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Types Of Leaves

Discussion in 'South American Biotope Aquariums' started by mematrix, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. mematrix

    mematrix Member 5 Year Member

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    A Question??? I have been wondering since i have watched a lot of the underwater biotope vids on the net especially the Black water ones in particular and i noticed that there wasnt just one type of sunken leaves but many types this leaves me to believe that it dosent matter what leaves to use. My question is once the leaves have died and are completely dry would they be suitable for the tank not just oak or almond leaves??? Looking for Info
  2. Simon Morgan

    Simon Morgan Member 5 Year Member

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    Just answered the same question on fb. I use mostly oak and beech as they add tannins to the water and I've also tried Acer/maple and chestnut leaves. They appear to be safe but breakdown quite quickly.
    There's no need to dry the leaves imo if you are using them straight away, just rinse them in cold water. You only need to dry them if you want to store them.
  3. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The important thing is to collect the leaves after they have died and fallen off the trees naturally. Don't pick live leaves off the trees. When they die and shed naturally, the tree withdraws the sugars and other soluble chemicals out of the leaf and back into the branches, for re-use next year. Besides oaks, I have also used maples, magnolia, elm, ash, sweetgum, hickory, and others. I usually soak them in bucket for a few days before adding to fish tanks, especially magnolia (grandiflora) which releases a LOT of stuff.
    ButtNekkid and dw1305 like this.
  4. mematrix

    mematrix Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank You Guys for replying the info helps a lot and gives me more options thanks again would palm fronds do also seen a couple of tanks with them in them
  5. MadHatter

    MadHatter Member 5 Year Member

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    My personal approach is to avoid leaves that are known to contain harmful compounds. For that reason, I would not use Ficus (fig), Photinia and Oleander and avoid Eucalyptus and Angophora as I believe these tend to retain a fair amount of volatile oils even after they are shed from the tree.
    This may be of limited use to members outside Australia, but for what it's worth, I use / have used: Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), Macadamia, Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta), Lillipilli (Syzygium sp.), Oak (Quercus sp.), Magnolia and Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus).
    I mostly use leaves for structure rather than to adjust pH, so I value durability over any other traits. So far I have found the Macadamia to last by far the longest, followed by the Firewheel, Silky Oak and Loquat.
    dw1305 likes this.
  6. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    I've used Oak, Loquat and Magnolia leaves as well in the UK. The leaves of Proteas, Banksia, Macadamia, Grevillea etc (all Proteaceae spp.) should all work, as the plants all grow in acid nutrient poor conditions and have persistent leaf litter.

    cheers Darrel