Shipping and handling


Packed with fish geek patience- and passion- in Los Angeles, just for you! Our botanicals are not "mass-packaged" in some soulless factory, dropped in a box and shipped off. No way. Each seed pod, every leaf, every piece of wood- is hand selected, just as if we were adding it to our own aquarium or other aquatic feature. It's slow, radically inefficient, really...but it's the ONLY way to do this. And we will always do it this way. "Scaling the unscalable" is what we're all about!

We’re fanatical about making sure that your order arrives in the best possible condition, so we take great measures to assure a smooth trip from our facility to you. We pack carefully, and ship using the service that will do the best job at getting your package to you in a safe, timely manner. In fact, customers tell us our packaging is so good, even- that they share "unboxing videos" with us all the time!

Like you, we can’t stand all sorts of fancy rules and fine print to sort through about shipping and handling, so we figured that we’d make it easy, with no minimum order size or exceptions. Ever. We charge a flat rate of $9.00 for all orders under $75.00 in the United States. Non-livestock orders $75.00 and over ship FREE IN THE U.S.A!   All livestock orders ship at a flat rate of $42.00. Shipping for Canadian orders up to $60.00 is $30.00, and $32.00 for all orders to the United Kingdom. 



CANADA:  Yep, we're happy to ship to Canadian "tinters!" However, the realities are such that it's...well- kind of expensive for us to ship to you. Like, stupidly expensive, eh? Like, almost deal-breaker expensive. It shouldn't be, but the fact is, it's very expensive. To make shipping to Canada feasible, we offer a tiered shipping and handling charge of $30.00 (U.S.) for orders up to $60.00. Orders over $60.00 ship for $40.00. Shipping is via  DHL, which is really fast. And of course, we will always throw in some extra goodies to your order to ease the pain somewhat! 

UNITED KINGDOM: The UK Government will hold you responsible for paying any VAT, duty and fees due upon arrival of your package. Tannin Aquatics cannot compute or advise you on these charges, which are outside of our control. You’ll be contacted by DHL, explaining how to pay any VAT, duty and fees for dealing with customs. They’ll normally hold your parcel for about 3 weeks; however, we cannot guarantee their actions in this regard. If you haven’t paid the fee after 3 weeks, it’ll be returned to us. You’ll be charged at the VAT rate that applies to your goods. VAT is charged on the total value, including:

 the price paid for the goods

 postage, packaging and insurance

 any duty you owe

You’ll be charged Customs Duty on gifts and other goods sent from outside the EU if they’re above a certain value, unless the duty comes to less than £7.

The value includes:

 the price paid for the goods

 postage, packaging and insurance

Typically, anything under £135 is not subject to customs duty charge. However, we are not responsible, for any charges in this policy made by the UK government,nor are we in a position to advise you on them, so please contact the appropriate UK government agency for further advice or questions.

EUROPEAN UNION NATIONS: We are excited to ship to EU countries! As we expand our European presence, we will need to evaluate our ability to ship our products to each EU member nation on a case-by-case basis, so please contact us prior to ordering off of the web site if your nation is not accessible. As we successfully ship to each EU member nation, they will be added to our system, so you can simply order directly off the website in the future! We appreciate your patience as we refine this process. Our shipping rates will be  discounted, based on our costs via DHL, Fed Ex, or UPS, which start at $35.00US for most-sized orders in many nations!

GENERAL INTERNATIONAL NOTE: As the customer, you are responsible for any and all import fees, taxes, or duties on international shipments levied by your government upon your receipt of goods in your country. Given the great difference in how countries handle import, we cannot know what your exposure will be. Additionally, some products may be restricted for importation into your country. We will not knowingly ship items that are not approved for entry into your country, and make every effort to assure that our items comply with restrictions prior to shipping. However, we are not responsible for changes in government policies regarding acceptable items in each country. On a rare occasion, a shipment may be held up or otherwise have delivery declined due to local government restrictions concerning acceptability of some items. We will make every effort to resolve your specific situation should it become necessary, but cannot make any guarantees contrary to the laws of your government concerning acceptability of some items. Please contact us if you have any questions. 


U.S. TRUST TERRITORIESUnfortunately, shipping rates to Puerto Rico and other U.S. Trust Territories are often significantly more expensive than rates within the contiguous United States. Our rates were developed for the contiguous United States only, and additional charges may apply to orders shipped to U.S. Trust Territories. We will contact you if these additional charges apply prior to shipping.

If you'd like to see if we can ship to your country and don't see it listed, contact us. We'll see if we can create an order for you!

Most orders are shipped the next business day, and will take from 2-7 days to reach you, depending on where you are and which service is used (USPS Priority/First Class, Fed Ex Ground, DHL, or UPS Ground). Canadian orders will take somewhat longer, as there is a "handoff" at the border between USPS and Canada Post, and possible customs delays, so we almost always use DHL for Canadian shipments. More expensive, but typically hassle-free and very fast. We typically DHL to Canada, the UK, Europe, and Asia, as they offer much faster shipping (you can have your order in several days!). We will provide tracking information from the shipper, and anticipated arrival date via email when your order is shipped. As fellow fish geeks, we know that you want your stuff in a timely manner, and we're all about getting to you asap! And, when you consider how long it takes to receive your order from us in the context of say, geological or stellar evolutionary time scales, it's like, super fast!

We generally do not require a signature for delivery on orders $200 or less. However, if you opt for home delivery of your order, please ensure that someone is there to receive the order, as DHL, FedEx, USPS, Canada Post, Royal Mail, and UPS may not leave packages at the door without someone present.

INTERNATIONAL DUTY FEES: A customs duty may be charged, upon delivery to international customers and before release of the shipment. A customs duty or brokerage fee is a tariff or tax on the import of goods. When products are imported, that country has the right to bill the end customer for duties, tariffs, and taxes on the goods. We are not responsible for informing our customers of the owed duty, we are not liable for the duty, nor do we calculate, collect, or receive any amount of the duty.

SPECIAL NOTE TO AUSTRALIAN "TINT" FANS: Unfortunately, due to increasingly strict quarantine requirements imposed by the Australian government on botanical items, we regret to inform you that we can no longer ship into your country. We appreciate your past support and apologize for any disappointment this causes!

TO ALL INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: Please be sure to provide your telephone number with your order. This is very important, because our international shippers (DHL and Fed Ex) require a recipient telephone number in order to coordinate delivery. Providing this information when you place your order will avoid unnecessary delays in getting your shipment out! Thanks!

A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT SUBSTITUTIONS:  We try our best to keep a healthy inventory of all of our botanicals at all times, and our top priority is to send you exactly what you ordered in a timely fashion. However, sometimes stuff just conspires against us and we don't have enough of what you ordered to fill the order. And there are plenty of reasons for this: With a global network of suppliers, all sorts of things can go wrong, like customs delays at the point of origin, weather, seasonal limited availability of some items, shipping delays, etc.

If we have to substitute an item in a variety pack, we will always use a botanical of equal or greater value. This occasionally happens with leaves and some seasonally-scarce botanicals. In our "a la carte" selection, it happens less frequently, as we'll usually simply take an item out of inventory if we're out. However, if we do have to substitute in this instance, we'll contact you regarding some alternatives. We appreciate your patience and understanding!

TANNIN LIVE! SHIPPING AND HANDLING:  Livestock is only available in the United States at this time! All Tannin Live! shipping is done via Fed Ex Priority Overnight. We charge a flat rate of $42.00 for any size livestock order.  It's not the cheapest way to go. We understand that. However, in our opinion, it's the best, most reliable way to get your hand-selected, well-acclimated fishes to you safely and expeditiously. Many times, it's less than 14 hours from packaging to the time you receive your fishes, meaning less stress for your animals. Priority Overnight orders typically arrive by 10AM to noon, depending upon your area, and that means they're not riding around on a cold (or hot) delivery vehicle all day with the other packages!

FREE SHIPPING ON ALL DRY GOODS WHEN ORDERED WITH LIVESTOCK!- That's right; any sized dry goods order (you know, botanicals!) is shipped for FREE when you order with livestock! NOTE: Since we ship the dry goods from our Los Angeles base, they'll arrive separately!

We’re fanatical about making sure that your livestock arrives in the best possible condition, so we take great measures to assure a smooth trip from our partner facility to you. We use strong, well insulated packaging materials, and your order will be packed with care by some of the most skillful, caring, and experienced hands in the industry! We make sure that we use plenty of water, oxygen, and as needed, heat or cold packs, to assure that your livestock arrives healthy and happy.

With Fed Ex, you'll need to have an adult signature for delivery. If you work during the day, you might want to either have the shipment delivered to you at your place of business, or held at a Fed Ex facility for you to pick up during their business hours. If you want your shipment held at Fed Ex, please provide us the address of the Fed Ex facility most convenient for you, and we'll make sure it's sent there! 

We ship Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We do not ship on Thursday, because if there is an unforeseen weather delay, that could keep your package held at a Fed Ex facility through the weekend, spelling potential disaster for your animals. Better safe than sorry, in our opinion. Yes, it requires a bit more patience...But what doesn't in this hobby, right?

As Mark Twain once said, “Everyone is talking about the weather, but nobody’s doing anything about it.” Unfortunately, we’re still in the same boat. About the best we can do is to advise you to keep an eye on the weather when you place your order. FedEx often experiences delays during inclement weather, and we are not liable for shipping delays or potential losses as a result of delays due to weather extremes. Since they won’t reimburse either of us if the order is lost due to extreme weather, we typically won't ship during periods of extreme weather, and will hold your fishes until shipping is safe once again.

Communication with you throughout the whole process is very important to us, and we'll do our best to advise you of any necessary changes and delays in shipping your order.

Oh, one thing we cannot do, because of the nature of handling livestock and the demands of the business, is to hold fishes for you without payment. It's always a sketchy proposition in a busy facility, and it denies other hobbyists who want the fishes (and are ready to buy!) the opportunity to purchase them. Please make your purchases when you're ready to receive them! (or have them shipped to a friend who IS ready to accept them and hold them for you!)


Choosing the finest livestock available to offer our customers is only half the battle. We provide constant care, feeding, and evaluation of all of the animals that we offer. Proper conditioning and excellent husbandry practices at our facility helps assure that you will receive livestock that is in top condition. We utilize some of the best packaging materials and shipping techniques in the industry, and are proud of the excellent care that Mike Tuccinardi provides at his facility in Boulder, Colorado, to making sure each and every animal that leaves his facility is in top shape. 

Regardless, we are dealing with living organisms, and sometimes, things simply don't go the way we would all like. It's an awful thing to have happen; we've been there ourselves many times. That's why we offer what we feel is one of the most simple and best guarantee policies in our industry, assuring you complete confidence in ordering from us.

All animals are guaranteed a full 14 days from the date of arrival. 

For our purposes, "arrival" starts when Fed Ex records show that the package was tendered to you. If something goes wrong at delivery, or if you do lose an animal within the guarantee period, please contact us and we may ask you to send reasonably clear photos of the animal, bag, box, etc. (whatever is relevant to the loss- i.e.; a damaged bag, etc.). We will do everything that we can to solve the problem. Period. We may ask you some questions about what happened, etc.- as pertains to your situation. We want to learn from every situation- good and bad- and asking questions is a start. However, we will NOT give you a "runaround",  or take a "YOU screwed up" attitude! Nope.

We aim to resolve your issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. "Stuff happens" with live animals- we get that. They are not just "a product" to us. They are precious natural treasures- living reminders of how fragile life is. We LOVE them as much as you do, and it hurts us to hear of your losses. It's personal and dear to us. So we've tried to keep our policy simple, and have always operated under the philosophy that aquarists will be honest and not take advantage of our guarantee. It's a small hobby community, and word travels fast among vendors about people who are dishonest! And for those who abuse the policy, we reserve the right to refuse to conduct future business with them. And we know that hobbyists will tell their friends if we treat them like friends. And that's what we do.

Please note that we do not offer cash refunds.  We will issue you a store credit that you can use on a future purchase with us, equal to the amount of the livestock that was lost. We cannot, however, issue a refund on the shipping and handling charges.

A guarantee is only as good as the company standing behind it, and your comfort and satisfaction are our top priority. We want you as a long-term customer, and to be as comfortable ordering from Tannin Live! online as you would be walking into the facility and picking your fishes in person! 

It's that important to us.