About Us

Established in 2006 Reef Builders covers the aquatics industry for keeping saltwater tanks and has been featured by CNN, MSNBC and Wikipedia as a definite source.

Ryan Gripp,  Founder & Managing Director

Ryan Gripp is a commerce technologist with more than 14 years of experience in the retail industry. He started his career with eCommerce using Miva Merchant and more recently has implemented complex large-scale systems (Oracle ATG), IBM Websphere, Shopify Plus, and SalesForce Commerce Cloud. Ryan’s expertise also includes digital marketing, digital commerce, analytics, and customer experience, and order management architecture.  He founded Reef Builders in 2006. He writes about technology, industry, and other associated news relating to saltwater fish tanks.

Jake Adams, Managing Editor
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid-90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.

Nicole Helgason, Event Coordinator

Nicole has a passion for scuba diving and coral reefs. Nicole has a Bachelors degree in Coastal Geography from the University of Victoria and has managed dive centers around the world.

Brian Blank, Senior Editor
Brian Blank has been blogging about the aquarium industry since 2007 and writing with Reef Builders since 2009. Brian has been involved in spurts of aquarium keeping since he was a youngster. Most recently he has kept freshwater aquariums throughout the 1990s and briefly ventured into saltwater before breaking down the tank while in college. He ventured into the reefing world in 2006 finally fulfilling his dream of a larger saltwater tank. As a DIY nut and gadget fanatic, he brings a passion covering new products and innovations while leaving the livestock to the other incredible writers at Reef Builders. He often pens a Friday Smorgasbord column that explores the wild, wacky and wonderful side of the aquatic kingdom. Brian studied PR and marketing at San Jose State University and works for a high-tech PR agency in San Francisco. Brian and his awesome wife Veronica and baby daughter live in Pacifica, California, where his aquarium is currently on hold as he works on updated his home.

Jeremy Gay, UK Editor


Comments (15)
  1. mary dwyer says:

    To Nicole Helgason:
    Good morning,
    I seek permission to copy your photos for educational purposes.
    Please refer to the webpage:
    I would like to use ‘glass sponge – 17, 18 & 19’.
    I will credit them with your name & webpage above.
    I await your reply.

  2. Edo Viega says:

    Hi Jake and Nicole, my name is Edo from Brazil and I’m conducing live interviews with the main personalities from our hobby: both Brazilian and international. I already had Julian, Mark Callahan (9th May) and Melev (13th May). Lou Ekus will take part on the 27th and Dana Riddle and Robert (BRS) hopefully on the first week of June.

    Jake I would like to invite your this interview. 1-2 hours so you can share with us your trajectory. Bellow are the links with the former ones.


    p.s.: I make part of the advertisement team of Triton Brazil. Both Jeff and Ricardo are good friends. Anyway I just do it for the love of our hobby.


  3. Nicole Helgason says:

    Hi Mark, you can use the images please do not put my name as credit as they all come from this video from
    CPAWS-BC also linked in the article! Enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugQ0ESJuB0k

  4. Jared says:

    Just wondering if reefstock Australia is going to be postponed or just cancelled until August next year?

  5. Michael says:

    Hi Mr Adams,

    I have been thinking of moving from freshwater to marine for some time now, but have always been hesitant because of the huge filtration requirements for marine – I have very limited space. I came across you article on the Seachem Tidal 55 and was wondering if this is the only filter you are using on the tank you mentioned. What I am trying to confirm, is if one can run a small marine aquarium with less than 10 fish (mostly easy care fish like clowns/ chromis or damsels) with the Seachem Tidal filter only

    warm regards

    Michael Visser

  6. William F. Smith-Vaniz says:

    To Jake Adams:

    I seek permission to reproduce the photograph of the jawfish Opistognathus hopkinsi for educational purposes. The photograph in on your website and was taken by “Feel the Sea” in 2010 at Izu Marine Park, Japan but I do not know whom to contact for permission to use it. I would like to include the photograph in my monograph on Indo-West Pacific Opistognathus which will be published next year as an open-access scientific publication in Zootaxa. In the figure caption I will, of course, credit the photographer or origination.

    Any advice or help you can provide will be appreciated.

    Thank you

    W. F. Smith-Vaniz, Ph.D.

  7. William F. Smith-Vaniz says:

    Hi Jake,

    This is a follow-up to my previous email of today. I would also like permission to publish the photograph (lateral view) of the gorgeous live Tattoo jawfish shown on your webpage in Zootaxa. Incidentally I described this jawfish (Opistognathus decorus) as a new species in the Japanese Journal of Ichthyology in 1985. To whom do I need to contact for permission and who do I acknowledge as the photographer. In the locality is known that would also be appreciated.

    Thanks again for any help you can provide.


  8. Xmegatron10 says:

    My name is xmegatron10 I’m a Pro-liberal/PRO-DEMACRAT? Im getting a pair of secret cichlids to make a hybrid call the (RED PHOENIX KING CICHLID ?) now WARNING: DO NOT THINK THAT CAUSE YOU HAVE A LINEBRED RED DEVIL CICHLID OR MIDAS OR BLACKBELT CICHLID OR ANY VIEJA CICHLID that they can mess with. This hybrid in any way number 1 they will be extremely extremely extremely extremely extremely extremely aggressive/territorial/quarrelsome and predatory. 2 the male gets 26 inches the female maybe 18 or 19 inches.

  9. Xmegatron10 says:

    I tried to make emojis After the words demacrat and Phoenix king cichlid and it came out as question marks well at least I know you can’t make emojis on here. But like I said this hybrid cichlid is nothing to mess with AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAA

  10. Have seen white string ray At Rye pier today with stumpy tail Came home to look up and see your photo – virtually the same fish Absolutely beautiful watching it glide around the pier

  11. gickel says:

    I know you love going around the world to see the salt water reef when you get time please watch this guy from South India he had bulit everthing in second had nad also from house left over i bet this will be intresting please watch it . He is expaling in Tamil but you can cc


  12. Travis Wagner says:

    Has anyone reported compatibility issues with safari on iOS? For sometime now I have been unable to read an articles text. Works fine with Firefox on iOS.

  13. LM says:

    I really need your help…. the suppose famous company called ATM from LV, from the show “Tanked” they have stole me a lot of money and this can’t stay like this… Jake we have meet several times in others shows like Aquarama, please try to help me to make this public, I have all proofs, please!

  14. jdokos says:

    I think you need to update your ‘article’ about the Hydros Automatic Fish Feeder. It does NOT state that you need a Hydros 2 or 4 controller to use this. In fact quite the opposite. Jake goes a long way in gushing over the price and the fact that you can use the app across wifi. I foolishly believed this, purchased it, only to find that you need a controller.

  15. Haijun Liu says:

    Dear Reef Builders Team,

    It’s my great pleasure to write this message. I think we share the same value of enjoying the beauty of this wonderful sea world, coral reef. No doubt, in this globe ecosystem, coral reel is one of the most important players that had supported in the past and will have to sustainably support our human being. Unfortunately, the global coral declining poses such a challenge to humanity. This alerts every earth citizen to the status of coral reef. As we know most corals obtain the majority of their energy and nutrients from photosynthetic unicellular dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium that live within their tissues. Photosynthesis is essential for coral to grow and coral provide a shelter for the symbiotic cells. It’s true that during photosyntethesis CO2 is converted to sugars, however, the early events of photosynthesis can be very harmful to any photosynthetic organism if not managed properly. The damage gets worse under extreme ecological conditions, such as high light, high temperature, ect. We study the early events of photosynthesis, i.e., light harvesting and photochemical energy transduction at molecular levels. We are particularly interested in how Symbiodinium cells response to high temperature and how damages initially occur at thylakoid membrane and protein complexes that are involved in energy capture and conversion. What’s the strategy of the Symbiodinium cells to alleviate such situation?

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