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Old 09-07-2011, 03:56 PM   #1 
Myates
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Question about tannins

I'm sure it's somewhere here, but using the search option yielded no answer for me.
My mother has the oldest white oak tree alive on record in my state, so I figure it must be a healthy tree, why not use it's leaves for making tannin. So after picking up my daughter from school we walked over to her place to get some. After stomping around it, getting bug bite after bug bite and watching a mole dig it's way out of the ground, I only came up with a couple leaves. *sigh*
So my questions:
Is white oak okay to use? Also, not many on the ground brown leaves yet, but did fine a few. One has blackish spots all over it.. would that be safe to use? Unsure if it is mold, but we haven't had rain for a while due to a dry spell. I know she doesn't use pesticides anywhere near it, so I am pretty sure the ground is safe. I would like to eventually make tannin, but it is new to me and I want to make sure I do everything correct.

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Old 09-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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White oak is fine to use-that is one of the species I have and use too....its odd that you are not finding very many leaves...I know with mine especially with the drought we are in right now-I am finding lots of naturally dried and fallen leaves on the ground

You will need at least 10-12 dried leaves for a gallon of water and white oak leaf tannins are not as dark as other species of leaf IME....it usually will get a light tea color after a day or so and a bit darker after a week....don't be alarmed if you have a smell from the tannin water....I have ran multi test and have found it to be safe....but it can stink a bit....lol.....

The black spot-if you are sure its not mold and only due to a wound....I would use it.....when I collect leaves I usually can't find all perfect ones either and have never had any problems with them....pesticides is usually the only thing that will cause any problems generally....

But...when in doubt....throw it out...not worth the risk.....
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:23 PM   #3 
Myates
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Thank you!
Yeah I am surprised too that there aren't more. We have hardly had any rain around here, the grass is brittle, but not a whole lot of leaves. A lot of greenish ones though, could I hold onto those and let them brown naturally? Or do they have to be brown straight off the tree? And 10-12, looks like I'm going to be saving and scrounging for a bit until fall gets closer before I use it.
One last question, sorry, and thank you again.. can tannin be used on a pretty regular basis? Or should be used for healing only? I want to give my fish the best/most natural habitat home that I can and want to get the water just right for them.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:50 PM   #4 
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First...ask all the questions you want and/or need....

You can use tannins all the time...I pretty much keep it in my tanks all the time, however, be sure and have your replacement water used for water changes tanned too...especially if you are using heavy tannins-they can make the water more acidic and you don't want to make sudden changes.....also, with long term tannin use- I recommend that you acclimate the Betta to both chemistry and temp if the Betta is removed for water changes......if the Betta isn't removed for water changes (100%) just have the replacement water tanned...

Tannins can help build a strong immune response, toughen scales, ease the nervous Betta, reduce stress, help the bubble nest hold, provide microorganisms to name a few good things.......
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:23 PM   #5 
Myates
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Squee! lol I'm working my boyfriend up to allowing me to get some bigger tanks for my boys. (He's jealous, he loves aquariums, was an avid cichlid caretaker) but we've moved recently and our in-between home right now is rather small.. so our fish tanks are limited. He's stepped aside to allow me to have mine. So asking for bigger tanks isn't an easy thing to do right now lol. So I'm trying to line my ducks in a row, get all the information I can on how I want to create their new homes so I can make it the most ideal home for them. So when I bring out the big guns, puppy dog eyes, I will have everything I need all set and ready to go when he says yes to me getting some 10 gals. (crossing fingers)
Luckily, he's very supportive of me, but trying to save for a home for us and my autistic daughter, makes it tougher.

I will be doing your suggestions on doing the water changes, it makes sense and simple to do. Thank you =)
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #6 
Franzilla 806
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I use Walmart brand Naturally decaf green tea. Its $4 for 40 bags and you don't have to worry about the condition of the leaves or about pesticides. My boy Dart loves it! I just pop the bag in the tank after a water change and pull it out once the water turns a medium brown color! Just make sure the tea is decaff!
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:50 AM   #7 
Myates
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Thanks! Going to store to pick up a new boy now and going to get some since apparently the oak trees around my home aren't giving up their dried up leaves yet >.>
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:57 AM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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Although decaf green tea will provide tanned water and this is great for stress....due to how the tea is processed it may be void of the antibacterial/fungal properties that raw tannins have...but it still good to use when you don't have anything else.....
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