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Plants, Leaves and other Tank Flora

Contents:

  1. APD (plants list)
    by mfjacobs <mfjacobs/geocities.com> (Thu, 13 Aug 1998)
  2. Fwd: Re: APD (plants list)
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Fri, 14 Aug 1998)
  3. Beech litter
    by "daniel.eriksson" <daniel.eriksson/mbox303.swipnet.se> (Sat, 15 Aug 1998)
  4. RE: APD -relevant tangent
    by RVFS68A/prodigy.com (MR GEORGE W DAVIS) (Sat, 15 Aug 1998)
  5. Re: RE: APD -relevant tangent
    by <Lcrabo/aol.com> (Sat, 15 Aug 1998)
  6. Beech litter
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Sat, 15 Aug 1998)
  7. Fwd: Re: APD (plants list)
    by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron) (Fri, 14 Aug 1998)
  8. Leaf Litter? Was APD.
    by "Newman, L" <Lee_Newman/bc.sympatico.ca> (Sat, 29 Aug 1998)
  9. Leaf Litter? Was APD.
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Fri, 28 Aug 1998)
  10. Re:RE:APD-relevant tangent
    by "D Kinyon" <dkinyon/shentel.net> (Sat, 15 Aug 1998)
  11. Oak Leaves ?
    by "Helen Burns" <helen.burns/bigwig.net> (Fri, 23 Jul 1999)
  12. Oak Leaves ?
    by "Matthijs Wachtmeester" <emwee/lindeman.org> (Fri, 23 Jul 1999)
  13. Oak Leaves ?
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Sat, 24 Jul 1999)
  14. Dried Leaves
    by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca> (Mon, 26 Jul 1999)
  15. Dried Leaves
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Mon, 26 Jul 1999)
  16. leaf litter wonders
    by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca> (Tue, 07 Dec 1999)
  17. leaf litter wonders
    by "Helen Burns" <helen.burns/bigwig.net> (Wed, 8 Dec 1999)
  18. leaf litter wonders
    by "Scott Olson" <olson7/hotmail.com> (Wed, 08 Dec 1999)
  19. leaf litter wonders
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Fri, 10 Dec 1999)
  20. leaf litter wonders
    by swaldron/slip.net (Sun, 12 Dec 1999)
  21. Why we use oak leaves instead of maple leaves
    by "William Vannerson" <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org> (Wed, 07 Nov 2001)

APD (plants list)

by mfjacobs <mfjacobs/geocities.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Matt......I am no expert on apistos (yet?...:-)), but I found your
comment that apistos live in densly planted territories.  I really don't
think so.  I've spoken to 4 people who have actually been in the Amazon
and smaller off-shoots and virtually all of them agreed that where
apisto live is not some beautiful underwater "Aquarium Beautiful". 
Quite the opposite they live in leave choked streams where there are
literally feet of dead and decaying leaves.  Yes, occasionally the
collectors go into the sides of the streams where there is some live
vegetation, but I really think that the "myth" (my word) of the planted
tank simply is refering to hiding places.  Some of my most productive
apisto tanks have nothing but 1/4-1/2" of fine sand and enough clay
pottery to choke a horse......and there is nary a plant to be seen for
2-3 tanks from that tank.  Now don't get me wrong.  Plants do a very
good job of substituting for the leaf litter "hiding places"........but
I really don't think that even the majority of the apistos come from
what you would call a "planted" area.  In speaking with Dave Soraes for
instance, he said that he would be knee deep in leaf-litter and not a
plant in sight and he would dip the net in the litter and up would come
dozens of apistos.........he was not trying to indicate that collecting
was just a matter of dipping a net but rather that the apisto habitat is
not what people think it is.....Comments guys??  Us landlocked guys need
some help here...What was your experience?

Mike


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Fwd: Re: APD (plants list)

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com



Ed Pon wrote:

> I remember hearing this at a David Soares lecture on apistos.  David
> recommended using oak leaves.  I don't have a convenient source of oak
> leaves handy and I'm not sure about the eventual decay of the dead oak
> leaves--so plants appear to be the way to go.  I have been kicking
> around an idea for quite some time about finding some irregularly
> formed, flattish pieces of plastice that can kind of take the place oak
> leaves.  I haven't figured out where to find something like that yet.
> Anybody got any ideas?

I can see it now - commercially produced brown plastic mats of leaf litter!  I'd
certainly try it.  Until then maybe you could buy everyone's old brittle broken
down plastic plants that always appear at fish club auctions.  Just dump them
into a tank.  Gravel cleaning would be hell, I bet.

Most apistos probably live in leaf litter only because that's the only biotope
available.  Where aquatic plants occur in the wild one usually finds predators
lurking in the weeds.  Where these predator are rare you usually find various
catfish and larger medium-size cichlids. The dwarfs are pushed out.  Apistos are
usually found with plants in floating meadows and among the roots of water
hyacinths and water lettuce, where they are living among the dangling roots and
not on the bottom.

Mike Wise

>
>
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Beech litter

by "daniel.eriksson" <daniel.eriksson/mbox303.swipnet.se>
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Last year I tried a lot of different alternatives to sand or 
gravel. I found that a 2-3" layer of Beech leaves over a thin 
layer of small gravel with small branches and cones from Alder was 
absolutely beautiful. The Beech reddish leaf colour made my A. 
agassizii totally disappearing and I suddenly understood that 
their marvellous coloration not only is for our pleasure  but also 
a good camouflage J. 

After a few month the leaf begin to dissolve and has to be 
replaced. 

When the female spawned she lost them all within a month, or 
that’s what I thought and stopped feeding them. When she still 
showed protective behaviour after another month I searched the 
tank and found two not to small babies. They had been eating 
something under the leafs, maybe some leftover blood worm now and 
then kept them going for more than a month?  

Daniel Eriksson



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RE: APD -relevant tangent

by RVFS68A/prodigy.com (MR GEORGE W DAVIS)
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

About leaves:
     I live in Wilmington, DE, USA, and have access to plenty of Oak
leaves.  Have used them in the apisto tank, however, after a cople of
months they break down into small pieces.  Some will siphon out, some are
too big.  Basically an unsightly mess.  I think that leaf litter from
aquatic plants would do a better job.
     However, on a short term basis, a tank 1/4 full of Oak leaves might be
a great place to try to put some size on apisto babies.    George


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Re: RE: APD -relevant tangent

by <Lcrabo/aol.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

I just prepared a tank decorated with lots of leaves, mostly oak, and plenty
of bogwood for a pair of juvenile norberti that were given to me by Kathy
Olsen.  The effect is beautiful and seems to match the description of the type
locality closely.  There are several white cloud dithers that stay above the
leaves except when trying to spawn.  The apistos hang out in the leaves.  The
female is good at hiding in between them when the male becomes aggressive.  I
tried a couple of different fluorescent tubes in this tank.  I ended up
preferring one that emphasized the blues and reds over a daylight spectrum
(which I use in my tanks with plants).  The white-clouds, wood and leaves have
a rich red or red-brown color which contrasts with the blue and orange of the
norberti.  In short, I'm happy and the fish seem happy.

Lars


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Beech litter

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Although there is an American Beech, they are uncommon and rarely grown as shade
trees in cities.  You'll have to find them in your local deciduous forest (about 1200
mile from me).  On the other hand, I've found that well prepared sage brush makes
wonderful brushy driftwood snags.

Mike Wise

Barrie Haughian wrote:

> where do you get these leaves from?  I have heard lots about them, but have never
> known where to get them.....thanks
>
> Patrick
>
> daniel.eriksson wrote:
>
> > Last year I tried a lot of different alternatives to sand or
> > gravel. I found that a 2-3" layer of Beech leaves over a thin
> > layer of small gravel with small branches and cones from Alder was
> > absolutely beautiful. The Beech reddish leaf colour made my A.
> > agassizii totally disappearing and I suddenly understood that
> > their marvellous coloration not only is for our pleasure  but also
> > a good camouflage J.
> >
> > After a few month the leaf begin to dissolve and has to be
> > replaced.
> >
> > When the female spawned she lost them all within a month, or
> > that’s what I thought and stopped feeding them. When she still
> > showed protective behaviour after another month I searched the
> > tank and found two not to small babies. They had been eating
> > something under the leafs, maybe some leftover blood worm now and
> > then kept them going for more than a month?
> >
> > Daniel Eriksson
> >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > This is the apistogramma mailing list, apisto-at-majordomo.pobox.com.
> > For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
> > email apisto-request-at-majordomo.pobox.com.
> > Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"!
>
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Fwd: Re: APD (plants list)

by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron)
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Hi Mike and all,
>Most apistos probably live in leaf litter only because that's the only biotope
>available.  Where aquatic plants occur in the wild one usually finds predators
>lurking in the weeds.  Where these predator are rare you usually find various
>catfish and larger medium-size cichlids. The dwarfs are pushed out.
>Apistos are
>usually found with plants in floating meadows and among the roots of water
>hyacinths and water lettuce, where they are living among the dangling roots and
>not on the bottom.
>
>Mike Wise
>
I have only had the fortune of observing Apistos and Nannacara in the wild
on one occasion. But in this instance, both Apistogramma sp. cf. ortmanni
and Nannacara aurocephalus were living in aquatic and submerged terrestrial
vegetation along the sides of the main channel of a small rainforest
stream. No floating plants, no leaf litter. In fact, the whole scene gave
the impression of a nicely planted, community aquarium- apistos and
loricariids hiding in the aquatic plants, schools of Hemmigrammus tetras
cruising in the mid-water. The top-dog of this fish community appeared to
be Hoplias- not the best addition to a community aquarium. But its presence
did not seem to deter the dwarf cichlids from residing in the plants. Best
to all.
- Steve Waldron



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Leaf Litter? Was APD.

by "Newman, L" <Lee_Newman/bc.sympatico.ca>
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>Ed, Pon wrote:
> 
> In the past couple of weeks, leaf litter became a topic.  There was
> mention
> of people using beech and oak leaves.  Are there other types of trees
> which have leaves and/or branches which can be safely used as
> leaf litter for apistos?  Did anybody do any experiments in this regard
> that they wouldn't mind sharing?

Hi Ed,

I have used Coccoloba uvifera leaves with great success. The common name
of this plant (tree) is the Sea Grape. The leaves are olive-green and
very stiff. When they have been soaked in water for a while, they turn a
rich brown colour and become water logged. Unfortunately, this plant is
not common in homes as it is really a tree, however, it may be worth
cultivating a small one, if you have the space. I have access to this
plant at my work (Vancouver Aquarium) in the Amazon Gallery where we
have four of the trees. They regularly have leaves falling off. I have
had Satanoperca leucosticta and Microgeophagus ramirezi use them for
spawning. Now that I have some Apistogramma (from a recent trip to
Peru), I'll collect some again for them to use.

Hope this helps.

Lee


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Leaf Litter? Was APD.

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

The preference for beech and oak leaves is due to the type of trees that they
are.  They prefer acid soils, so presumably the leaves are more acidic, too (have
more tannins in them). The tropics of South America has a great number of fig
(Ficus) trees and these form a great proportion of the leaf litter. They have
tough leaves that hold up well under water.  But don't run over to your
ornamental Ficus and start stripping leaves.  Fig leaves have a sap much like
latex and is very toxic to fish in a confined volume of water, i.e. an aquarium.

Mike Wise

Ed Pon wrote:

> In the past couple of weeks, leaf litter became a topic.  There was
> mention
> of people using beech and oak leaves.  Are there other types of trees
> which have leaves and/or branches which can be safely used as
> leaf litter for apistos?  Did anybody do any experiments in this regard
> that they wouldn't mind sharing?
>
> ______________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
>
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Re:RE:APD-relevant tangent

by "D Kinyon" <dkinyon/shentel.net>
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

Hello, all

I'm not new to the list, but until now haven't had much to say.

I've collected dried oak leaves in the autumn for years, and kept them in a trash bag throughout the rest of the seasons to use with most SA cichlids.

Many Apistos, Nannacara, and a couple Dicrossus have spawned on the leaves, often when live plants were available, and as far as I know, there's no down side, other than the eventual clean-up.

Just my two cents

Don


Oak Leaves ?

by "Helen Burns" <helen.burns/bigwig.net>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999
To: <apisto/admin.listbox.com>

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

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Les,
Last autumm I couldn't get oak leaves but managed to get Beech leaves =
which I beleive serves the same purpose.  A few months ago I aquired a =
group of adult Taeniacara candidi and wanted to lower my pH in their 36" =
tank.  Using the leaves the pH gradually lowered to the level I wanted =
pH4.8.  The leaves make a very pleasing sight as the adults and fry have =
plenty natural cover.  I also used the leaves in my Crenicichla regani =
(dwarf pikes) tank as they also require a very low pH.
Helen
Scotland
   =20
   =20
    Why oak leaves specifically?  Can other types of leaves be used =
(i.e.. maple)?
    =20
    Les Scott
    =20

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<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Les,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT><FONT size=3D2>Last autumm I =
couldn't get=20
oak leaves but managed to get Beech leaves which I beleive serves the =
same=20
purpose.&nbsp; A few months ago I aquired a group of adult Taeniacara =
candidi=20
and wanted to lower my pH in their 36&quot; tank.&nbsp; Using the leaves =
the pH=20
gradually lowered to the level I wanted pH4.8.&nbsp; The leaves make a =
very=20
pleasing sight as the adults and fry have plenty natural cover.&nbsp; I =
also=20
used the leaves in my Crenicichla regani (dwarf pikes) tank as they also =
require=20
a very low pH.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Helen</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Scotland</FONT></DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE=20
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5px">
    <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR>&nbsp;</DIV></FONT>
    <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Why oak leaves =
specifically?&nbsp; Can other=20
    types of leaves be used (i.e.. maple)?</FONT></DIV>
    <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
    <DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Les Scott</FONT></DIV>
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Oak Leaves ?

by "Matthijs Wachtmeester" <emwee/lindeman.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999
To: "apisto/majordomo.pobox.com" <apisto/admin.listbox.com>

On Thu, 22 Jul 1999 20:07:00 -0700 (PDT), Erik Olson wrote:

> > Why oak leaves specifically?  Can other types of leaves be used (i.e..
> > maple)?
> They don't disintegrate into the tank very quickly compared to other leaf
> types.

The same goes for beech leaves and since they have a more neutral shape I prefer 
them. Makes a tank look a bit more natural. But it's primarily a matter of taste.



Matthijs

e-mail:	emwee@wish.net
	emwee@lindeman.org

fido:	2:283/6.7




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Oak Leaves ?

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com

>From what I understand, the leaves of Ficus (fig) trees
contain a latex like sap that is toxic to fish. They are,
however, one of the most common group of trees in the
tropics and much of the leaf litter found in tropical
streams is made from Ficus leaves. There isn't any problem
in Nature because of the continuous flow of fresh water.
Unless you do a LOT of water changes, I'd suggest you look
elsewhere.

On a side note, the reason for people recommending oak and
beech leaves is because they normally come for areas with
acid soil conditions (where their leaves tend to acidify the
soil). European aquarists prefer beech leaves because they
look more like the tropical tree leaves. North American
aquarists prefer oak leaves because North America doesn't
have many beech trees.

Mike Wise

Cory and Susanne Williamson wrote:

> We don't have oak trees here in Vancouver, but I have a
> Ficus tree(small) in my house that drops what look like
> pretty hardy leaves- does anyone think that they might be
> a problem? I am thinking they might work well since the
> Ficus is a tropical plant. Cory Williamson




Dried Leaves

by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com

Edison C. Yap wrote:
> 
> I have an Avocado Tree with very broad leaves and some coconut tree.  I
> want to give these leaves a try, could anyone help me on how to check if
> these leaves are good for fishes?
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Edison

Edison,
I'd do a little research, maybe by contacting a local botanist or
experienced garden maniac. I use oak leaves not for decoration (they
break down after a short period of rich brown beauty) but because they
are high in tannins. Just leaves would be pretty worthless. As well, I
only use dead leaves. I may 'kill' them by picking them off the tree
when they are about to fall, but I don't touch them until they are
crispy.
There are many other leaves I could use, but they wouldn't serve the
precise function I believe I'm serving with the oaks. The leaves
themselves are mildly decorative, but the oak leaves give the water a
rich coloration with a clarity and brightness that peat doesn't do with
my water. The fish like the leaves, and I like what the tannin rich
leaves do. If I were trying this in an environment without oaks or
beeches, I'd look for a tree with similar chemical properties.
-Gary


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Dried Leaves

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999
To: apisto/admin.listbox.com

Edison,

Break open a fresh leaf from the tree. If it has a white
milky sap inside it
probably shouldn't be used in a fish tank.

Mike Wise

"Edison C. Yap" wrote:

> I have an Avocado Tree with very broad leaves and some coconut tree.  I
> want to give these leaves a try, could anyone help me on how to check if
> these leaves are good for fishes?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Edison
>
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leaf litter wonders

by Frauley/Elson <fraulels/minet.ca>
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 1999
To: apisto list <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

Hi,
I have a killie-like story about some apistos. About 2 months ago, I set
up a 30 inch 23 gallon tank for two species of apisto, as I had a
temporary overcrowding problem. To manage any aggro, I threw in some of
my dried oak leaves, from the secret stock in the bag under the njisseni
tank. I had cf juruense and cf gibbiceps in there, a pair of each. The
gibbs started to beat up on the juruense, so after two weeks of their
having been together, I moved the gibbs to a larger tank. The female
juruense died of injuries, and I left the spectacular male on his own
with 5 N beckfordi pencils for a month, til I got a new female today.
After I put her in, I suddenly saw a gaggle of half a dozen juvenile cf.
gibbiceps come cruising out, healthy, happy and hefty. I guess they were
easier to breed than I thought...
It says something for a leafy habitat though. 
Gary




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leaf litter wonders

by "Helen Burns" <helen.burns/bigwig.net>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

Gary,
I couldn't get oak leaves but did manage to acquire beech leaves which
serves the same purpose in a tank. My 36" tank I housed Taeniacara candidi,
the floor of this tank was 'littered' with the leaves.  This gave great
security for the fish and their fry.  The leaves plus bogwood makes a very
'natural' looking habitat, the dwarfs love it.
Helen

> I have a killie-like story about some apistos. About 2 months ago, I set
> up a 30 inch 23 gallon tank for two species of apisto, as I had a
> temporary overcrowding problem. To manage any aggro, I threw in some of
> my dried oak leaves, from the secret stock in the bag under the njisseni
> tank. I had cf juruense and cf gibbiceps in there, a pair of each. The
> gibbs started to beat up on the juruense, so after two weeks of their
> having been together, I moved the gibbs to a larger tank. The female
> juruense died of injuries, and I left the spectacular male on his own
> with 5 N beckfordi pencils for a month, til I got a new female today.
> After I put her in, I suddenly saw a gaggle of half a dozen juvenile cf.
> gibbiceps come cruising out, healthy, happy and hefty. I guess they were
> easier to breed than I thought...
> It says something for a leafy habitat though.
> Gary
>
>
>
>
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leaf litter wonders

by "Scott Olson" <olson7/hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 1999
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

As a possible alternative to oak leaves:

Several years ago when living in the San Francisco area, Brian Wolinski 
suggested magnolia leaves.  They were working great for him, so I tried them 
and was very pleased with the result.

I'd suggest using the dried-up, old brown leaves that accumulate under the 
trees.  They are sturdier than oak leaves and, I believe, last longer under 
water.  They also have sort of a tropical look.  They tend to curl a little 
bit and make lots of hidey holes and caves for the apistos.

I must be getting old; I can't recall whether they sank immediately, or 
whether we boiled them first, but getting them to sink to the bottom did not 
present a problem.

Scott


>From: David Sanchez <barbax2@yahoo.com>
>Reply-To: apisto@majordomo.pobox.com
>To: apisto@majordomo.pobox.com
>Subject: Re: leaf litter wonders
>Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 09:11:06 -0800 (PST)
>
>Thanks a ton David I have two big oak trees next to my
>house that are going to become my best source for
>caves LOL I am thinking of using the leaves in a bare
>bottom tank do you think this would work well? Thanks
>for your advice.
>
>
>
>=====
>David Sanchez
>Orlando, FL
>http://www.mindspring.com/~barbax
>barbax@mindspring.com
>__________________________________________________
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Thousands of Stores.  Millions of Products.  All in one place.
>Yahoo! Shopping: http://shopping.yahoo.com
>
>
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leaf litter wonders

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Ed,

I don't know anything about the effect of Magnolia leaves on the water, but the
ones I am familiar with have large waxy leaves. Many tropical trees have similar
leave that leach latex-like sap that isn't very healthy in a closed environment
of a tank. I think I'd try them first on something you won't regret losing.

Mike Wise

Ed Pon wrote:

> Does anyone know if Magnolia leaves will affect the ph.  I just happen to
> have a Magnolia tree right in front of my house but have been afraid to try
> using the leaves.
>
> >Scott Olson wrote:
> > >
> > > As a possible alternative to oak leaves:
> > >
> > > Several years ago when living in the San Francisco area, Brian Wolinski
> > > suggested magnolia leaves.  They were working great for him, so I tried
> >them
> > > and was very pleased with the result.
>
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leaf litter wonders

by swaldron/slip.net
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Good sunday to you all,
The magnolia leaves that Brian Wolinski used are a species commonly used as
an ornamental here in the S.F. bay area- I'm no botanist, but it is
definitely not the southern Magnolia (i.e. leaves are smaller,not very
aromatic, no thick latex like sap). When dried and cured the leaves are
very woody, big white flowers in the spring. It (like most plants in the
bay area) is an exotic. I have never used it in an Apisto tank but it
serves well as a substrate for my poison arrow frogs.

I recently tried using tan oak leaves (a California native, the tannin rich
extract was once used to tan leather) in an Apisto tank and though this is
just an anecdotal correlation- a few days after I added the leaves the
behavior of my apistos became noticeably different- the dominant male
became very aggressive and killed the other male in the tank and spawned
with one of the females shortly after. I didn't test the water chemistry
but likely a pH drop and was careful to only add a few leaves to the tank.
I have bags full of them from an old growth stand in pristine
redwood/chaparral habitat at my family's cabin- will happily trade for some
Apistogramma jurensis :>

                              Steven J. Waldron

                             http://WWW.ANURA.ORG
               "Natural History, Captive Husbandry, Conservation and
                           Biophilia of Tropical Frogs"

                    




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Why we use oak leaves instead of maple leaves

by "William Vannerson" <William_Vannerson/ama-assn.org>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001
To: <apisto/listbox.com>

There have been frequent threads over the years as to why oak leaves are preferable to other species leaves, especially maple leaves, for tank litter in Apisto tanks. Yesterday I ran across an interesting passage in a book I'm reading (_The Vegetation of Wisconsin: An Ordination of Plant Communities_ by John T. Curtis, 1959) that sheds some light on the subject. In describing the life cycle of the Sugar Maple, the dominant tree in the Southern Mesic Forest, he notes:

"Another effect of the leaves is bought about by their high content of basic nutrient elements at the time of leaf shedding. . . . the nutrients which have been pulled into the leaf by the transpiration stream during the summer remain there and are not withdrawn into the trunks as in the oaks and many other species. When the leaves are shed, they contain high levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium.

The high base content of the maple leaves is correlated with the ease of breakdown by the millipedes, fungi and other soil biota."

So the base elements in maple leaves would likely cause them to quickly degenerate as well as release elements that would cause the water to become harder more alkaline, or at least prevent it from become soft and acidic like oak leaves do.

Bill Vannerson

McHenry, IL

http://vannerson.home.att.net/


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