Storing leaves for inverts - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Storing leaves for inverts

I was looking into feeding my inverts, namely ramshorn snails, mystery snails, and cherry shrimp leaves of various sorts. Leaves such as dandelion, raspberry, BlackBerry, grape, and mulberry leave have been regularly suggested.
My question is if there is a good way to save these leaves and store them for future use. I've seen that the vast majority of people blanch their leaves but could I just freeze them until I want to use them? The season is changing and leaves will fall before we know it and I want some for over winter.

Cordially,

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 07:17 PM
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You could store them dry or frozen. If you plan to freeze, I'd suggest freezing them spread out on a flat try and then gathering them in a bag - makes it easier to separate after.

Or you can just spread them out (or peg them up) somewhere in your house and they'll dry in about a week and then can be stored.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 08:09 PM
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I haven't had good luck with freezing - the leaves get freezer burn (dehydrated) and my shrimp don't like them as much
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
I haven't had good luck with freezing - the leaves get freezer burn (dehydrated) and my shrimp don't like them as much

Did you keep them in a sealed bag? You could also try freezing in an icecube tray with tank water
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 10:18 PM
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If you want to freeze? Roll the leaves up/smash them into a ball if you can. I do this with various leaves, spinach, kale and it works well. I prefer to break them up into smaller pieces and then make tiny portions.

There are many ways to store food without getting freezer burn. But these are shrimp we're talking about and they'll eat anything - they're detrivores. I've fed shrimp since the 1990s and have never had them turn down anything I've offered as long as they're hungry. That includes freezer-burned veggies. If shrimp aren't eating? They aren't hungry enough or they have a better option in the tank.

My preferred method is drying. Easier to store, last longer, no electricity necessary. Dry leaves in whatever manner you see fit and store them in small portions in cool, dry place.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone. I do have one further question, with dried leaves do you have trouble getting them to sink or is there a method for that as well? Or simply drop it in and let it sink whenever?

Cordially,

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 11:38 PM
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How would you weight any other sort of food down? Take your pick of any number of methods and do that. What works best for your tank may not work best for another. Just use whatever method you're able to figure out without a ton of hassle.

You can use plant weights, clip them to the glass with a veggie/seaweed clip, sink them by placing a rock on top, soak them in a bit of tank water until they sink, just toss one in and let it sink naturally, wedge it between plants or hardscape, you name it.

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Thanks for the input everyone. I do have one further question, with dried leaves do you have trouble getting them to sink or is there a method for that as well? Or simply drop it in and let it sink whenever?


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I guess really my question was do i drop it in my tank when dried or do i try to boil it again? Didn't know what people do because i have yet to do any of this.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 02:13 AM
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You never really have to boil them. Freezing fresh leaves will take care of most pest issues (you'd inspect & clean them anyway) and it helps break down cell walls. When the cell walls are broken down, they'll sink easier and shrimp have an easier time digging into them. That's my favorite way to prep spinach for them - freeze it and then toss it into the tank.

As for dry leaves... if they're cleaned and inspected when you bring them in? Just give them a quick rinse before use. Obviously want to completely avoid anything that's been treated with pesticide or anything that could have absorbed anything wonky after falling to the ground.
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