Leaf Litter

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Zerologist, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. ZerologistWell Known MemberMember

    Hello there!

    - Anyone here has leaf litters in their aquarium?
    - What kind of leaf do you have?
    - Where do you get it from?
    - How to know if the leaves I got is safe? (how to test)

    Thanks a lot! :)
  2. NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    I have used a lot of oak leaves for tanks with Apistogramma and killifish. They acidify the water, and release tannins.
    You have to collect them in autumn though, when they are dried out on trees. They last well in cooler tanks (killies), but break down more quickly in warm water (Apistos).
    I experimented with maple, which are great for tannin release, but they decomposed much too quickly to be of use. Oak have always been the best if you are trying to semi-replicate (there are no oaks in Africa or Amazonia...) the kind of environment a lot of our small rainforest fishes evolved in. It certainly helped with breeding Apistos here. It was also interesting to see how the curled leaves were used as shelters and territories. On a behavior level, I really liked the results.

    The downside? Difficult with power filter intakes, and in need of removal and change every 3 weeks to a month or so or you get a debris build up. You need a good stock of leaves to start this - I collected an entire garbage bag full one Fall, and it was empty by summer. You just reach in and put the leaves in - if you like sterilizing things, stay away. You destroy the leaves doing so.
    A few weeks later, you manually remove them, and do it again.

  3. MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    Every autumn I take leaves from maple and oak tree in my yard and put them in my tank.

    In all of my South American species it's leads to spawning within a week.

  4. The SenatorValued MemberMember

    You might also be interested in checking out the following site:  

  5. KerinaValued MemberMember

    I put oak leaves I collected in a state park in my betta and shrimp tank as well as to my community. I do not bother removing them, because they ether decompose or get eaten by amanos.
    I just rinse them with tap wat before putting them in the tank.
  6. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Yep oak and beech here
  7. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    I use Oak & beech too, & alder cones, the shrimp seem to love those just as much as the leaves.

  8. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Just wanted to say be careful gathering from a state park. You can be fined/penalized for doing so. Not that you will or they'd even care much about dead leaves, but my friend was fined $150 just for trying to take a downed tree branch in a state park. They told him all the wildlife, including dead trees, are protected by the park service and you are not to remove them from the park.

    Best just to ask them first. Like I said, they may not even care.
  9. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Hey Mike, I was told earlier Maple was a no go (due to the sugar in the leaves).
    Never experienced issues or what so ever?
  10. ZerologistWell Known MemberMember

    Hello guys, I just got a fallen leaf from one of the trees outside my house. The thing is: I don't know what leaf of what tree is this.


    Thanks in advance!!!
  11. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    I think we won't know either cause of your location. It isn't a leaf / tree known overhere I think. Could you place a.pic of an open leave and the tree itself?
  12. MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    Never heard of that. Obviously the ones I use are very well dried out, but no I've never had any issues.
  13. CarrieFisherWell Known MemberMember

    I had some Indian almond leaves on hand from the betta I rehomed, and I added it to my (developing) community tank to see if anyone would take a shine to it.

    So far, my plec is infatuated!
    As soon as it sunk, he hung out with it for a while.
    Finished his green pepper for the night and then went back to it.
    He alternates between enjoying its cover, and actually rasping on it

    IALs are good for fin health, some say they have antibacterial properties for your tank/fish, and some ppl periodically add a bunch to their tanks so that they leech their tannins into the water to create a "blackwater" effect.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  14. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Forgot to mention my latest find : wallnut !
  15. Jm SilentMajorityNew MemberMember

    Dried banana leaves work for me. I cut into smaller pieces, luckily I have one growing in yard.
  16. ZerologistWell Known MemberMember

    Hello! I found out that it is a mango tree... Do you think its safe for my tank?

    Nevermind, I searched Google and there are other forums that says that it is toxic... So I won't use it anymore...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2017
  17. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Hahaha yeah just what I found doing some research. But knowing where you live, there definitely will be usefull leaves.
  18. NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    We're back in the international environment loop.

    I had several rain filled containers out back, with tops. I put oak in one, maple in another and poplar in the third. That's what grows behind the house.
    The oak supplied tannins and lasted well. The maple was superb for tannins but decomposed rapidly, and the poplar just kind of sat there releasing very few tannins.
    I had the same results in tanks. Maple wasn't bad, but it created a fine powder I didn't like, very quickly.
    In the future, I will stick with oak, and alder cones for acids.
  19. ZerologistWell Known MemberMember

    Any leaves you know from Asia? :)
  20. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Wallnut is great for tanins as well !!!
    I'll make a pic tonight

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