One of the best things about having a growing company like Tannin Aquatics is that there is always something new- always something changing, and we have a great opportunity to "change on the fly", as they say, and make adjustments to our practices, policies, offerings, and web site. One thing that is always consistent, however, is our dedication to providing you the best possible products, service, and experience.
As you've noticed, we're expanding our international operations significantly, and the need to convey information in a simple, effective manner to hobbyists who speak different languages is very important. We receive a lot of compliments on the design and appearance of our website, but we're not content to sit on our laurels. We are constantly looking for ways to create a better customer experience. Your feedback is always welcome!
One of the most common questions we receive about our botanicals is, "Does __________ work with __________?" This made us realize that it would really be great to give you a way to tell, at a glance, what animals we feel a given product would work well with- and that you could understand regardless of what your primary language is. So, we had our graphics guy design us three different icons: A fish, a shrimp, and a frog. We have these placed discreetly at the bottom of every botanical description on our site, as well as on the foods we offer.
Thus, you'll know at a glance what animals we feel a given product works best with. We show them in order of what animals we feel they are best suited for.
Now, we realize that pretty much every botanical we offer could "work" with pretty much anything we keep as aquatic pets, yet it made sense to sort of give you some recommendations based on our experience and opinions. However, we felt some stuff made more sense for some animals than others.
For example, a "Monkey Pot" is well loved by Frog and herp people in vivariums. So, the first icon there is the frog. And, more and more people play around with them in aquarium, too. So we threw in the fish icon. Can they work with shrimp? Well, sure, but with their size and relative "toughness", there are better botanicals to use with shrimp, so we elected not to include the shrimp icon after the product description.
"Sino Xicara Pods" are perfect for vivariums, and utterly frustrating for aquariums, because they float like mad. So it made no sense to recommend them for anything but frogs and herps. Get it?
And of course, there are some botanicals which work for everything we keep; for example, the beloved "Savu Pod" works with fishes, shrimps, and frogs/herps.
In the end, the icons are more of a "quick reference"; a suggestion, a recommendation. You are welcome, of course, to experiment with any of our botanicals however you wish, taking into account the safety of your animals.
These are exciting times, as more and more aquarists are discovering aquatic botanicals for themselves, and creating interesting, natural-looking aquatic displays. I think the header of our Aquatic Botanicals section on the site perfectly summarizes our thoughts on them:
"No one can really claim to have “invented” the concept or process of adding leaves, seed pods, and wood into water…It’s something that has happened in nature for eons…In tropical areas of the world, most famously, the Amazon River system, leaves, branches, bark, fruit pods, seeds, etc. fall off trees in the wind, or tumble into the rivers during rain events, etc., and accumulate in these waterways. We call these materials 'aquatic botanicals.'
As these items decompose, they impart a brownish tint to the water, and lower the pH from the release of substances known as tannins. These tannins are known to have anti-fungal/antimicrobial properties, a huge plus when you're rearing lots of fish, or even incubating eggs.
Aquatic botanicals are excellent for enriching vivarium and terrarium habitats as well, and provide numerous functional and aesthetic benefits for frogs and other herps.
And the aesthetic provided by these materials is what we're all about: Earthy, organic, natural."
And that's a quick look at the thinking behind the icons! We thank you for your feedback, welcome your ideas, and look forward to some very exciting new product releases in coming weeks!
As always, stay engaged. Stay creative. Stay adventurous. Stay true to yourself.
And Stay Wet.