Updated: Oct 22, 2020
So, what exactly does Hydrospace LLC do?
Our company is, exclusively, a producer of fine, all-natural growing supplies for aquaria, ponds and aquaponic systems. Our specialty is microbial foods, probiotics and water conditioners. Additionally, though we harvest invasive wild flora for use in some of our products, we are not weed control specialists nor do we receive payment for any of our eradication efforts. Our business is simply in making stuff that helps you grow stuff.
Can we visit your facility?
Sorry, we sell online only and therefore do not accept walk-in clientele or offer tours.
Can we accompany you during one of your wildcrafting excursions?
Again, sorry, but no. Our agreement with the City of Boulder specifies that we not allow guests to join us during any of our harvesting activities.
You sell to a lot of different kinds of growers... How did that come to be?
Over the course of the last 25 years, our founding member has had opportunity to work in many different fields as a production biologist. This includes horticulture ranging from
algae farms to vineyards, and aquaculture ranging from trout hatcheries to zebrafish labs. With a special interest in identifying the common needs between diverse agricultural
subsectors, Hydrospace seeks to develop eco-friendly products that have the greatest possible range of applications. But our most elemental mission? We hope to do some good in the world as we make great stuff and contribute to the restoration of local native habitat.
Why so few products?
Because we like it that way! Specifically, we continuously strive to increase the quality, rather than sheer size, of our product line. We're very picky about what we make. Aside from having a broad range of uses, the base constituent in any product we develop must (1) have a long history of demonstrated efficacy in peer-reviewed literature and (2) pass our own testing. In short, we do not and will not ever sell snake oil. Furthermore, we only develop goods that can be produced and used sustainably. More than a mere selling point, "sustainably produced" is to us a cardinal standard that guides our conscience and inspires us to keep doing what we do.
Really? Free shipping on everything?
Well, almost... We offer free shipping on all domestic orders over $40 (pretax). And yes, that even includes AK and HI. (Sorry, at this time we do not ship outside the U.S.).
What is your shipping schedule?
At this time, as a small merchant, we maintain a 2/7 shipping schedule (Mondays and Tuesdays excluding certain holidays). Orders placed between Mon 12:00 P.M. and Tues 12:00 P.M. are shipped out Tue 4:00 P.M. (MST). Orders placed between Tue 12:00 P.M. and Mon 12:00 P.M. are shipped out Mon 4:00 P.M. (MST). So, for example, if you place an order on Tuesday at 12:01 P.M. (MST), your package will ship out six days later on the following Monday afternoon. Please note that we will NOT ship on the following 2021 holidays:
Monday, January 18, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, February 15, Washington's Birthday
Monday, May 31, Memorial Day
Monday, July 5, Independence Day
Monday, September 6, Labor Day
Monday, October 11, Columbus Day (Indigenous Peoples Day)
What kind of customer satisfaction guarantee do you provide?
The kind that is 100% and unconditional. We want you to feel the same confidence in purchasing our products that we do offering them. That's why we offer a complete, no-hassle replacement or refund on any item that you are not entirely satisfied with (see product pages for more about our Quality Guarantee). In the same spirit, if you ever encounter issues with one of our products or the service you receive, it will be our pleasure to do what is necessary to make things right. We truly value your feedback; if there's anything we can do to improve the way we do business, we want to hear all about it.
I've already read that PNS YelloSno™ emits an odor when first opened, but this really stinks; are you sure this bottle is alright?
Yes, quite. Every batch of PNS YelloSno™ is closely inspected as it pasteurized and bottled. But, fresh is relative here. This product contains a partially decomposed growth medium. A rather pungent funk is certainly something to be expected. If we dare to use our imaginations here, this stench could perhaps be described as a combination of flatulence and death. But worry not, these admittedly nasty-smelling gasses are harmless and will indeed dissipate very quickly after the product is dispensed to an open, aerobic environment.
My system is already "cycled." Why would I add PNS ProBio™?
Generally, when we speak of cycling a system, we are referring to the colonization of aerobic, chemoautotrophic, nitrifying bacteria within a biofilter or sand/gravel substrate. These microbes are highly desirable. Still, a system can benefit greatly from the addition of other types of bacteria, including purple non-sulfur bacteria (or PNSB). Like nitrifying bacteria (albeit in an assimilative manner), PNSB metabolize ammonium and nitrite and nitrate. And they're not just big players in the nitrogen cycle. They're additionally capable of aerobic organoheterotrophy, removing dissolved organics from the water column, just like other microbes we might target when we "carbon dose." But PNSB are most unusual (and useful!) for their ability to carry out a particularly unusual mode of metabolism: anaerobic photoheterotrophy. Here they consume organic wastes while inhabiting moderately illuminated and poorly oxygenated microhabitats (patches of detritus, shallow depths of the substratum, deeper pores of expanded clay media, etc.). By competing with other anaerobes such as methanogenic archaeans and sulfate-reducing bacteria for food, these voracious "sludge-eaters" significantly reduce the production of toxic byproducts such as methane and hydrogen sulfide. (Click HERE for more on the life history of PNSB. )
Can I use PNS Probio™ as a medication?
Probiotics are bacteria that live on/in another organism and confer some kind of benefit for their host. In many cases, these microbes assist their host in performing metabolic functions such as digestion. Though the precise mode of action is still poorly understood, it is clear that some probiotics help to prevent disease. This apparently occurs due to (1) simple displacement, where the probiotic crowds out would-be pathogens and (2) immunostimulation, where the probiotic or one of its cofactors boosts its host's immune system. PNSB have proven to be extremely effective probiotics. For example, their ability to control acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease played a major role in saving the once-struggling Pacific white shrimp industry. However, while they can do so much to prevent disease in a surprisingly wide variety of plants and animals, PNSB cannot be used effectively as a treatment for active infections/infestations. Therefore, any apparent ailment should be properly diagnosed and remedied with the appropriate drug, tincture, antibiotic, etc.
If EWM works so well as a bacterial culture medium, why isn't it more commonly used?
Researchers have investigated potential agricultural uses of the plant for decades, including the biodegradation of agro-industrial wastes. Both scientific and anecdotal evidence has repeatedly pointed to enormous potential. However, there has been one major impediment for anyone hoping to manufacture any EWM-based product on a commercial scale in the US: the distribution and even possession of this species is prohibited. This is for good reason. Highly invasive, Myriophyllum spicatum has caused more ecological damage and economic loss in North America than any other aquatic weed to date. (Click HERE to learn more about the battle against EWM.) It consequently is designated as a List B species on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed List (it is similarly controlled in all other states). Thus, handling and transporting live (i.e. viable) EWM requires explicit permission from the appropriate resource management agency. Few such permits are granted and generally have been issued to academics for research purposes only.
So then, how does Hydrospace obtain material for its EWM-based products?
We collect it ourselves. With the help of City of Boulder natural resource management, we obtained our first Special Use permit to harvest EWM on specified sections of Open Space and Mountain Park land in 2017. Additional permits were issued each year from 2018 to 2020. We are required to submit an application for each subsequent permit annually. These are to be granted only under the condition that we continue to adhere to certain special terms. In sum, these guidelines stipulate that (1) our activities are minimally disruptive to the natural environment, (2) care is taken to avoid dispersal of plant fragments during harvest, (4) decontamination protocol is carried out while cleaning gear and (5) freshly harvested material is immediately sterilized upon arrival at the processing site. We're extremely grateful for this ongoing privilege and are quite proud to play our small role in helping to restore local aquatic habitat.
And if I have more questions?
Just click HERE to ask us.