Being in the hobby for quite a long time I was finally trying to find a way to make some money doing what I truly love. The ocean, aquariums, animals, all things I could enjoy working with every day of my life. Unfortunately, the coral industry is very cut throat and not necessarily the angle which I wanted to make my mark.

Then came the time for me to setup my largest reef system to date. A 210 gallon tank requiring about 200 lbs of aquarium dry rock. Once all was set and ready I started going to local aquarium stores and the prices and quality were not in line with my vision.

So I started searching craigslist, offerup, and local sources for rock and came across a gentleman selling dry rock locally for $1.50 per lb. After talks of the volume I was looking to purchase I was able to acquire the rock for $1 per lb. Unfortunately, or fortunately (considering the outcome) I had to spend a good amount of time re-cleaning the rock to my liking, and after finding out the seller has no real aquarium experience I told myself I could do it better.

The hunt for rock began…

Seeing that the rock I purchased was local I began to call around to quarries to purchase a ton of rock and I acquired my first sack of dry rock in February of 2018. I began with a partner and that did not work out so the workload fell solely on me to clean, market, pack, ship, talk to customers, create custom designs, research, and so on. Aquarium dry rock became my infatuation and so Pristine Rock was created.

Pristine Rock got the tools needed to get the work started. Borrowed a pressure cleaner from my father (which was really never going to get used), bought a miter saw and a diamond tipped blade to do my cuts, drills, hammer, chisels, diamond core bits, all purchased little by little as it was needed because customers would push my designs to need different tools to get the job done. We also purchased three 250-gallon water containers, three 55-gallon drums, and several other smaller containers to do our rock soaks, whether it be for bleach or acid or to soak out the bleach and acid.


Once the tools and rock were acquired I got on facebook, being my only real connection to the mass network of aquarium hobbyists, and started promoting my premium dry rock. At first it was just base rock and cuts but then people started making requests for custom work and things started to pick up. I am so grateful for those initial customers who gave me the boost of confidence to continue down this journey. Pristine Rock would have taken much longer to get where it is today were it not for those customers. Which brings me to how Pristine Rock is able to continue its progress in the aquarium dry rock business, and that’s customer service. I spend countless hours talking to customers even if it is just for a base rock sale.

Everyone wants to have the most beautiful tank they’ve seen to show off to others and I completely understand that being a hobbyist, so I try to give everyone that contacts me the time to get what they are looking for within their budget and in a timely manner. This focus on people’s dream
rockscapes is something I truly have as a focus for the company. Sending someone just a box of rocks is not enough to create that dream aquascape. Whether it be an order of base rock, cuts, shelf rock, custom jobs or any of our products I want all aquarium hobbyists to know at Pristine Rock we will take the time to listen and guide you in the right direction. Pristine Rock is an ecological and economical source of dry rock which everyone with an aquarium should give a try.

Thanks for reading Rock Blog #1
Jonathan Airado
Rockmaster @ Pristine Rock