Rooibos Tea

Post pictures of your beloved catfish aquaria here. Also good for pictures of your (cat)fish rooms or equipment discussions. If you are posting pictures of identified catfish, please do so in the appropriate husbandry and reproduction forum above.
Post Reply
Jobro
Posts: 861
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:34 pm
My cats species list: 12 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:3)
Spotted: 3
Location 1: Germany
Location 2: Allgäu

Rooibos Tea

Post by Jobro »

Hey folks,

inspired by some of TTA's comments about using rooibos to stain the water red/amber and for the beneficial sideffects of rooibos (like antibacterial and anti-stress) I wanted to give the rooibos a try.

read more about rooibos and aquariums here: http://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/view ... 48#p278580 (thank TTA for this guys!)

So I went shopping online and found some pure rooibos on Amazon, 1KG, 14€. Not really cheap, but I couldn't find it any cheaper right now, and for a testrun it should be plenty.

Package arrived today. So I poured 3 teaspoons of rooibos into 1l of tapwater and boiled it all together for some minutes.
The "Tea" was quite dark red. I filtered out the rooibos with a kitchen strainer. Some little particles of rooibos were left in the tea. I didn't mind.
After some time for the tea to cool down, I poured the whole 1l behind my HMF and watched it slowly being blend into the tank.

Well, color did change quite a bit. My fish were all going kinda active and searching for food around the tank :D

I'm not quite happy with the results yet, Guess I have to use more than 3 teaspoons for 400l.

Before:
WP_20160304_011.jpg
After:
WP_20160304_014.jpg
Sorry about the crappy pics, only got the smartphone at hand right now :-(

I will watch my fishs beahaviour, but they seem to ba happy with it. So I guess I will add some more rooibos tomorrow.
follow my Plecos on Instagram: welsgefluester
User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1426
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $3488.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I use it in a 55 gal tank. I change about 20 gals a week. I use 3 level tablespoons of rooibos in one quart of water which was brought to a boil in the microwave. After adding the tea, I nuke it a bit more to boil the tea. I let this sit and steep a while. Then it is poured through a coffee strainer basket into the changing water. I also add 1.5 tablespoons of Kent Black Water Expert. This is an acid water tank and I may add some muriatic acid to the changing water which is a 50/50 mix of ro/di and my tap. In the tank are catappa leaves I change every 2 weeks. In one of the hang on filters I have a bag of alder cones. My situation is more extreme as I run the water at 6.0 pH and TDs in the 60 ppm range.

I would suggest you increase the amount of tea. You can go up to almost 6 tablespoons. 1 Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons. I would suggest you try 4 tablespoons (12 teaspoons). That will not be a really deep color but it will be dark, you may want more. Bear in mind that tinting the water is not something I do unless the fish normally live in stained waters.

I sell rooibos :-) because I buy most things I use in bulk. You do not need to get organic as it is a waste of money. Rooibos is a pretty sensitive plant. Most things that are prohibited on/in something sold as organic would kill rooibos. This comes from the S. African Biochemist who taught me about rooibos. It is so picky about growing conditions it is known to thrive on one side of a hill and be impossible to grow on the other side.

One reason I came to roobos was its appeal as a cheaper and less messy alternative to catappa leaves. I do use both, but I use fewer leaves than I would if I did not use the rooibos. It is also possible to put the tea into a fine mesh bag in a filter as well as adding it brewed. I prefer brewed. You can also drink it as tea. I do not.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Jobro
Posts: 861
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:34 pm
My cats species list: 12 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:3)
Spotted: 3
Location 1: Germany
Location 2: Allgäu

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by Jobro »

TwoTankAmin wrote: In one of the hang on filters I have a bag of alder cones. My situation is more extreme as I run the water at 6.0 pH and TDs in the 60 ppm range.
I have a bag of Turf behind the HMF. I run at 120ppm(meassured 200µs), a KH between 0.5 and 1° and to my own big surprise a PH of something around 6.0 by my Sera Drop tests (not sure about accuracy). I usually only have a PH of 7.0-6.5 but I only meassure once every few weeks. So it's quite similiar to your setup.

I went for another run with 10 teaspoons of rooibos today. Now the water turned all yellow :D looks like I poured some curry in there xD
Not really what I was hoping to get. More of a red/amber color. Maybe still not enough?

How are your prices for 1kg of rooibos? Can't really find any bulk rooibos around here :-(

You mind sharing a picture of your tank/water color? :-)

Update: Added the picture:
WP_20160305_002.jpg
Also most of my cichlids start to show mating and spawning behaviour. Even the Altums, though still very small seem to be interested. Maybe coincidence, but not sure. Should have known about this when I had some cichlid spawning tanks.
follow my Plecos on Instagram: welsgefluester
User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1426
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $3488.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by TwoTankAmin »

I work in pounds and ounces :-), except when I bought it and that was 18 kilos. I have never tried to send it outside the USA. The shipping costs are awful. I have always gotten a reddish tint, never seen anything remotely yellow. I hope you are using plain rooibos with no flavoring etc. added.

Have you tried doing a search for bulk rooibos tea?
http://www.alveus.eu/tea-wholesale.html
http://www.21food.com/products/rooibos-tea-257179.html
https://www.teekanne.de/index.php?id=22 ... &q=rooibos

I use 3 tablespoons in 20 gals of changing water that goes into a 55 gal. tank. Try adding more?
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Jobro
Posts: 861
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:34 pm
My cats species list: 12 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:3)
Spotted: 3
Location 1: Germany
Location 2: Allgäu

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by Jobro »

TwoTankAmin wrote:I work in pounds and ounces :-), except when I bought it and that was 18 kilos. I have never tried to send it outside the USA. The shipping costs are awful. I have always gotten a reddish tint, never seen anything remotely yellow. I hope you are using plain rooibos with no flavoring etc. added.
Yeah it is plain rooibos. Nothing added.
It is very dark red/brown almost going into black, but with a red tint to it after I boiled it in 1l of water. But when I poured that 1l into the tank, the tank turned yellow.
I will take some pictures of the whole stuff on my next brewing session :D
I will have to check if one of those will sell to private customers, usually they only sell to business customers :-(

I got a 1KG bulk. But that's the biggest size I could find for sale. It's not in teabags, it's just a 1KG bag of rooibos.
TwoTankAmin wrote:I use 3 tablespoons in 20 gals of changing water that goes into a 55 gal. tank. Try adding more?
so 3Tablespoons on 75L. Making this ~9 teaspoons on 75L.
I did 10 teaspoons on 400L :D
Maybe that's root of the yellow color. It's not strong enough,yet. Will have to breew some again.
follow my Plecos on Instagram: welsgefluester
User avatar
2wheelsx2
Posts: 1012
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:55 am
I've donated: $20.00!
My cats species list: 71 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 4 (i:3)
Location 1: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Location 2: BC, Canada
Interests: motorcycles, tropical fish, car detailing

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by 2wheelsx2 »

This is a very informative discussion. So you guys basically steep it and pour the tea into the tank? Can you put it in a media bag and put it in your canister filter/sump/behind an HMF? Would it have the same effect or would it be too weak? I use Catappa and as mentioned elsewhere it makes a big mess that I have to continuously vacuum up and clean out of my filters.
User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1426
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $3488.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by TwoTankAmin »

You can put it in a bag, but I find that more messy. Plus there is the issue if time. When brewed, it is good to go fast. But in a bag it takes time to work. Plus getting used tea out of the bag and replacing it is messy too.
Last edited by TwoTankAmin on Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
User avatar
2wheelsx2
Posts: 1012
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:55 am
I've donated: $20.00!
My cats species list: 71 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 4 (i:3)
Location 1: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Location 2: BC, Canada
Interests: motorcycles, tropical fish, car detailing

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by 2wheelsx2 »

Ah true. Never thought of that. I was just thinking of the continuous release aspect like Catappa. Would be a nasty mess to clean out of the filter bag.
Jobro
Posts: 861
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:34 pm
My cats species list: 12 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:3)
Spotted: 3
Location 1: Germany
Location 2: Allgäu

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by Jobro »

What I sometimes do in small tanks with turf is, just put the turf in a teabag behind the HMF. This should work with the rooibos just as well. You can dumb the teabag with it's content into the (organic-)waste afterwards. But some teabags will dissolve faster than others. They usually only hold for 1 week on me and will dissolve quickly afterwards. If you forget to take them out in time they will dissolve completely and leave a mess behind your HMF, so that's a real downside to it. But might be enough for a test run.

With teabags I mean teabags for bulk tea that you have to fill yourself. Not the teabags that come with packaged tea.
follow my Plecos on Instagram: welsgefluester
User avatar
TwoTankAmin
Posts: 1426
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:26 pm
I've donated: $3488.00!
My cats species list: 6 (i:0, k:0)
My BLogs: 2 (i:0, p:48)
Location 1: USA
Location 2: Mt. Kisco, NY
Interests: Fish and Poker

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by TwoTankAmin »

When I started using rooibos I was uncertain about what I was doing, so I used tea bags. But the cost is not cheap by any means. So I began to look around for cheaper alternatives and discovered I could buy it in bulk as loose tea. So as I often do I went a bit overboard and ordered 20 kilos. They messed up an only sent 18. I sell some since its way more than I will ever need. I am not willing to have to fill tea bags. I have enough stuff I already do in relation to fish. Even when I used tea in bags, I still brewed it and added that way.

Once the tank was initially dosed, I have only added it to the pre-prepared changing water. This uses about 3+ tablespoons a week for a 55 gal. as I mentioned above someplace. Only the new water gets the tea added.

I really do not get the objection to brewing it. Almost everybody does weekly water changes and it is easy to brew and add the tea then. I do it all in a quart measuring cup in the microwave. It takes about 5 minutes to get the water to a boil, then I add the tea and run the microwave in a few bursts. If I do not do it in bursts it will boil over. Then I let it steep while I am doing other things on the tank. It gets poured into the 20 gal can where I mix the changing water. I use the same pump I do the refill with to mix the water in the can. Of course even w/o the tea I premix as I use 50/50 ro/di and tap, a bit of Black Water Expert and usually some muriatic acid. I need to control the TDS as well as the pH and staining.

I try to figure out the most efficient way to do things. To me this means spending the least amount of time and effort to get anything done so it works. Maybe I am basically lazy?
No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anonymous
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”" Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Jobro
Posts: 861
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:34 pm
My cats species list: 12 (i:0, k:0)
My aquaria list: 3 (i:3)
Spotted: 3
Location 1: Germany
Location 2: Allgäu

Re: Rooibos Tea

Post by Jobro »

TwoTankAmin wrote:When I started using rooibos I was uncertain about what I was doing, so I used tea bags. But the cost is not cheap by any means. So I began to look around for cheaper alternatives and discovered I could buy it in bulk as loose tea. So as I often do I went a bit overboard and ordered 20 kilos. They messed up an only sent 18. I sell some since its way more than I will ever need. I am not willing to have to fill tea bags. I have enough stuff I already do in relation to fish. Even when I used tea in bags, I still brewed it and added that way.
The teabag was only meant as a possible replacement for cleaning the filter bags. I do boil the tea as well.
These teabags are almost like a filterbag, but you can throw them away after use, no need for cleaning, that's all. And it's not like it would be a lot of work to fill a single teabag every week ;-)

Don't use teabags in canisters though, only behind an HMF. They won't stand the currents inside a canister.

As you said, boiling is not much of a trouble, so it's pretty much not needed to have rooibos inside your filter.
follow my Plecos on Instagram: welsgefluester
Post Reply