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Are these: cones, leaves and branches good for my tanks?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by OHR, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. OHR

    OHR Member 5 Year Member

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    Spring is slowly coming to Norway and I have come out of hibarnation.

    A few days ago I went to my botanical garden looking for aldercones and oakleaves. Not so much luck with that, but I did find quite alot of other intresting stuff.

    First this is the correct type of alder to pick cones from right?
    [​IMG]
    Can I pick cones from the ground that has been lying under the snow or can they be poisonous?
    They seemed to be "dusty" on the trees, I think this is the seeds or just decomposing. Is it best to rinse this or is this were the good stuff is hiding?
    Can I use dead branches like oak branches?


    This is the correct species of oak right?
    [​IMG]
    Many of the leaves has black spots on them, that is not a problem?
    I am thinking of using oak leaves in a stocking while aeriating my tapwater, can I use partly decomposed leaves from the ground to this?

    This is the correct species of beech right?
    [​IMG]
    There were quite a lot of nice leaves on the ground. More than sufficent for me for the whole sommer I think.
    I just pick, rinse and dry these?
    Do they contain tannins just like oakleaves?

    Last but not least did I find basket willow, but I forgot to take picture of the latin name.
    I have put some live branches in one of my tanks and they are starting to root. At the same time there is some coating of sorts that looks like algea on them under water.
    Has anyone kept willow in their tanks over some time and can share their experience?

    Thanks from Ola
  2. Microman

    Microman Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Ola,
    Yes all the species you have pictured are what we use in the UK.... With the Alder cones i pick up from the floor as well as from the tree, all are ok and i have had no problems at all. Excellent for your cory eggs too....
    You can soak the alder cones to get the seeds off as these just tend to decompose very quickly.
    Im sure the branches are fine like the beech and oak.
    Never tried the willow in my tanks, dont know if it contains tannic acid like the others you mentioned.
    Mark...
  3. OHR

    OHR Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks Mark.
  4. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Just make sure that the cones and leaves come from a location where no pesticides are used. I found a couple of oak trees (red, I think) that still have last year's leaves hanging on them. I pick a batch each time I walk by. The owners must think I'm crazy!
  5. OHR

    OHR Member 5 Year Member

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    thanks Mike.
    As I collect from a park there are no owners to question my sanity. On the other hand I recalled you saying something about stuffing your pockets full of leaves while passing a public park once, and I might have giggled a bit at it. If someone was nearby they probably just thougt I was on "leave" from the mental institution across the field and slowly backed up.

    Anyways, the basket willows have grown nice roots and saplings. Hopefully they will not rot in the long run. The ottos seem to enjoy them as much as me.

    Is it important to have circulation or can it just be left in a container with the cones and leaves while I aeriate the tapwater?

    Now I`m saving about 1/4 of the changing watertank as my pump can`t get up the last part, and I think that is okay as the water gets time to soak up more acid tannins for a few more days.
  6. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    Ola they are the right species and I would agree with Mark. I've rooted willow cuttings (most "Basket Willows" are "Osiers", Salix viminalis cv.s and hybrids), once they are growing they will produce loads of fine roots as described and they certainly won't rot. I didn't have any problem in the tank, and they are quite widely used in the bio-remediation of polluted waters.

    I usually just put a few alder cones and leaves in the tank, but you can steep them in a container and store the extract, you don't need to aerate it.

    cheers Darrel
  7. Crazygar

    Crazygar Member 5 Year Member

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    I find that Oak is usually the best for availability and price (a nice little walk). I have never tried the Alder Cones before, yet I read about everyone using them. Are they good for blackwater tanks?

    Gary
  8. OHR

    OHR Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks Darrel, now I can just sit back and enjoy them. I always wanted plants that grow out of the tank. :)