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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me about Alder Cones and how they are used in a Shrimp tank?

Do you boil them first? or Soak them in RO water first?

What is the difference between a pine cone and a Alder cone?

Because I have a ton of pine cones right in my back yard. I rake up thousands of them every year as there are three huge pine cone trees
in my back yard. They are not sprayed with anything, and are completely
natural.
 

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When I think of pine cones, I think of grenade sized cones. Alder cones are miniature versions of pine cones that you can easily hold between your thumb and index finger. When placed in water, alder cones release tannins that help prevent bacterial growth in shrimp. I think the tannins also affect water chemistry (i.e. make your water more acidic). I use alder cones in my 2 gallon tank. Right now, I throw in 1 cone and add another every month. I think you can use up to 2-3 per gallon, but wanted to introduce the alder cones slowly. I also keep an alder cone in the water bottle that I use to do my water changes so that I'm refilling my tank with the same kind of water. As for prepping the alder cone, I don't see a need to pre-soak them or boil them. You might want to swirl it around a bit in a cup of water to remove any loose debris. The water change bottle I'm using actually has a lot of gunk from the alder cone I recently threw in there. In the future, I'll make sure to rinse the cone out first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good stuff, r4cs0926. I also have a ton of these small cones with some larger cones.
I wonder what the difference is between what I have in my yard cones and the Alder cone?
 

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+1 dubels is correct. Its the composition of the material and sap. Alder Cones and IAL basically release tannins and acidify the water. There is also bacterial/microrganisms that seem to live/thrive on them that the shrimp then feed upon. Shrimplets and adults seem to fare better in tanks that have them. A similar relationship occurs in some of the Bororas species fry, with quite a few articles written on the subject.
 

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you can also use peat pellets for the same effect. as long as they are 100% peat, no issues. does the same exact thing. I use them in my shrimp tank and it works great for softening water and as an acid buffer for ph.
 

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While we're sorta on the subject...
What do banana leaves do for water? Because I wouldn't have thought they have tannins. Wait, now that I think about it, I guess they do...

Do people go DIY on naner leaves? Because I am sure lots of people are growing them (myself included;))
I tried some in a test tank and I got white fuzzy stuff and the one shrimp died the next day (I took the leaf out as soon as I saw white fuzz).
 

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On the topic of Black Alder cones, How long does it take them to lower the PH ? I have a 55l aquarium with Spotted heads and Black panda shrimp, the pH is around 6.9 so ive added some alder cones to lower the pH but it has only succeeded in raising the PH to 7.1 ! I also have 2 big Indian Almond Leaves in there too but still it is rising ! Any suggestions as to what is wrong ?

Water:
TDS: 103
PH: 7.1 (at the minute)
KH: 0-1
GH: 2/3

The shrimp breed regulary but i see few shrimp after the inital birth.
 

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On the topic of Black Alder cones, How long does it take them to lower the PH ? I have a 55l aquarium with Spotted heads and Black panda shrimp, the pH is around 6.9 so ive added some alder cones to lower the pH but it has only succeeded in raising the PH to 7.1 ! I also have 2 big Indian Almond Leaves in there too but still it is rising ! Any suggestions as to what is wrong ?

Water:
TDS: 103
PH: 7.1 (at the minute)
KH: 0-1
GH: 2/3

The shrimp breed regulary but i see few shrimp after the inital birth.
GH should be around 4-6, unless the shrimp were raised in softer water.


If you aren't using a buffering substrate to hold the pH steady, then your pH could be swinging due to the lack of KH in the water.
 

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Yup agree with @Zoidburg we need more info on your substrate you are using but from the looks of it you are not using a buffering substrate. If that is the case you want a minimum of 2kh to keep the PH from swinging. Also as already suggested I would work at getting that GH to in the 4-6 range(I keep mine in 5gh). In that soft of water it could lead to molting issues and possibly death.
 
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