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beanbag

"Vacation food" didn't work as expected

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beanbag

Hello folks,

To prepare for a vacation, I did a four day test run.  I put in a pellet of "snowflake" (soy husk) food as well as a boiled leaf of mulberry.  Here's what happened:

day 1: The shrimp swarmed the snowflake and ate 75% of it.  They didn't touch the mulberry leaf.

day 2: Some chewed on the leaf, and about 85% of the snowflake was gone now.

day 3: Maybe they ate the leaf and maybe they didn't, but it started to grow some fuzz.  Snowflake 90% gone

day 4: Nobody eating the leaf, and it's growing more mold on it.  They aren't really eating the rest of the snowflake either.  Something happened to it where they pick at it, and then it sticks to their legs, and they frantically wave that leg around, like "Ahhh, get it off! Get it off!"  Or they'll chew it a little bit and then spit it out.

day 5: I removed the leaf, which was slimy and deteriorated and moldy.  I also gravel-vacuumed around the snowflake area which had a lot of shrimp poo and remnant flakes that stuck to the substrate pellets.

 

Anyway, I sort of expected the leaf to last longer and not "go bad".

Edited by beanbag

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jayc
1 hour ago, beanbag said:

boiled leaf of mulberry.

How long did you boil the leaf? Maybe boiling it for too long has caused it to get mouldy faster if it wasn't eaten.

It should really be blanched - that means no more than 3-4 minutes in just boiling water (as in not super aggressive boiling water).

4 days away is not very long for shrimp. You could even feed them the day you leave. And nothing until you return on the 4th day.

For longer periods then you would feed them normal food the day before leaving. Then on the day of leaving, drop in one feed of normal food. A couple of pellets of snow flake (depending on the amount of shrimp). Blanched leaves, fresh leaves and dried Catappa leaves (IAL). I have done this for a 2 week trip.

The combination of blanch, fresh and dried leaves mean that the shrimp will "theoretically" eat them in stages. As the blanched leaf is eaten, the fresh leave should be getting to the point where is starts getting soft enough for them to eat it. Of course, the dried leaf will be in there the longest.

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beanbag
4 minutes ago, jayc said:

How long did you boil the leaf?

I dropped it in boiling water and then turned off the heat.  Waited approx 5 minutes until the dried leaf looked waterlogged.

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sdlTBfanUK

I may be misreading this, but did you 'blanch' a dried leaf?? I thought you only blanch fresh leaves (like fresh organic spinach) but dried just go straight into the tank and as JayC says the dried break down much slower? That is what I do?

To blanch I put the fresh leaves (or frozen) in a cup, pour enough water in the cup from a newly  boiled kettle to cover the leaves. Put cup in microwave for 1 minute on full and ready to go into the tank once cooled!

Simon

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sdlTBfanUK
2 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I may be misreading this, but did you 'blanch' a dried leaf?? I thought you only blanch fresh leaves (like fresh organic spinach) but dried just go straight into the tank and as JayC says the dried break down much slower? That is what I do?

To blanch I put the fresh leaves (or frozen) in a cup, pour enough water in the cup from a newly  boiled kettle to cover the leaves. Put cup in microwave for 1 minute on full and ready to go into the tank once cooled!

Simon

Maybe you can boil dried leaves as I see JayC posted this on one of your previous posts? I never have boiled dried leaves so maybe you should go with JayC advice and ignore my post above??

https://skfaquatics.com/forum/topic/14129-how-come-my-indian-almond-leaves-dont-break-down/

Simon

 

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jayc

You can blanch a dried leaf like IAL, which has the effect of removing some tannins and causes the dried leaf to soften and breakdown faster than a non-blanched dried leaf.

If you freeze the leaf, there is no need to blanch it again. Freezing breaksdown the leaf's cell walls, and has the same effect as boiling/blanching the leaf. So you can choose one or the other. We blanch because it is a lot faster than waiting for the leaf to freeze.

 

 

 

 

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beanbag

Next time I will just drop in a non-heated, dried mulberry leaf and see what happens.

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