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Old 05-19-2007, 12:49 PM   #1
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Leaves in a shrimp tank

I keep seeing photos of red cherry shrimp tanks with dead leaves on the bottom. I think I understand that this is done to help with water conditions as wall as food for the shrimp.

Has anybody here done this? Are oak leaves ok for this use? Basically any input at all on this practice?
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Old 05-19-2007, 03:17 PM   #2
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I keep seeing oak leaves specificially recommended for shrimp tanks. People use the brown, dead ones and boil them first.

This is from a poster on applesnail.net, who breeds cherry shrimp and other inverts:

"Put in a handfull of dead brown oak leaves that have soaked for a few days to remove tanins. As they rot they remove nitrates & phosphates (just like a compost heap does) and the bacteria are the cherry shrimps' natural food. The snails don't mind at all.

Avoid any sort of fast growing plant with cherries as they out compete the bacteria for nutriients. Java Moss & Java Fern is OK in limited amounts, but if you have enough leaves, the java moss won't grow as the nitrates and phosphates are all aborbed by the leaves.

Plants I've found to avoid in a shrimp tank are Riccia, Hornwort, Duckweed, Frogbit, etc. These plants compete with the leaf bacteria. In reality, the best shrimp tank has no plants at all, just leaves."
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Old 05-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
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Do they boil them or just soak them? I'm doing a little experimenting in a snail+shrimp tank, and I've put in some oak leaves that were boiled and some I just put in and let sink (I'm not worried about tannins since my water is very high in buffering capacity; I'm assuming the pH swing is the concern there). The boiled leaves look pristine after several weeks, while the non-boiled ones have a dark brown grunge on them. I see the shrimp picking occasionally at the non-boiled ones, but not so much the boiled one (but this is not exactly a controlled experiment )
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Old 05-19-2007, 08:44 PM   #4
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just soak them for a few days until they sink
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Old 05-20-2007, 07:07 AM   #5
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I put leaves in my shrimp tank, but only one at a time. I soak a single leaf about 2 weeks in tank water. I have never boiled any. There are always shrimp on it. Within two weeks there is nothing left but the leaf skeleton, then I remove it.
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