Thoughts on creating a "leaf litter zone" in your aquarium

I admit, we're probably the loudest proponents of playing around with leaves and such in your aquariums. When we studied this diverse tropical stream ecosystem, we were blown away by the complexity of the biotope. It was also surprising to find that this zone is home to hundreds of species of fishes, who inhabit it for all or part of their lives. As a dedicated biotope aquarist, I thought it only fitting to develop aquariums featuring this seemingly neglected portion of the tropical aquatic environment.

Part of the reason that no one has really played with it much is that there really hasn't been a definitive source of natural material with which to replicate this unique niche. With the creation of Tannin, I aimed to change that. Leaf litter can be incorporated into a wide variety of aquatic setups, or even utilized as the primary focus for a dedicated biotope aquarium. No matter how you choose to incorporate a leaf litter zone into your aquarium, you'll be provided with a fascinating, ever evolving microhabitat that your fishes will love!


If you're creating a "leaf litter" section for your aquarium, consider that, in nature, there are a wide variety of materials that comprise this complex matrix. 

In the aquarium, consider both practicality AND aesthetics when replicating this biotope. Much like in nature, you also want a diverse mixture of botanicals, some which may decompose rather quickly (such as Catappa leaves and Guava Leaves), and others which have "duration" and last much, much longer (like "Frita Pods", "Mariposa Pods", "Terra Sorrindo" Pods, "Encontro Pods", etc.). 







You should also include some pods that last indefinitely, such as the "Tapete Pod", Coco Curls, and perhaps some "Lampada Pods" for good measure, to serve as permanent "anchor pieces" for your litter zone.

This is such a cool biotope to recreate- and that's why we have the widest selection of aquatic botanicals in one place- to help you replicate and appreciate it's natural beauty and fascination!

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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