I agree with @MacZ, those are the ones you want. I collected some <"Alnus cordata"> "cones" myself on Saturday.the cones i collected were almost black in colour and on the ground, is that what you mean by dead?
I use alder cones, but I collect them already completely dry on the tree. I just store them in a large zip-lock type bag. I mainly use them for hatching fry, and I remove the cone as soon as I see wrigglers, mainly because it's no longer needed to get help the eggs hatch. The few times I have placed one or two in a tank, I've just left them. They take a long time to break down. I have had poor luck with immature cones, and ONLY use fully mature, dried-on-the-tree cones in my fish room. The dry ones don't get moldy, and they do a great job at releasing tannins without fouling the small volumes of water that I have in hatching containers. I also have used well-dried oak leaves (again, I collect my own from pesticide-free areas) with success. They take longer to break down than Indian Almond leaves, and discolor the water less, too. I let them break down in the tank, and siphon up the detritus if/when it starts to build up. I don't tend to use a lot of leaves at any one time, but I know others do. I don't use maple leaves since I have oak and a decent stash of IAL. I don't do anything special to dry them. I collect them dry and store them until I need to use them. They keep for a long time in a simple zip-lock type bag. Like, several years if kept dry and sealed up.hello everyone, I recently collected upwards of 1000 alder cones. Is there a specific method of usage and drying? how often do I change them etc, also would maple leaves be considered safe for my aquaria? thanks
I collect mature alder cones and dry, fallen oak leaves here in NC. I like to allow the leaves to dry a few weeks more before use but have used them immediately as well. I don't really do anything to either, as I collect in areas where pesticides are not used. I just drop them in my tanks as needed. I don't do much of anything to the alder cones. I make sure to grab them when they are mature and already quite dry on the tree.hello everyone, I recently collected upwards of 1000 alder cones. Is there a specific method of usage and drying? how often do I change them etc, also would maple leaves be considered safe for my aquaria? thanks
Any brown, fallen leaves work. But some have disadvantages: Birch, Alder and Maple leaves decompose very quickly and they don't really develop humic substances (they don't brown much). Since they are not as popular.A slightly related question. I see a lot of recommendations for Alder cones, but never Alder leaves. Is there a specific reason for this? I'd imagine Oak, Beech and Indian Almond leaves last longer but I have access to lots of Alder trees. Collecting the other species would require some garden raiding or odd behaviour in public on my part.
While on the topic, are there any other UK species that can be used?
I think there are two reasons really, they are shed when they are still green, and they they are very palatable to invertebrates etc. and aren't at all persistent. I haven't tried them, but I would imagine they are a good food for Cherry Shrimps etc.I see a lot of recommendations for Alder cones, but never Alder leaves. Is there a specific reason for this?
<"Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)">. Have a look at <"Best plants">.While on the topic, are there any other UK species that can be used?
Any brown, fallen leaves work. But some have disadvantages: Birch, Alder and Maple leaves decompose very quickly and they don't really develop humic substances (they don't brown much). Since they are not as popular.
Otherwise just make sure the tree isn't subject to regular use of pesticides or next to traffic. The species is irrelevant.
From my experience, magnolia breaks down fairly quickly, especially compared to oak leaves and even Indian Almond Leaves. We have magnolias everywhere here, but, for that reason, I don't bother much with them for my Apistos (and I don't keep shrimp).Thanks dw1305 and MacZ!
There's some useful information in your replies and in those links. Off the top of my head, I have easy access to oak leaves at work, or I can venture out into the countryside around my village and find plenty. I have access to Silver Birch in my garden which I gather will break down quickly, but would it be a good food source for fry? Lastly my parents have a large magnolia tree so I will get them to start collecting leaves next year and send me a bin bag full, I gather they last a long time in the tank.
Hopefully I can find some beech leaves somewhere, I'll keep my eyes peeled!