Catappa AKA Indian Almond Leaves
Catappa Leaves are an excellent naturalistic decoration, food source, and herbal disease preventative for the freshwater aquarium!
Catappa Leaves are ideal leaf litter for blackwater tanks as well as many other setups, providing shelter to fry and small species of shrimp, crabs, crayfish, snails, and 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.
Catappa Leaves also have buffering qualities. As they decompose, they release tannins (tercatin, punicalin, punicalagin) that lower the pH of the aquarium, but at a gradual rate. This is particularly beneficial for aquatic animals that require acidic, low-pH water. Catappa Leaves can also be used sparingly in high-pH setups as well, especially when their pH-lowering quality is counteracted with pH-raising decor such as lace rock and dried coral.
Catappa Leaves have extremely valuable theraputic qualities and can often serve as a harmless preventative medicine in the aquarium. They are highly anti-bacterial 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.
Our Catappa Leaves are sourced from 100% pesticide and chemical-free areas and are safe to add directly to the aquarium. These leaves can be allowed to be fully eaten or decompose in the aquarium, then the stem can be removed. We recommend that they be added sparingly at first in order to ensure no drastic changes in water parameters or excessive tanning of water.
Leaf size ranges from 4 - 12 inches (10 - 30 cm), although most are 8 inches (20 cm) or larger.
Learn more about Indian Catappa Leaves in this article.