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I use it as a tonic for my aquarium fish. It lowers the pH slightly and provides tea colored water which helps with algae control.

 

Here is some info:

http://www.indianalmondleaves.com/aquariums.php

 

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I've not tried the almond leaves, but I have tossed in handfuls of oak leaves as I find them in corners of the yard. The crayfish seem to love them. I've not noticed a great change in my system, but I've not been micro-managing it either.

Nope, haven't tried it.  However, I think the large amount of leaf litter and wood chips that got into my media (pile outside on the ground) before washing that is pretty difficult to get rid of it all meant that I naturally had a bit of black water tannins going at least for my big system.  Very mild though and mostly oak leaf here instead of almond.

By the way, if you have shells or limestone or anything of the sort in an aquaponics system, no amount of tannic acid is going to really bring your pH down but it can render your water very black and you fish not visible.  So the acid effect of using leaves can help with source water but don't expect it to adjust the pH of a system with a media buffer!

 

I'm only sharing this point to catch people who might think leaves or wood chips or pine needles will counteract the mistake of using limestone as media.  It won't, I've tried it.  Water was black, could not see the fish, pH was still not lower than the buffer level. 

 

It does make for a quick way to rot down leaves and wood chips though.

You can use this effect to your advantage by adding more leaves to the system thus indirectly putting more calcium into the water-column due to the buffering effect.

TCLynx said:
By the way, if you have shells or limestone or anything of the sort in an aquaponics system, no amount of tannic acid is going to really bring your pH down but it can render your water very black and you fish not visible.  So the acid effect of using leaves can help with source water but don't expect it to adjust the pH of a system with a media buffer!

I don't need more calcium in my water, my big system has about 40% shells as it's media.  I have continual issues with nutrient lock out due to high pH and no issues with lack of calcium.

 

I expect in about 40 years my big system might have an issue with pH dropping though, but before that I expect I'll need to top up lots of gravel to replace the dissolved shells.

Well, not you specifically, but the rest of us!

 

This is an interesting idea, adding one amendment to make another more effective.

 

What else does adding leaf litter do for us?


TCLynx said:

I don't need more calcium in my water, my big system has about 40% shells as it's media.  I have continual issues with nutrient lock out due to high pH and no issues with lack of calcium.

 

I expect in about 40 years my big system might have an issue with pH dropping though, but before that I expect I'll need to top up lots of gravel to replace the dissolved shells.

Just beware with leaf litter, as with anything organic added to a system, it is possible to over do it.  You want to make sure you don't create mucky anaerobic areas that could take to releasing hydrogen sulfide into your water which would be very dangerous for many kinds of fish.

 

Now I'm not against the idea, I just want people to be careful and thoughtful when they try it.  I think there are many things that decomposing leaves could provide (there may also be things that some kinds of leaves could provide that would be bad though too.)  Leaf mulch and decomposing wood provides most of the soil nutrition in forests.  I expect perhaps if carefully done, compounds provided by leaves may provide most trace nutrients needed once a system is mature.

As with anything in life don't over do it.

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