And so, the predictions start to come true writes Nathan Hill. We've had many discussions in the office that one of the next 'in things' for the trade will be the prolific use of various jungle leaves in aquaria and, lo and behold, they're starting to make an appearance.
Tantora Guava Leaves are long overdue in the trade, for both shrimp (the target market) and, I believe, for fish. Increasingly, leaves are
being introduced that have antibacterial and antifungal properties, and Guava leaves sit high up in the list of those that deliver.
Guava has been used in human medicine (both real and complementary) for a long time. The active ingredients from its leaves have shown significant action against many well-known ‘people’ diseases such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli, Clostridium, Pseudomonas and more.
In a nutshell, this stuff is great at getting rid of undesirable bacteria. Furthermore, it seems to show no adverse effects at standard doses.
In the aquarium, Guava is marketed as both a natural food and antibacterial medication for shrimp. The food side is a no-brainer, as shrimp will eat just about anything, frankly. I suspect I could give them a chunk of glowing Uranium and they’d have a fair old munch right up until they all died.
The antibacterial side does fascinate me, however. There are a few research papers floating about, showing how Guava leaf has been used alongside and in comparison to other conventional treatments in shrimp aquaculture, with good effect. Does it work in the aquarium? I don’t know because I don’t have any shrimp suffering from Vibrio, and nor do I know of anyone struggling with this problem. But if I find someone, I’ll be happy to wing a packet their way and see how it gets on.
One thing I am also interested in seeing though, is whether Guava helps to improve breeding activity. In higher animals at least, the extracts improve sperm quality and production, and for the shrimp breeder if it works just as well on inverts, that can be no bad thing.
Before just racing out and pulling Guava leaves from your nearest botanical gardens, I should express a little caution when it comes to origins. These leaves have a verified background of organic growth, by which I mean grown in absence of pesticides. It’s likely that any Guava leaves you chance across on the floor haven’t had the same luxury.
I’d say that a ten-pack of these is worthwhile, especially if you’re prone to buying up new shrimp or keeping strains from different sources together. And who knows? Maybe there’s something in the sperm quality thing and you’ll end up with more shrimplets than ever.
Price: £4.50 for a pack of ten. More info from hobbyshrimp.co.uk
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