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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone!

Yet another search fail, I'm sorry if this has been answered previously.

I have no almond leaves here but we have many oak trees in this area. Is any oak leaf good for bettas, or should specific species be used and/or avoided?

Thanks in advance!
 

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As far as I know all the Oak tree species are fish safe....I have about 6 maybe more different species of Oak trees that I collect leaves from to use for my fish and have never had issues with any of them. The only difference I have seen is the color difference in the water as the tannins release....

Collect naturally dried and fallen from the tree-Oak leaves....I collect mine all year long-I haven't seen a difference in the tannins based on season....

Avoid green leaves and collection areas with pesticides and high car traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As far as I know all the Oak tree species are fish safe....I have about 6 maybe more different species of Oak trees that I collect leaves from to use for my fish and have never had issues with any of them. The only difference I have seen is the color difference in the water as the tannins release....

Collect naturally dried and fallen from the tree-Oak leaves....I collect mine all year long-I haven't seen a difference in the tannins based on season....

Avoid green leaves and collection areas with pesticides and high car traffic.
Perfect. Thank you Oldfishlady!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Okay, more dumb noob questions:

The leaves I found are last fall's dropped leaves. Are they going to be effective being that old?

Also, is there a specific amount of oak leaves per gallon that should be used?

Edit to add: How often should I change the leaves?

Should the leaves be added whole or crumbled?
 

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Unless you got a lot of rain or heavy snows...last years leaves should be fine.....the number to use can vary based on what you are trying to do....no magic number per se......I use about 18-20 crushed leaves/gallon of water for treatments...the longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta likes it.....

I like to change out my treatment water every week or so....the water will start to smell, however, I have done mutli test on this water and have found it to be safe.....

In the tank for tannins-depends on how dark you want the water-I use a couple per 10 gals-I place them in whole so I can fish them out easier once they start getting slimy in about a month or so-but I don't make water changes either since I keep NPT's- some times I can't even find the leaf...lol....it will break down and become part of the soil....but for regular tanks-I would remove and replace with a weekly water change-remember if you tan the water pretty dark-your replacement water needs to be tanned too-especially for 100% water changes since the tannins can change the chemistry some.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unless you got a lot of rain or heavy snows...last years leaves should be fine.....the number to use can vary based on what you are trying to do....no magic number per se......I use about 18-20 crushed leaves/gallon of water for treatments...the longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta likes it.....

I like to change out my treatment water every week or so....the water will start to smell, however, I have done mutli test on this water and have found it to be safe.....

In the tank for tannins-depends on how dark you want the water-I use a couple per 10 gals-I place them in whole so I can fish them out easier once they start getting slimy in about a month or so-but I don't make water changes either since I keep NPT's- some times I can't even find the leaf...lol....it will break down and become part of the soil....but for regular tanks-I would remove and replace with a weekly water change-remember if you tan the water pretty dark-your replacement water needs to be tanned too-especially for 100% water changes since the tannins can change the chemistry some.
Hmmmmm, how good are the leaves for the fish? I ask because I added a couple of small leaves just for the health benefits, not to treat any issue. If the leaves aren't doing anything significant for him (he's not breeding or ill, just being a fish) I may pull them out and save the leaves for treatment.

Thanks again for being so willing to advise this newbie!
 

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The tannins can help toughen scale, fins, ease stress, they have antibacterial/fungal properties, lowers pH, however, you don't have to use tannins to keep a Betta....adding tannin is a personal choice....some don't care for the tea colored water, you do have to be careful when changing water if you have a lot of tannins due to chemistry changes.

I keep mine in tannin stained water but only because I breed-I don't keep them in tannin stained water after the fry/juvies are about 2 months old because they are going to market and need to be acclimated to regular water that they will most likely be kept in when sold.
 

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Oldfishlady, I used the Oak leaves here, but noticed that the next day the water had an odor to it. Is that normal? I was afraid to use it, so I made a new batch. How long do you keep the leaves in the water?
 

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Duh..read that like three times and didn't even see what you wrote..sorry. Thank you for the information.:-D
 
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