Now is a good time to look for PYO wood

dw1305

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Hi all,
Because we are into a run of stormy weather now is a good time to see if you can pick up some fallen dead Oak (Quercus) branches, or roots from windthrown trees.

I keep an eye out for accessible <"Stag-headed Oaks">, like the one below.
2430301_1e694692-jpg.jpg


You won't get any really "twisty" wood, but for the larger tank you should be able to find suitable bits.

cheers Darrel
 

si walker

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Hi Darrel.
Thanks for that bit of info.
So I can keep an eye out for dead wood. Dried out, sun bleached bits.
Then i guess they can be soaked and used as is?

Cheers!
Simon
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @dw1305

Thanks for the info, Darrel.

The photo looks as if it was taken in Windsor Great Park. One of the roads that connects Bracknell and Windsor has a view (and trees) that look uncannily like the view in your photo!

Why is Quercus of particular interest?

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The photo looks as if it was taken in Windsor Great Park
<"Thakeham, W. Sussex"> apparently.

It it is definitely a <"park land Oak">.
Why is Quercus of particular interest?
Three reasons really:
  1. Oaks are common in fields across the UK.
  2. They naturally go through <"cycles of crown death and re-growth">, but now many are in poor condition, and stag-headed, due to inconsiderate ploughing.
  3. Oak heart wood is naturally hard, heavy and <"rot resistant">.
You don't get much in the way of tannins from these branches, but you can easily get those from fallen Oak leaves or acorn cups.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @dw1305

Many thanks, Darrel.
You don't get much in the way of tannins from these branches, but you can easily get those from fallen Oak leaves or acorn cups.

I have a large carrier bag full of well-dried Oak leaves. Does their composition differ significantly from Catappa leaves (of which I also have a few)? Are Catappa leaves in any way superior for tank use compared with Oak leaves? I have the PFK 'free tank decor' article from some time ago but I don't think it answers this question. And I also have one of Steinberg's papers.

On the subject of Oak trees, we have a Bonsai Oak in our garden that was grown from an acorn that had fallen off one of the Oak trees blown down in the 1987 storm. It's a bit of a keepsake, to use an old term.

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I have a large carrier bag full of well-dried Oak leaves. Does their composition differ significantly from Catappa leaves (of which I also have a few)? Are Catappa leaves in any way superior for tank use compared with Oak leaves?
I'm too mean with my money to buy <"Terminalia catappa"> leaves, so I don't have any practical experience with them.

I can pick up <"Alder cones">, Oak, <"Magnolia and Loquat leaves"> with minimal effort, so I would need some persuading that Indian Almond Leaves offer advantages they don't.

I'd be pretty happy that Oak leaves are, at least, as good as any of the alternatives. Have a look at <"Colin Dunlop's"> article <"All the leaves are brown">.

cheers Darrel
 

zozo

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I heard the leading authority on this matter, Dr Christian Steinberg, say in an interview... You can throw a hand full of dried pine needles in your tank and it does wonder... :) They tested it...
 

sparkyweasel

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I can pick up <"Alder cones">, Oak, <"Magnolia and Loquat leaves"> with minimal effort, so I would need some persuading that Indian Almond Leaves offer advantages they don't.
The marketing tells us that Indian Almond Leaves are what the top Betta breeders in Thailand use.
I wouldn't be surprised if they use them for the same reason you use what you do; there's a big tree in the local park or woods and they can get them for nothing. :)
 

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