Bob Stark Owner ESV Aquarium Products
Born in Queens, New York, Bob Stark has been a marine aquarist for 50 years. He graduated from the Southampton campus of Long Island University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology. For the next 27 years he worked as a chemical engineer at his family's chemical specialty company, ESV Company Inc. During this time he privately maintained marine aquaria and was caught up in the revolutionary wave of reef aquariums when it hit the United States in the mid 1980's with the series of articles by George Smit published in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine.
In 1995 he formulated and started to sell B-Ionic Calcium Buffer, the first easy to use, ionically balanced two part calcium and alkalinity additive which could be manually dosed directly to the aquarium without having to be slowly dripped to avoid a dangerous pH spike, like kalkwasser. Soon after he formulated B-Ionic Magnesium, the first ionically balanced magnesium additive. The company also introduced the first dried marine phytoplankton and sugar fine aragonite sand to the USA reef hobby.
In 1996 he was a speaker at MACNA XI in Louisville, Kentucky and has presented his ideas and philosophies to several aquarium clubs over the years. In 2003 his simplistic approach to reef keeping was featured in Mike Paletta's book "Ultimate Marine Aquariums: Saltwater Dream Systems and how they are Created" as the "Bare Bones Reef".
In 2006 Bob and his brother Rich ended the chemical specialties company and formed ESV Aquarium Products Inc. to exclusively manufacture and sell products for the aquarium industry. Soon after the formation of the new company, he formulated the 4 component B-Ionic Seawater System to address the problems of impurities and inconsistencies in single component, dry synthetic seawater mixes. Bob's major interest is to extrapolate research from marine science journals into the design of simplified closed marine ecosystem models with applications in energy efficient aquaculture and to provide a simple, economical methodology to help beginning reef aquarists entering the hobby.