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The Buceplant Story

We are a team of aquascaping hobbyists dedicated to providing the highest quality rare aquatic plants. Our vision started when we first discovered the beauty of Bucephalandra, and fascination quickly turned into an obsession. Our determination to find better stock resulted in the creation of Buce Plant, your premier Bucephalandra provider in Southern California.

The Problem

Purchasing bucephalandra* was not consumer-friendly; it was quite expensive, and potentially detrimental (more on that later).

*Bucephalandra (bous-a-fa-LAN-dra) is a rare flowering aquatic plant found in Borneo. 

In a hobby where bartering for and buying freshwater aquatic plants at “scape meets” are activities organized on forums, buying a simple, quality product can often be difficult. During our journey into the industry, we discovered there was a lack of consumer confidence, product variety, and customer service. Local fish stores can only carry so much and large pet stores rarely have a specialty section for planted tanks.

The Solution

Create a refreshing shopping experience for a better-sourced plant—and eventually hundreds of aquatic plants and aquarium goods.

After finding a reliable source for bucephalandra, we aimed to revitalize the consumer experience for freshwater aquarium hobbyists. We focused on bringing everything full circle, which meant three things: building awareness, funneling users, and adding value.

Marketing Solutions

The butter to our bread. 

We strategized over breakfast meetings, created and distributed content during the day, and drew up new ideas at night. The goal was to build awareness, share knowledge, and create value. Content will always be king.


The bread to our butter.

In a time where social media marketing overpromises and underdelivers, we needed a website to restore consumer confidence. Building upon the vision for Buceplant to be the one-stop-shop for all things aquascaping, we needed to design a smooth and familiar e-commerce experience.

Initial Designs

While we were constantly increasing our inventory and product variety, we familiarized ourselves with big-box retailers and their online presence. Our initial shopping experience was influenced by the in-store aisles at fish stores while providing easy access to our top products

Design Updates

As we expanded into nearly every aspect of the hobby, our product variety increased, our following increased, and so did our share of the market. While continuing our mantra of building awareness and designing for consumer confidence, we also looked at user journeys for experts and beginners and what was most important to our target audience. Having a mega menu in the navigation provided an uninterrupted shopping experience.

View Live Site


Emphasizing Value

While our competitors were using their phones and bad lighting, we implemented a more professional approach to product images. We emphasized the value we offered to our consumers through beautiful and detailed imagery. Also, purchasing aquatic plants from home sellers could prove detrimental to your aquarium because you don’t know the parameters or the level of care the seller is implementing.

Building Awareness

Not only did we want to build awareness but we also kept the hobbyists in mind when we included detailed information about each species. All descriptions included scientific details, care information, and additional tips.

Brand & Identity

Initial Logo

The initial logo was unflattering and non-communicative— it had no brand identity which didn’t help with increasing our brand equity.

With virtually zero graphic or design skills at the time, I created a simple logo that could also be used as a watermark.

The watermark was not only used to prevent other sellers from taking our pictures, but it also aided our efforts in building awareness. A simple search of bucephalandra or buce and our pictures would pop up.

Logo Refresh

Based on the most coveted of buce species, I designed a logo to match our newfound reputation in the planted tank industry. Following the zen-like theme of aquascaping, I chose a natural and reliable green as the main brand color.

Our Timeline


The idea came about shortly after a failed venture. As a team, we were determined to stick together and create something for ourselves. As individuals, we were searching for business opportunities in our own lives.

Through countless late-night conversations about potential ideas, we decided on one that was the most feasible. With some market research and due diligence, we saw the potential to bring new ideas and well-designed products to an aging industry.

The Team

We had the perfect team— 4 single guys trying to take over the world. Just kidding! But, we really did have a great team.

Edward has been an aquarium hobbyist for over 10 years. Naturally, he led the team on sourcing products and research and development.

Matt has also been an aquarium hobbyist for just as long, but also has a knack for marketing– he’s the king of buzzwords.

Willy is a natural businessman and he believed in the team. He was our angel investor and responsible for catering.

What I Learned

It was challenging to say the least, but through this journey, I learned a range of skills from new design tools to my design process, from receiving feedback to tight deadlines. Ultimately, as I took on my first online semester at the Academy of Art University— I also took on the role as the sole designer at Buce Plant. I unknowingly learned about UX design disciplines like user research, user testing, and of course MVPs.