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Monthly Update: September 2019

Spring is finally here and I am glad for the change in season. During winter we have to keep things heated or allow invertebrates to hunker down for an inactive season. Now that things are warming up, our invertebrates will be more active and hopefully we’ll have more invertebrates to offer after this coming season. 

Just around the corner is the first anniversary of the Sans Vertigo online store! To celebrate, from October 7th -14th we’ll have a discount code for everyone to use to get 20% off any orders. Since I know most people do not read these updates- I’ll be spreading the word on our Facebook, Instagram and to our email subscribers. 

Sans Vertigo very much remains a micro-business. For the next year, our key focus will be doubling the amount of tanks to keep up with demand and offering more on our store. We’ll keep picking up on more new stock along the way. 

Let's dive in to September’s developments!

Shrimp Photos and Videos

All photos and videos on our live shrimp products were updated to represent their current genetic potential accurately. You’ll find these on the pages for each shrimp. For some relaxed viewing, we have a shrimp colony showcase playlist from our YouTube channel

Beetles for the future!

Rhinoceros beetles are a well loved, charismatic insect species. Despite their popularity, it’s quite difficult to get them in the hobby. We’ve added six unsexed grubs to our breeding room, in hopes that we will have some pairs to breed in the near future. 

These rhinoceros beetles have special requirements. They are tropical and require heat and humidity. A big requirement that can deter hobbyists at the moment is the dietary needs of the larvae. Rhinoceros beetle larvae feed primarily on decomposing hardwood, which can be hard to obtain or create.

Along with breeding these beetles, we’ll be fermenting hardwood pellets to create a cost effective, readily available food substrate for purchase in the future. The recipe itself is easy to find on the internet if you would like to try yourself, but it takes 4-6 months to ferment, and then the finished batch lasts about 2 months- which is not ideal for most people! We had to scrape together a mix of our own on short notice, and it wasn’t easy.

I love rhinoceros beetles, and I hope I can share them with you in the future. 

Growing Pains with Plants

So far, we’ve grown everything that we’ve offered and sold on this website. There are many benefits in doing so, but also a lot of drawbacks. Since we’re not just a plant website, we don’t have the resources to grow the large amount of plants we need. We’re running into problems with getting enough to supply the store. 

The answer to this problem would be to buy wholesale, quarantine and then retail the healthy plants. Because of the small size of Sans Vertigo, we’re having trouble finding wholesalers willing to sell to us. So for now, we need to truck on and do our best to up-scale our plant growing. By the time we grow big enough to qualify for wholesalers, we wouldn’t be needing them anymore. A bit self-defeating of the retail/wholesale thing, isn’t it? 

On a little side note, guppy grass has been added to our stock! 

Changes to Postage Prices

Australia Post, the service we rely on to ship all our orders, made major price changes that are effective 30th of September. These changes include the slight rise on the base prices for all parcels, switching to flat rate pricing, and prices for parcels being sent to rural destinations. You can read more about the changes here.

Thankfully the changes are not all bad, as it’s now cheaper to send most larger parcels than before. After some assessment, we’ve decided to keep flat rate prices the same, and lower free shipping requirements to orders of $110 or more (instead of $120). International fees increased enough that we must charge $25 for international parcels. A full summary of our shipping policy can be found here

That’s it for this month’s update. Thanks to everyone for the first year of Sans Vertigo, and for reading the ramblings of a micro-business owner so far. 

~ Jennifer Mai