Reptiscape Catappa Bark is used by many fish keepers that wish to extract their tannins to create a concentrated black water extract.
Catappa Bark and Leaves have powerful tannins that tint the aquarium water, buffer pH, plus boast antibacterial and antifungal properties. Catappa bark and leaves are frequently used by fish and shrimp keepers to condition water.
They do so by allowing the natural tannins, locked inside the Catappa bark to seep into their fish water. This helps maintain or alter the pH level in aquarium water. Adding tannins is a very common practice for many freshwater fish and shrimp keepers around the world.
Dart frog keepers may also reap the same benefits of Catappa bark when raising tadpoles. The bark will release tannins into the water, which have antibacterial and antifungal properties. The tannins will also affect the pH value of the water (depending on the hardness of the water) and tint the water brown.
Using Catappa Bark in an Aquarium
Catappa Bark is part of our Tannin Collection. They can be used in a natural aquarium set up to help add beneficial nutrients and regulate PH levels. Perfect for Shrimp, Betta Fish, Discus and South American Cichlids and other fish.
Simply add some Catappa Bark stick directly into your aquarium or into an external aquarium filter that has appropriate compartments.
Catappa bark is an excellent botanical to add to black water aquariums as well as many other setups. The bark will provide shelter to fish fry and small species of shrimp, crabs, crayfish, snails, and other fish while maintaining a natural look in the aquarium.
They also serve as an ideal growth medium for biofilm and diatoms, both of which are key food sources to countless aquatic animal species, including shrimp and other invertebrates as well as fish.
Catappa bark also has pH buffering qualities. As they decompose, they release tannins that slowly lower the pH of the aquarium. This is particularly beneficial for aquatic animals that require acidic, low-pH water.
Catappa bark has extremely valuable therapeutic qualities for fish, and can often serve as a harmless preventative medicine in the aquarium. They are highly antibacterial and anti-fungal and support or increase slime coat, scale, and shell production in fish and invertebrates.
This is particularly crucial during the introduction and acclimation of animals to the aquarium and after water changes. Catappa Leaves also enrich the aquarium water with organic compounds that are beneficial to fish that live in still, stagnant waters such as betta fish.
Using Catappa Bark To Raise Dart Frog Tadpoles
The same benefits that fish keepers use Catappa bark for, can be used by Dart Frog Keepers that wish to raise their own tadpoles.
You can break a small piece into your tadpole container, or boil the bark with ground leaves to make a concentrated black water extract also known as Tadpole Tea.
How To Make Black Water Extract From Catappa Bark And Leaves
If you have a cheesecloth bag or fine nylon bag, add the ground leaves and any other terrarium botanicals you wish. For smaller batches you can use a tea bag for the same effect.
This is a loose recipe, so you can play with all the ratios to make a Catappa Tea a concentrated as you wish
Add a package of Catappa Bark with one 50gm package of Ground Catappa Leaf Powder to 2-8L of pure water. Depending on how concentrated you want your “Catappa Tea” to be. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30-60 minutes. Turn off the heat, allow the leaves to steep in the water while it cools.
Use a fine strainer to remove all the ground leaves and botanicals. (If you used a fine mesh bag this step is much easier!)
Store your newly made Black Water extract (Catappa Tea) in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It will last a very long time.
You can now add this concentrated Catappa Tea directly to an aquarium, or make a “Tadpole Tea” for your Dart Frog tadpoles. Add as much Catappa Tea as you need to tint the water to your desired level.
How To Clean And Sanitize Catappa Bark
While you can simply rinse your bark, it is recommended that you also sterilize the sticks prior to using them in a terrarium or aquarium. To achieve this you can microwave damp bark for 1-2 minute, boil bark for approximately 5 minutes, or bake damp bark at 200 °F for approximately 15-20 minutes
Catappa Bark come from the Terminalia catappa tree. Commonly called Indian Almond Tree, they also go by other names such as: Katappa Tree, Tropical Almond Tree, Sea Almond Tree or Katappang Tree.
Each package contains 6 bundles of dried Catappa Bark.
Reptiscape Catappa Bark is available for sale and shipping in Canada