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Old 09-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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Curious though, oak doesn't brown the water to the level that IAL does though, does it?

I've read in other places that white oak is fine and black oak is to be avoided.
It might not be a valid point though.
The Oak leaves don't tan the water as dark as IAL at the same rate and the colors are a bit different too or at least in my experience and you have to use more Oak leaf as compared to IAL, however, the longer the Oak leaves steep the darker the water. In my 1gal jugs that I use to premix for natural treatments the Oak leaf tannins will stain the water so dark that you can't see through it in about 4 days-it also will take on a smell-but I have done several different test and experiments on that water with no ill effect on the fish.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:34 PM   #12 
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Okay... so basically almost any type of oak is safe?
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #13 
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Don't use green leaves. You need naturally dried ones. The leaves I bought back from the woods were still attached to branches that snapped off months ago from a storm. I tried to only choose the leaves that were brown and didn't have too much insect damage. Once the leaves are too close to the ground, I don't bother with them.

Ivan mentioned not picking leaves off the ground because of possible cross contamination from doggie presents and liquid ferts. Racoons and other critters also frequent these spots.

That's why I walk around the woods with a giant meat cleaver, makes cutting the branches much easier. J/K I have a multipurpose pocket sized cutting tool.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:02 PM   #14 
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Lol; I just clipped off a few dead-ish looking branches and left the leaves outside to dry XD is that okay?
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:20 PM   #15 
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You might want to rinse them off and then put outside in the sun to dry for a few days.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #16 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
All I use is native Oak leaves from my 6 different species of Oak trees in my yard and have never had any problems with them for the 30 years or so that I have been using them.

I collect naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaves to use in all my tanks.

I use a single dried one to float for the male to anchor his nest.
I will use 3-4 in a tank for a tonic of sorts to tan the water lightly
I use about 18-20 crushed/gallon of water-allowed to steep for medication.

Per Leo Buss spectrographic analysis on oak leaves, almond leaves and several other types-it was concluded that oak was 99% identical to almond chemically and the fish can't tell the difference.

Black walnut is toxic-the juglone found in the roots, nut skins, bark and green leaves are toxic to fish. My people used the nut husk in burlap bag and placed in a dammed up section of water to catch fish.
I don't know about the black Oak-unless it is what we call in my area Blackjack and I use these leaves in my aquarium without problems, however, the berries and new shoots are toxic to cows/cattle....
You are so awesome!

My mom's family used crushed green tobacco leaves to stun fish in the Philippines"
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:46 PM   #17 
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The only way the water will get dark brown is if you get the really dried brown oak leaves. Those are really hard to find right now this time of year.

The branches with the dried leaves I've brought home are just the ones I KNOW aren't contaminated by animals. There's so many dogs running through the parks just marking their territory. I hate going through the woods trying to avoid these foul organic mines.

I just notice OFL's post on the scientific research on the 2 sets of leaves. That's all I needed to see and that's good enough for me.

I've NEVER seen the black walnut tree on my walks, so I should be good.

Like I said, my fish never seemed stressed at all even when the leaves were covered in some cloudy white slime that formed on the edges on day 2.

I still have no idea if that white stuff on the leaves is normal though. Look at the leaves next to the cleaned out test tubes.

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:52 PM   #18 
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i make oak leaf spa works great no problems as of yet
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:57 PM   #19 
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Lol. Okay thanks :) I put some green leaves outside, and they're already drying up and turning brown :)
Your fish look really nice and happy :)
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:48 AM   #20 
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Since I keep natural systems-I don't worry about any organic that might be on the leaves I use-I allow the leaves to break down in my system since the decomp produces CO2 for the plants and other ferts as they become part of the soil...But remember I already have dirt in my tanks and you can't tell the difference...With that said......I also do this in my 1-5gal unfiltered tanks that are soil based crammed with live active growing plants.
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