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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guy I'm new to the bitope part of planted aquariums. But I'm creating an Amazon bitope and was wondering on the oak leaf litter you place into the tank. Its a 20 gallon long, the tank is gonna have bog wood, camboba, dwarf sword and maybe a medium size mid ground plant and some floating plant. for the fish I'm gonna have 10 neon tetras, 3 hatchet fish, and some cory catfish.
Thanks for the help guys.
Brian
 

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You can totally put oak leaves into your setup. Just be sure to wash then off with warm water, and collect them from areas clear of fertilizers. They will obviously float when you put them in your tank at the start, but after a day or two they should all stink.
 

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I have a five gallon black water tank with oak leaves in it....it works great just be sure to boil them, don't gather them from the side of the road or anywhere there is a chance they could have chemicals on them. Every month chang them so you don't have rotton leaves.
 

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Don't use black oak leaves, they're toxic. Use white oak or live oak. Don't pull leaves off a tree and dry them either, they need to have naturally died and fallen off the tree themselves to be free of toxins.
 

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i just picked some from an oak tree around here. hasnt been fertilized or anything, and let the leaves dry, then i crumbled them in. within a day the water was nice and dark and they had sunk
Apperently, when leaves die on the tree, toxins are absorbed back into the tree before they fall off. If you pick them early this is not permitted to happen and the toxins can be released into the water. I've never tested this, personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok guys sorry about the late reply. But thank you for the welcome. And my question is how many should I put in a 20 gallon long to get the black water effect. I collected the leaves on my property. They were on broken limbs on the ground but I only got the ones in mid air so no dirt or debris got on it. Secondly, I have boiled the leaves and have them soaking in a container, I'm waiting for them to sink and I'm gonna pour the water and the leaves into the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
oh, how many, im not exactly sure. i just put enough in my 29 ( same footprint as yours) to cover the bottom. and i got a blackwater look just fine. i'd say put as many as looks good, then see how many tannins you get
Ok thank you I'm gonna put a sandwich bag full tomorrow if they have sank. The bog wood I have in there will also add tannins into the water.
Just gotta keep from smothering the Pygmy sword plants with all the leaves. :p I'll post pics of it tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
good luck! i crushed mine up, but it depends on the look your going for.
Thank you I'll add a list of my plants, DIY substrate mix, etc tomorrow on a different post and my plans with this tank. Any I'm gonna just add a mix of crushed and whole leaves.
 
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