Indian Almond leaves are essential to dart frog keepers looking to raise tadpoles. Also known as also known as Katappa, Catappa, Tropical Almond, Sea Almond or Katappang leaves. Most commonly called Catappa leaves, they are frequently used by fish and shrimp keepers to condition water.
They do so by allowing the natural tannins, locked inside the Catappa leaves to seep into their fish water. This helps maintain or alter a PH level in aquarium water. Adding tannins is a very common practice for many freshwater fish and shrimp keepers.
Dart frog keepers may also reap the benefits of Indian Almond leaves when raising tadpoles. The leaves release tannins into the water, that have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The tannins will also affect the pH value of the water (depending on the hardness of the water) and color the water brown.
There are several ways you can use Indian Almond leaves to way to raise healthy tadpoles.
The easiest method is to simply break off a small piece (approx. 1″) of Indian Almond leaf and place it in the water with the tadpole. The leaf will slowly release the tannins in to the water.
Place a single Indian Almond leaf into a cup, then add 1 cup of boiling water. Allow tea to cool, and use this water directly with your dart frog tadpoles. You can repeat this method with a single leaf, until the tannins no longer discolor the water brown. The darker the color, the stronger the tea will be. Store the extra tadpole tea in the fridge, just be sure to allow it to reach room temperature prior to using it with tadpoles.
This method can be done with multiple leaves to make larger batches.
Using Indian Almond Leaves to create a Black Water Extract
This method will make a large amount of tannin concentrate, that can be stored in the fridge for months. Just be sure to allow it to warm to room temperature prior to using with tadpoles. Place approximately 30 Indian Almond leaves into a large pot with 4 liters (1 gallon) of fresh, clean water. You can also add about 5-6 Casuarina Cones and/or Alder cones or other terrarium botanicals to increase the potency of this extract.
Allow the leaves to steep in the water at room temperature for at least 24 hours. You may want to weight the leaves down until they become water logged. The following day you can boil the leaves for approximately 20 minutes. Then allow the mixture to cool and stew for another 24 hours. The following day you will want to boil the tea one more time for 20 minutes, and allow to cool and stew for another 24 hours.
Now you can remove the leaves, and strain the water if you wish to remove the small debris. Simply run the tea through a coffee filter, cheese cloth or even nylon stockings. You’ll notice that the water is now completely black. You can now use this black water extract to make tadpole tea. Simply pour approximately 1-2 ounces of the extract into 4 liters(1 gallon) of fresh water, to make a new batch of tadpole tea.
Once you’ve extracted the tannins you can compost the leaves, or feed them to you isopods.
It is recommended that you sterilize your Catappa leaves. To achieve this you can microwave damp leaves for 1-2 minute, boil leaves for approximately 5 minutes, or bake leaves at 200 °F for approximately 20-30 minutes.
Due to the nature of this product there will be some variation in shape, size and colour.
Indian Almond leaves now available for sale and shipping within Canada.