The leaves of the Loquat tree (Eriobotrya sp.) are not one that you will typically see offered for aquatic use. However, they provide some surprising benefits, including known anti-inflammatory properties in humans, and their great value as a supplemental food source for ornamental shrimp. It is still speculative whether or not the anti-inflammatory properties extend to fishes, however. They contain significant complex sugars (polysaccharides), which can directly benefit these crustaceans. Ours are harvested just for us by a trusted North American supplier, and they've been sustainably sourced, and are free from pesticides, herbicides, and pollution.
Our Loquat leaves are harvested after they have naturally fallen. They're carefully selected by hand, rinsed, sun dried, and inspected for consistent quality and value. These unique leaves have the added advantage of being quite attractive, larger in size than many of the other leaves commonly utilized in aquarium. They are also probably some of the most variable of all of the leaves we utilize in our aquaria, with no two being even close to alike-a super cool feature, in our opinion. They provide a terrific aesthetic for the natural aquarium!
The one drawback of Loquat is that the leaves tend to be very brittle when not submerged, and they are rarely "intact" when we pack them. What that means is that you'll receive pieces that have little bits broken out of them; they're not perfect. We obviously will try to pick the best ones for you, but we can't guarantee that you'll receive fully intact ones. That being said, we use the broken ones in our own tanks because a) They look more natural! and b) Our shrimp graze on them regardless!
We recommend that you steep them in boiling water for 10 minutes or so prior to use, which will help soften them and make them more palatable to shrimp, as well as to foster a "biofilm" on their surfaces, which provides supplemental grazing for shrimp and small fishes, and fry.
Loquat leaves dissolve somewhat more slowly than other leaves, and will last slightly longer than say, Catappa, before you need to replace them. The one downfall of these fantastic leaves, as outlined above, is that they are quite "brittle", and will often break up a bit in the bags during shipping. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as they're just as useful broken up as they are intact! They will leach some tannins into the water, but the coloration will not be quite as pronounced as that created by Catappa leaves, for example. These leaves can be used as a standalone feed, or incorporated as part of your aquarium's aquascaping as a component of leaf litter.
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: Since this is a natural product, each leaf will have a unique appearance. The photo is to provide you with an idea of what the leaves will look like and is not a representation of the exact leaves you will be receiving. Leaves will often be broken on arrival, as indicated above. This does not hamper their effectiveness as "functional" aquatic botanicals.
*Flat rate shipping $9.00 for all orders under $75.00 in the U.S.A. Orders $75.00 and over ship FREE in the U.S.A! WE SHIP INTERNATIONALLY! Please review our "Shipping" section for the latest information!