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Harvest time?

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Harvest time?

Post by GaryE on Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:02 pm

For anyone who keeps rainforest fish, nature's bounty could quickly become bountiful. You can spend a lot of money, but you can also take a bag out to the trees, and set yourself up for the year.

Product number one is oak leaves. As they brown and stay on the tree, you can pick them off. Added to the water, they will acidify and stain the water. Dwarf cichlids, Anabantoids, killies and others will use the curled leaves for spawning. You can also treat water on the side using oak leaves.

Maple leaves may do similar things, but I haven't tested them. They should acidify.

Pretty soon, alder cones will be available. You have to use them carefully as they will radically drop pH if your water is unbuffered. I absolutely love them, and use 3 or 4 bags of them every year. The thing is to beat the deer to them.

When Spring comes, mosquito larvae and especially Daphnia are great resources for aquarists, but for now, it's rainforest fish supply season.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by Biulu on Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:05 pm

I completely agree with Gary and use plenty of leaves as well. They are also a great food source for fry due to the micro organisms that decompose the leaves.

I brought a lot of dried almond leaves back from Vietnam for the same purpose.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by GaryE on Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:46 am

Dried almond leaves are great. They are expensive here though.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by Fores41 on Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:48 am

Yes almond leaves are great and also help in healing of torn fins etc. If I knew Maple Leaves worked I would use them and save some money. I do not know of any oak around here though.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by Biulu on Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:00 am

GaryE wrote:Dried almond leaves are great. They are expensive here though.

I know but in almost every (sub)tropical country they are one of the most common trees to find. I have enough for another year but I have been thinking of asking some Mexican friends that go to the beach during the holidays to bring me some so I can dry them myself like I did in Vietnam.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by CAAIndie on Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:02 pm

I also used almond leaves. I love them, but they are pricey too. I'm paranoid about things being sprayed on the trees where I live, I would need to go somewhere I'd feel safe collecting them.

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Re: Harvest time?

Post by Biulu on Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:14 pm

CAAIndie wrote:I also used almond leaves. I love them, but they are pricey too. I'm paranoid about things being sprayed on the trees where I live, I would need to go somewhere I'd feel safe collecting them.

Don't worry about that; it is too expensive and not very effective to do that for urban landscape trees. Most diseases that are lethal to our trees have an insect origin and these attack more the trunk than the leaves.

And if you go to a forest the chances they are sprayed with some kind of chemical are literally nil; You can even pick up leaves from the ground here. It is only in some urban areas that pesticides are used against weeds.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by CAAIndie on Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:18 pm

Biulu wrote:
CAAIndie wrote:I also used almond leaves. I love them, but they are pricey too. I'm paranoid about things being sprayed on the trees where I live, I would need to go somewhere I'd feel safe collecting them.

Don't worry about that; it is too expensive and not very effective to do that for urban landscape trees. Most diseases that are lethal to our trees have an insect origin and these attack more the trunk than the leaves.

And if you go to a forest the chances they are sprayed with some kind of chemical are literally nil; You can even pick up leaves from the ground here. It is only in some urban areas that pesticides are used against weeds.

That's good to know! Thank you. Smile


GaryE wrote:For anyone who keeps rainforest fish, nature's bounty could quickly become bountiful. You can spend a lot of money, but you can also take a bag out to the trees, and set yourself up for the year.

Product number one is oak leaves. As they brown and stay on the tree, you can pick them off. Added to the water, they will acidify and stain the water. Dwarf cichlids, Anabantoids, killies and others will use the curled leaves for spawning. You can also treat water on the side using oak leaves.

Maple leaves may do similar things, but I haven't tested them. They should acidify.


I kind of want to test this! Perhaps I'll have to try seeking some out, and doing a little experiment before the snow flies. If they were to prove effective, it would be pretty darn nice.

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Re: Harvest time?

Post by GaryE on Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:08 pm

I picked some alder cones today - they are ready for use. I still need to find a good stand of alders nearby.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by alexmtl on Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:46 pm

I can attest to the pesticide degradation. As Biulu states most pests that are treated affect the bark. I currently am aware of only one systemically treated ornamental tree, and that is the ash tree, for emerald borer. Most lung targeted pesticides would be fungicidal and it would have occurred earlier in the season, so stay away from gold courses with ornamental tress if you have a concern, but once again, the residue has photo degraded by now.

There are borers in alder trees and this is treated by a pyrethroid (permethrin) which is highly volatile and breaks down rapidly within hours.

If you were to be concerned, it would be from oil deposits and sooty tars from diesel and car exhaust. Forests like Builu says are probably the best collection spot. Most agricultural sprays have been broken down with the exception of oils which would be sprayed to control mites, but this happens after leaf fall, not now.
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Re: Harvest time?

Post by GaryE on Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:17 pm

My view is that once you get off the main highways , golf courses or extensively traveled spaces, you're good. You could buy almond leaves (which are excellent) and face the same pollutants. You can buy alder cones, at $5 a bag. Find a good stand of alders, and you can collect more than is in that bag in 5 minutes. And most likely, that's what the person selling them did.
Put these products in a plastic bag, and many aquarists will buy them, just as they will buy rocks, when rocks are all around their feet.

There are a lot of good aquarium resources outdoors. Daphnia, fairy shrimp, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, ant larvae, wood, rocks, water modifying acidifiers like oak leaves or alder cones, wild plants, limestone for alkalinity, seashells on beaches... lots.
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