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Old 08-27-2010, 01:42 PM   #1 
BettaBoy84's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Talking OAK LEAVES... . . in lou of IAL?

OAK LEAVES, have been recommended to me by Old Fish Lady a while ago, and I have been using them religiously ever in southern Ontario, we have PLENTY and various species as well!

If you are like me and like using natural remedies and organic products when working with Bettas, you may be interested to know that OAK LEAVES (in my opinion, as well as many others), provides numerous benefits to out Betas, in Spawning, Fin repair, Decreasing Stress and improving overall well being!

This is due to the natural tannin the leafs release when exposed to the water, tinting the water color to a golden brown, without affecting visibility! Also mimicking their natural environment.

Oak Trees are native to Ontario, and there are various species found in North America and other parts of the major species, Red Oaks and White Oaks..

I have chosen to experiment with Three OAKS in my area and compare the outcome that the leaves produce without toughing the jars at all! You can follow along with updates pf the water color changing..

I will document;

- Tannin color
- Leaf Composition/ Composure (In water and Out)
- Approximate float duration before sinking
- Any negative reactions to water..
- Daily water tests

I will post Daily Pics of the progress of both day light, and back light exposure to truly see tannin effect in water. I have started by Taking a pic of the leaf in groups of Fresh Leaf from the tree, A Dried Leaf, and Group of Dried Leafs.

The leafs tested: (in order as they appear)


- Nice bright color - larger, sharp edges - smaller leaf
- Longer rounded lobes - Can get Very DARK! - very hard structure
- Resemble Betta -Bright Red in Fall - good for nests
- Can be large full grown - Can be HUGE full grown - light dried color

Keep in mind these leaves have died this summer. They have been on a branch that broke, therefore breaking the supply of nutrients to the leaves. This in turn kills the leaves and allows them to hang and dry in the air..

I will conduct another test similar to this in the fall, when AMAZING COLORS are produced in the leaves and it will be very interesting to see how this will affect the water...

Hey all around the word, Updates tomorrow...

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Old 08-27-2010, 01:59 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
I'll be very interested in your results. I have two huge red oak trees growing behind my deck and while I can't use any leaves that fall on the ground (my condo ground crew uses pesticides), TONS of them land directly on my deck. I'd rather bag them then rake them. Thanks for doing this. :)
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:09 PM   #3 
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So do you just let them float on top? Is that bad to do? I was going to let my amazon sword leaves float on top after they fell off but figured that would be bad... D:
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #4 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Talking 3 Hour Update

I know I said I would update tomorrow, but I cant believe ho much color change has occurred with the ENGLISH OAK Already (far right).
The RED OAK has had a slow start (middle) and the WHITE OAK is starting to color with a light orange (far right)..

Phoxly, if your referring to the alive plant (ASL) than it should be under the waters surface. These leaves are dead and used for medicinal purposes...
If your talking about dried leafs, I would have to do some research on them...But I have never used them so cannot say..

I will post some updates later tonight around (10PM eastern), as the progress has been significant in such shorts amount of time...I will then include, water readings and more info..

From around the world...

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Old 08-27-2010, 06:11 PM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Awesome.......I am so glad you are doing this and I will follow this thread closely.....
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:31 PM   #6 
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I too am interested in this thank you for taking the time to post this.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:32 PM   #7 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Talking 9 Hour Update

Not much new, especially in the color, but I said 10pm eastern, so I thought I would report..

The leafs have started to slouch down applying pressure onto the stem base in all leaves, therefore dropping them closer to the bottom of the jar. The RED OAK, is not breaking down as fast as the outer jars (White, and English) therefore keeping its composure and staying upright.

- The water is reporting 0 ammonia, and stable levels otherwise.
- English Oak holds lead for strongest color..(yellow)
- All three are blotching differently. I will post pics tomorrow
(White- not much deterioration Red- large blotches, English- small black dots)

As I mentioned, there has not been much color change in the 3 jars since last update, yet there is an obvious difference in the release of tannins in all three..Keep in mind the natural sunlight is not coming in the window now and the jars all seem darker! The greatest color change is the English, with White and Red following respectively. We will have to see what Red will do in the future, IME RED gives off a darker huge, so we will see...

thanks for reading..

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Old 08-28-2010, 12:49 AM   #8 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Gun Shine State
I put one grade c indian almond leaf in a 1 gallon jug of water and it turn brown the next day. plus indian are so cheap even if you buy grade A.. Also I have never heared of bettas in the wild living in oak leaves, and there is know information or or research saying that oak leaves are equal better or close to indian almond leaves. They have been using indian almond leaves since the betta splenden it self. Why try to re invent the wheel, why mess with something that is not broke, All these top breeder's and not even that IBC showing and top betta fighters use indian almond leaves, and there's a reason why.

I am very open minded but without the fact's, I just don't see using oak leaves. It's just hear say and people just using what they have around them, but IAL is only 10.00 which last month's and month's Its not expensive to use IAL..
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:25 AM   #9 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Talking GENUS Quercus

Hey for someone open minded, you don't seem to open to other people trying to expand their horizons...

Reinvent the wheel? This is mother nature were talking about here...FloridaBetta...just because the ancient bettas didn't have oak trees hanging over their ponds in ancient times, doesn't mean they weren't hangin over some other pond bringing the same benefits to other fish around the world...

There are over 600 species of OAK TREE aorund the world and many in YOUR area! To think that not one of these leaf specimen form the oak does NOT have equal or more chemical benefits to water or our betta would be ignorent...

I would love to see some of you research that shows OAK LEAVEs are NOT "equal better or close to indian almond leaves".

And $10.00? For a leaf?? ..Do you pay your your Bettas water too???

Now im even more excited to find the results of my experiment... I may also go collect more species and allow for a wider range of test results...

Here are some links that show other peoples success and use of these leaves...(many different varieties of OAK)

IAL link, stating "Oak leaves are often used in aquariums as an alternative. "


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Old 08-28-2010, 11:09 AM   #10 
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Talking Update: 2 new leaves

I have visited the local arboretum on the University and found two uncommon oaks, and thus added 2 new oak leaves to the lineup...almost a day behind from the start of the experiment (1:00pm eastern yesterday).

Both new OAK species are form the White Oaks group...The two new leaves are..

Quercus muehlenbergii- Chinquapin Oak

Quercus montana- Chestnut Oak

These two oaks are great as they really resemble an IAL....Especially the chestnut oak...actually looks very similar in shape, size and texture (hard when dried)

This is the new line up...same order, with Chinquapin and Chestnet respectively...

White Oak - Red Oak - English Oak - Chinquapin Oak - Chestnut Oak

I have noticed that the Red Oak still has not released much tannin in the water..however this could be due to the fact the leaf was not 100% dried out...I have used Red in the past and found it to release very DARK tannin..I will do a side experiment and only use 100% dried red oak and test its tannin release in tat sense, as I know many of you have Red Oak on your property!

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fin repair, ial, indian almond leaf, oak leaves

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