Question Boil Tree Leaves To Get Tannins, Good Idea Or Tragedy?

YATT

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So, I'm trying to get my pH more manageable. It is high and I would like to get lower. I have a magnolia tree in my backyard and I see some (even here on FL) have used magnolia leaves like almond leaves in their tank to benefit the fish and introduce some tannins. Per the suggestion to disinfect, I boiled the leaves for 2 mins. I saw a good amount of tennis released in that build but I tossed that water and added about 6 leaves so far into my tank. I see no noticeable drop in pH but I understand it will take some time for that to occur.

So.....what about if I try and speed it up a little.
1. Wash the leaves to remove dirt, anything attached.
2. Bake the leaves at 400F for a few min to kill off anything.
3. Boil the leaves for a couple min in some water
4. Let it cool and introduce the leaves and the tannin water

Good idea or horrible idea?
 

BlackNotebookTanks

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After that I don't think you'll have any leaf left to add to the tank! The tannin water I wouldn't add. Simple because it may result in spiking the pH. Altering the pH of your tank is a slow and painful process; even a change of 0.1pH can seriously harm your fish. What pH is your tank normally?
 
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YATT

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BlackNotebookTanks said:
After that I don't think you'll have any leaf left to add to the tank! The tannin water I wouldn't add. Simple because it may result in spiking the pH. Altering the pH of your tank is a slow and painful process; even a change of 0.1pH can seriously harm your fish. What pH is your tank normally?
0.1 won't harm anything. In the natural plant cycle of photosynthesis, pH increases during the day (consumes CO2) and decreases at night (consumes O2, releasing CO2).

My tank is 8.2-8.6 right now. Want to start decreasing to get it under 8 for sure. I could go lower as I have fish that like it acidic/neutral. These are the fish I want and have and I'm stressing them now. One is sick as a result with others likely to follow. My water params outside of pH are great. 0,0,<10ppm for nitrogen cycle numbers. GH is 8 KH is 3. Temp is 74F

Galathiel said:
Are you using driftwood in your tank? It releases tannins slowly and also lowers the pH.
Considering it, but figured since I have all these "free" magnolia leaves, I was investigating it. They look good in the tank to, got me thinking about blackwater believe it or not. I got 3 on the bottom and 3 floating. Provides cover Neon tetra's like and I understand shrimp (considering at a later date) like them also. I have no shrimp now.
 

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I use organic oak leaves, organic meaning they are free from pesticide, mosquito sprays, or fertilizers and plant food.
IMG_0937.JPG
 

Guanchy

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Something to think about too is that you want to use pesticide and fertilizer free leaves. I would just go with driftwood, I think it looks nice and it lowers the pH slowly.
 

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I say go for it but add the tannin slowly. Only use leaves that have already fallen/are dead. Live leaves can have less than useful sap in them.

Also keep in mind it that when you do a water change you will be removing the tannins and adding back in water with a higher pH. You’ll want to add tannin back into the new water before you put it in the tank.

Another thing to keep in mind, if your tap water is naturally high in buffers you won’t really be able to lower the pH all that much. The tannins are still nice to have though.
 

Jimmie93

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Have you tried catappa leaves? They work well in aquariums but I wouldn't boil them it will probably destroy leaves.
 

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It depends on your KH. Having driftwood and a few leaves won't necessarily affect pH. Still beneficial, regardless.
 

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Fanatic said:
I use organic oak leaves, organic meaning they are free from pesticide, mosquito sprays, or fertilizers and plant food.
IMG_0937.JPG
look like mostly magnolia leaves which are also awesome for the aquarium.
 

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DoubleDutch said:
Those aren't oak leaves to me though.
rainbowsprinkles said:
look like mostly magnolia leaves which are also awesome for the aquarium.
These are one inch leaves, very small, and there are acorns mixed in as well.
Magnolia get much larger, and they are very thick leaves with a velvety backing, while these leaves are very thin and smooth.
There are many species of oak, not just the common one everyone is used to.

I have these trees in my backyard, as well as the magnolia, links to the oak and magnolia below.

Texas Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)


Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
 

DoubleDutch

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Fanatic said:
These are one inch leaves, very small, and there are acorns mixed in as well.
Magnolia get much larger, and they are very thick leaves with a velvety backing, while these leaves are very thin and smooth.
There are many species of oak, not just the common one everyone is used to.

I have these trees in my backyard, as well as the magnolia, links to the oak and magnolia below.

Texas Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)


Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Aaahhhh what I mean are the magnolialeaves.
 
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YATT

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scarface said:
It depends on your KH. Having driftwood and a few leaves won't necessarily affect pH. Still beneficial, regardless.
My KH is 3
 

rainbowsprinkles

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Fanatic said:
These are one inch leaves, very small, and there are acorns mixed in as well.
Magnolia get much larger, and they are very thick leaves with a velvety backing, while these leaves are very thin and smooth.
There are many species of oak, not just the common one everyone is used to.

I have these trees in my backyard, as well as the magnolia, links to the oak and magnolia below.

Texas Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
live oak leaves - Google Search

Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
magnolia grandiflora - Google Search
Ah, I couldnt see the scale. Yes, I see now. I have heard folks saying live oak leaves shouldnt be used in aquaria for some reason..but Ive been skeptical and wanted to try? I'm in Texas too. So they work in your tank no problem?
 

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rainbowsprinkles said:
Ah, I couldnt see the scale. Yes, I see now. I have heard folks saying live oak leaves shouldnt be used in aquaria for some reason..but Ive been skeptical and wanted to try? I'm in Texas too. So they work in your tank no problem?
Dead ones should be used.
505fcd0ae0ca49f2ac4cd062719d063b.jpg
 

rainbowsprinkles

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DoubleDutch said:
Dead ones should be used.
505fcd0ae0ca49f2ac4cd062719d063b.jpg
No "Live Oak" as in the species of oak. Ha, maybe why there is a debate - people talking about two different things.
 

rainbowsprinkles

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Sorry for getting off topic YATT I would try it .. it is a natural way to soften the water a bit but the effect is unlikely to be dramatic. I think the microbes found on the fallen leaves in nature are beneficial for the tank microbiome and so I never sterilize or boil mine but make sure they don't have any insect galls (fuzzy or round balls on bottoms of leaves). I figure most fish pathogens wouldnt be found on a tree leaf anyway. Almost all fresh water fish live in environments in the wild with leaf litter so I think you can't go wrong if you use the right trees. I even have leaf litter in my goldfish tank.
 
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YATT

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DoubleDutch said:
hahaha okay. Greeting from a Live Dutch !
Live Oak. The tree in Texas that NEVER stops dropping leaves year round. I love raking leaves year round. Deciduous evergreen if you will.
 
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YATT

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rainbowsprinkles said:
Sorry for getting off topic YATT I would try it .. it is a natural way to soften the water a bit but the effect is unlikely to be dramatic. I think the microbes found on the fallen leaves in nature are beneficial for the tank microbiome and so I never sterilize or boil mine but make sure they don't have any insect galls (fuzzy or round balls on bottoms of leaves). I figure most fish pathogens wouldnt be found on a tree leaf anyway. Almost all fresh water fish live in environments in the wild with leaf litter so I think you can't go wrong if you use the right trees. I even have leaf litter in my goldfish tank.
Thanks, I added some Fluval Peat to try and help as well.
 

rainbowsprinkles

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And this is what amano shrimp do to magnolia leaves..eat all but the leaf skeleton. they seem to have no interest in the oak leaves
IMG_7685.JPG
 
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very cool rainbowsprinkles
 

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