South American Cichlids • How to use of Oak leaves ?

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How to use of Oak leaves ?

Postby flynn » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:00 pm

As I'm getting some tanks ready for dwarfs ... Apistos and/or Rams...
I could easily add some red oak leaves (collected on my driveway!), but would like to know how to use them ? You put a bunch of dry leaves in the tank and forget them there ?
I guess if it's used to have all kind of micro-organisms growing in there to feed and provide shelter for the fry, one should not keep changing those leaves every few weeks ??
Anything to do with the dry leaves to "treat" them before you use them ?
Thanks
120 gallons- CA tank
Synspilum, Fire Mouth, Convict, Giant Danios, Synodontis mutipunctatus and ornatipinis
Ancistrus Temminckii L144
90 gallons- 11 Tropheus Red Rainbows, 1 Petrochromis Trewevasae, Ancistrus
flynn
 
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:03 pm
Location: Ste-Julienne, Canada

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Postby naegling23 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:16 pm

I've always boiled them and added them...boiling them helps them absorb water so they sink. The other bonus is that you make some quality blackwater extract from the boiled water.

Just make sure there are no pesticides or any other chemicals on the leaves.

One word of note, oak leaves will last about a month or so in the tank. When they start to break down, you have to get them out of there, since decaying leaves could kill your fish (nitrate spike and or anoxic conditions)...for this reason, I would recommend not filling the tank with leaves, and making sure to siphon off the leaves to remove ones that start to break down during every water change....

After loosing a tank full of blue rams to leaves breaking down, Im a little hesitant to go that route again. You can always add a few for aesthetics, the blackwater extract mentioned above, and some driftwood which doesnt break down as fast as the leaves.
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Postby flynn » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:24 pm

OK... I don't want the hasle of removing decaying leaves once a month ! I will just forget it !
Will add some drift wood for sure.
Thanks
120 gallons- CA tank
Synspilum, Fire Mouth, Convict, Giant Danios, Synodontis mutipunctatus and ornatipinis
Ancistrus Temminckii L144
90 gallons- 11 Tropheus Red Rainbows, 1 Petrochromis Trewevasae, Ancistrus
flynn
 
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:03 pm
Location: Ste-Julienne, Canada

Postby moon1 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:29 pm

[5[/code]]You can always use a nylon filter bag. Stuff the bag with leaves and take them out in a month or so. That's what i do.
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Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Burlington, Ontario

Postby Mcdaphnia » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:05 am

The Indian almond leaves last longer than that and don't need to be removed. They gradually turn to a leaf skeleton that can be left in the tank or removed.

I have several swamp oaks in my yard which have nicer leaves for this purpose than the red oaks. They are shaped more like the almond leaves and last a few months. I have spawned weather loaches using them and also throw them in with manmade rock to neutralise the high pH and to stain the rock natural looking colors.

I obtained some Indian apple leaves recently that I collected. We had two trees in the yard but only one "took" and after we had to have the professional tree guy come in to care for them. Wierd tree has two kinds of flowers. One looks like a pine cone and produces the pollen. The other flower turns into the "apple" which so far the squirrels eat before we can pick them. They are similar to the almond leaves but larger. Anyone have experience with them?
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Re: How to use of Oak leaves ?

Postby ButchAZ » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:23 pm

Holy thread revival Batman!

Somewhere I’ve read something about magnolia leaves. Do they break down like oak, or are the more akin to the Indian Almond leaves?? I’ve got ready access to both oak and magnolia. I’d think magnolia would be sturdier than oak.
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Re: How to use of Oak leaves ?

Postby Bd79 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:52 pm

ButchAZ wrote:Holy thread revival Batman!

Somewhere I’ve read something about magnolia leaves. Do they break down like oak, or are the more akin to the Indian Almond leaves?? I’ve got ready access to both oak and magnolia. I’d think magnolia would be sturdier than oak.


You are right. They are a little sturdier. I use them in my South American tanks.
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Re: How to use of Oak leaves ?

Postby ButchAZ » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:46 pm

Bd79 wrote:You are right. They are a little sturdier. I use them in my South American tanks.


How long do you typically leave them in the tank? Or you just leave them and let them disintegrate naturally?
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Re: How to use of Oak leaves ?

Postby Bd79 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:04 pm

ButchAZ wrote:
Bd79 wrote:You are right. They are a little sturdier. I use them in my South American tanks.


How long do you typically leave them in the tank? Or you just leave them and let them disintegrate naturally?

I just leave them. They usually don't make a mess.

I also put bark from crepe myrtle trees in my South American tanks. It holds up really well.
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:14 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: How to use of Oak leaves ?

Postby ButchAZ » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:04 pm

How about oak bark? One of my old neighbors in Virginia has an ancient (probably 350-400 year old) black oak that they've been cutting firewood from its downed branches for years. He said black oak is very high in tannins, and the bark is what they used to use for tanning hides. I've got a shipment of leaves coming, but he was asking about the bark as well.
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