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Old 07-18-2011, 04:46 PM   #1 
Kytkattin
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Cool Live Plants and Indian Almond Leaves. Help!

I have a 5.5 split and planted aquarium, so far with no fish in it. Because it is planted, I know that I am not supposed to use much salt (if any). Well salt has always been my "go to" remedy for a sick fish. Short of taking my boys out and treating them in a different tank should they get sick, what options do I have?

I was thinking Indian Almond leaves (or that African tea, Roobios or something) would be perfect. However, I have not read much about their use in a planted aquarium. Would the leaves have any positive or negative effect on the plants? I am holding off ordering these leaves until I get a definitive answer. Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #2 
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I tan my water with oak leaf in all my very heavy natural planted tanks to a light tea color without any plant growth problems, however, I wouldn't go too dark since that can effect light penetration and plant growth.....

It is always best to QT a Betta for treatment...this way you can observe the Betta and monitor output......tan the water darker and use salts and other products if needed without effecting the biological filter and live plants...

Its also a good idea to premix the treatment water in 1gal jug of dechlorinated water....this can help with proper dosage, allow the salts to dissolve and the tannin source to steep so it can release tannins....longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta likes it.....and it helps make the water changes easier and to give proper dosage when you have to make partial water changes.....
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:31 PM   #3 
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For the oak leaves, is there a specific type of oak you use, or do any work? We have black oak, scarlet oak (which is toxic to horses), and maybe blue oak. We used to have a 200 year old oracle oak, but it died last year :'( . The scarlet holds it's leaves until the spring, but the others drop leaves sometimes throughout the year.

I ordered some IAL, but they might not get here for a few weeks.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:03 PM   #4 
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I have never heard of any oak leaf being bad or having negative effect on fish/water...I have several different species of oak trees that I use..pin oak, blackjack, red oak, post oak, swamp oak, white oak...that I can think of off the top of my head......mine drop leaves all year round especially with the drought going on....sometimes it looks like its raining leaves outside....lol....

I gather the naturally dried and fallen leaves-I don't even worry about dirt, debris, bugs...etc... on them but I also keep soil based tanks so a little extra dirt won't hurt..... it can actually add some extra nutrients for the plants...lol........and with the decomp of the leaves this in turn makes CO2 for the plants/tank and this can also lower the pH to a degree too...so all is good.....laffs......

I dose the dried oak leave: 10-12 crushed per gallon of water...with oak leaf the water usually doesn't get as dark as with IAL....the Spectrographic analysis determined that oak leaf and IAL properties are 99% the same....

Either tannin source provide antibacterial/fungal properties-I have had really good success with the tannins when used alone and used with either magnesium sulfate or sodium chloride along with their antibacterial/fungal properties when I use them for treatments...I only use natural treatments and have found them to be safer and more effect than OTC products that I once used years ago...

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 07-18-2011 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:46 PM   #5 
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Wow, you have quite a few oaks! Is is possible to over-dose either type of leaf? Thank you for all of your help!
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:07 PM   #6 
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I wouldn't think so and part of the beauty of natural treatments and methods....really hard to overdose....generally safe for fish, inverts, plants and the environment......when I spawn the Neon tetras...I nearly fill the tank half full with dried oak leaf...same for my marble crayfish tank.....and then the outside tanks and buckets that has mass amounts of not just oak leaf but pecan, walnut, mulberry, redbud that fall in them.....no problems..but really dark..near black water....no fish problems.....

Longer it steeps the more tannins released....after a month or so the water will start to smell...but when I check level in the pre-mixed jugs and tanks.....0ppm across the board.......(I don't get nitrate due to all the live plants-otherwise you want at least 5-10ppm nitrate)

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 07-18-2011 at 07:11 PM.
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