Non-Tannin Leaves? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Question Non-Tannin Leaves?

I know that Almond leaves are very common in the hobby but I thought for adding tannins? I use Purigen so I do not want to fight it, but I think some small (I stress small because I have very little footprint in a 5G tall) leaves would be cool as long as they did not breakdown quickly. Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 07:34 AM
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I use oak leaves that started to bleach, i.e. not freshly dried.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 10:32 AM
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If you're willing to look at vivarium/amphibian supplies, most leaf litter used is safe for aquariums and lasts decently long. Various types of oak, sea grape, maybe smaller magnolia leaves etc.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 05:14 PM
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Smaller magnolia leaves would be good, if you can find them.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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I can find Oak leaves where I live all over the place but they are massive leaves. Not only for looks but some leaves are good for shrimps I read.

What can I pick from outdoors or house plants? What about blueberry bush leaves? Magnolia leaves appear thick and waxy is that what I am after?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Magnolia grandiflora or Magnolia virginiana?

What makes a leaf okay for an aquarium? Seems like many things could be toxic, etc.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-17-2016, 10:57 PM
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Get the oak leaves or you can just order a bunch of Indian Almond leaves on ebay for maybe 10 bucks. With your tiny tank, these would last you years.
If the leaf is too big, just cut it to size!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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I am trying to avoid cutting leaves, it leaves them looking un-natural.

I contacted an eBay seller, they are sending me 50 smaller 3" Indian Almond leaves for $10

I will soak them in hot water for a while to reduce the tannins, maybe even boil them with a few drops of bleach? I just do not want to remove anything beneficial from them other than tannins.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-19-2016 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so they arrived from Thailand, and I have been soaking them for days changing the water in a sauce pan. I have even heated the water (not boiling) I do not think Almond Leaves are going to work for me. I can not remove the tannins, they are going to fall apart by that time.

I am now convinced something like Poplar leaves will be what I want, I am not looking for tannins and I want some curled leaves.

This is an update, so I did not edit the last post.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 12:57 AM
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Practically all dry dead plant tissues will release tannins. So you are out of luck.


However, if you are looking for leaves for a specific purpose in mind like feeding shrimps, then there are many options. The residual sugar in dry dead leaves cultivates fungus/biofilm that shrimps will graze on as they decompose. They last a long time. But dry dead leaves contain tannin. My tank has a 6"-deep layer of nothing but Magnolia leaf litter. No reason other than it grows everywhere here. Welllll, that's not true. Magnolia leaves are very pretty and durable. Their thick leaves make for a nice open substrate with tons and tons of crevices and hold on to their gorgeous rustic orangey-yellow color for a very long time. They cultivate so much biofilm and biological floc that my shrimps will ignore 99% of all food I put in the tank. *shrugs* I'll shut up now since you didn't ask about tannin-containing leaves. Hehehehe.

Dried/frozen live leaves are directly consumed by shrimps without the need for fungal/microbial actions. These last less than a week. Amaranth, mulberry and spinach leaves immediately come to mind. These types do not contain any tannin for you to worry about.

My favorite is dry mulberry leaves. Each 4" leaf lasts 3 days in my shrimp tanks. They pick it at it 24/7. Snails love them too. I didn't get mine from her but I know she has some of the best prices: DAZALEA.
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