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Old 10-14-2016, 02:04 PM
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Default Leaf Litter

I've see numerous posts about what types of leaves people like to use and why. But does anyone do anything to clean/treat leaves before adding them to a vivarium? I would like to just grab leaves from my yard and even though I don't have my yard treated or anything I am always cautious when it comes to the health of my animals.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I for one am hitting up the oak trees in my neighborhood once they start dropping.

Don't care if I look like a weirdo... I'm sick of paying $5 + shipping for a ziplock bag of leaves. Possible the most ridiculous thing I've ever bought I could pick up a 10 year supply in 10 minutes.

I'm not exactly sure what the processing entails. I believe they're washed and then baked in the oven until dried. Try the search up there top right.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I always do a search first. Maybe I'm just not using the right keywords but I am not getting much of anything.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

Quote:
Originally Posted by jshields View Post
I always do a search first. Maybe I'm just not using the right keywords but I am not getting much of anything.
Yep me either I know I've seen instructions here.

Boil the leaves / soak in hot water. Bake @ 250 for 20-30 minutes or let them air dry.

Best I can come up with. Not very detailed but it seems simple enough.

Edit: Found a thread here
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Last edited by port_plz; 10-14-2016 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I think the main issue behind collecting yourself vs. buying is risk vs. reward. If you go out a collect leaves yourself, depending on where you get them, you may not know what could be on them. Parasites, pesticides, chemicals, etc. Also, if you don't process them the right way or well enough, you run the risk of bringing in a harmful element to your viv and its inhabitants. Medium to high risk.

The alternative is purchasing leaves from a source that has taken the right precautions (hopefully) to collect and process them before distributing them. Low to no risk.

If you are confident in your source, collection and processing methods, and have no fear you'll be introducing harmful elements to your viv - then by all means, save the money and DIY. If you're unsure about all that, then the $5/bag minimal cost seems to justify the peace of mind.

Just my $0.02
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

My thoughts on buying leaf litter. What's the first thing most of us do when we buy plants from many of the vendors that are out there? We bleach wash them (which may or may not do a good job of getting rid of pests), because many times those plants come in with pest insects. I'm not convinced that leaves from those same vendors (which are where most people get their leaf litter if they don't collect it) are any more 'clean' than the plants. Collect your own leaf litter, but do it from your own backyard, or neighbors backyards where you are sure there are no pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers being used on it. Bake it at 275 for 25-20 minutes, and that should be enough to kill all the little hitchhikers on it. Paying for leaf litter makes me cringe inside, it's not worth it.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

Quote:
Originally Posted by TarantulaGuy View Post
My thoughts on buying leaf litter. What's the first thing most of us do when we buy plants from many of the vendors that are out there? We bleach wash them (which may or may not do a good job of getting rid of pests), because many times those plants come in with pest insects. I'm not convinced that leaves from those same vendors (which are where most people get their leaf litter if they don't collect it) are any more 'clean' than the plants. Collect your own leaf litter, but do it from your own backyard, or neighbors backyards where you are sure there are no pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers being used on it. Bake it at 275 for 25-20 minutes, and that should be enough to kill all the little hitchhikers on it. Paying for leaf litter makes me cringe inside, it's not worth it.


For me I just rinse of my plants with warm water don't even bleach em maybe I'm doing it wrong. As for leaf litter I personally prefer to pay the price since it's too annoying traveling 30 mins to the closest park with tons of oak trees and looking like some sketchy weird teenager picking up oak leaves.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

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Originally Posted by DunderBear View Post
For me I just rinse of my plants with warm water don't even bleach em maybe I'm doing it wrong. As for leaf litter I personally prefer to pay the price since it's too annoying traveling 30 mins to the closest park with tons of oak trees and looking like some sketchy weird teenager picking up oak leaves.
A lot of parks are honestly not a great place to get leaf litter. Most cities use some kind of herbicides/pesticides when they're trying to keep an area clear of shrubbery and unwanted creepy crawlies for kids. If it's a natural park that's probably different, but a lot of times those have rules about packing materials out.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

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Originally Posted by TarantulaGuy View Post
A lot of parks are honestly not a great place to get leaf litter. Most cities use some kind of herbicides/pesticides when they're trying to keep an area clear of shrubbery and unwanted creepy crawlies for kids. If it's a natural park that's probably different, but a lot of times those have rules about packing materials out.


Yeah adds on to even more struggles not many oak trees I see everyday.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I get bags and bags of oak leaves from my yard and magnolia leaves from the park in my neighborhood. I do not wash them. I do dry them, sometimes for months before using them. I am usually only picking up freshly fallen leaves.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tardis101 View Post
I get bags and bags of oak leaves from my yard and magnolia leaves from the park in my neighborhood. I do not wash them. I do dry them, sometimes for months before using them. I am usually only picking up freshly fallen leaves.
Is this a public park? Do they fertilize or use pesticides?

My leaf regimen has always been a 10-20 min rolling boil in a large pot, followed by draining and baking for about 45 minutes @ 275*F in thin layers on cookie sheets, or until the material is completely dry. This will NOT sterilize your leaf litter, but it should remove the bulk of common pests that could be problematic.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I boiled them then let them dry out
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

If you're going to be baking leaves always keep a watchful eye. Washing the leaves in a bleach solution before baking helps may help as well.

Be safe!
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:24 AM
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Collecting from the neighborhood or local parks, etc is a bit of a risk especially if you live in a residential area. The general public applies fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides for anything and everything. JMO
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Old 10-20-2016, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I purchase the leaves from vendors for use in the tank because they're thicker and break down slower than the alternatives I could collect locally. I rinse them and boil them for quite a while. I'll do them all in a big batch and store them in bins so I don't have to do it that often. It tends to make my house smell like some kind of sugar house in Vermont.

I've tried collecting magolia leaves locally that I knew were not treated, but didn't end up using them because they were so much thinner than the magnolia grandiflora leaves from the south that I have purchased.

However for things like potting mix or isopod mix that isn't going directly in the frog tank I will collect from places I BELIEVE shouldn't have pesticides or fertilizers, but in that case I rinse/soak/boil them even more than the ones I purchase from vendors.

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Old 10-20-2016, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

All right I'm just going to say it... There isn't a FDA inspection team on leaf litter. Literally, all we have is their word, so to claim that the vendor's leaves are somehow safer is speculative, at best. I don't remember ever seeing an organic certification or lab analysis printout with any of my ziplock bags of leaves

In fact, I know way more about my neighborhood trees than whatever 3rd party the big vendors are getting their leaf litter from. On top of that, I'm pretty sure there is nothing more they can do to ensure their product is safe.

Anyway, just my 2... Of course, if you're unsure of the chemical and/or pesticide exposure then definitely don't try it. I'm close friends with the HOA landscaping committee members so I have no worries.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:51 AM
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Ive used collected leaf litter from out of the way spots in my vivs with great success
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:53 PM
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I collect mine from my regular customers yards when they start to fall a few of them will get me a bag or 2 ready before I get there so I have a good stock for the year to come
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I'm a nobody in this hobby, but I would advise extreme caution in harvesting leaves on your own. here is a prime example on why, and this neighborhood is literally a stones throw from where i am.

Oak Trees to be Removed in Glenville Neighborhood - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

Besides Oak and Magnolia, any one else have any suggestions for types of leaves that work well?

Or types of leaves to fully stay away from?
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

I use guava leaves, they break down kind of slow. Even in my shrimp tanks they break down pretty slow in water.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

[QUOTE=MikeSTL;2816194]I use guava leaves, they break down kind of slow. Even in my shrimp tanks they break down pretty slowfor how long have you


For how long have you been using the guava leaves
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:13 PM
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Leaf Litter

Thanks for the information after I'm done with the leafs I have I will change to guava leaves I now off some trees that I can collect some leafs from that are pesticide of free
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