The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to get some advice for adding Cattapa leaves (tea bag style in my filter not loose leaf) in my 10 gallon I'm modifying. I'm basically starting over on this tank but water is mature. Doing more of a South Asian type set up with a good amount of manzanita wood and densely planted low tech plants (Java fern, crypt parva, and narrow hygro)


My stock will include 10 sparrow/exclamation point rasboras and a small shoal of chameleon blue Badis or the Indian jewel var. Juanita hills (whatever becomes avail. First) and some glass shrimp. I currently only have 6 dwarf cories at the moment.

Is it advisable to add Cattapa leaves for this type of setup? PH is reading 7.3-7.2 and I feel that's too high. I've heard Cattapa leaves are disirable for this type of fish but wanted to see if anyone had experience with using it and what their results were.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
>20 years I lived in locales where people raked those leaves up into piles and burned 'em. Some of course sell them on AquaBid for ~1.00 USD for ONE (1) leaf. Before they'd light the match I'd grab a few for my tanks. My experience therefore is with "loose leaf" not "tea bag style." What I can tell you is that once the leaf sinks it is spent. (Same deal with peat moss, as I alluded to in an earlier post.) Your pH of ~7.25 is alkaline. You want <7 right? IMO tea bag style in filter is neither effective nor efficient. Take it out of the filter, toss it in the tank. When it sinks toss it in the trash and get a new one.

Your post/avatar does not indicate your locale, however if you are anywhere in North America peat moss is cheap, i.e. ~$7.00 USD 1cubic foot or ~$15.00 USD 3cubic feet. (If anybody gives you flack about it not being environmentally friendly ask them if they are vegan. That should shut them up.) You only have a 10g tank that's not much, 1cubic foot should last months. Wrap a few handfuls in a nylon sock and toss it in the tank. It will float... it will gradually sink. When it hits the bottom of your tank empty the contents into the trash, or your garden, refill it with fresh peat and toss it back in again.

One last note: You say you're "basically starting over on this tank but water is mature." What do you mean? You mean cycled ammonia chemistry nitrate nitrite nitrete blah blah blah? Dump it. Get yourself 10g of rainwater or melt down some snow or spend $7.50 on commercially distilled water. That's real water, and when you add just a small amount of peat the pH will plummet. If you try to stick with that "mature" alkaline water you got there you're gonna have a more difficult time acidifying it. Peace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input :) yes that may be best to just clear out the tank of water and just refill. I've been purchasing distilled water but it's pH is at 6.5. I was lazy with my tank for a while and I think my high nitrate levels were to blame for my high pH. I did a 75% water change a few days ago. Would you agree that peat moss is better than using the Indian almond leaf? Which do you prefer? Yes sorry about my location- I just started my profile today. I'm located in the western part of the United States. Where I am located there really isn't any fish supply stores at all but I don't mind purchasing things online. Thanks for all of your time in helping me out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Distilled water's pH is irrelevant in comparison to water that is mature, cycled, aged, etc. The pH that you measured with distilled is easily manipulated. Try it. Set aside a gallon of the water that you tested at 7.3 and a gallon of distilled. Drop a handful of peat into both. Wait a number of hours/days and take another reading. You'll see what I mean.

I can't agree that peat moss is better than using the Indian almond leaf nor vice versa. I've bred black water species using both. Whatever is conveniently and inexpensively acquired should be used. I prefer peat vs Oak leaves, which I tried one Autumn in the US and found to be not as effective as peat.

I'd prefer IAL simply because it's free and not as messy as peat, and because with the small tanks/containers that I usually use (<3g) I can usually get away with dropping just 1 large leaf in the water. When it sinks it's removed and replaced with a fresh one. Simple, easy, free, and effective. I would never pay the exorbitant prices IAL sells for in US.

We don't need fish supply stores nor online purchases to produce acidic water. Think outside the box. Garden/farm supply stores all have peat. Be sure it's just peat, some add fertilizer, you don't want that. Good luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jrh
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top