ketapang (Indian almond leaves)

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by a1Matt, 25 Mar 2009.

  1. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    I am soon to take delivery of some dwarf shrimp (snowballs and caridina babaulti) and the seller recommended the following to me 'Your pH value is a bit high, is not a problem for these shrimps, but try to add some leaves of Ketapang or similar.'

    From a bit of googling I understand that they; release tannic acid which lowers PH, have anti-fungal\anti-bacterial properties, turn the water brown.

    I am not unduly fussed about my water composition, if I was I would start researching TDS, RO water, hardness etc. My PH fwiw is 7.2. I am just curious in hearing anyones experiences with Indian Almond leaves.

    I also quite like the clear water in my tank to stay clear (infrequent water change, low tech 160 litre) so wondered if I added just a small leaf in my filter could I get some benefit without the water colouration.
     
  2. JamesC

    JamesC Member

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    I used to put indian almond leaves in my shrimp tank some time ago. Shrimp do really seem to like them. Some fish breeders I believe use them to get certain types of fish to breed. If I remember correctly they did make the water go a bit brown but it never bothered me as it was just a breeding tank. I used to just leave the leaves in there and the shrimp used to eat them. How they affect water conditions I haven't got a clue I'm afraid.

    James
     
  3. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

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    would peat in the filter do the same job, except without the brown water?
     
  4. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    Glad you brought up peat Joe. I was wondering if that would help create good conditions as an alternative to the ketapang. A chap in one of my LFS' swears by it. He says he adds just a a teeny bit and his fish (mainly killies) start spawning like crazy.

    Thanks for your experiences too James. It is good to now you have used them to good effect in shrimp tanks. I never knew the shrimp actually eat the leaves. Fascinating stuff.

    Keep the info coming people!
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    For the same effect, research making your own black water extract. Good for tetras and bettas etc, specially for breeding. Check out George's chocolate gourami journal for a good example :) I believe you can use dead/dried oak leaves instead of ketapang too.
     
  6. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    Cool... Matt adds to research list 'google and read up on blackwater extract'' :D

    I usually search the forum before posting on any topic, when I did that earlier today I found Georges Gourami biotope for the first time but must admit I spent most of my time looking at the pretty pictures in it :oops: lol.

    Maybe one day I will go the biotope route, but am committed to watching my low tech tank evolve and fill in for now.

    That is the problem with me and this forum! I now want lots of tanks... rocky africa cichlid, cave and flat stone sa cichlid, brownwater biotope, shrimp only, oooh a nice shoal in another tank, arggghhhhh :twisted:
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Hah, tell me about it. My current plans will have 5 tanks setup. 90cm "iwagumi" rock scape, 100cm mid light crypty moody scape, little opti-white nano, 30cm shrimp cube and a 60cm AquaOne tank I've yet to decide what to do with (it's a holding tank temporarily).
     
  8. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    Well the way I quieten down the inner voice that sceams for more tanks is to tell myself that I have had fish for 20 years and will have them for a lot longer to come, so chill out and everything will come in time!
     
  9. andy

    andy Member

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    Used them when breeding Siamese fighters last year. Don't know if they did any good but had bloody hundreds of baby fighters !!! :D They certainly turned the water brown with tannins
     

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