Variations on a theme?

As we get deeper and deeper into the botanical/blackwater world we've found that our interests  seem to converge on a few things. One of them is biotope aquariums. It's only natural that our botanicals lend themselves quite well to creating awesome biotope aquariums. So much so, that we're going to start doing more "true-to-form" biotope packs, designed to appeal to hardcore biotope hobbyists, with geographically-appropriate selections of botanicals for the habitat to be replicated.

We've enlisted the help of noted biotope author and hobbyist, Chris Englezou, and each of our specially curated biotope packs will be conceived and approved by Chris, with a percentage of profits going to his charity, the Freshwater Life Project. 

We'll be marketing them under the new section of "Biotope by Tannin Aquatics.", and we will slowly but surely add more and more of these specialized selections to our collection, so all of you biotope lovers can have some really cool botanical packs to work with on your projects!

Now, the idea of a biotope aquarium has evolved significantly over the years. In the minds of serious biotope enthusiasts, it's no longer just a random collection of branches, roots, leaves, rocks, etc. that will suffice. Rather, this crowd favors much more precisely-selected materials. And during the curation and research process done by Chris when developing his first pack (which will be released soon!), I realized that this is a far more detailed focus on geographic accuracy than we have previously done with other packs.I was blown away by his attention to detail!

(Not Chris' pack, this is ("Floresta Inundata", another one of our "biotope-inspired" selections)

This attention to detail is really inspiring, and certainly is useful to many who are strict adherents to the biotope aquarium concept. For the rest of us, of course, we're content to accept "biotope-inspired" as our mantra, and keep on doing what we're doing. The reality is, as we've discussed before, utilizing any of these unique natural materials in our aquaria definitely evokes a feel and general "vibe" that elevates your aquascaping work to a new level. And the lessons we're learning about how they function in our aquariums will continue to fuel further research and development of new technique.

The idea of "biotope inspired" will definitely continue to resonate in our community, with all sorts of amazing aquatic displays coming out as a result of your creativity and talent. And we hope to become a real "go-to" for the hardcore biotope crowd as well. We'll work throughout 2018 to evolve and refine our product descriptions to give more and more detail as to the geographic origin of the specific botanicals (we've started already, in case you hadn't noticed), giving hobbyists of all types and interest levels a bit more of this interesting information to help them decide what materials they want in their tanks!

And, as we've discussed previously, we're looking to possibly phase out all but the most tightly-linked dry goods (foods, filter media, etc.)  from our inventory, as we turn more towards our core strengths of botanicals and related natural materials. We'll continue our specialized collaborations and work with well-known artists/explorers/authors to bring you more and more inspiring, cool stuff. 

And we'll continue to listen to YOUR suggestions about new products, ideas, techniques, etc, to advance the overall state of the botanical/blackwater/brackish/biotope aquarium movement within the hobby. It's bigger than one company- it's more of a celebration of the art, science, and "craft" of creating specialized aquatic displays!

And the reality is, all of these "variations on a theme" have but one goal: To foster an awareness, understanding, and advancement of the hobby, and an appreciation for the precious natural habitats from which our aquatic animals hail. Hopefully, the knowledge we are gaining through our ever-expanding work will yield previously unimagined breakthroughs, while inspiring others and helping us protect and preserve nature for future generations to enjoy!

Stay excited. Stay engaged. Stay adventurous...

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics 


Sanjay Ghataode
Sanjay Ghataode


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