Origin: Marthandam, Tamil Nadu, India
The leaves of the Indian Almond Tree, (Terminalia catappa), provide numerous benefits for tropical fish. The leaves, when steeped in water, impart to it a beautiful golden-brown color, reduce the pH, and release rich organic compounds, such as tannins, humid acids, and flavonoids. This mimics “blackwater” conditions found in many tropical rivers, the result of rainwater filtering through decomposing plant matter, which leach tannins into it. Some of these substances are known to science to be antimicrobial in nature, while others may absorb and detoxify zinc, copper, and aluminum.
Fishes such as South American cichlids, Tetras, and catfishes, Bettas, Guaramis, killifish, and Barbs thrive and spawn in the tannin-stained water provided by Indian Almond Leaves. Some ornamental shrimps utilize the decomposing leaves as a supplemental food source.
In addition to being physiologically beneficial to your fishes, they provide a unique aesthetic component, creating intriguing areas of interest within your aquascape. When combined with driftwood and plants, amazing biotope aquariums can be created!
Tannin Catappa leaves are harvested for us by hand by a family-owned operation from a small village in Tamil Nadu, India, free of pesticides, herbicides, and pollution. They're gathered after having fallen from the trees, rinsed and sun dried, with the bottom part snipped off for ease of use and packaging. We actually know the people who are handling our leaves personally, and they understand exactly what we're using them for, so you're assured consistency, quality, and value every time.
Our Medium Size Catappa Leaves are average about 5.5" x 4" in size, come in a package of 12. These are really nice-sized leaves, crinkly and unique; each one adds a beautiful, if not temporary, natural look to the aquarium. Since these are a bit larger than many of the ones you'll find out there on the market, they will last a bit longer before completely decomposing- an added plus!
Before using the leaves in your aquarium, we recommend soaking them in fresh water for a few days to let them become waterlogged and to leach off some of the tannins. Then, you can place them on the bottom of your aquarium as a functional and aesthetic substrate enhancer, or place them into a filter sock and use them simply as a filter media to help foster "blackwater" conditions in your aquarium.
Just how many leaves to use depends upon what type of effect you're looking for. We recommend starting off slowly, with about 2 Medium Size Catappa leaves for each 10 gallons of capacity. As the leaves decompose, you can leave them in, or siphon out and replace as necessary.
All of our aquatic botanicals are intended for ornamental aquarium or terrarium use only. Please use common sense and take the time to boil or soak all botanicals prior to using them, to reduce the possibility of problems. Always go slow when introducing any botanicals into your systems, so you can judge the effect they have on your fishes and plants. They are not intended for human consumption. DO NOT INGEST!
NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
NOTE: Due to natural variations of leaves, each one will appear different. The photo is a representation of what to expect.
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