Banana Leaves in an Aquarium
Banana leaves are very similar to Indian almond catappa leaves and have been found to have healing and stress-relieving properties.
Banana Leaves have anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and thus help to keep the water free from pathogens, resulting in healthier and stronger fish. They also provide shelter as they float on the surface while saturating.
Benefits of adding Banana Leaves to a Fish Tank:
- Lowers Ammonia levels, high ammonia can be lethal to livestock
- Lowers pH levels, softening water - ideal for sensitive species like Neon Tetra
- Encourages breeding and spawning, especially with shrimp and Siamese Fighter Fish
- High cencentration of tannins
- Has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, beneficial to fish health
- Adds tannins to the aquarium water, a subtle brown tint
- Creates a nice interesting feature in your aquarium
How many Banana Leaves can I add to my Fish Tank?
There are no set rules about adding dried Banana leaves to an aquarium, as they are not harmful to livestock, but It is recommended that you use one piece per 25 litres in your aqaurium.
Leaves can be trimmed if desired for smaller aquaria, and will expand in your aquarium. You must remember that each leaf releases tannins, so your water will discolour brown. The more you add, the darker the tint becomes.
As the leaves degrade and break down, they may also clog filtration inlets or leave waste on your aquarium floor, which you will need to clear over time.
How do I add Banana Leaves to my Aquarium?
You can place Banana Leaves directly into your aquarium. They will float and expand for a couple days, gradually sinking and releasing tannins over a period of weeks as they saturate.
You can pre-soak them in cold water for a day prior to adding to release tannins and ensure they sink. Doing this will also decrease the discoloration of your water.
Are Banana Leaves Good for Aquariums?
Banana leaves are used as a botanical in blackwater and shrimp tanks. They release beneficial tannins and are also a food source for micororganisms and invertebrates such as shrimp and snails. Persimmon, oak, guava, mulberry, magnolia, and loquat leaves are some other aquarium-friendly botanicals.
What will Banana Leaves do for my Fish?
Banana Leaves and bark are commonly used for conditioning and care of shrimp and Bettas but are suitable for all freshwater fish. They are believed to aid the fish by relieving stress, improving fertility, and have properties beneficial for fish health and vigour.
Leaves reduce pH in water, aid in the recovery of diseased or damaged fish. They also provide shelter and hiding places for aquarium inhabitants.
How long do Banana Leaves last in an Aquarium?
Banana Leaves will typically last around 3-5 weeks in an aquarium, possibly longer. If you have shrimp or plecos in your fish tank, they may actively break them down more quickly. They will keep indefinitely when dry and stored in a cool dark place.