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what dead leaves used in tanks

edwliang

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
152
Location
Guangdong China
what do you guys use as dead leaves in tanks, i noticed they all look like maple leave. in china, we can only get indian almond (Terminalia catappa )leaves from the shop.
ps, how to aviod algae in tanks.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,746
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
I've had a go with quite a few different ones now, what I still haven't done is any proper testing in the lab.
Other than Terminalia catappa, I've successfully used Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), Camellia (Camellia x williamsii), Evergreen Magnolia and Deciduous Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora & M. spengeri), Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), various Oaks (Quercus spp.) and Beech (Fagus sylatica).

I also used Plane (Platanus x hispanica) with out any problem, but an Australian member had unexplained fry deaths that he thought might be related to these leaves shedding microscopic irritant hairs as they decomposed.

I like Magnolia grandiflora, Eriobotrya, Camellia and Oak leaves as they are very persistent, although Otocinclus and shrimps considerably reduce their longevity.

For tannin staining I mainly use oak twigs (bark on) and Alder (Alnus glutinosa) "cones". I'm putting dead leaves in all the tanks now, and I think they have a positive effect on fry survival. Red Oak and Blueberry leaves are very attractive in colour, but not very persistent, and deciduous Magnolia leaves quickly skeletonize.

cheers Darrel
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Messages
11,177
Location
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Plants that in Nature live in acidic soils usually have leaves that release tannin & humic acids. The decomposition of the leaves are the cause for the acidic soil conditions.
 

raymond82

Member
Messages
345
Location
Amsterdam
In Holland both Carpinus betulus and Fagus sylvatica are used in a similar way (hedges) and the dutch names are also confusingly similar, are the leaves from Carpinus betulus also safe to use in aquariums?
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,746
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi Raymond,
Carpinus betulus is "Hornbeam" in English, and we use if for hedges too, where the leaves remain on the plant through the winter. The leaves are similar to Beech (Fagus sylvatica) in shape, but have a doubly serrated edge, are matt brown in winter and are much less persistent in the tank. I didn't have any problem with them, other than they didn't last very long.
Plants that in Nature live in acidic soils usually have leaves that release tannin & humic acids. The decomposition of the leaves are the cause for the acidic soil conditions.
Because of this I've been collecting my Oak and Beech leaves from trees growing about 10 miles from home, which is the nearest place where the soil is acid and the geology Cretaceous age "Greensand".

Camellia and Blueberry will only grow in acid soils and Oak leaves and bark are always acidic. I'm not sure about the other leaves.
cheers Darrel
 

raymond82

Member
Messages
345
Location
Amsterdam
Hi Darrel,

This is exactly how my father explained it to me recently, I'm confused though since I picked the leaves in March/April but I don't see the serrated edge on them. I have them in my aquarium and I really like the way they look.

In dutch we use the word "haagbeuk" for the Hornbeam and "beukenhaag" for a hedge out of F. sylvatica. If you would translate this literally, it would be "hedgebeech" and "beecheshedge". Hence the confusion... But the serrated edges makes the leaves easy to distinguish, now it's a matter of remembering which is which...
 

MadHatter

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
31
Location
Melbourne, Australia
To add to the list, I use a few Macadamia leaves without problem, and while I cannot say whether they have any effect on pH, they have an appealing 'rainforesty' leaf shape and are by far the most persistent I have thus far tried.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,746
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
I use a few Macadamia leaves without problem, and while I cannot say whether they have any effect on pH, they have an appealing 'rainforesty' leaf shape and are by far the most persistent I have thus far tried
I would think that all Proteaceae would be quite good, they grow on acids soils and have very persistent leaves.

I think the real answer is that we can only find out by trial and error, although a good start would be to look at the kind of leaves that Dart Frog keepers use in each country, that was how I originally thought of using Magnolia grandiflora. I also think that most tree's that produce edible fruit should be all right, although maybe not things like Citrus fruits.

Leaves I would definitely avoid would be any hairy leaves and plants known to have toxic sap like Rubber (Hevea), Laburnum, any Figs (Ficus spp.), Oleander (Nerium oleander), evergreen Rhododendron, Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus & P. lusitanica), Walnut (Juglans regia & J. nigra) and Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastaneum).

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,746
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Looks like "Sea side Grape", Coccoloba uvifera is another one that should work, again sold for Dart frog vivariums.
cheers Darrel
 

merlin

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
210
Location
Dundee,Scotland
I downloaded an app called Aquarium Calculator which does some pretty good calculations etc. It also has a function which tells you what leaves can be used. Now I have corresponded with this guy to confirm where his documented reference is for the leaves he says you can use but he was not giving me an answer. It is still interesting with apple plum and hazel being suggested among many others. Worth a look

Derek
 

edwliang

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
152
Location
Guangdong China
came to know that there is a 'passion fruit' tree in my home. can i use the leaves in my tank? if yes, what action should i take before putting them into my tank?
IMG_4825.jpg
IMG_4826.jpg
 

regani

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
429
Location
Brisbane, Australia
I personally haven't used them, but like many other leaves they should be safe (just avoid plants with sap/milky stuff in them).
to use them in a tank they will have to be dry, i.e. only use yellow/brown leaves that have fallen off naturally and dried up. otherwise you introduce too much organic matter into the tank that may foul your water.
 

Jacobus

New Member
Messages
23
Hi all,
I would think that all Proteaceae would be quite good, they grow on acids soils and have very persistent leaves.

I think the real answer is that we can only find out by trial and error, although a good start would be to look at the kind of leaves that Dart Frog keepers use in each country, that was how I originally thought of using Magnolia grandiflora. I also think that most tree's that produce edible fruit should be all right, although maybe not things like Citrus fruits.

Leaves I would definitely avoid would be any hairy leaves and plants known to have toxic sap like Rubber (Hevea), Laburnum, any Figs (Ficus spp.), Oleander (Nerium oleander), evergreen Rhododendron, Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus & P. lusitanica), Walnut (Juglans regia & J. nigra) and Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastaneum).

cheers Darrel
Darrel,
A question on an 11 year old piece of advice from your side: For what reason would you definitely not use walnut leaves in an Apisto tank?

Thanks Jacobus
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,746
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Darrel,
A question on an 11 year old piece of advice from your side: For what reason would you definitely not use walnut leaves in an Apisto tank?

Thanks Jacobus
I was probably over cautious. Walnut trees contain a number of toxic compounds, but since I wrote that people have fed the green leaves to shrimp etc

Cheers Darrel
 

Jacobus

New Member
Messages
23
That's what I read as well: these leaves being fed to shrimp. I have uses some walnut leaves since a few weeks. Your remark worried me a bit. I m reassured now, but will keep my eyes open. Thanks. I have both walnut-(Juglans regia) and oak (Quercus robur) trees in my garden.

Cheers Jacobus
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,905
Location
Germany
What I can definitely say:
Walnut wood is not suitable for use in tanks, if the ratio of the amount of wood to volume is unfavourable. A singular piece (like 30x10cm) in a 250 Liter tank is not a problem but 5-6 kg dry mass of walnut in a 100 Liter tank will cause problems.
In contrast to the wood, which still contains relatively much sap, the brown leaves contain minute amounts of the problematic compounds. Same goes for the dried husks of the nuts.
Green dried leaves are only useful as shrimp food. Green leaves contain too much nutrients, especially sugars, so unless one uses small amounts to be eaten quickly, the chances of a bacteria bloom causing an oxygen defficiency is higher.
Most other deciduous broad-leaved trees are safe in all of their parts. Provided leaves and fruit husks are brown and dry.
 

Jacobus

New Member
Messages
23
Thanks for your input MacZ. I have only 1 compound walnut leaf in a160 litre tank. Such a leaf is like a twig with five leaves attached really. Besides: it was not fresh, but dry and brittle. Leaves I use most are oak leaves. And I use some alder cones now and again.
 

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