Sustainably Farmed Live Rock
Tampa Bay Saltwater live rock farming was founded over 30 years ago to save native Florida rock from being removed from the Gulf. We have planted both quarried rock and sustainably made Walt Smith Reef Rock on the lease site.
QUARRIED ROCK: In 1984, TBS deposited over 4 million pounds of Florida and Bahamian quarried rock on the lease site. Thousands of pounds of natural rock from the Philippians and Trinidad were also added over the years.
WALT SMITH REEF ROCK: In 2015, TBS began planting sustainably made rock from Fiji. This rock contains a proprietary blend of natural Fijian ingredients like sand and coral skeletons shaped into shelves, arches, honeycomb, caves and branch.
Sustainable ocean farming is vital endevour for protecting native reefs and providing beneficial microorganisms to the bacteria deprived aquariums today.
“The Sea is Everything!” – Captain Nemo, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Temporary Habitat: Depositing thousands of pounds of quarried rock and sustainable Walt Smith on the lease site provides shelter and food for fish and inverts, while the product is being transformed from dead to a “living” rock. Once the rock is a living, it is removed from the ocean bottom by hand for the sole purpose of providing life for your aquarium.
Removing Waste: We remove plastic bottles, abandoned crab traps, knotted fishing line, discarded ropes…if we see trash, we remove it from the Gulf.
Conservation: TBS relies on the ocean to survive, taking care of the ocean takes care of us, and we in turn want to give back. One way we do this is how we harvest rock, by hand. Little by little, mature rock is removed and replaced with new rock in a sustainable cycle. In the heart of the site lives beautiful corals, gorgonians, sponges and inverts; this is our no harvest zone as this island seeds our live rock farm.
We give to the Gulf and the Gulf gives back.
We are a Shark friendly Rock Farm
A healthy shark population means healthy oceans, so a shark sighting brings a smile! Seeing a hammer head en route to the lease site means it is going to be a good day harvesting. Visibility on the farm is normally poor, which means shark sights are infrequent.
In honor of this magnificent predator and a nod to the vintage Tampa Bay Saltwater shark logo; we will randomly have a Shark Sighting Sale. Often visibility is less than 2 feet, which means the only thing we see is rock and sand. When we do spy a shark, get ready for a sale! 10% of profit will go to Florida Shark Conservation organizations.
Sharks for a healthy ocean and Tampa Bay Saltwater Live Rock for a healthy tank!
The Business of Sustainable Aquaculture
Now that’s Cool! Within the warehouse resides a room dedicated to maintaining cool temps for the live rock holding system. It is lovingly called the Icehouse. Clad in recycled Fijian wood pallets, the Icehouse provides life support for the living rock until it is shipped to you. This chilly room is lit with energy saving LEDs, cooled with an energy saving AC unit, topped off with a water saver RODI and filled with natural seawater.
Sustainably Rockin. A huge portion of the farm was planted by Richard years ago. We will add to inventory with reef saving Walt Smith rock made by hand with natural island ingredients like Fiji sand and coral skeletons.
Improvement is needed. One aspect of rock farming that we don’t like is shipping in Styrofoam. We go through a lot of insulated boxes. When possible, we reuse and encourage customers to please reuse. Styrofoam is a shipping hurdle we can’t get over at the moment, but rest assured, we are searching for an environmentally friendly alternative. Have an idea, please share with us.
Sum it up: WE Care
All live rock grows on a lease site in Florida waters where it absorbs and hosts life forms important for closed system aquariums. Our goal is to maintain life from the ocean all the way to your aquarium.
The 2,500 sq ft holding facility is conveniently located between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa International Airport. Twenty minutes from boat ramp to warehouse and twenty minutes from warehouse to airport. This strategic location reduces the time our living rock travels from the ocean to the Icehouse, and on to a plane ride across the states.
The 4k holding system runs on natural sea water collected at the same location the aquacutlured rock is harvested. It is topped off with RODI. Every harvest, we deliver fresh sea water to the system.
We closely monitor Florida Fish and Wildlife’s Red Tide Updates and only harvest when red tide is not present.
The few fish in our system are live rock hitchhiking fish like tiny gobies. We do not buy or sell fish. Most of our critters come in as live rock hitchhikers, the remainder are purchased solely from local Florida divers collected in Florida waters.
We do not use any chemicals or products to treat the holding system. Au Natural.
Inventory moves quickly. This means you will have the freshest possible live rock and sand.
Teaching Sustainable Aquaculture To the