Leaves in your fish tank

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by AlanGreene, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. AlanGreene Well Known Member Member

    Hey guys,

    I found this article on putting leaves in your fish tank while I was searching for tips on how to care for discus, I found it interesting, I thought you might too.

  2. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Thanks for the link Alan. :)

    I use Oak and Maple leaves, stuffed in a filter media bag, in my 33g long tank. Keeping it in the filter and I replace the bag of leaves every couple of months. Along with the leaves I also use Sara Peat or Fluval Peat to help with my off the chart, high, pH levels.

    Indian Almond leaves are said to be very good for the aquarium keeping an eye on pH.


  3. monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    Ken where do you buy your Maple and Oak leaves? I use IAL but will need those as well.

  4. AlanGreene Well Known Member Member

    Glad this was of interest to people, I didn't realize dead leaves could be so beneficial in a tank!

  5. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member


    I get my my Maple and Oak leaves from my yard. :) I hand pick each one, check it out, make sure it's a clean leaf, brown dead leaf, and add it to the filter media bag. I stuff it full and place it in the filter. I didn't want to risk a mess in the tank so I use the media bag.

  6. monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    Oh okay I need to scout out some oak and maple trees then. We have 2 huge trees in front of our house but i am not sure what they are :/
    Yep! I use IAL, Indian almond Leaves, for my betta biotope to help lower the Ph to match the wild betta habitat and to color the water with tanins... I have also heard the tanins have a healing quality that is great for the fish!
  7. oscarsbud Well Known Member Member

    I found both articles very interesting. I had just ordered my first IAL leaves for my bettas, but now I am going to use it in my big tank as well. I think the angels will like it. And I never would have thought of using leaves from the maple or oak trees around here. Thanks guys!
  8. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member


    I use mostly Oak leaves and I cut the stems off to the base of the leaf. I have more oak than maple in my yard.

  9. Novemayune Valued Member Member

    Would this benefit all fish? Not just blackwater species? For instance, starting a new tank, would a couple of leaves be more helpful or hurtful? Also, would just a couple of leaves throughout the life of the tank be beneficial?

    (If OP doesn't mind me asking some questions...)
  10. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

    The leaves will need to be replaced every couple of months or so. IMO, it should be good for any freshwater tank. Keep an eye on your pH levels.

  11. Reverie New Member Member

    I've used oak leaves before in betta tanks. I just scattered them around on the bottom, and I thought they looked neat. I always took them out after they had started visibly decomposing, though that link says it's okay to leave them in there.
  12. Habsfan New Member Member

    I'm just wondering what effect decomposing leaves would have on the nitrate level?
  13. AmazonPassion Moderator Moderator Member

    increase your nitrate levels
  14. Habsfan New Member Member

    I guess it would have to be heavily planted to compensate.
  15. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

    It really depends on the leaves. IAL decompose in my tank had zero affect on nitrates. The tank is planted well and snails consume the leaf matter.