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Palm Fronds from Gardens

Discussion in 'South American Biotope Aquariums' started by Drayden Farci, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    I'm sure this has been visited before, but I can't find what I remember reading...

    First question: I've had one big palm frond in my new tank for about two months and it seems to have stopped leaching tannins finally, and I recently added another one. A few days later the water was very murky, almost turbid in appearance and there were hundreds of snails. The first snail bloom I had after the first palm I attributed to the extra food of the frond, and the same thing here. However, I wasn't sure why the water turned so murky. Just extra tannins? I'm worried about chemical overload of some sort sparking a bloom but I didn't notice anything else out of the ordinary and my Tucano Tetras seemed to not change their behavior at all. Should I be worried?

    Second question: I found some Canary Island Date Palm fronds on a trip to a more tropical location than Portland, and I assume they are safe to chuck into the tank? I plan on letting them sit a while in a bucket outside this time (didn't do this with the other fronds). Should I treat (or have treated) the fronds before adding them? Nothing seems to be the matter with the Tucano's, a group of Cardinals, and a long Apistogramma uaupesi (if anyone has a line for more, please contact me!). Any palm fronds I should stay away from?

    Thanks!
  2. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My guess is that the frond that caused the cloudiness still had sugary sap that caused a temporary bacterial and/or protozoan bloom. Tannins, lignins, fulvic acids (blackwater components) are much slower to decay and less likely to cause that. As for a snail bloom in a few days, they must have been already present, hiding in gravel - a few days is not enough time for a huge increase in snails. Don't know if there's any toxic or otherwise troublesome palms, but in general you want ones that shed from the tree naturally after they died. Live leaves cut or pulled off and then dried will have more sap in them. Trees withdraw the stored food in their leaves when they shed naturally. Soaking in bucket or barrel is always a good idea with anything you have doubts about.
  3. Drayden Farci

    Drayden Farci Active Member

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    Ah, that makes the most sense. Would you recommend removing it and soaking it until it looks more brown? Or just leave it in and deal with it? As I said, just murky water that seemed to get a little better with a small water change, and the fish don't appear bothered.

    The date frond I grabbed last night was attached to the plant, but it is completely brown and the leaves are fairly brittle. I assume it was fairly close to falling off by itself and it likely missing most of its sugars at this point?
  4. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If the fish seem ok, i'd leave it. Or use the cloudy water to feed a daphnia culture. If a leaf is dead and brittle but still attached, the tree can't pull anything more out of it anyway; the vascular channels are no longer working. Pre-soaking adds a margin of safety.
    Yvonne G and ButtNekkid like this.

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