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There are some bits towards the end of page 3. & on page 4. on this thread on the UKAPS forum.
<http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/andy ... 280/page-3>.
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Or - much easier - use Catappa leaves: nice tan/colour as well, good for your fishes too and additionally very decorative.
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I have been using rooibos in tanks now for about a year. I will be selling it from my room at the All Aquarium Catfish Convention. I came to it on a site dedicated to wild angelfish. I was interested in altums which come from very acid, tea stained waters. One of the site admins there is a BioChemistry professor in S. Africa, the place from where rooibos comes.
Rooibos is actually not a tea, it is in the legume family (beans and peas). As such, it has no caffine in it.
from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RooibosRooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries, particularly among health-conscious consumers, due to its high level of antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin, its lack of caffeine, and its low tannin levels compared to fully oxidized black tea or unoxidized green tea leaves. Rooibos also contains a number of phenolic compounds, including flavanols, flavones, flavanones, and dihydrochalcones.
This is the important part in that for fishkeeping we are interested in the plant phenolic compounds which act as antioxidants, and at the same time that act as antibacterial components. We have had a lot of discussions in the past about the benefits of humic acids on altum keeping and humic acids are the same as plant phenolics, so this is what everyone has been using already. Oak leaves contain a lot of the plant phenolic called quercetin (derived from the Latin name for the oak tree, Quercus robur) and rooibos also contains some quercetin and the compound aspalathin, which is closely related to quercetin.
Other benefits that are coming from research conducted by colleagues of mine in the Biochemistry Department at the University of XXX, that I work in, are that rooibos has natural stress relieving properties and we all know that altums are exposed to significant stress during transport and during initial adaptation to aquariums. I can inform you from my knowledge in the immunology field that stress inhibits the ability of the immune system to fight disease, so if you can reduce stress, then that would have major advantages for the immune system thereby fighting disease.
So, rooibos tea potentially has major advantages for fishkeeping,.....
from the above referenced professor.
Rooibos will stain your water a lovely tea color similar to using catappas (Indian Almond Leaves), peat or alder cones. However, unlike those things, rooiobos will not soften water nor lower pH. In fact, it will either leave pH alone or raise it by 0.10. However, it will provide all the benefits of using catappas or oak leaves.
The next advantage it in how one can use it. The method I use is to heat a quart of water in the microwave until it boils,. Then I add the rooibos and nuke it a bit longer. If you prepare the tea on the stove, it should be allowed to boil a bit after being added. Once ready, you strain it and can then add it to changing water going in or directly to the tank. It can also be added to a filter in a bag the same way you might do peat.
from an altum keeper to whom I sent a bag of rooibos.Last night I wrapped some (rooibos) with sphagnum peat moss in a fine mesh bag that my wife made for the purpose and I simply put it in one of the overflow boxes. You gotta see how nice the water and the fish look today.
By brewing it there is no messy degraded leaf litter in a tank to remove when it builds up as in almond or oak leaves, it is cheaper than catappas (which I also use) and much less messy. (And by way of another shameless plug, I will also have the almond leaves for sale at Catcon).
I tend to use a starting suggestion for how much rooibos to use when you have it in bulk is at least 1 teaspoon/10 gals of water. I say starting because how dark you want the water is up to you. It is difficult to overdose rooibos if its possible at all unless you are tying to find out how much it takes.
I will end by saying that buying it in teabag form is nuts in terms of cost. I sell it for about $12/pound (227 gm) depending on what size bag you get. because rooibos is a pretty sensitive plant, it does not tolerate insecticides and other chemical treatment well, so there is no need to get it labelled organic. The tea people drink comes from the very top of the plants aka top cut, but for tank use this is not a necessary additional expense. You can use the general quality as well as drinking it.
A warning- if you want to buy it in the market or online. Be sure you get 100% rooibos with no added flavorings which is often how it is sold.
On Amazon.com USA:
Davidson's Tea Bulk, Organic South African Rooibos, 16-Ounce Bag
by Davidson's Tea
Price: $14.63 ($0.91 / oz) & FREE Shipping on orders over $35
Davidson's Organic Tea South African Rooibos, 100-Count Tea Bags, 5.29oz
by Davidson's Tea
Price: $15.76 ($2.97 / oz) & FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In bags 1/3 the tea for 8% more money.
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