Another of Nature's outstanding botanical products with aquaristic applications is the Alder Cone. The tiny fruit of the alder trees (Aalnus glutinosa and Alnus incana) has been widely utilized by aquarium hobbyists in Europe for some time. Betta and ornamental shrimp breeders are fond of the tannins released into the water by these cones, and their apparent anti fungal and antibacterial properties. Many ornamental shrimp seem to feed directly on the decomposing cones, so their use as a supplemental food source is yet another benefit!
And, of course, they just look cool!
Our little Alder Cones are collected just for us in areas that are free from pollutants, insecticides, and pesticides by a great European source who just happens to be a fish geek, too! Ours are both the deep brown variety shown here, as well as some more "golden brown" colored specimens. This is largely dependent upon the harvest area and time of year, and may vary. No worries- both variants offer the same benefits in our experience! Prior to using, we advise you give them a soak in boiling water to help waterlog them a bit, as they typically won't sink right away.
We'd recommend a starting quantity of about 5-8 for every 10 gallons of aquarium capacity. They will definitely lower the pH of the water and tint it brown, although the effect when used sparingly is generally not quite as rapid and pronounced as that caused by various leaves. Nevertheless, Alder Cones pack a nice little "tannin wallop", so proceed slowly to gauge for yourself the effect that these little cones can impart into your aquarium water!
Alternatively, after preparation, you could place them in a mesh filter bag and place them in a canister or outside power filter, and use them as a sort of chemical filtration "media!"
Regardless if you're using them directly in your tank, or in a filter, we recommend that you remove and replace the cones after 3-4 weeks, as they will start to decompose and break apart. On the other hand, leaving the decomposing cones in your aquarium will not cause any harm, and may impart a more natural look to your aquascape! Tannin Premium Alder Cones are small, and come in convenient and economical packages of approximately 36 cones, so one package can serve a small aquarium for several months!
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: The photo is for illustrative purposes. As these are a natural product, expect variation in the appearance of the cones that you will receive.
*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!