Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   what kind of leaves can i put in my tank? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-tropical-fish/what-kind-leaves-can-i-put-305602/)

rsskylight04 11-19-2013 02:09 PM

what kind of leaves can i put in my tank?
 
I've read all over that loaches like leaves on the bottom of the tank to hide and root around in. Now, I hope I'm not being ignorant here but, are we talking about regular leaves from outside... like the ones covering my lawn right now, or are there "special" leaves for fish tanks. I'm looking to set up a loach tank and I want it to be as good for them as I can make it. If I am being dumb, I apologize, I just don't know and nothing that I've read specifies what particular type of leaves are good or bad. Thanks

rickey 11-19-2013 05:48 PM

White Oak work really well
R

thekoimaiden 11-19-2013 10:42 PM

You can use oak leaves from your yard (provided you don't normally use pesticides and fertilizers or live in an area of high air pollution) or you can buy leaves online. Indian Almond Leaves that are normally sold for bettas work just fine. If you do collect leaves from outside, you have to be sure you are identifying them correctly. There are many guides to tree ID online. Often times your state natural resources website will have something like that. Now is the best time of the year to collect because you only want the leaves that have fallen to the ground naturally and are dried.

A word to the wise about the leave, they will add tannins to your water which will tint it brown. How dark it will get depends on how many leaves you add. Some people don't mind this, but others think it makes the water look dirty. And I can tell you from firsthand experience that a floor littered with leaves makes it pretty hardy to see kuhli loaches. That's how I QT'ed mine, and I never got a headcount until they went into the main tank.

Not all loaches come from waters littered with leaves, tho. Kuhli loaches do, but loaches like the yo yo loach tend to live in rivers with rockier substrate. It's difficult to make generalizations about all loaches because they come from such varied habitats.

Chesh 11-20-2013 11:33 AM

I agree with both posters, but wanted to add. . . it isn't *always* the case that you won't see them with leaf litter - for some reason I saw my Pangio babies MORE often when I had a nice carpet of leaves for them to squirm around in! Worth a try at any rate!

Too, you may want to bear in mind that not only do the tannins add color to the water (personally love the tea-colored tint!) but they can also soften it. How quickly depends on the Kh of the tap water you're using to begin with (water with a lower kh will allow the pH to drop more easily) and the type of leaf you end up using, lol as well as how many per gallon >.<. My understanding is that Indian Almond leaves contain more tannins, and so will have a greater affect on parameters with far fewer leaves than Oak, but please double check to be sure. (I have only used IAL in my tank)

I strongly recommend that you run a few bucket tests, with a handy - as well as the Ph one that you *may* already have in the (good deal on that right now ^_^), just to get an idea of how the leaves/tannins will effect your water, and how rapid the change will be. A rapid shift in pH isn't healthy for the critters, so best to be wary and test first!



ETA: There are so many different kinds of Oak trees in the world, do either of you know if all oak leaves are safe?! Ricky mentioned White Oak, specifically. . . for some reason I was under the impression that all were okay, but I'm not sure. I also know other types of leaf are okay, but these are the two I most often see used/recommended. . .

rsskylight04 11-20-2013 12:10 PM

thanks
 
thank you all for your helpful posts. i have oak trees in my yard i belive the species is Eastern Oak. i'll try a few in my spare 10 gal. and see how it affects my aquarium water. definitly dont want to use ant if it will color the water. im so proud of my crystal clear water i couldnt imagine having to explain that the color is acceptable and natural.
Thanks for the help.

Roccus 11-20-2013 12:29 PM

you may be able to gently boil some of the tannins out of the leaves to remove most of the tannins then allow the charcoal in your filter to filter out the rest... maybe an experiment is in order to try and make a batch of white oak tea;-)

rsskylight04 11-21-2013 12:14 AM

experiment
 
I have some leaves and aquarium water in a 10 gal with aeration. I'll test the water tommorow morning!

rsskylight04 11-21-2013 01:45 PM

test results
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rsskylight04 (Post 3446226)
I have some leaves and aquarium water in a 10 gal with aeration. I'll test the water tommorow morning!

test strip readings remained about the same, slight rise in ph, which is ok. problem with coloring the water though, slight yellow tinge in under 24 hours. thanks for the help all, but i think i have to go without leaves.

Roccus 11-21-2013 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rsskylight04 (Post 3448770)
test strip readings remained about the same, slight rise in ph, which is ok. problem with coloring the water though, slight yellow tinge in under 24 hours. thanks for the help all, but i think i have to go without leaves.

OK so now dump the water and repeat the test... see if it happens again...or did the leaves release the tannins in the first 24 hhours...you have nothing to loose.. you're allready comitted...

rickey 11-21-2013 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chesh (Post 3441186)
ETA: There are so many different kinds of Oak trees in the world, do either of you know if all oak leaves are safe?! Ricky mentioned White Oak, specifically. . . for some reason I was under the impression that all were okay, but I'm not sure. I also know other types of leaf are okay, but these are the two I most often see used/recommended. . .

White leafs are very similar to IAL chemically, the only Oak that I have been warned not to use is BlackOak and that could be old time fish lore, The term tannin is from the German word for oak tree.

R


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