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RE: Green leaves

Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but the leaves won't
turn totally brown even if you leave them out to dry. 
The trees pull back their chlorophyll in the fall
yeilding the colors we see as brown, yellow and red
which are the secondary colors.  I know that the pin
oak leaves I collect stay green/brown mottled even
when submerged for a month or more.  I haven't noticed
any negative impact in my tanks.  

On a related note, I have now been using dead Gardenia
leaves in a tank with pencilfish for a month with no
negative effects.  The leaves were brown, dead and on
top of the soil in the pot when I collected them.  Of
course there is the question why.. I just happened to
like the look of them and wanted to break up the
monotony of the oak leaf shape in my tank.  

Nice point of the gardenia leaves is that they are
quite sturdy and are holding up very well.  Gardenia
plants have thick cuticles and are quite shiny while
alive, so I think this is preventing an accelerated
breakdown of the dead leaf tissue.  

The gardenia leaves also color the water yellow, at a
faster rate than oak leaves in fact.  While I am not
100% sure that they are not toxic in any form I have
had the pencilfish in the experimental gardenia-leaf
tank spawn and have raised fry in the same water.  I
do however make 30% water changes on these tanks every
week at the least.  I have not yet tried the leaves
out on a tank with Apistos.  

Last note from me, some of you may recall I have A.
cf. eunotus who were refusing to spawn.  Apparently
they learned that I would be leaving town for a few
weeks and have decided to spawn!  Argh!!  ;)  Hope I
have a few to watch and enjoy when I return.  


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