FAQs

 

 

Your purchase is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-lasting relationship between the two of us! For questions about our products, help planning your next aquarium, or if you need us for any related reason, we encourage you to reach out to us at:

tanninaquatics@gmail.com.

In the meantime, here's a list of questions we're frequently asked, along with some helpful answers!

 

How can I pay for my goods? 

Tannin Aquatics accepts VISA, Mastercard, DIscover, American Express, Apple Pay, and Paypal.

 

Is your site safe?

You betcha! Nothing to be worried about! We have bunches of super high tech encryption thingamajigs in place so that your payment is secure and your details remain 'secret squirrel'. For you techno nerds out there – we us the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available). 

 

I love your products! How do I order stuff from you guys?

Just go to tanninaquatics.com (hint: you’re already here) and click on a products you like and add to your cart. Then just follow the easy checkout process and soon you’ll be “getting your tint on!” (welcome to the family). 

 

How do I make changes to my order? 

Ok so here’s the deal, you can simply shoot us an email, or messenger us on Facebook or Instagram (we're usually online) with your order number and the changes you need to make. Unfortunately we can’t add products to your order via message (you'll need to coordinate with us- it's not a problem, though), but we can change address, shipping or sizes prior to us shipping your order…We’ve got your back! What are you still doing here? Quick! Contact us! 

 

All prices are in U.S. dollars, right?

Yup.

 

Okay, I received my stuff, but I kinda, well..hate it. What can I do?

Oh no :( but that’s ok- we understand. We know that occasionally, you may purchase something that that’s not what you really needed, or the wrong quantity, or maybe we screwed up (we're human)…whatever. That’s why we have a no-questions asked return policy within 7 days of the date of receipt. We only require that you return the item in it’s original packaging, in undamaged/unused condition. You’ll need to contact us first in order to receive a shipping label, and we’ll send it to you. Bottom line: Take a deep breath. Contemplate the transience of all things. Take another deep breath...Just contact us; we’ll help figure out the best way to fix things. NOTE: Returns are only accepted within the United States at this time.

   

Hey, you forgot to enclose the____ with my order! 

Arghh...we screwed up. Being humans, we will occasionally forget to include something in your package. We hate to admit it, but hey- it does happen now and again. maybe more often than that, even! What to do? Simply contact us and we'll make it right- be by sending out the missing item, refunding the price, or offering a credit against future order. We'll take care of you, no problem. Just give us a chance to make it right before you unload on us online, okay? :)

 

Are the pieces in the photos the actual botanicals I'll receive?

Unless indicated, all botanicals are photographed as representatives of what to expect. Each pod, seed, etc. has its own unique natural variations...and we love that! Besides, if I had to photograph every leaf, pod, or seed, I'd go berserk, right?

 

Scott, you're a bit weird, but we'd love to have you speak at our club meeting. How do we do this?

I'll give you that. Yet, I've given over 300 presentations at clubs and events worldwide over the past decade, and I'd love to do one for yours. Just shoot me an email (tannin aquatics@gmail.com) and we can work out the details!

 

Where do all of these cool “aquatic botanicals” come from?

We have great suppliers from all over the planet that we’ve vetted out in order to find you the best quality stuff around. We make sure to do business with suppliers that we know to be committed to sustainable, ethical practices. And we’re always trying to source new stuff that we feel you’ll love!

 

Are these botanicals dangerous to my fishes? Will they change the water chemistry of my aquariums?

While the introduction of any organic material into your aquarium can affect the water chemistry, these botanicals are not dangerous in and of themselves. Look, if you dump a large quantity of these materials- of ANY botanical materials- into your stable, long-established aquarium, they will most certainly affect the environmental parameters rapidly, which will cause stress for many fishes. Let's face it, however- there are some fishes- including, but not limited to- Discus, wild Angels, Apistos, Geos, and some wild Pelvicachromis that are quite sensitive to any environmental changes, and you need to be careful when adding botanicals into their established systems.

And check our blog for a lot of articles on this topic. There is always some risk with such sensitive fishes, which you should be prepared to assume. Our advice is to follow our instructions about their preparation before using them, and to go s-l-o-w-l-y when adding these materials to your aquariums (for ANY fishes, really). You should gauge for yourself the effects they have, and never assume anything. Go slowly and carefully.

 

How do I prepare botanicals for use in my aquarium, vivarium, or terrarium? 

Glad you asked! We created a page with everything you'll need to know to prepare each one of the aquatic botanicals we offer, and our blog has numerous articles about how to use them, what to expect from them, etc., so you'll want to check it out regularly!

 

Can you put together a custom package for me?

Well, yeah. Sure. Why not? Like, we're fish geeks...we get this stuff...So, if you're working on a special project and need to use certain numbers, sizes, or shapes of aquatic botanicals, we'll be happy to do it for you...we've even been known to toss in a few extras now and again on these "custom jobs..!" You can either order an "Enigma Pack"  at a set price point, or contact us to configure a package within any budget you might have.

 

Do you offer variety packs any more? I don't see 'em on the site!

Ahah, you noticed! Actually, all of the materials in our variety packs are still here...It's just that YOU get the power of curating them, with different quantities and pricing discounts as well! We have a section of "Curated Themes" of materials which gives you some recommendations from among our extensive collection to inspire you and get you started! We think you'll appreciate this newer, more empowering way to create the botanical-style aquarium of your dreams! 

 

Can I get some samples of your aquatic botanicals before I purchase?

Sure. Sounds like a good idea! We get it- this is kind of new stuff for a lot of hobbyists, and you'd like to see what this is all about. Besides, what other vendor would do that? We want you to be comfortable with the botanicals that you purchase, so we’re happy to send you FREE samples of up to 3 three varieties at a time of eligible specimens of pretty much everything we offer, with some notable exceptions. (Savu Pods, Jungle Pods, Rio Fruta, Sino Xicara, Tapete Pods, Ra Cama Pods, Monkey Pots, Cholla Wood, Palma Abrigo Pods, Sappucaio Pods, and Magnolia Seed Pods come to mind at the moment...We reserve the right to add more to this list in the future, of course). Just shoot us an email (tanninaquatics@gmail.com) if you're interested. Sorta like paint swatches, right? Oh, we can only do this in the U.S. (shipping is just too crazy costly to do it for our international fans- sorry!).

 

There's a guy on another site who has some of the same stuff you do, and it's a lot cheaper. Won't you price match?

Nope. We are a premium brand. We offer high quality botanicals, sourced worldwide from carefully vetted suppliers, which we batch test with our own fishes. We offer superior customer service, and detailed information on our products and about this hobby speciality that you won't find anywhere else. We offer support for the hobby, aquatic community, aquarium clubs, researchers, museums, and charitable organizations. We have a free daily blog and a very active content production stream...We are here if you have questions. That's got to be worth something, right? If you're willing to support "Joe's Leaf Emporium" to save $2.00, then we're probably not the right fit. Sorry about that. 

 

How long do your leaves last?

Good question; one we receive a lot. The reality is that, depending upon water conditions, Catappa leaves tend to last about 3 weeks before really breaking down, Guava leaves, often a bit longer. And longer-lasting still, Loquat leaves, often going a month or more before decomposing. Mangrove leaves are somewhere in the middle. Like it or not, they will decompose, just like in nature, and you may or may not like the aesthetics. However, we can tell you that naturally decomposing leaf litter is harmless, and helps spur the reproduction of microfauna which many fry and small fishes consume.

So, when you're creating a "leaf litter" zone in your tank, you can incorporate the longer-lasting materials to compliment the more transitory leaves. We tend to look at the leaves as "consumables", much like we'd consider activated carbon or other filter media as such, requiring regular replenishment as they decompose. Think of botanicals like you would carbon or other "consumables."

 

You know, I can find some of the items you sell in my back yard. Why shouldn't I use them?

Hey great question! And the answer is- you SHOULD. Despite believe to the contrary, we don't have some super-secret awesome factory here in L.A. which spits out all sorts of cool botanicals. Nor do we claim to be the only place in the world to get this stuff. What we do is source, aggregate, test, study, romance, and make them available to hobbyists worldwide. As our mission statement says, no one invented this stuff! 

If you have access to some leaves or pods locally, and they're from a clean, unpolluted area, free of pesticides or industrial chemicals, and you want to add them to your aquarium- we say go for it! Just make sure that you prepare them in a similar manner to what we recommend for our botanicals, and test them with a few fishes first before placing them (slowly...) into your display aquariums! 

 

Im getting this kind of "gunky stuff" on my botanicals. Is this normal? Are they rotten?

This is actually a pretty common occurrence, and we've written quite a bit on it. What you are seeing is a bacterial "biofilm", which attaches to the surfaces of the botanicals. This is completely natural, and is not harmful in any way, except perhaps, to your sense of aesthetics! It is most assuredly a "phase", and will often disappear within a couple of weeks with minimal, if any intervention on your part. The only reason to toss you botanicals would be if they are taking on a nasty "rotten egg" (hydrogen sulfide) smell. And of course, if you need to toss 'em, contact us and we'll send you some replacements if you'd like.

The biofilms, and eventually, some algae, are natural, and are very much part of the aesthetic of these types of systems. In the absence of other plants, algae will opportunistically colonize "undefended" surfaces, such as botanicals. If you see images and film of natural blackwater systems, you'll see this in many locales. You can, of course take steps to eliminate or remove the "offending" algae, but it can also be a very interesting and natural part of the aesthetic, providing grazing opportunities for many of the animals we keep. It's all in how you look at it!

 

I would like to order from you, but the website says that you don't currently ship to my country. Am I out of luck? What can we do?

Sorry about that! We've been slowly but steadily expanding into several parts of the world, including Europe, but we're not everywhere- yet! We would love to do business in more countries! However, keep in mind that there are two possible obstacles to overcome: 1) Shipping can be expensive, and 2) Your country may not allow the importation of some of our items, such as dried botanicals. 

If you reside in a country that our website indicates we are not currently shipping to, please contact us, and we'll discuss with you if we can work out a shipment! Obviously, some restrictions on imported items may not make it possible for us to ship to you. However, if there are no restrictions, we'll do our best to help you place an order! We want you as a customer! Our goal, as we've said many times, is to "Tint the world!"- and that starts with YOU!

 

May I make a suggestion?

Of course! Suggestions and new ideas are always welcome, and we've incorporated many of your suggestions into our business during the past few years! Just hit us up via email, or Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our goal is to be your most trusted source for aquatic botanicals and other specialty aquarium hobby stuff, and YOU are what it's all about!