Is legit?


Can you really bottle purple and pink coralline? They claim they are harvesting their live rock from a heart-shaped reef off of Miami so big that it’s visible by airplane, but I can’t find any mention of it on a google search?


Staff member
I don’t know anything about that company, but the story about heart reef seems bogus, and the pic is obviously photoshopped. I even looked at that exact spot on Google Maps (yes, they made me look lol) and there is no reef/rock/heart shape there.


Staff member
Google maps / earth view is several years out of date for our house.
But I checked apple maps also, and still no reef.


Staff member
Yeah Google maps looks fine for my house... but then again I have done next to zero yard work since before my kid was born... hell looking at the neighbor's yards I'm a little jealous of some of them... except ironically the neighbors that are directly next to me as they have even worse backyards. Around CCSF is outdated though, there are not enough RV campers around the place for it to be a recent shot, one particular really beat up RV has been at the same inner section for easily 3 years, sure they move occasionally for street sweeping but every time I drive by it's always there.


Supporting Member
I was all nosy and contacted NOAA because I couldn't find any solid info online and I thought the permit # from a govt agency would be super long, unlike the one they gave. The ArcReef website looks so informative, but that's the only info I found. Anyway, NOAA said...
"NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office issues aquacultured live rock permits for federal waters off of Florida. AQU-069 is an established aquaculture live rock site.

Please note that federal aquacultured live rock sites are not classified as "artificial reefs". Rather, under this program permittees deposit bare rock on the bottom of their site and over time corals, sponges and other encrusting organisms colonize the rock. The permit holder will then harvest the rock and market/sell the rock for the aquarium trade -- thus the rock and the animals (with the exception of any ESA listed corals) are property of that permit holder.
The aquacultured live rock permitting program for federal waters off of Florida has been in existence since the early/mid 1990s and was put into place by a joint fishery management plan created by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. This program was instituted as a replacement for harvest of wild live rock, which is now illegal. The state of Florida instituted a similar aquacultured live rock program in state waters which is managed by the Florida Division of Aquaculture in Tallahassee.

Lastly, you can search for current permits issued by NOAA Fisheries at:
I would point out that a valid federal aquacultured live rock permit is only necessary during years when a permittee conducts activity (i.e., depositing bare rock or harvesting encrusted rock). Due to the fact that it may take many years for coral and other organisms to colonize bare rock, permittees may deposit bare rock one year and may not harvest for several years after. Thus, you may not see an active permit for AQU-069 if that permittee does not plan to deposit or harvest this year (although permittees may still visit their site). "

Not sure if the heart reef is supposed to be their aquaculture site or a reef they are creating "offshore in the Atlantic Ocean" as a service to the planet.

So, if you want to start your own FL aquaculture site, there's some info.
I, too, am curious about bottled coralline algae spores + nitrifying bacteria with a 2-week shelf life. Perhaps they would donate a bottle to a classroom...


Dang, BRS is selling this supposed bottled coralline. Checked and there still is no active AQU-069 rock collecting permit for their “heart shaped reef” still not visible on Google Earth, and their live rock is still “sold out”, and they have not updated their website since 2016? I posted a question on BRS about whether they have done any in-house testing and/or can really vouch for this product.

Anyway I’d advise not buying it until BRS posts a “BRS Investigates” series on bottled coralline algae, unless someone knows of some proof this stuff is legit?

You guys invest some serious energy sleuthing on the internet. Somewhere I saw that their reef was ruined by a hurricane. Maybe Irma? I seriously doubt it was in South Beach as shown in the photo.

FWIW, I used the purple helix in my main tank and coral quarantine tank. Both were started with dry dead rock. The coral quarantine tank had purple coralline within a few weeks and I don’t think I had anything else in that tank to bring it in - I was cycling that tank empty for a few months. I was a little less successful with the main display tank. I’m guessing the lighting is the issue as the main tank is much brighter and even now, coralline only grows on lower/shaded areas or along the perimeter while the quarantine tank had a crappy stock light for a few moths.

Making coralline smoothies is a pretty well documented way to accelerate coralline growth. I don’t know why everyone is so suspicious that someone would bottle it and ship it.

You can ask a question on the BRS website or R2R and Randy will probably respond. I’ve seen numerous posts on R2R with people that have used it and felt it was helpful.