Terminalia Catappa - Indian Almond Leafs - Ketapang Leafs - See-Mandelbaum-Blatt
In nature, fallen leafs give lakes, streams and other natural waters, its amber/ light brown look. But hardly any normal leafs have any or enough special properties, specially in large enough quantities to stand out.
Catappa leafs leach a strong brown dye, that is full of organic acids, like humin and tannin, into the water. Of 35 aromatic substances identified from these leafs, noteworthy were benzene-acetaldehyde, acetones and Sabin-hydrate. The first is strongly antimicrobial and several of the other 35, destroy microbial cell membranes.
The leafs were first discovered by medical folk in Asia, noticing their strong aromatic smell. In Asia the positive effects of these leafs have been known for years. Breeders of discus fish are using the leafs against bacterial infections and breeders of fight fish in Thailand use them to speed up the fish's healing.
The leafs are a mild disinfectant against disease and fungus on fish and fish eggs and its a treat for plant eating fish like shrimps and algae eaters.
The leafs can also be used to reduce the pH-value a bit.
On 100 L water, 2 or 3 leafs should be used. The decorative leafs will absorb some water and after 24 to 48 hours they will sink to the ground. You can leave the leafs in the fish tank as food for algae eaters and shrimps.
If you do not want the leafs in your tank or to make up a stronger Black-water:
- put the leafs in a pot or bowl (start with 3 - 5, add more if needed)
- put the kettle on with 1L of water brew the leafs up like tea creating Black-Water
- this way is faster and the solution can be kept in the fridge for a few days
- finding the right strength may need some experimentation