What is FirstAquatics?

FirstAquatics is an aquatics hobby education, community and e-commerce platform specializing in shrimp, nano fish, plants, mosses and supplies. We currently prefer to operate on a small scale to ensure artisan style homebred quality critters and products. We’d like to highlight that FirstAquatics is not a profit driven endeavor.

Myron mainly wishes to showcase his passion for the hobby, build the site to hone his skills as a developer, and foster an interactive and educational community by building these features over time.

What is the History of FirstAquatics?

FirstAquatics is a decade old dream finally brought to fruition in February 2022. Myron’s passion for the aquatics hobby first began around 2010 during college. Like many who become obsessed with the hobby, he went from 1 tank to 19 tanks, focusing mostly on nano fish and shrimp. During this time, he wanted to create a platform for the aquatics community to share, educate, and mingle with fellow hobbyists and purchased the domain name with that intention.

However, between juggling college, work, the all too common burn out from maintaining too many tanks, and the lack of technical skills to build the website, he was unable to realize his intentions. Post college, he had to prioritize career and life, and discontinued the hobby for a few years. After securing a more stable residence in 2017, he decided to rekindle his aquatics hobby focusing on quality shrimp. He slowly built a reputation in the community for quality high grade shrimp over the next few years, and constantly iterated on improving the shrimp keeping experience.

2022 was the perfect storm for FirstAquatics. Myron wanted to make use of his new skills as a software developer, entrepreneurial interests, passion for the aquatics hobby and decade old desire to complete FirstAquatics and decided to finally build the website.

What are FirstAquatics’ values?

Transparency – We know all businesses preach values but rarely prove it. We believe in action based principles and will continuously seek to prove our values so that you know exactly what to expect when working with us. We will implement this through our language, smart programming and course of actions such as displaying our full shrimp history so that you know what you’re purchasing without concern for imported diseases.

Sustainability – We care about the planet and want to find a healthy balance between entrepreneurship and minimizing waste. Our initial packaging will use up old packaging materials we’ve saved up over the past, but we will be switching to thoroughly researched biodegradable packaging materials whenever possible for our products. We will also not sell any plastic type products that we don’t use ourselves or deem necessary for the hobby.

Community First – We will advocate for local breeders and fellow hobbyists whenever possible. We’ll work to sell or advertise their homemade products and will minimize participation from issues that don’t benefit the community.

Americans First – We will prioritize Americans first. We’ll aim to support American made aquatics products whenever possible before overseas alternatives. Essential Workers most affected during CoVID (healthcare workers, hospital personnel, first responders, food, waste, energy and supply chain workers), teachers and veterans receive a permanent 10% discount off our website. We have yet to build this discount onto our site, so please reach out to us for the time being and we’ll process your order manually (will have to provide some type of ID proving this).

What are FirstAquatics’ policies?

Operating Hours – Note that we do not operate at conventional standard hours. Thus, although we are committed to ensuring our customers are beyond satisfied, please understand that the majority of our operations occur weekday nights and weekends.

Shipping – We ship Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays via USPS with a $10/15 flat shipping fee for NYC/US only.

Pick Up – Pick up will need to be scheduled in advance so that we can properly package the shrimp for your arrival. Please do not arrive randomly as we may not be available to assist you. Note that you will not be allowed inside due to CoVID and general safety.

Dead on Arrival – In the event of an unfortunate death with your newly arrived critters out of the shipping box, you are entitled to a full refund no questions asked under the following conditions.

  • High quality photos/video of dead animal(s) in unopened bag.
  • Email/text must be sent within 2 hours of receiving the package.
  • We typically provide 1 free as a service for every set of 10 shrimp or critters, thus you are only entitled for a refund excluding any freebies.
  • We do not refund in the event of customer negligence. This includes, but not limited to, deaths of critters from exposure to extreme weather being left outside and not taken in when USPS arrived at your place, providing us with the incorrect shipping address, etc. We highly recommend that you utilize the shipment tracking number we provide to prepare for it’s arrival.
  • USPS priority shipping is received typically within 2-3 days. Note that if your USPS tracking information shows delays, this is something we have no control over and your best chance to obtain more information is to speak with USPS customer service. If you purchased shrimp, we are confident they will be fine even with a few more days of delay. Shrimp have been known to get to their new owners safely even with 1-2 weeks of shipping delays. We will still guarantee DOA refunds in the event of a USPS delay. However, we strongly remind you that certain times of the year are not ideal for live critter shipping such as Thanksgiving and Christmas due to shipping channels being bottlenecked from Black Friday sales/sending gifts, etc.

Plagiarism – We encourage education and community building and thus are glad to share our knowledge, but believe credit should always be given where it’s due. Please ask us before borrowing our content. We do not authorize the usage of our content for any profit related purposes.

What is the Tech behind FirstAquatics?

FirstAquatics is a headless e-commerce website utilizing Next.js and Strapi (node.js). We chose Next.js as it provides certain e-commerce advantages such as improved SEO. We use Strapi because we did not want to delay the release of our site building the backend from scratch. We only utilize third party Auth APIs as we care about security and do not wish to store sensitive user data needlessly. We will be continuously adding new features and implementing new technologies for improved user experience such as automated unit to integration testing, Typescript, asynchronous task queues for CRM sales data, and so on.

The purpose of this site is as much to display our genuine passion for the aquatics hobby as it is to showcase Myron’s technical skills as a developer. If you’d like to contact Myron for his developer expertise, please refer to his personal website at www.myron.yook.com.