1980. Reef Stars owner Jason Rodriguez was born into a home with a hexagon shaped aquarium, that he still owns to this day. The fascination of everything aquatic, became a passion from birth. Always keeping an aquarium at arms length throughout his life.
1990 Jason set up his first aquarium a 10g freshwater with electric blue and orange african cichlids. Like most kids he also built his share of Revell model cars and planes. When new models would be completed older models would become underwater aquascapes. Painted and dismantled as if they've been sunken on the bottom of a lake for decades. Growing up along fresh water canals and lakes collection of many small fish and crustaceans for his 10g became another side hobby.
1995 His first saltwater aquarium 20g purchased while on vacation in Tampa, FL. Since most the neighborhood friends kept saltwater aquariums you could easily count five or more blue lit rooms on his street. After, seeing protein skimmers at a local fish store he went home and built his own. Taking the plastic tube from a freshwater undergravel filter, air pump and fish food container. The tube with an Airstone installed was then placed inside the aquarium with the food container acting as skimmate collection cup. Adjustments were made by raising or lowering the tube and within minutes skimmate was being produced. Keeping with his side hobby of collecting small fish and crustaceans freshwater lakes turned into oceans. 2003 While living in Costa Rica Jason contacted a local pet store to build a 100g reef aquarium. A 3/8'' glass aquarium was built using large amounts of silicone, not easy on the eyes but it held water. Saltwater needed to be trucked in from the closest beach two hours away because salt mix was unavailable. Caring for a reef aquarium in a tropical paradise was a massive challenge. He would soon learn all marine livestock needed to be imported since local collection is illegal. Shortly after the reef aquarium was converted into freshwater.
2010 Jason moved back to south Florida accompanied by his wife Vanessa his son Riley and daughter Camilla Coral. In his spare time he had been designing a saltwater aquarium retail store on his computer. This set the groundwork for what would later become riley's-reef a small saltwater aquarium store. The exact replica of the computer model designed a year before. While at first the store was a success, he found creating custom aquariums a more interesting challenge. The issue with retail stores like riley's we do not design or build aquariums, only sell them. Large beautiful custom built aquariums are not built by small retail stores. Managing projects of those scales requires a team of carpenters, welders, plumbers, acrylic or glass aquarium fabricators. These craftsmen are dedicated to their crafts. Being a store owner allowed him to purchase just about every aquarium brand on the market their noticing faults and qualities. His focus turned to fabrication and building of aquariums and not selling or just maintaining them.
2013. Reef Star was founded after 4 years of researching aquarium manufacturing and glass fabrication. Even a trip to Italy to visit numerous locations including public aquariums along with Italian aquariums shops in Milan and Rome. The main destination the birth place of glassmaking, the island of Murano. Glasses ability to be blown formed shaped and last a life time is amazing. Why cant aquariums be built like this? Our glass aquariums are the total opposite of being art. Our mitered 3/4 inch aquariums seam is 1 inch thick but from all viewing angles it appears as 3/4. This larger seam requires longer cure times to achieve a standard looking seam that is 25% stronger. Partnering with a glass fabricator who specializes in high end glass works, makes Reef Star a standalone for glass aquarium fabrication. .