendor Highlight - Splashy Fish

Splashy Fish is our newest premium freshwater vendor! Coming all the way from Northern Virginia, Splashy Fish is looking to make a splash (can’t help myself) at CAE!

As a fish importer and breeder, Nguyen and his team provide a quality of livestock that is rivaled by very few people. Splashy Fish specializes in premium bettas, but they will also be bringing a variety of dwarf freshwater shrimp!

Nano tanks and shrimp are all the rage these days, and they can fit right on your desk! Be sure to check out Splashy Fish’s shrimp selection and put together your very own shrimp tank this Spring!

Follow Splashy Fish on Facebook!

Visit Splashy Fish’s website here!

Purchase tickets here!

Show Special Highlights:

  • Premium Koi Galaxy Male $35
  • Premium Koi Nemo Male $35
  • Premium Koi Galaxy Female $25
  • Premium Koi Nemo Female $25
  • Wild Betta $85
  • Hellboy Fancy Male $45
  • Hellboy Fancy Female $35
  • Yellow Fancy Male $45
  • Yellow Fancy Female $35
  • Dumbo Betta Male $35
  • Dumbo Betta Female $25  
  • Fire Red Shrimp 10+1 $40
  • Bloody Mary Shrimp 10+1 $50
  • Blue Velvet Shrimp 10+1 $40
  • Blue Dream Shrimp 10+1 $50
  • Black Carbon Shrimp 10+1 $40
  • Golden Yellow Back Shrimp 10+1 $40

Vendor Highlight – Pleco Hotels and Accessories

Vendor Highlight - Pleco Hotels and Accessories

Pleco Hotels and Accessories is coming to Carolina Aquatic Expo all the way from Pennsylvania!

A household name in the niche pleco hobby, Pleco Hotels provides the finest dry goods on the market! Whether it’s caves, condos, breeder boxes, or even food, Jim sources top quality stock from all over the world!

As you can see from the pictures, Pleco Hotels carries a wide variety of caves in all shapes and sizes. Not only that, but Jim carries a wealth of knowledge and breeding experience with him when recommending which cave style is best for your fish!

Some of the fish that Jim has extensive experience breeding are Leopard Frog Plecos and Laser Cory’s. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to get your hands on some of his fish!

Born and raised eating Pleco Hotels brand pellets, these fish are guaranteed to suck! (please excuse my poor taste in humor) See the picture below for the PH food lineup!

Of course, what’s a good show without a little bit of fun! Pleco Hotels prints custom T-Shirts to order right at the show! Get a cool shirt and be the talk of your local fish store!

Get your funny fish-related gear at Booth 1 in the Main Room and be sure to check out all of the other goodies they will have available! Tickets available here!

Vendor Highlight – Leon’s Lagoon

Vendor Highlight - Leon's Lagoon

Leon’s Lagoon is a founding vendor of Carolina Aquatic Expo! Having been with us for three years, we are excited to have Richard and his team back on board this year!

Leon’s Lagoon has over twenty-five years experience in the aquarium retail industry. As they teach their customers how to properly care for their specimens, they are also constantly learning from customer experiences. This gives Richard and his team a perpetual source of new information, with which to better be able to serve you!
Providing high quality coral and fish to the saltwater aquarium hobby brings the Leon’s Lagoon team great joy, and you can see it on their faces as they interact with their customers! Richard’s smile is contagious!
Don’t miss Leon’s Lagoon at Booth 11 in the Coral Room!

Vendor Highlight – NC Bettas

Vendor Highlight - NC Bettas

NC Bettas is a founding vendor of Charlotte’s trade shows. From the outset of the Charlotte Area Aquarium Trade Show and now with Carolina Aquatic Expo, Tu and Camy have supported us and set up tables at every one of our shows.

A fish show isn’t much of a fish show without quality fish, and NC Bettas consistently provides top quality livestock that can’t be found anywhere else in the Carolinas!

Whether or not you are looking for award-winning bettas, world class discus, flowerhorns, or premium guppies, NC Bettas provides some of the best looking fish in the country.

Don’t miss out on these amazing fish, which come in limited quantity! Each betta is unique, so be sure to get your VIP tickets to ensure that you get a chance at the pick of the litter!

Find Tu and Camy at Premium Booth 4 in the Main Room!

Raffle Highlights

Carolina Aquatic Expo Raffles! Presented by Sustainable Reef

Carolina Aquatic Expo attendees will each receive one FREE $1 raffle ticket!

Raffle notes:

  • All raffles will be drawn by Facebook Live stream in order to reduce risk of crowds and in order to stay under our venue capacity!
  • Raffle tickets are only available AT THE SHOW! Book your tickets here!
  • All proceeds of this raffle will go to Sustainable Reef, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to the protection of coral reefs around the world!

Raffle Categories – $1 Door Prize tickets and $5 Premium Raffle tickets!

Raffle prizes will continue to be added, but for now, here are some highlights!


Premium Raffle Items

Sponsor – Saburai Aquatics

Item – Fluval FX6
Value – $300
Raffle Category – $5 Premium Raffle tickets
Description: Premier canister filter. New in box. Rated for aquariums up to 400 gallons

Sponsor – Sustainable Reef

Item – UV Mandarin Goby Painting
Value – $300
Raffle Category – $5 Premium Raffle tickets
Description: 16″ x 20″ Original Painting by Janine Meister aka “Artistic Reeflections”

This piece is the very first in Janine’s Reeflection collection. They are painted with UV-reacting paint that will make the paintings glow radiantly under reef lights!

Check out Artistic Reeflections on Facebook to see her other paintings!

Door Prize Items

Sponsor – Seachem

Item – Freshwater Package
Value – $60
Raffle Category – $1 Door Prize tickets
– aquavitro seed – beneficial bacteria starter culture
– Algae Sponge – safely and effectively removes algae from scratches
– Purigen – helps control ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. Easily regenerated
– PhosGuard – removes silicate and phosphate
– Clarity – water clarifier. Reef and plant safe
– Algae Scraper – ergonomic design with three retractable blades: metal, plastic, and soft pad

Sponsor – Seachem

Item – Marine Package
Value – $60
Raffle Category – $1 Door Prize tickets
– Coral Cutters – made with surgical stainless steel. Able to cut through thick coral with ease
– Reef Glue – cyanoacrylate gel for gluing and mounting coral frags and colonies to reef rock or plugs
– Reef Dip – coral disinfectant. Elemental iodine complex
– aquavitro Fuel – comprehensive carbohydrate, vitamin, amino acid, and polyunsaturated fatty acid supplement for corals

Sponsor – Seachem

Item – Planted Tank Package
Value – $70
Raffle Category – $1 Door Prize tickets
– Flourish – comprehensive plant supplement
– Flourish Iron – highly concentrated iron source for planted aquariums
– Flourish Potassium – highly concentrated potassium supplement for planted aquariums
– Flourish Trace – trace elements supplement for planted aquariums
– Forceps – perfect tool for planting in substrates
– Alkaline Buffer – adjusts pH to 7.2 – 8.5
– Acid Buffer – adjusts pH to 5.0 – 8.0
– Equlibrium – restores and maintains mineral balance and GH

Sponsor – Saburai Aquatics

Item – Waterbox Mini 10
Value – $80
Raffle Category – $1 Door Prize tickets
Description: 19.7″ x 9.8″ x 11.8″ – 9.2 Gallons
A minimalist design with ultra-clear glass and a self-leveling mat

Tank only!

Sponsor – Z Fishroom

Item – Assorted Sword Package
Value – $30
Raffle Category – $1 Door Prize tickets
Description: 5 Assorted Amazon Sword varieties

Sponsor – Z Fishroom

Item – Assorted Anubias Package
Value – $40
Raffle Category – $1 Door Prize tickets
Description: 5 Assorted Anubias varieties

Vendor Highlight – Myrtle Beach Discus

Vendor Highlight - Myrtle Beach Discus

Myrtle Beach Discus is South Carolina’s premier discus supplier. With over 30 different strains sourced from all over the world, Myrtle Beach Discus provides a variety that cannot be matched.

Jovan and his team are committed to making your experience with discus an exciting one! Myrtle Beach Discus considers these fish to be family and take a tremendous amount of time in making sure that they are well taken care of. Transport and shipping of these fish are not easy, but Myrtle Beach Discus has years of experience on their side, giving them the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure the safety of your purchase.

Fish of this quality are sure to go quick, so don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Jovan and his team are driving 4 hours from Myrtle Beach, so save yourself a trip and let them bring the fish to you!

Get your VIP Tickets and be first in line to check out Myrtle Beach Discus at Premium Booth 5!

Vendor Highlight – Queen City Corals

Vendor Highlight - Queen City Corals

Queen City Coral is Charlotte’s premier saltwater fish store. They provide and sell corals, fish, and invertebrates for your saltwater tanks!

Kevin brings his youthful energy to the hobby and uses it as fuel to provide some of the best services in the business.

QCC offers aquarium installations and regular aquarium service to clients throughout the Charlotte Metro region.

Don’t miss Queen City Corals and many other vendors at Carolina Aquatic Expo!

Tickets available here!

Exclusive VIP Deal

  • Spend $30 receive a FREE gift!

Show Highlights

  • $20 – Assorted Zoas
  • $60 – Frogspawn Torches
  • $30-35 – Hammers