Indian Almond Leaves (Catappa) in aquarium! Secrets of Asian fish breeders!
Recently, at one of the aquarium forums, I saw information that in packages with fish from Asia very often there are leaves of some plant. With a more detailed study of this issue, it became clear that cunning Asian breeders, when transporting fish, put in a bag a dried leaf of Indian almond tree (Catappa) But why?
A leaf of Indian almond tree. Magic properties!
The fact is that in its composition, the sheet contains just a huge amount of useful components that are beneficial for the condition of the fish and strengthening their immunity. The sheet allows you to repeatedly increase the chances of survival of fish during long shipments. It also helps to transfer the adaptation period of the fish in the new aquarium much easier.
Indian almond leaf contains:
Tannins - a group of chemical (phenolic) compounds of plant origin. The main property of tannins is the ability to suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms in the aquarium.
Flavonoids - organic compounds of plant origin, beneficial for enhancing color in fish. Also have inhibitory (suppressive) activity against microorganisms that cause many diseases.
organic acids - acidify and soften the water in the aquarium, which is often necessary to stimulate spawning in many species of fish.
"Poor air conditioner" or when aquarists use almond leaves in an aquarium.
In the people, almond leaves are often called “poor water conditioner”. That is, it is the cheapest way to condition and disinfect the water in the aquarium. Also, the leaves are suitable for those who are opposed to the use of any purchased “chemistry” in the aquarium.
Some aquarists constantly use almond leaves in their aquariums.
But most often they are used in the following cases:
- When starting a new aquarium and setting a chemical balance.
- When you add a new fish to the aquarium.
- When transporting fish.
- To enhance immunity in the aquarium with fry.
- To stimulate spawning in some species of fish.
- During the treatment of fish, especially skin diseases.
- With the keeping of tender and expensive species of fish.
Almond leaves are suitable for many species of fish and the fact that it seems to us to be rubbish at the bottom of reservoirs is a natural habitat for them. Fallen into the water, they are useful not only by themselves, but also are “home” for many types of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms. Bacteria and microorganisms help maintain an optimal biological balance, and also serve as an excellent live starter feed for fry.
Which fish are contraindicated with almond leaves?
Many cichlids from water bodies in South America (Discus, Scalarias), are used to living in “black water”, that is, in water colored due to the large number of fallen leaves with a soft and acidic composition.
But cichlids from East Africa, on the contrary, live in hard, alkaline and with a lot of minerals, water. Here for them and it is not necessary to put these leaves in the aquarium.
How to use?
Remove activated charcoal from the aquarium before use.
Based on the size of the 15-25cm sheet, use 1-2 sheet for every 50 liters of aquarium.
The first 2-3 of the day leaves need to be pressed with stones, otherwise they will float. Depending on the activity of your pets, they may stay in the aquarium for 1-2 months. And even if they are almost completely decomposed, they will not cause any harm, but on the contrary, they will actively eat with loricarine catfish (catfish-suckers) and shrimps.
The only thing you should not use is moldy leaves.
Where to buy?
Asian breeders of aquarium fighting fish cockerels, which are involved in fish battles, use the leaves to strengthen the skin of their pets. It is believed that chickens grown in water with almond leaves, acquire a tougher skin that is resistant to bites and thus gain an advantage over opponents!
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