It's always nice to have choices with botanicals, and we're pretty happy to offer the attractive and useful Birch Cone for a variety of your aquatic applications.
These cones are another great "media" for providing beneficial tannins and humic acids, have been utilized by aquarium hobbyists in Europe for some time. When it comes to "tint-imparting" capabilities, the Birch cone is on par with the Alder Cone; indeed, we personally think you get more "tint" out of these guys than either Alder or Casuarina cones, although it's probably subjective. They are also claimed by some fish keepers and vendors to possess anti fungal and antibacterial properties, although this is largely anecdotal, so we're not claiming that until we see some scientific verification!Nonetheless, many ornamental shrimp, and even some Loricariid catfishes seem to feed on biofilms they may recruit, as well as directly on the decomposing cones, so their use as a supplemental food source is an established benefit!
Our Birch Cones are collected just for us in areas that are free from pollutants, insecticides, and pesticides. They are a rich, deep brown variety, and the color gives you some indication of how "potent" they are, in terms of tannin-producing capacity. Prior to using, we advise you give them a soak in boiling water to help rid them of dirt and dust particles, and to waterlog them a bit, as they typically won't sink right away.
We'd recommend a starting quantity of about 5-6 for every 10 gallons of aquarium capacity, at least to start. 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, Birch Cones pack a nice little "tannin wallop", so don't overdo it; you can always adjust. 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 Birch Cones are small, and come in a convenient and economical package of approximately 40 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!