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asquirrel

keeping cinnamon sticks and oak leaves in tank - how long?

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asquirrel

Hi folks,

First time poster.  How long to I keep the cinnamon sticks in my tank?  I noticed that after a while the sticks develop a fuzzy film on the outside.  Looks almost like mold.  Is it biofilm?  Can my red cherry shrimp eat the stuff safely?  Should I brush it off after every tank cleaning? 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Xcptr986IgR3wVxZvAAJyq2wpSqDMf9s

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1B7nTePsEX5Xj9tWtAyLYOPj26-IqwSfY

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-wU7Yds4Yq-x-mZQ52Cl-aufJ3luYabA

The oak leaves don't seem to develop this fuzz.  My red cherry shrimps, amano shrimps, and nerite snails seem to be eating the oak leaves and shredding them up nicely.  I'm thinking I'll just keep them in there until they completely break down but wanted to check with you folks if there's a limit on how long I should keep them in for.  Thanks for your help!

In case you are wondering, here's my tank parameters.  PH 7.5 - 7.8, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0-5ppm,  temp approx 72f.  GH - 6, KH - 2. 

Tank has been running for three years now.  Have 12 red cherry shrimp (down from about 50 but I might have figured out the problem - temp was too high and maybe overfeeding).  Three Amano shrimp.  Three nerite snails and one giant mystery snail named Cthulhu.  Also one Emerald Cory catfish.

Also,  I have some cuttlebone in there, some egg shells and this week I've been putting a generic tums tablet in too. The shrimp really seem to like the tums.  For food they now get 1 Hikari Crab Cuisine pellet,  Once wardley, shrimp pellet, one quarter of an omega one veggie round, and four wardley tropical fish flakes.  They get that every night.  I also have some tetra blood worms but I've been holding off on them for about a month now b/c I wasn't sure if that was the cause of the shrimp deaths.

Also, had some slugs that were multiplying like crazy.   I've killed about 90% of them from my last water change.  Put some Prazipro in there.  Going to do one more dose tomorrow (water change every 7 days - take about 50% out now - was taking 25% out before but shrimp were dying). 

Here's the google drive link in case you want to look at the slugs:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lfawG88WmWWAm7v8AgoMr_ZF-8-YaqTm

 

Edited by asquirrel

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jayc
9 hours ago, asquirrel said:

Looks almost like mold.  Is it biofilm?  Can my red cherry shrimp eat the stuff safely?  Should I brush it off after every tank cleaning? 

Hi.

It's a fungus. It's not biofilm, and the shrimp won't eat it. It's not harmful either, only unsightly.

You can brush it off under tap water. But it should go away after a while.

 

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asquirrel

Thank you JayC! 🙂  It had much more fuzz before so I had thought the shrimp had eaten it.  Do you mind if I ask you what causes the fungus to go away if I just let the cinnamon stick sit in the tank?

Edited by asquirrel
needed to add more stuff.

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jayc
5 hours ago, asquirrel said:

what causes the fungus to go away if I just let the cinnamon stick sit in the tank

I'm not sure. 

But I think, new wood like dirftwood, that have been submerged releases something that encourage the growth of fungus. As the wood stops releasing this ... "thing", mineral or chemical, the fungus has nothing to feed on and disappears.

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sdlTBfanUK

Sorry to be late to this one but I have just been watching a video on cinnamon bark. It says that it MUST be boiled and simmered for 15 minutes before it goes into the tank, I guess that kills anything that may be on it like fungus.

I put oak leaves in the tank and that's it, I don't ever remove them but they take a while to decompose and get eaten etc. 

I got some weird looking nut shells sent to me when I bought the shrimp and they got covered in fungus so I just discarded them, but maybe I should have boiled them first - fungus never grew on anything else in the tank, inc driftwood!

Hope this may be of some help? If you try boiling and it works I would be interested to know for the future!

Simon 

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asquirrel

Hi sdlTBfanUK,

Thanks for the info!  With my cinnamon sticks, I had boiled them for about 20 minutes before I put them in.  Read about that I think on a another forum.   Nevertheless, there was some fuzz on them.  I'm not sure if the shrimp ate it or the fungus died.  It's mostly gone now.  The shrimp really seem to like the fuzz or whatever it is that's on the  stick.  Cleaned the tank yesterday.  Good news is another 8 days have gone by and I only lost my one ghost shrimp.  Check this out to see the shrimp and the fuzz:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ENT1sfUuUtB5JsqWLHm_w2hVcMR7MeHR

 

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jayc

Yeah, boiling wood, driftwood or even cinnamon sticks is no guarantee the wood does not grow fuzz.

I have had many new driftwood grow fungus in a tank even after boiling them. So it's got to be something else. Hence my suggestion above that it releases something that encourages the fungus to grow. The boiling might sterilise the wood. But that is not where the fungus is coming from. Fungus spores are already in the water, in the tank. It will blow in air from outside. It's everywhere.

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sdlTBfanUK
1 hour ago, jayc said:

Yeah, boiling wood, driftwood or even cinnamon sticks is no guarantee the wood does not grow fuzz.

I have had many new driftwood grow fungus in a tank even after boiling them. So it's got to be something else. Hence my suggestion above that it releases something that encourages the fungus to grow. The boiling might sterilise the wood. But that is not where the fungus is coming from. Fungus spores are already in the water, in the tank. It will blow in air from outside. It's everywhere.

Thats handy to know for future reference. I only had it once and only when the tank was first set up and on these weird nut things. The shrimps stayed away from it and it looked yuck so I just threw them away, there was other wood in the tank but it didn't grow on that. If they had been eating it I may have left it in there but they stayed well away and it grew ridiculously fast! I thought at the time it may have been as it was a newly set up tank. It certainly looked a lot different to the photos in this thread. 

Simon 

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Zoidburg

With as few shrimp as you have, you probably only need to feed them 1-3 times a week... and if you are providing natural sources of food, i.e. leaves, you could probably feed them 1x a week or less.
 

If I remember correctly, you want to useceylon cinnamon, not cassia cinnamon, for tanks, so it may also be a good idea if you can confirm the type of cinnamon you have. Otherwise, should be okay to leave in tank.

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asquirrel

Hi Zoidburg!  Good to know about the feeding.  I've got so much food though I'll never be able to use it all before it goes bad.  I wish I had known earlier I didn't have to feed them much.  I do have that emerald cory cat + the snails and I want to make sure they have enough to eat.  One not too large meal a day seems to be working for everyone.

Ceylon vs. Cassia.  I  don't know what kind I have in there.  I buy it at the Christmas tree shop. 

When I was trying to figure out which is which, I came across this link.  Marks Shrimp Tank guy on YouTube uses Cassia.  At least from what I could see on this Reddit thread.

https://www.reddit.com/r/shrimptank/comments/7d9oe0/cinnamon_in_shrimp_tanks/

Here's his YouTube video on it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PnwRdCPoZY

I'm thinking though it's raw ceylon based on this ebay posting:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/100-FINEST-REAL-Sri-Lanka-CEYLON-CINNAMON-Sticks-ALBA-PURE-HIGH-QUALITY-SPICES/123261098806?hash=item1cb2ef1b36:m:mZTz4cTB_FepxCpM-vuw1Qg:rk:4:pf:0

I looked at the pictures on this site:

https://www.ceylon-cinnamon.com/Identify-Ceylon-Cinnamon.html

and comparing what I have to the pictures, I think I'm using Cassia.  The bark is thick and it smells fairly strong of cinnamon. 

What's the risk of using Cassia?

 

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Zoidburg

I would recommend removing the cinnamon then. Only thing I can find for sure is that cassia has too much cumarin in it (what makes it smell?) where-as true cinnamon, ceylon, has much less. I don't know how that affects animals, but even in other species (dogs, birds, etc) I've always seen ceylon recommended. Never cassia.

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asquirrel

Thanks Zoidburg for that info.  My wife is coming home with what hopefully will be ceylon.  If it's the stuff I'll boil it for 20 minutes (and make myself a cup of tea) and then put it in the tank after it cools a bit.

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