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Re: leaf litter wonders

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

               "Natural History, Captive Husbandry, Conservation and
                           Biophilia of Tropical Frogs"


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