Reptiscape Cocoa Leaves are an excellent leaf litter you can use in a terrarium, vivarium or aquarium. They are large and make a great focal point in your leaf litter.
Cocoa Leaves are from the Theobroma cacao AKA Cocoa tree. The beans from this tree are used to make various chocolates that we all love to eat!
Using Cocoa Leaves in a Terrarium
Leaf litter not only helps with providing a naturalistic appearance, but the leaves also provide hiding spots for animals such as dart frogs and small reptiles. Even snakes will enjoy hiding under the leaves.
Additionally, micro fauna like springtails and isopods will use the decomposing leaves as food.
In the forest, the leaf litter may be several inches thick. Typically in a naturalistic or bioactive terrarium, you want to have the leaves at least a few layers deep and you should routinely add more leaves as you see them decomposing.
Using Cocoa Leaves in an Aquarium
Cocoa Leaves are 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.
Cocoa Leaves are an excellent leaf litter for black water aquariums as well as many other setups. The leaves 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.
Cocoa leaves also have 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.
Cocoa Leaves have 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. Cocoa Leaves also enrich the aquarium water with organic compounds that are beneficial to fish that live in still, stagnant waters such as betta fish.
How to clean and sanitize Cocoa Leaves
While you can simply rinse you leaves, it is recommended that you also sterilize your leaves prior to using them in a terrarium or aquarium. To achieve this you can microwave damp leaves for 1-2 minute, boil leaves for approximately 5 minutes, or bake damp leaves at 200 °F for approximately 15-20 minutes.
Each package contains 10 leaves. Each leaf is approx 10-14” (25-35cm)
Due to the nature of this product there will be variation in size and shape.
Looking for more leaf litter for your terrarium? Check out our Leaf Litter Collection Here.
Reptiscape Cocoa Leaves are available for sale and shipping in Canada.