Our story began when one aquarist’s love for the tank and his perfectionist personality intersected, and “Mr. Fix It” (The Aquarist’s Rendition) stepped in to save the day. Jonathan’s love for the aquatic world began at age 6 on the beautiful reefs of the Florida Keys. His dad, an avid spear fisherman, brought him on fishing trips where he snorkeled and dove around the reef. His dad taught him the skills he needed to be able to shoot his first fish, and he’s had a passion and respect for the ocean since those early years. At age 9, Jonathan’s parents allowed him to keep a fish tank, although, they may not have been aware that he was breeding fish. He’s been hooked on the hobby ever since. Today he continues to practice fishing and enjoying his sport, whether it’s to feed his family a delicious dinner, or to catch a nice new tropical fish for his tank.
When you have a vision of how you want something as beautiful as your own fish tank to look, you do everything you can to bring that beauty to life. The birth of Pristine Rock came in this way. Jonathan was setting up his new 220-gallon tank and needed some dry rock. He had the idea that he wanted some ledges in his tank so he asked the seller to cut pieces for him. When he put them into his tank he had a lot of sediment and debris that released into the water despite his thorough rinse. Jonathan got thinking…he wondered if he could cut some rock himself and do a cleaner job at it. Once the ball got rolling, the ideas started flowing into his head; how to cut the rock, layer the rock, adhere the rock, and how to focus on fine imperfections that make the rock even more appealing to the eyes. His craft became creating the perfect rockscape before it gets put into customer’s tanks.
Our Creative Process
Even with his few first hits, Jonathan found it difficult to compete with the established rock companies already out there, so he began to think small. His focus on customer service, and completing orders working alongside the individual customer creates an experience and some really artistic and innovative pieces. In his work he shows his attention to functionality is just as focused as his attention to aesthetics. It’s great if a rock creation looks nice, but it’s that much more treasured when the piece serves a purpose in the customer’s fish tank. Whether it’s a cascading rock form, a shelf that creates a bridge and shadows, or a beautiful natural surface to grow out corals on, the pieces are made with attention and care. In addition, Jonathan maintains his creativity through his resourcefulness in leaving no material unused. He collects as much rubble that breaks from larger pieces during processing and puts them to use on smaller works, and he goes as far to collect the sand as it erodes from the rock, creating an economical and ecological business practice.
The Value of Our Customers
After Jonathan’s focus went small and centered on quality rather than quantity, Pristine Rock began expanding the catalog of rock products available to aquarium hobbyists globally. Jonathan reached out to social media and asked fellow aquarium enthusiasts what they wanted to see him produce. The community responded with challenging but original ideas and overwhelming support for the work that he has done. The reason Pristine Rock offers so many creative options is because our customers keep challenging us to think outside the box (or tank). We have much gratitude and appreciation for our customers because they drive us to work harder and make better rock products for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.