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Old 10-09-2011, 12:10 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Oak leaf tannins question

I have easily 12+ different species of trees within less then 1/4 of an acre out back, and a whole forest about a mile from me. So trying to find oaks can be a little difficult since unsure of all the different species.
I did find some in my yard (it's a smorgasbord in my yard right now), and I am wanting to use those.. they are naturally brown and fallen.. just not dried. Still a little rubbery. Should I keep them until they get crispy and dried, or is it safe to use while they are still soft? I am leaning towards drying them out, but just want to double check. Have 2 injured boys that need a little more then clean water, but don't want to use medicine since it's not truly necessary.
Thanks in advance =)
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:37 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
I have about 8 different species of Oak tree in my area...lucky- 5 right in my yard....I have not found all that much difference in them...some will tan the water lighter or darker....some will get a smell sooner than others...but even with all the experiments and test I have conducted....I have found them to be safe......

Be aware that tannins in general can lower the pH to a degree and proper acclimation needs to be made to avoid any chemistry shock issues....especially with an already compromised fish or 100% water changes....

As long as the tree/leaf is pesticide free...they should be safe to use

I like to use dry/crunchy leaves.....but only because they release more tannins than the dry/rubbery leaves...IMO/E the dryer the better...I collect leaves and place in zip lock baggies so I will always have some on hand in the house

Because I keep soil based tanks-I don't even rinse them since I like any dirt or debris that may be on them to fall in my tanks-plus I noticed that the plecos, shrimp, snails and guppies feed on the leaf bits in the tanks that I add leaves to and in my premixed treatment jugs-I let some of the leaf bits fall in the QT with the Betta...they seem to like to hide in these bits so I am sure it helps make them feels more secure/hidden...and they will keep releasing tannins...

The longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta likes it....

Both IAL and Oak leaf have antibacterial/fungal properties, however, these properties can be killed in temps over if used for medication...don't boil them...let them steep naturally....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 10-09-2011 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:29 PM   #3 
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Thank you so much! I will start off acclimating them to a lower amount (I guess you can say lesser tannins) at first and see how they do before I jump right in with a lot. I tried the green tea bags, but they just don't seem right to me.

They won't be for medication, just to help with a couple of my boys. One nicked his head in a couple places and dislodged a couple scales at the spots, cutting just a tiny bit of skin.. he got over zealous when seeing a female he bumped into a rock.. and another has been losing scales on top of his head and down his back some and lately noticed a couple red spots at the site as well. Both are kept in clean water, I add in a couple drops of stress coat with aloe vera.. but at this time I don't think they call for meds.. the one with the 2 nicks is healing up great. But wanted to do what I can naturally for their ease and health. And the one with missing scales, had a few missing when I got him, just grown and doesn't look infected, just looks like a bald old man hehe.

Thank you again!
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