Wednesday, July 14, 2010

leaves for treating aquarium water

when my friend, a tropical fish hobbyist, told me about the curative qualities of the leaves of the sea almond or ketapang tree, i was naturally skeptical. according to him, the old, dried leaves of the sea almond when placed in the water release a certain chemical which is beneficial to the fish. the anti-bacterial substance not only lowers the pH of the water, it also creates a soothing and conducive environment for the fish. the colour of the water is also changed by the organic acids that are released. the water becomes the colour of tea, resembling the black water of their natural habitat.

i also remember when i kept siamese fighting fish in my younger days, we would try to simulate the natural habitat for the fish by keeping the water light brown in colour. we would do this by putting dried leaves in the water but i do not think they were not the leaves of the ketapang tree. again, according to my friend, the substance released by the ketapang leaves help the fighting fish to recover from its injuries faster.

today, i was finally convinced that the leaves indeed are able to enhance the condition of the water to benefit the fish. i was at qian hu at jalan lekar when i saw them drying a lot of the leaves of the sea almond in their compound. if the professionals use these leaves to treat the water, then it must definitely work.

however, it seems like the water conditioning works for certain species of fish and not all fish. bettas, discus and arrowanas are said to respond well to chemicals released by the leaves. another claim is that it helps to induce spawning among these types of fish.

if you have been to qian hu - which i visit once in a while - you will notice that most of the trees that are growing around the ornamental fish farm are ketapang trees. the ketapang tree is a deciduous trees, shedding its leaves twice a year, during the drier seasons. i have blogged about it here. incidentally, i find that qian hu has fish to suit all ages. the toddlers go for the longkang fish; the bigger children feed the carps; and the adults feed the spa fish with their dead skin.


milehiclub said...

Hi YG,

Ketapang leaves? That's what my brother lacks for his declining numbers of fishes in the tank.Will certainly share this with him, thanks!

Interesting reads in your blog. Glad i found it . Specially like the last line in this post, how true! :)


yg said...

hi milehiclub, a word of caution - do not put too many leaves into the fish tank. too much of a good thing is also no good. the pH level might get too low. clean the leaf before putting it in. replace the leaf/leaves weekly or fortnightly.