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Indian Almond Leaves

Author Topic: Indian Almond Leaves  (Read 5032 times)

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Offline Sanjo

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Indian Almond Leaves
« on: March 25, 2015, 08:45:21 PM »
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I know this has probably been asked before, and I did search - honest,  but nothing came up.

Are almond leaves that beneficial to a tank ie anti  bacterial/fungal

I know they colour the water and I understand they lower PH too. Mine is around 7.6

Should I bother?

Offline Sue

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 08:57:35 PM »
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They don't colour the water badly - well they don't if you only use a bit. I use half a small leaf in my betta's tank as it is supposed to be good for them. The nerites like to nibble on it too. I just put a new half in when the old one starts to fall apart.

Fish from blackwater regions are supposed to like them too.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 07:02:09 AM »
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You can use dead oak or beech leaves instead, they are free. Only use the brown ones that have died and fallen naturally in the autumn.

Offline Sanjo

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 09:20:22 AM »
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Thank you both. Richard, are oak leaves as beneficial as Almond?

Offline Richard W

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 09:35:26 AM »
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It depends what you mean by beneficial. Indian Almond leaves are said to contain something that calms fish down, essentially a mild sedative. That is why they are often used by importers to keep fish relaxed over the journey from an Asian fish farm to here. However, do we want our fish in our tanks permanently sedated? Personally I like mine as lively and natural as possible.

Oak or beech leaves will release tannins into the water, very slowly. They also provide a base for beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms. Oak and beech have the advantage over other trees in that the break down very slowly. I should emphasise that they do "break down", they don't rot which is a different thing and not what you want. They will cause a slight fall in  pH.

Offline Sanjo

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 10:51:38 AM »
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Many thanks Richard

Offline Sanjo

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2015, 06:13:32 PM »
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Today we have been for a lovely walk in the countryside and I gathered a few fallen Alder cones and a few oak leaves.

I've been browsing the web as to how to prepare them and I know that if I boil them I will lose the beneficial bacteria but one of the links I saw said they might release a nasty little varmint into my water (can't remember it's name).

I'm hopefully going to get some shrimp and I understand they will love the leaves.

I also understand that there may be some lowering of PH if I  put them in. Do shrimp need a high PH.

My water is generally

Nitrate       25
GH          >21d
KH             20d
PH             7.2 - 7.6 (Never higher)

If it lowers PH could I add something like a few well washed beach shells to raise it

Offline Richard W

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2015, 07:09:31 AM »
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There's absolutely no "varmint" that could be on leaves or alder cones which will harm fish, shrimps or anything else. Yet another "much ado about nothing" of those scares which seem to permeate fishkeeping.

Alder cones release a lot of tannins into the water, which will colour the water brown. Some fish from soft "brown water" rivers may benefit from these tannins. Unless you have these (some tetras etc) there will be no real benefit in using alder cones.

Oak leaves break down very slowly and any colouration of the water is scarcely noticeable. Whether you boil them or not, colonies of bacteria etc will build up as they leaves slowly break down in the water. These are generally enjoyed by shrimp which will browse on them. Apparently, in many of the waters where shrimp live naturally, there are few or no water plants and the shrimps are always found among dead leaves.

The effect on pH will be negligible unless you stuff the tank full of leaves or cones and don't do any water changes.

I suggest adding a few oak leaves at first and see how things go.

Offline Sanjo

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2015, 07:21:22 AM »
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Thanks for that Richard. Just what I wanted to hear.

There is so much conflicting info out there it is very confusing

Offline AdyDnt

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2015, 12:17:32 AM »
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Iv ordered some almond leaves for my planned shrimp tank, after reading this I prob won't buy a 2nd batch

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2018, 09:55:19 PM »
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Hi. Resurrecting an old thread as I think the discussion is relevant to my wuestion even if it doesn't answer it.

What is the science behind indian almond leaves / beech / oak leaves in a fish tank?

I have been lightly considering them for a while as my tank (and inhabitants) most closely resembles a black water biotope. The things that attract me are that I think my fish (especially the kuhlis) will like them, I wouldn't mind if my ph was brought downd a touch and I think they would only add to my aquascape. I'm not worried about the water being discoloured.

But I'm hesitating as I like to know what Im putting in my tank.

Online daveyng

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2018, 10:43:14 PM »
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I use Indian Almond Leaves (Cattapa) in the mini-pond and the liquid extract in my aquarium. The leaves and extract are deemed to help fight off infections in both fish and shrimp and also enhance colour.
Beech / Oak leaves stain the water Brown by releasing tannin they also reduce pH to some extent and act as a natural decor for Blackwater species.
Walnut leaves are also used and are deemed to have medicinal properties.

Offline Matt

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 11:08:57 PM »
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As the leaves decompose  they would also provide food to the khulis in the form of micro fauna and flora.

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 06:38:06 AM »
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Be careful when adding almond leaves or alder cones. They are relatively very strong and if your water is very soft they can easily cause a pH crash if too many are added. Add them gradually and monitor pH. "Tannins" are tannic acid...

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 07:00:29 PM »
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Thank you, that's the sort of information I was hoping for.

Yes I do have soft water (though not really soft) so dont want to cause a ph crash.

In a 240l tank, would one leaf be gradual enough, or would I need to start with partial leaves?

Offline fcmf

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2018, 07:08:44 PM »
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I have very soft water (KH 1, GH 3 naturally) although PH is 7.5ish. The KH and GH figures are elevated to 2.5 and 4.5 respectively with some limestone in the tank. I also have 2 Indian almond leaves in on an almost permanent basis - this has never caused a PH crash/lowering or lowered the KH and GH. I boil the leaves for 5-10 minutes before adding them, to help them to sink. However, there was an incident a few years ago in which I decided that it might be good to add the tannin-stained water to the tank once the boiling water had cooled down - suffice to say it resulted in the fish behaving as though they were drunk / on sedatives - so I wouldn't recommend doing that.

Online daveyng

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2018, 10:29:26 PM »
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I have the XL leaves and they recommend 1 leaf for 50-100 litres. I just add the dry leaves and let them sink. I use 1 per 100 litres.

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2018, 12:23:12 AM »
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If you boil them first they won't be nearly as strong, as you've boiled a lot of the 'goodness' out of them. I think a whole leaf would probably be ok in 240 litres, but I would still probably add a half at a time. It causes quite a change in the water chemistry as far as the fish are concerned so best to do it gradually I reckon.

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2018, 06:02:03 PM »
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How do I get the leaf to sink? Do I have to wedge it under something? It's been in the tank about 24hrs niw, but it is still floating. I have tried pushing it down, sticking it to the side. I haven't pinned it down yet.

Offline Sue

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2018, 06:40:40 PM »
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I found they took a few days to sink. I just left them floating until they sank.

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2018, 06:56:29 PM »
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Fantastic, thank you.

Verdict: more patience!

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2018, 10:26:14 PM »
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24hrs or so after adding half a large indian almond leaf (to 210l of water), the maximum ph has dropped from 7.96 to 7.90. Looking like a fairly gentle reduction, which is good. The minimum pH doesn't really seem to have changed, but that could be timing at this stage because the minimum pH is about 7am.

Offline Matt

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2018, 04:49:21 AM »
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How have things changed over the last few days @Helen ?

Have you seen any impact on hardness?

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2018, 10:10:47 PM »
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I'd not thought to check the hardness, but will do that.

pH hasn't gone down much so I put the second half of the leaf in.

Strangely, the pH in my tank seems to go up slightly when the hardness drops. Any explanation? I keep going over the detailed scientific explanations @Sue has previously given and still can't work out what is going on.

Anyway, someone is clearly enjoying the addition of the leaves even if i can't work out the chemistry.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2018, 10:22:35 PM »
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He's taken a real shine to that spot there H...   :D

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2018, 10:38:56 PM »
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So cute.  :)

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2018, 10:38:37 PM »
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Nice shot!  :cheers:

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2018, 10:14:06 PM »
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I kind of assumed the leaves would last for a while. But the first one has significantly disintegrated. The second half needs the sand knocking off it before I can see how much is left. Is it normal for them to only last a couple weeks?

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2018, 10:23:21 PM »
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I put 3 large leaves in the Pond. They are lasting about 3 weeks. I leave the disintegrated leaves for the Shrimp / Snails to browse on.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2018, 10:35:11 PM »
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I kind of assumed the leaves would last for a while. But the first one has significantly disintegrated. The second half needs the sand knocking off it before I can see how much is left. Is it normal for them to only last a couple weeks?
2 weeks appears to be normal. This is certainly the case for me (albeit I boil them beforehand) and I subsequently learned on here that it's the same for others (e.g. Sue, from recollection).

Offline Sue

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2018, 08:35:21 AM »
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Yes, mine only lasted a couple of weeks, and their demise was hastened by shrimps and snails. I usually left them in till there was nothing but the leaf skeleton, though I did put a new piece in when the old one was half gone.

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2018, 10:46:13 AM »
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Those that use cattapa leaves, do you buy them in bulk? If so, where from?

The pH of my tank has bobbed up again and i can only assume it is because my leaf has almost gone. So it is looking like a good option for managing the pH in my tank.

I think my 240l tank could also cope with more than one leaf, so as they only last a few weeks, I'm going to be going through quite a few!

(An aside, I have a lot of bogwood in my tank and I wonder if that maturing has contributed to my increasing pH. If it is no longer releasing as many tanins, it won't be keeping the pH low)

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2018, 10:57:43 AM »
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I buy mine from www.pro-shrimp.co.uk which is where I buy most of my online purchases from due to their consistently good service and good value.

Incidentally, I've found that the nano-sized ones (approx small-finger size in length, as opposed to whole-hand size in length) last longer than a fortnight. [Edited to add: actually, just checked and it seems that my nano/mini sized ones were purchased via Amazon - Sungrow mini catappa leaves - but it seems from a brief google search that they are no longer in stock either on Amazon or e-bay.]

Personally, I've not found PH to be affected by existence of catappa leaves in the tank, so wonder if your bogwood theory might be a possibility. Also, as my little 54L ordinarily has 2 large ones or 3-4 small ones, I think your larger tank would definitely be fine with more than you have.

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2018, 11:41:35 AM »
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Thanks for the recommendation @fcmf . They have a really good selection of catappa leaves, several different brands and also the mini leaves. I'm also intrigued by the catappa logs / bark / wood. Does anyone have any experience with them as opposed to the leaves? I like the sound of longer lasting.

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2018, 11:49:25 AM »
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I buy mine from www.pro-shrimp.co.uk which is where I buy most of my online purchases from due to their consistently good service and good value.

Ditto that...  :)

Online daveyng

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2018, 12:26:19 PM »
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Havenít used the bark or logs, but I use Catappa extract in my 270 litre tank.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2018, 02:27:43 PM »
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I have used all sized leaves, along with the bark, logs, and the  banana leaves from Pro-Shrimp.
I've not noticed any change to my water (very hard, high pH), but the shrimp seem to like whatever I put in the tanks.

Offline Helen

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2018, 10:22:53 PM »
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How often do you add the Catappa extract @daveng?

I wonder if I see the effect on pH because my water is pretty soft to start with?

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Re: Indian Almond Leaves
« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2018, 10:30:11 PM »
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I add 30ml of the extract weekly. I use Easy-Life Cattapa-X. Donít know if there are others on the market.

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