Trading In Your Bulk Excess Aquarium Plants

If you have excess aquarium plants or aquatics in bulk (for example A4 size clump for fern or moss), we will most likely be able to provide you store credit or trade you with other plants that you are interested in.

Even though we propagate around 90% of the plants we sell, there are times we run out of supply especially when doing customised plant packs for new tanks and need to have a new batch to restock/grow.

Here are some plants and aquatics which we usually need:

Mosses - at least A4 size clump
Fissidens / Mini Pellia - at least half A4 size clump
Ferns (Needle Leaf, Trident, Java, Bolbitis, etc.) - at least A4 size clump
Bucephalandra - can be assorted varieties (unnamed is fine) - at least A4 size in total
Carpeting plants (Micranthemum Monte Carlo, Dwarf Hairgrass, Glossostigma, etc.) - at least A4 size
Hygrophila Pinnatifida 
Crypts - at least half A4 size clump
Rare & very plants (we can trade with you for other rare/very rare plants)
Ramshorn snails (Ivory, Blue and any uncommon colours, not brown) 
Shrimps (Blue Dream cherry shrimp, crystal shrimp, etc. but not red cherry shrimp, etc.)
Uncommon guppies

If you have any of the above or similar excesses in bulk, feel free to contact us here and attach any relevant photos of the plants/aquatics that you would want to trade in and we can let you know whether we can offer you a store credit/other plants and if we can do so, we can provide you an estimate. 

As we do not want our customers to suffer bladderwort or Riccia weed issues, it is important that any plants traded in must not have any bladderwort/Utricularia gibba or Riccia weed.

For other weeds, we just need to know what types are present so that we can do proper quarantine and cleaning upon arrival so please disclose honestly. For example, if there is some duckweed, just let us know and it is generally fine as we can manually clean them out upon arrival. 

Snails are fine. We have a proper process in place for that.

As for algae, just let us know what type and if it is minimal, we can quarantine, treat and manually clean upon arrival.

Any plants traded must be disease-free. For example, Anubias must not have Anubias rot disease and ferns must not have Java Fern gall disease. This is because we do not want it to spread to other customers. Please let us know transparently if aware of any disease, weed or algae issues.

How much store credit or plants will I get?

We always believe in being very reasonable and as fair as possible.

At the same time, it is important to note there are a lot of costs to run a business/store and a business needs to have sufficient margin to be able to be sustainable to continue operating. 

For an A4 clump of healthy and clean Christmas Moss or Trident Fern for example, we can usually provide around $70-$100 in store credit or plants (depending on condition and thickness of plants traded in). Please read below to understand further.

As many people know, there are lots of business costs including:

Rental (thousands per month)
Utilities - Electricity, water, etc.
CO2 gas tanks to run the planted aquariums
Hardware - all of our aquariums use expensive LED lighting for plant quality & health. Just one unit can cost $400-$700
GST tax - 10% gone straight from every transaction
Website hosting & subscriptions (thousands per year) 
Advertisement cost (hundreds per month)
Stock cost (cost many thousands)

Besides the above apparent costs, there are also lots of costs which can be very easily overlooked.

For example, Paypal takes around 3% from every sale. When we offer free shipping for order $90 and above, $12-$15 in postage & materials costs are absorbed by us. 

That is not all. There are many unseen costs which some people might not realise such as:

Business accountant fees & accounting software monthly fees to ensure compliance with gov regulations - thousands per year
Company registration & business name annual renewal - hundreds per year
Insurance - hundreds per year
Quarantine costs
Web development costs
Misc costs - for example, just trademark is $400+ cost
Damaged/dead plants costs covered by us which are not covered by Aus Post (Aus Post does not cover for dead plants caused by their delays) - we have even covered $500+ for a single customer before

When you add up everything, you would be surprised the costs can be easily $5000-$10,000+ per month.

It is not as simple as a Christmas Moss sold for $15 with $5 stock cost equals "$10 net profit". This is never the case. When GST, Paypal fees and all the above costs (rental, utilities, wages, CO2, hardware and all the other costs) are taken into account, it is not surprising that the profit for a Christmas Moss is just a mere few dollars.

And these few dollars profit can be easily wiped out when there is an order mishap such as Australia Post delivering a parcel very late and all plants arrives dead where you have to cover (we have even covered $500+ in just a single order). You would have lost so much money, many hours of time of growing them and packing plus effort all in a blink.

That is not all. There are times when your own stock can be totally wiped out causing losses in the thousands when issues occur. We have lost $5000+ of shrimps, had an Anubias setup (with thousands worth of Anubias grown over many years being overtaken by GSA algae when away (which we had to prune away almost all leaves until bare rhizomes causing significant losses) and other issues.

And not forgetting, it takes a lot of time for packing and customer support. We answer all sorts of questions from algae to tank cycling to lighting, etc. We go very far to use our time to help our customers achieve having beautiful aquarium tanks. Also, planted tanks take a lot of time to maintain and with packing, we often work overnights even on weekends (sometimes 15+ hours overnight). It may be surprising that the margins are actually very low in comparison to the large amount of costs and additional work and effort put in to run an aquarium plant business.