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Old 03-12-2011, 09:39 PM
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Default avocado tree leaves

Hi everyone! I am still kinda new to everything but I just finished my first real vivarium. I am looking for some leaf litter to cover the substrate. I know that oak and magnolia leaves work well, but I was wondering if avocado tree leaves would work. I have, well my neighbors have one and it hang into our yard and there are some dead leaves on the ground. Are the leaves toxic or anything?
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

This is one of those things where asking here isn't best as not many people will have experience. I did a quick search on wikipedia and noticed it can be but might only be if ingested. Did you do a search on the net for it? I think you would of found an answer quite fast. Still though, why risk it right. I use oak leaves from sponsors here and they're awesome! Much better than I could find outside and are thick and decompose slowly and help to create microfauna. Eventually you just add more on top. I also have bags of sea grape leaves and magnolia to mix in though sea grape leaves are pretty huge. I prefer oak and just bought a few more bags today actually.

I wish I could get leaves from the tropics that weren't cleaned once in a while so I can get some weird moss spores in my tank but they find their way in anyway.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

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Originally Posted by DJboston View Post
This is one of those things where asking here isn't best as not many people will have experience. I did a quick search on wikipedia and noticed it can be but might only be if ingested. Did you do a search on the net for it? I think you would of found an answer quite fast. Still though, why risk it right. I use oak leaves from sponsors here and they're awesome! Much better than I could find outside and are thick and decompose slowly and help to create microfauna. Eventually you just add more on top. I also have bags of sea grape leaves and magnolia to mix in though sea grape leaves are pretty huge. I prefer oak and just bought a few more bags today actually.

I wish I could get leaves from the tropics that weren't cleaned once in a while so I can get some weird moss spores in my tank but they find their way in anyway.
On that note, would it be OK to gather my own Oak leaves? Are there any concerns that make it not worth it? How much do you pay for a bag of leaves?

To the OP, I don't really anything about those leaves, but it seems it may not be worth any possible risk.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:10 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

It would be okay to gather your own leaves so long as you are sure that the area you gather them from has not had exposure to pesticides. If you do collect your own you can either boil them or bake them. I boil mine for about 15 minutes and then set them out to dry in the sun in a plastic bag. I have had no problems. If you don't bake or boil them you could introduce parasites, funguses, bacterias, or other unknown toxins into the viv you put them in. A bag of leaves can cost $3- $7 depending on who you buy from.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:13 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

Use the search function on the site, there are some good threads that go into more detail- but to sum it up- it should be ok as long as no pesticides have been used on the trees. Many people boil and bake leaves to kill anything that may be harmful, like bugs, etc. that you may not want introduced to your viv. Some will debate that it's not necessary to boil and bake, just collect, let dry, toss in viv and your done. I would at least let the leaves thoroughly dry out before placing in the viv if it were me. Hope that helps.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

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Originally Posted by Redhead87xc View Post
It would be okay to gather your own leaves so long as you are sure that the area you gather them from has not had exposure to pesticides. If you do collect your own you can either boil them or bake them. I boil mine for about 15 minutes and then set them out to dry in the sun in a plastic bag. I have had no problems. If you don't bake or boil them you could introduce parasites, funguses, bacterias, or other unknown toxins into the viv you put them in. A bag of leaves can cost $3- $7 depending on who you buy from.
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Use the search function on the site, there are some good threads that go into more detail- but to sum it up- it should be ok as long as no pesticides have been used on the trees. Many people boil and bake leaves to kill anything that may be harmful, like bugs, etc. that you may not want introduced to your viv. Some will debate that it's not necessary to boil and bake, just collect, let dry, toss in viv and your done. I would at least let the leaves thoroughly dry out before placing in the viv if it were me. Hope that helps.
I appreciate it guys! Definitely have access to lots of leaves in wooded areas with no pesticide worries. Boiling or baking seems easy enough. Thanks!

Sorry to the OP, didn't mean to get off topic.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

I use a mixture of coffee, schefflera and avocado leaves from my own trees. I have lots of springs, and no problems with my frogs.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

You can use oak leaves from outside. Just bake them or boil. I have oak leaves here but don't use them because they're just not the same as the ones I order. The ones I get get from a sponsor are thick and sturdy and shaped like something you'd see on a rain forest floor. The oak leaves here are thin and different. I've found cool thick leaves here in some shrub bushes. I've used them before if I run out. I boil them just to be safe. The live oak leaves I order I don't boil. Always hoping they have cool moss spores on them.

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Old 03-13-2011, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

I have heard Avocado is toxic to Iguanas and Tortoises.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

Both Iguanas and Tortoises will eat any leafy green you put in their cage. They'd probably just get sick though.

Don't get me started on why iguanas shouldn't be sold in pet stores lol 99% of iguanas meet a horrible fate at the hands of inexperienced and misinformed keepers. Very sad they're sold as good pets when in fact only people with the means to care for them should take them. Off topic I know...but it's one of the reasons I stopped working at pet stores for fun. I can't deal with herpers other than frog enthusiasts these days. Drive me nuts! lol
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

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Originally Posted by DJboston View Post
Both Iguanas and Tortoises will eat any leafy green you put in their cage. They'd probably just get sick though.

Don't get me started on why iguanas shouldn't be sold in pet stores lol 99% of iguanas meet a horrible fate at the hands of inexperienced and misinformed keepers. Very sad they're sold as good pets when in fact only people with the means to care for them should take them. Off topic I know...but it's one of the reasons I stopped working at pet stores for fun. I can't deal with herpers other than frog enthusiasts these days. Drive me nuts! lol
Actually my reference was for the fruit, not foliage. And as far as tortoises go having had my herd of Redfoots since 1992, they are actually smart enough to not eat many toxic items that I have observed first hand, such as Liriope, Scheflera lg and smm leaf, Allamanda, Milkweed, Etc. Also eating carrion as they frequently do , I came accross 2 eating a fruit rat that had been poisoned and they knew enough to not eat the stomach which visibly still contained D-con rat poison. They are not dumb, I would suspect Iguanas to be somewhat intelligent as well.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

I agree. Yes I was referring to leaves which I read CAN be bad. Tortoises I've owned over the years appear to pick through their food. A red foot I used to own that I gave to a friend when I went to college, used to pick through his food to get to the strawberries. I had to stop feeding strawberries and got him back on his healthier choices as he was ignoring them lol You quickly learn what they like. This was in 2001 when I gave him away. I had him for 5 years. I would of been more educated on diet this time around if I had him. I referred to a lot of older and outdated books at the time and I'm sure diet has come a long way. Even with tortoises, there are people that feed lettuce and that's it. Very sad as they definitely need a very varied diet.


They eat carion in the wild? I didn't know that! Very cool. I'd love to have the space for a tortoise these days but only space to specialize in frogs. I miss the days of having a massive herp collection with no rhyme or reason for what I owned lol I remember in my teens having one of everything but very rarely picked up breeding pairs instead of just having tons of different pets. I guess I don't miss those days and am over it lol Dart frogs are just more advanced and fun to watch...plus fun to specialize in and keep my rack looking professional and my supplies along the same line.

A lot of old herpers moved onto dart frogs and sold all their other herps and never looked back! It happens frequently I bet.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

Actually you want to see something really bizzar, torts love dog droppings, they wait for the dog to go out in the am. And this old herper has not given up on his original animals, snakes, lizards, turtles, torts, all fun.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

haha that's crazy. Are you referring to large tortoises like Sulcatta? The only sulcattas I've owned are babies that I got in a trade and raised them for a few months while I sold them off. Never had the space to grow out an adult sulcatta. Too big and I'd want to give them outdoor pens dug into the ground all year round. Not possible in Massachusetts.

I still love herps of all kinds. I just don't like the state of the hobby. Too many meat heats that think the bigger the better. Interesting small species are overlooked by these guys who are compensating for something else. I was big into small austrailian pythons and some of the smaller boids around the world. Chameleons as well. As far as fascinating, nothing compares to poison dart frogs and vivarium design. It's on another level. But, some day I would like to own a "pet" reptile again if I had the space. Or maybe even grab a breeding pair of green tree pythons as they seem to still be reserved for seasoned keepers in many ways and are gorgeous. Some day!
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:48 AM
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Actually they are Redfoots.And the real mess is when the Basset Hound tries to feed on theres, I am never bored around here.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: avocado tree leaves

Threads like this are why I love Dendroboard. You guys not only provided info really quickly, but ALSO go off on awesome tangents!
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