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using alder cones

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using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 16:55

Hi, I just wondered if anyone on the forum has used alder cones to stain their water?


Firstly I removed them from the tree and not from the ground - are they still safe to use? They are brown and dry

Secondly, what do I do with them? Do I need to dry them out further? Do I need to wash them? Do I boil them and just use the water or can I just add a few to my filter in a media bag?

If anyone can advise that would be great. I've searched the net for answers to my questions but can find very little in info

Thanks in advance - Akasha
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Re: using alder cones

Post  jamdea on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 19:08

Ive used alder cones before. It was ages ago. I scattered around 3 dozen all over the substrate of a 200 l tank. Really they didnt seem to do an awful lot to either colour water or lower pH .
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 19:19

Hi and thanks for the reply. Did you collect the off the tree or from the ground? I'm not sure if cones have the same rules as leaves - your only supposed to use leaves that have fallen because any remaining sap can be toxic to fish. I'm trying to find out if cones are the same. When you used the cones how did you collect them?
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Re: using alder cones

Post  jamdea on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 19:33

Hi Akasha
I collected a real big bag of them straight off ebay.
I soaked mine for a wee while so that they sank upon introduction to the tank.
tbh i found them a bit useless.
Peat can be really good for tainting water colour but does mental things to water parameters
Sera do a blackwater addative that is probably more stable but ive never used it myself.
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 19:58

I have been using red bush tea to stain the water but I've found my filter pipes are blocking up faster than normal and that's all that has changed.
I already have very soft water naturally so I don't want to alter that it's just that I noticed a difference in fish behaviour when the water was stained. They all seemed so much more relaxed and so I wanted to find a natural way to stain the water and alder cones seemed a good option.

Before I risk my stock though I wanted to check they were safe to use collected from the tree. As you got yours online you won't have that information. I'll wait it out for a day or so and see if anyone else replies with the answer. Thanks anyway Smile
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Pterophyllum on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 20:31

There was an article on using native leaves to stain water, and their effect on water parameters in the December issue of PFK, but I don't think it mentioned alder cones, and I've no practical experience to offer.

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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 20:34

I was hoping you might know Rob ... I guess I'll have to keep researching online. I read something a while back about alder cones being really good for staining the water but any more information on them wasn't available.

I've tried oak leaves and got nothing, I've heard almond leaves are good but I've not seen any available in my local area. When I was walking in the woods with the dog on Friday and I spotted the alder cones I just pulled a few off the tree ... I didn't think beyond that though lol
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Re: using alder cones

Post  jamdea on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 20:46

i've used collected oak leaves previously as bottom of the tank leaf litter for apistogramma projects, they seemed to keep the dwarfies happy.i boiled the life outta them before they got to the tank, whole hoose was stinking. to be honest i think if you want to add things to the tank to stain water it kind of goes hand in hand with relinqusihing a lot on your water change regimes. one of those "set it up and leave it alone, hope it was right to start with" scenarios.?
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 20:58

I'm currently using oak leaves in my fry tank as I've heard they're a great source of infusoria. The fry seem to like hiding under them too.
If I can find more info on these alder cones and it turns out they're good for fry too one or two can go into the fry tank too. Getting baby cories to feed in the first week or two is hard, the more infusoria I can provide might give me a better yield on cory fry. At the moment I'm losing more in the first two weeks than I'm getting to survive. From the last 6 eggs I collected I have just one survivor. I've currently got another 7 eggs ready to hatch any moment and I'm hoping to get more than one survivor!
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Re: using alder cones

Post  jamdea on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 22:04

best of luck with the corys, i never had much joy with them. thick leaf litter is good for hiding in though.
what sort of corys do you have. I hear some of them can be really tricky ?
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Pterophyllum on Sat 21 Nov 2015, 23:05

I was hoping you might know Rob
Sorry, TBH I simply use a lump of bogwood if I want to stain the water brown.

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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Sun 22 Nov 2015, 09:43

jamdea wrote:best of luck with the corys, i never had much joy with them. thick leaf litter is good for hiding in though.
what sort of corys do you have. I hear some of them can be really tricky ?

I have 6 peppered but they are old and have stopped spawning now. I have 5 bronze - all male. 6 panda's and they are my most prolific spawners at the moment. I have 3 melini (struggling to get more to up the number) and 3 smudge spots - again struggling to get more to up the number.

I usually find they spawn in the night and so come into the room in a morning to eggs on my glass. As I said, at the moment it seems to be the panda's that are spawning regularly but because they spawn in the night there's always the small chance that the eggs could be melini or smudge spots - I live in hope for those guys seen as I'm struggling to up the number.

The newest batch of eggs hatched over night. I can't see any fry so I guess they are hiding. I'm going to check to see how many hatched from the 7 eggs shortly and do a small water change too.

I love having cory fry ... but I'd love some fry from my angels more! My pair are a pain in the wotsit. They keep going through the motions of cleaning leaves, battering each other and then change their minds. They are doing my head in!
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Sun 22 Nov 2015, 09:45

Pterophyllum wrote:
I was hoping you might know Rob
Sorry, TBH I simply use a lump of bogwood if I want to stain the water brown.

I now have my Rio 240 how I want it and all my bogwood is years old. It stopped leeching donkies ago. I still like the stained water look though and the fish seem to like it too. I'm trying to find other ways of getting the blackwater look naturally without having to add the tea. Dean's experience scared me and also I was finding my filter pipes were blocking up really quickly so for now I've stopped using it
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Mon 23 Nov 2015, 21:12

okay, I have some info regarding the cones. They would seem to be safe to use from the tree provided the tree has gone into it's winter dormant state. Once the cones turn brown and open up they drop their seeds and from that stage they are safe.

They still need to be washed well and dried out before use. I'm not going to risk them with fry and I'm also going to add a couple to a media bag and add to the filter rather than add to the tank .... once I've plucked up the courage that it

I'll keep you posted
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Re: using alder cones

Post  Akasha on Mon 23 Nov 2015, 21:39

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Re: using alder cones

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