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Old 03-21-2020, 05:09 PM   #1
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Arrow Properly using: Alder Cones, Tourmaline Mineral Balls, & Indian Almond Catappa Leaves

Alder Cones, Tourmaline Mineral Balls, Indiana Almond Catappa Leaves in Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp, Aquatic Crabs, and Crayfish, CPO, and Mini-Lobster Tank Setups

NOTE: I searched prior to this post and saw relevant posts/threads few-and-far between (dating back years) and generally discussing a single subject partially -- so it'd be great to combine these "BIG 3" dwarf shrimp/invertebrate aquarium additives here for our and future forum members' benefit!

PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE, INSIGHT, AND GUIDANCE BELOW
  1. Alder Cones
  2. Tourmaline Minderal Balls
  3. Indian Almond Catappa Leaves
Discussion prompt request:
(a) How many of each additive do you use per gallon and/or per livestock, to achieve ideal/optimal conditions
(b) How long do you leave each additive in (or, do you leave in your aquarium indefinitely to provide bio-film as it decomposes)
(c) Do you have a special source, website, or method of purchasing/gathering each additive

PS: If you have any special or anecdotal best-practices or lessons learned in your experiences to provide the best environment for the livestock breeding, quality, and length-of-life, PLEASE ALSO SHARE! Thanks
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:30 PM   #2
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Love your cray, is it an Orange Ghost?

Have been using all the varieties of leaves, botanicals over these past few years. For shrimp Cray and fish / nano tanks especially.

Catappa leaves / IAL have been a big fan of using the small leaves or cutting large leaves in various size pieces. Previously had a terrible experience of one really large whole one folding over and pretty much rotting turning black in a back corner in the tank being mucky. Also have used some pieces of Catappa bark.

Tantora, Sungrow and JungleFowl (AA member) site is JungleAquaShrimp dot com

Alder cones, have 2 left from my local Colorado Aquarium Society auction. I want to plant my own trees of some of these wonderful botanicals.

Some used are black and green Guava leaves, Banana leaves, Oak leaf varieties, mulberry and Jackfruit aka Katahal Leaves... Other hard wood leaves.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:51 AM   #3
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Hi all,
I may have a little to add. As well as what has already been mentioned I use Rooibos tea bags. Not from the common tea plant but from a caffeine free African bush. As good as IAL they say? . Cinnamon bark is another good source of tannins with the giant solid 1 inch rolls of outside tree bark making a great hideout for shrimp each time they moult. Cinnamon bark available from the Indian supermarket. I add things slowly and the stay in the tank. Oak leaves fall apart and are replaced most weeks. You ask for a recipe or amount per gallon I say add them slowly over a few weeks. Just like anything that alters PH you do it slowly. To this end I add tannins to my change water each week. I started with a 2 litre glass bottle in the fridge adding a cup of the brown tea to each 20 litre bucket. I now have a 20 litre/ 5 gallon bucket with air stone that I use for multiple tanks. One litre of black liquid to 100 litres of change water. But it’s not that critical . IMO
Alder trees can be found in my home town. I pick them in early autumn/ Fall / early winter.
The same with mulberry leafs. The silk worm keepers will put you on to where the trees are / the internet.
My experience with catalpa leaves is they cost far to much in Australia for me to use more than one at a time in anything bigger than 80 litres/ 20 gallons. Smaller tanks get half a leaf.
I think there are at least 4 different kinds of alder trees? The kind I use are very strong in tannins just 3 or 4 cones once in a while is enough for a 20 gallon/ 80 litre.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Love your cray, is it an Orange Ghost?

Have been using all the varieties of leaves, botanicals over these past few years. For shrimp Cray and fish / nano tanks especially. Catappa leaves / IAL have been a big fan of using the small leaves or cutting large leaves in various size pieces.
GREAT advice, thanks! I received some leaves from an Amazon seller a few months ago and they worked well, but seemed to take a very long time (medium-sized, maybe 4-6'', not the 10+'' monster leaves available online)

Also have used some pieces of Catappa bark.
Would this work, in a smaller scale, much like driftwood...leeching beneficial tanins and growing beneficial bacteria/biofilm for my Ottos, shrimp, and crays

Tantora, Sungrow and JungleFowl (AA member) site is JungleAquaShrimp dot com
Thanks, I'll check them out

Alder cones, have 2 left from my local Colorado Aquarium Society auction. I want to plant my own trees of some of these wonderful botanicals.
What a cool idea, I wonder how long it'll take until their mature enough to produce their own cones?

Some used are black and green Guava leaves, Banana leaves, Oak leaf varieties, mulberry and Jackfruit aka Katahal Leaves... Other hard wood leaves.
I read a lot about these other leaves on blogs, but the breakdown on nutrients I found showed they were nearly as potent, so IAL it is!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyfisher View Post
Hi all,
I may have a little to add. As well as what has already been mentioned I use Rooibos tea bags. As good as IAL they say?
Wow, never heard of these bags, great idea...and I'm sure I could git a couple into the HOB filter

Cinnamon bark is another good source of tannins with the giant solid 1 inch rolls of outside tree bark making a great hideout for shrimp each time they moult. Cinnamon bark available from the Indian supermarket.
I actually have, ironically, a couple of kg's of this already at home, for health and blood sugar lowering properties. It's a fine powder, and 100% pure bark -- how would I dose and introduce this to the aquarium(s) per gallon, and do I really just scoop and pour the power onto the surface of the water?

...Just like anything that alters PH you do it slowly.
Great idea, slow and steady wins the...healthiest crustaceans/inverts haha

To this end I add tannins to my change water each week. I started with a 2 litre glass bottle in the fridge adding a cup of the brown tea to each 20 litre bucket. I now have a 20 litre/ 5 gallon bucket with air stone that I use for multiple tanks. One litre of black liquid to 100 litres of change water. But it’s not that critical . IMO
Alder trees can be found in my home town. I pick them in early autumn/ Fall / early winter.
That sounds fun, and I'd rather throw the raw foliage in there anyway, I think it looks cool and I enjoy the buoyancy for the first couple days.

Smaller tanks get half a leaf.
Glad you mentioned this

I think there are at least 4 different kinds of alder trees? The kind I use are very strong in tannins just 3 or 4 cones once in a while is enough for a 20 gallon/ 80 litre.
What specific genus/kind of intra-species do you use that's the strongest? Thanks!
FOLLOW UP / ADDITION...
Does anyone use, suggest, or endorse either liquid, or solid, trace mineral additives for healthy molting, enriched color, and breeding such as Wonder Shells, BacterAE, or some of the alternative methods like adding TUMS tablets etc (calcium, magnesium, and so forth) for shell/exoskeleton growth?
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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I have a few pest snails In my tanks. When handling them I can compare the thickness of the shells to the same species that are in my local lake. This tells me I really don’t need to add the odd small piece of cuttlefish bone that I have for shrimp to provide calcium but I do it anyway.

My tap water is recycled sewage and from a little brown riverbed. The filtering my water supply company gives it mean I add a half teaspoon of mineral salts mix to each 20 litres all my change water. This raises my GH to only soft water. My aquarium shop would have me use 4 teaspoons per 20 litres for soft water species. Many in my local aquarium club add nothing.

I suggest every water supply is going to be different.
I also suggest if you join your local aquarium Society you will find everyone in the room uses the same water but each person does something different.
I believe you are over thinking the need to search for as you write “ ideal/optimum conditions “
Something like calcium can be added cheaply with no real danger of overdose. A creature only uses what it needs.

This is just my opinion as a rough as guts Aussie bloke .
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:23 PM   #6
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I believe you are over thinking the need to search for as you write ď ideal/optimum conditions ď
I def won't be (can't afford) using all of these methods, but rather a couple of the trade insightful best practices. I'm an analyst so it's in my nature and in my profession to critically assess things, which a lot of the time appears like classic overthinking.

The good news is I use reverse osmosis water from my kitchen system, which I just checked and the final stage is a re-mineralizer.

Thanks so much for your help, I'm going to look into those tea bags!
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:23 PM   #7
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Flyfisher - I tried the Rooiboo tea - Numi brand supposed to be pretty good quality, but it made my tank "punky" smelling like old tea on a warm counter turning sour.

I tried 2 ways brewing and adding the concentrate and adding the bag for a day directly to the tank.

Any ideas on that issue?

!!!!!!!!!!

I would only put cinnamon bark pieces into the tank not powder directly. Maybe soak and make a bit of concentrate with the powder with near boiling water to start.

The Alder trees at the local store are about 6-8 feet high ~1.75 - 2.5 meters, last year I saw them, and they had flowers which would lead to cones. So immediately I think!

Also considering a Ginkgo Tree. And a Mulberry bush. (Tree might get frozen down to the ground here)

Already I have a few kinds of oak and maple as well. Maple seems to disintegrate very fast though.

One of my favorites is the Monkfruit leaves, they leave a great skeleton behind. Got them from Junglefowl. Need to order more, just used up the last of the Guava leaves a few weeks ago.

Lastly, sometimes you can find the Catalpa bark logs, seem to be out of stock most places. Can be outrageously expensive by the pound, but if you get it by the piece then at least you know what you are getting. They are very good for Crays and shrimp and fish!
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:24 PM   #8
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I add one Rooibos tea bag directly to 80 litre / 20 gallon tanks . I have never noticed any smell? I add a random couple to the 20 litre brew bucket when it’s looking weak. We do use an open top plastic container of baking powder in the Fishroom as an old fashioned oder remover.

Cinnamon powder is not something I recommend using in a fish tank. The bark is from the outside of cinnamon trees. It’s nothing like cinnamon quills that I am familiar with in cooking 20 years ago.

AmateurAquarist , A short story. I have containers outside of old tank water that are used in the garden and for firefighting. A couple of summers ago I found and adult cherry shrimp in a glass fish tank of old water. It must have gone outside as a day old fry?The water had no filter,no water changes and no food. The sun had raised the temperature to 42 degrees centigrade/ 108 Fahrenheit. But here’s this shrimp sitting in the sun feeding on the slime floating at the surface.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:55 PM   #9
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Just came across this pic with the leaves with my Ghost Cray



Back then I saved a couple of the tea bags, gave the rest away (not my cup of tea, hehehe) but I will look through the cupboard and try it again.

The water itself was the musty punky smelling and had to change it all out. Not sure it was just a week when I used the Rooiboos was too hot or something. Not usually smelly in the QT / fish area. Will try it again. Rachel O'Leary suggests the tea also and I know people claim it is nice to use.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:07 PM   #10
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Also, re: the Jackfruit leaves does not darken the water too much. Snails, shrimp and fish graze on it as with the rest of the leaves.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:17 PM   #11
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You all are the best, thanks! My 2 crays (almost sure it's a male/female pair) also thank you! Also, I have ~20 shrimp (cherry, blue, ghost, amano) and they thank you
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