Tannins And Blackwater?

TannerVbet

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I recently wanted to start rescaping my betta tank for a more natural and black water aesthetic and I’m wondering about leaf litter that I can safely collect and use. I have heard that you can use peat to make homemade blackwater extract by boiling it and simmering down the water in the pot and was wondering if anyone had tried this before? Also I was wondering if most oak leaves are safe and acceptable leaf litter for a tank. I have water oak (Quercus Nigra) in the woods behind my house and was wanting to know if the leaves of it are safe once dried and boiled to sanitize. Thank you for any help in advance
 

BottomDweller

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Welcome to fishlore!

I believe oak is safe but I have not tried it myself.

Here is an article about collecting leaves for the aquarium which you may find helpful
 

A201

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Leaves from hardwood trees should be safe. It might be easier to buy a small piece of Malaysian wood from your local fish store, or on line. Its inexpensive, sinks like a rock and will eternally leach tannins.
 

CindyVBPets

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I wouldn't. Not only questioning the safety of it but they break down into sludge as it is, over time. I used the typical botanicals and you can always use Rooibus tea to fake it! (tank in my icon) I got mine from Tannin Aquatics but they sell stuff on Amazon, too.

The almond leaf in particular is good for Bettas.

You boil your botanicals for awhile, replace the water overnight, then rinse again.Best to use a dedicated pot.

They will lower your PH so that's something to be careful of so your fish doesn't get PH shock. I just did a couple at a time and kept testing.

Mine is intentionally not dark; and it's pink because I use a Floramax plant bulb. Fluval Stratum substrate also frustratingly lowers PH A LOT. It renders my 8.4 tap water down to a 6.4 or 6.6 so I have to supplement water changes with Crystal Geyser bottled which is a 6.9.

June-7-20L.JPG
 

Coptapia

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Oak leaves are perfectly safe, but won’t leach much tannins. Almond leaves or Alder cones will leach a lot more. And rotting leaf litter grows it’s own community of tiny life, very useful for fry. They’ll rot away to nothing in time, if you leave them in.
 

DoubleDutch

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Coptapia said:
Oak leaves are perfectly safe, but won’t leach much tannins. Almond leaves or Alder cones will leach a lot more. And rotting leaf litter grows it’s own community of tiny life, very useful for fry. They’ll rot away to nothing in time, if you leave them in.
You could boil oak which gives a brown oak-tea as well !
 

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