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Old 08-28-2012, 05:44 PM   #11 
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If you go down to somewhere that they sell pond plants, they might sell it there or sometimes it is floating around in the big ponds and containers they store their plants in so you could ask if you could grab a small handful and see what they say.

If not, ask around on this forum. I'm sure someone may be willing to ship you some if you can find a way to pay for postage.

You could ask one of your parents to use their credit card and purchase some from an online vendor (not AB).

If not and you have access to oak or indian almond leaves, you could use those. The tannins given off will diffuse some of the light and mimic the natural habitat of the neon tetras (where they come from it is mostly leaf litter, very dark water and little light).
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:54 PM   #12 
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Oh... I didn't know that oak leaves work!! Could I put oak leaves and floating plants or will that be too much? How many leaves should I put in a ten gallon? Will the leaves hurt my amazon swords or water wisteria?
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:05 PM   #13 
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Only thing oak leaves will do is add tannins which may make the light getting to your plants not as bright. However, wisteria and swords should be fine with slightly more subdued lighting.

Also trust me, your neons will love picking through a leaf litter. I have a leaf litter at the bottom of one of my tanks and my smaller fish spend most of their time swimming around pecking at the leaves and swimming under them. Gives it a much more natural feel I think.

I have a whole tankful of duckweed and floating hydrilla in the tank with the leaf litter and it's fine.

I would use enough leaves to cover the bottom of the tank in a single layer. If your water gets too dark you can simply remove a couple. As they start to break down you can just replace them. Hope that helps.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:15 PM   #14 
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Ok! So can I just drop some in right now? If not, when will be the best time to put it in?
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #15 
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They will float for a while. I usually boil mine as I want the leaf litter look and don't care so much about the tannins (boiling removes most of the tannins although you can then use this as a concentrated blackwater extract). Boiling will make them sink faster but if you don't mind them bobbing around for a few days then you can add them any time you want.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:35 PM   #16 
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Alright!! I'm going to put them in now!! Is it ok if they eat some of the leaf?
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:02 PM   #17 
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Wow... mine sunk with in 19 hours! When will I start to see the color come out? Right now, the tank is as clear as can be.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:22 PM   #18 
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Hmmm... still no change in the color of the water and tomorrow is water change day... Anyway, a few questions. How will I do a water change without crushing the leaves? Do I just take the leaves out? Should I add another leaf in after the change so that the water is just as dark? Also, I noticed that there is this white cloudy fuzz on my oak leaves. It is not taking over but I'm wondering what it could be. Is it harmful? How do I get rid of it?

Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:17 AM   #19 
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Still no color change. What is going on?
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #20 
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Oak leaves probably aren't going to release a heap of tannins. Usually I use them in conjunction with IALs. I only said oak as you mentioned you couldn't purchase online.

Is there anywhere you know that sells Indian Almond Leaves? They will definitely tint your water. Another option is to use something like mopani driftwood. This will also create a lot of tannins in the water and will last a lot longer than leaves.

A final but not as cheap option, is to purchase some blackwater extract. While it does little to soften the water, it will darken it in much the same way as IAL would.

The white fuzz is perfectly normal. I get it all the time. If you have any shrimp apparently they love to pick at it.
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