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From Bricks to Fish: An American Success Story

The sprawling cornfields of DeKalb, IL seem like an unlikely place to expect anything but farms and hardworking farmers, but a booming fish food busi-ness and a story of success is exactly what you’ll find. Rod Buehler is the founder and creator of Rod’s Food, a company that makes premium frozen fish food for marine aquariums. This may sound like a small niche business, but the marine aquarium trade is a flourishing global industry worth approximately $330 million annually that consistently demands high-quality fish food. Rod, an experienced fish nutrition expert, has been filling that niche for over a decade and is consid-ered to be a trailblazer in the marine aquarium hobby.

Rod Buehler’s addiction to reef keeping began in 1990 when he was still work-ing full time as a mason. While doing a remodel, someone suggested a fish tank as a room divider, and the seed of Rod’s new salty business had been

planted. As Rod continued working as a self-employed mason contractor, he began seriously keeping marine fish and corals while living in rural Illinois. In 1997 Rod began breeding a variety of saltwater fish, and in 1998 opened a coral farm and mail order shop out of his basement, and started shipping his tank-raised fish and corals all over the US. All the while, Rod had been making his own fish food from human grade seafood bought at grocery stores, and in 2006 finally decided to go commer-cial with his already sought-after homemade blend of reef food.

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