Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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luckysarah 11-21-2010 10:37 AM

oak leaves
Does anyone use oak leaves in their tanks?

DanMarion 11-21-2010 10:48 AM

I don't think I would. What are you going to use oak leaves for?

luckysarah 11-21-2010 10:59 AM

Dried Oak leaves can be used in aquariums to add tannins and essential minerals to aid the health of your aquatic animals and plants.
If used in large amounts they will also reduce the pH of the water.
It also suppresses bad bacteria and fungus and aids the development of fish fry and tadpoles by promoting infusoria growth.

(so I have read, I have no experience hence the post)

I have also heard they are excellent for black water fish and wild type fish (adding leaf litter makes the fish feel more comfortable similar to live plants/rocks ect)

You are supposed to place one or two in the tank and let them sink (24 hours) and leave them, let them dissolve over a large amount of time, also carbon in the filter will counteract the positive effects of the leaves.

thefishboy 11-21-2010 11:03 AM

What are you using them with?? Yes they add tannins and you add 1 every few months or so..

luckysarah 11-21-2010 11:07 AM


I haven't used any yet but the breeder I got them from suggested making the tank as wild looking as possible (lots of plants, rocks ect)... I went on a hike this morning with the dogs and found a nice branch with some nice small dried oak leaves.

thefishboy 11-21-2010 11:15 AM

Sounds good but how would make sure there are clean of parasites and things ?

luckysarah 11-21-2010 11:24 AM

I was thinking about putting them in the freezer for a few hours...

But I have heard you can just plop them in as long as the leaves were not found on the ground and are not near a road or farm.

thefishboy 11-21-2010 11:26 AM

I would just freeze them over night to be safe.

Byron 11-21-2010 11:56 AM

I have oak leaves in two of my aquaria at present. From your initial post, I think you read the same article I did in December's TFH;-).

Leaves have long been used by many aquarists. Almond leaves are popular, but oak leaves are also good. I have an oak tree in my back yard, and I know nothing gets sprayed on it, so I dry the leaves by laying them out and then put them in an open bag for use as needed.

I started this for my Farlowella fry that I have been having real trouble feeding as they will only graze fresh soft algae. Still don't know how much difference this is making, but they do graze on the oak leaves.


luckysarah 11-21-2010 12:03 PM

Thanks Byron

I am setting up my 30 gallon for the amecas and trying to make it really natural, i think I am even going to switch from gravel to sand and add some rocks, more plants...

I thought the oak leaves would not only add to the natural appeal for the fish but also to the look of the aquarium.

Anyways I am going to hold onto them until everything is ready and the fish are acclimated to the new home and then do some experimenting... from what I have read and listening to other comments it seems you can't really do any harm with them as long as they are chemical free and you don't add too many at a time (can lower ph)


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