It is with a sad heart that we report today the passing of aquarium industry icon and Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation (GARF) founder, Leroy Headlee. For all of those aquarium hobbyists who have been at it for a while, you know exactly the kind of impact this one individual had on the industry. He basically wrote the book on coral fragging and aquarium DIY, and started doing all of this with great success well over 20 years ago. He taught us how to use razorblades and super glue to make new frags, how to build aquariums out of plywood, and how to properly care for those delicate creatures in our glass boxes. Heck, he was even aquaculturing live rock as far back as 1995. LeRoy’s advice and knowledge of marine ornamentals expanded the hobby in ways you couldn’t even begin to comprehend, and he probably single handedly saved thousands of reef keepers from disaster.
Leroy, you will truly be missed in this hobby, and our condolences go out to your friends and loved ones.
The GARF organization, the brainchild of LeRoy and Sally Jo Headlee, was founded specifically to educate Idaho residents and the rest of the world on topics centered around ponds, freshwater plants, coral aquaculture, and proper fish care to name a few. His passions were met with success, as GARF became a valuable resource in the infant stages of the marine aquarium hobby in the United States. Eventually, GARF would literally explode with the increased usage of the net over the years, allowing hobbyists to access valuable information to keep their tanks running in tip top shape.
While the exact cause of LeRoy’s death has been withheld from the public, and rightfully so, we do know that he had been having some health issues as of late. In an undated posted on the GARF website, LeRoy explains that he was recovering from a stroke, though doctors indicated he was on a good path to recovery. Unfortunately, he passed away a few days ago, on Memorial Day.