Orders (800)600-6163
Support (208)344-6163
E-mail leroy@garf.org
1726 Merrill St. St, Boise, ID, 83705
GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION
It seems like forever since I have put my words down on paper and transported them to you through the magic of the web.

My heart is full of words, feelings and pride for all that the team at GARF is achieving (they are my rock, and I thank them every second of every day).

It is so easy to get involved in other people's projects, and loose focus. It is so easy to dream bigger dreams than can possibly be grasped. Everything we do at GARF has to fall within our Mission Statement. This makes it somewhat easier for us to stay grounded and when one of us tends to get off track another picks us back up and places us back on the road so our journey in this incredible hobby can be reached by all who are willing to do the work, risk their heart, and follow the path.

MISSION STATEMENT

TO PROVIDE THE CITIZENS OF IDAHO AND THE WORLD A SHOWCASE COLLECTION OF AQUATIC PLANTS, FISH, REEF ANIMALS AND PRODUCTS. TO STIMULATE INTEREST IN, APPRECIATION FOR AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF THESE COLLECTIONS. TO BE IMPLEMENTED THROUGH PLANT RECORDS, PUBLIC DISPLAYS, COLLECTIONS, APPLIED RESEARCH, PUBLICATIONS, INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS, AND SALES OF QUALITY PRODUCTS.

Q. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THIS HOBBY, AND HOW DID YOU START YOUR RESEARCH ON CREATING REEF AQUARIUMS THAT USE NOTHING FROM THE WILD REEFS?

This month is September, yes our anniversary at GARF. I will never forget when I left the Botanical Garden to get my feet wet and explore the reefs as if I were a sponge in the vast ocean. When LeRoy would share his compassion for these animals and the loosing the battle the wild reefs were facing I had to roll up my sleeves and become involve. It was a very scary time for the hobby for the Government had just outlawed live rock harvesting in the US oceans and the gossip was spreading that the fish and corals we so love would be next.

I want to share a little background on my entry into this field of research. As I mentioned the Government had just outlawed live rock harvesting in the US oceans. For individual hobbyist would purchase live rock from the pet store or wholesaler that came directly from the reef structure. The Government was concerned about this not only because of the loss of reef structure but the natural reefs are dying at alarming rates. I had so much homework to do. I had millions of questions and I followed all the research. LeRoy and I visited the ocean constantly to learn as much as we could.

THIS IS ONE OF EDDIE POSTMA'S ARAGOCRETE SCULPTURES - YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

The people who made their lively hood from selling live rock were furious, and needed to replace that income some how. They worked with the Government and brought forth the product and process of Aquacultured live Rock. This was an amazing process to follow for they could not use rock from the Natural sites they had to bring it in from Foreign Countries for they needed to be able to prove the rock was not from the natural reef. They had to place the rock in special areas, being careful how they brought it up. All I could do was wish these Companies the best of success for the amount of time, effort, money, and tears that have gone into providing a source of Aquacultured live rock should not be taken for granted.

Now I on the other hand, after working with LeRoy and trying to learn as much as I could as fast as I could, I began to realize that it was not what was coming out of the ocean that was killing everything inside of the ocean. IT IS WHATS GOING INTO THE OCEAN.

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

I heard of massive bleaching events that would wipe out miles of reefs in just days and this is happening in all parts of the World. I noticed no matter how carefully we were with placing rock we could not help but bring in all the creatures the wild reefs gracefully display, even the ones you simply do not want.

I looked at LeRoy with as much common sense as I could muster and I said "is there any way we can set up reefs with out taking anything from the ocean". He looked at me I could see the light bulbs turn on. I than asked "why would any one want to risk introducing something from the wild that could wipe out everything in captivity". You could see again that he was thinking even harder.

For all of this time when I would ask what was causing this horrible death to our reefs, I would hear over and over again that it was coral bleaching. I asked over and over again, what is coral bleaching? To be honest even today there are many causes and no one seems to know which one it really is in many cases. So again I ask, why would anyone want to risk introducing anything to their little glass boxes that could wipe out everything in such a short time?

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

This is how the Aragocrete vision started. The first rocks we made do not compare to the beauty of the rock Eddie makes. He is so talented it is almost a shame to glue corals to the rock and cover them up with growth. Which means the rock is also great for fish only tanks. Yes, fresh water as well as salt water. Over time we began to understand the priceless gift of my simple common sense so many years ago.

For the first tank that I set up is now over 7 years old. It is the first one in my lifetime. It is featured in Mike Paletta's new book. Many pictures of this tank are on product labels and I can proudly proclaim there is nothing from the ocean, I grew it myself. When saying this LeRoy and I felt that this accomplishment was far to great to hold hostage. We were compelled to share it on our web site, we share the recipe on how to make the rock, cure the rock, and we actually sell Eddies famous sculptures for those who do not have the time, talent or space to make it for them selves.

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

We go to sleep each night knowing that we have a piece of GARF in every single City, in every Single State in the USA. Our rock is being made in many parts of the World and we know in our hearts this is indeed helping the plight of our wild reefs and getting the message out to others about how all of us can do simple things to make a difference.

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

We have over 40 separate systems at GARF and it was a couple of years after setting up my first reef and watching others struggle with theirs that I began to realize the greater gift in saving a reef growing your own. My oldest tank has no algae, it has fish in it I feed it, I use tap water, but no algae. I looked at LeRoy and I said could it be that if you never put algae in your tank you would never get algae. Meaning all live rock has algae on it. It is just a matter of the conditions getting perfect, such as the seasons changing on the reef. It was when I stepped into that train of taught that I sat down and said the same goes for aptaisia, mantis shrimp, anemones, and the nightmares others are fighting.

GEOTHERMAL AQUACULTURE RESEARCH FOUNDATION

I can not put into words how important your rock just like my staff are my Foundation to my day, to my year and to my over all success. Before you think about anything else please think about this. For we have made it so easy for you, so fun for you and so successful. If you want more information or you want to find out about our rock please give my staff a call at 208-344-6163. Eddie can even custom make some amazing pieces for those who are interested.

Leroy's Old Home page (The one that Scott did not like)