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Cat nip leaves


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Ok so I have a pot with a cat nip plant that has recently started to go crazy.  I have enough dried to out last my 2 cats and their weekly habbit.  So I've been considering a potted mulberry tree but if the cat nip would be ok for my shrimp that would be even easier.  I think it is closley related to Nettle but I'm not positive.  If anyone has any info on the viability of feeding this to shrimp I'd love to hear it.  Also if someone could possibly point me to a place I could find nutritional information on different herbs/leaves that would be great. 

 

Thanks all for the great community

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I'd like to know this too. I have access to a majority of the leaves that are used in those commercial food mixes, most of which grows right on my property. All 100% organic grown too. :) There was a thread posted on another forum back in 2011 that I've used as a rough guide when I started experimenting with different leaves. It gave me an idea of what to hunt for. Although it doesn't list any nutritional values, I found it to be helpful still. These go beyond the typical Mulberry and Stinging Nettles that most like to feed (myself included). Not sure if it's cool to post the link here, so I just highlighted the "meat" of it:

 

Method:
All plants were picked, rinsed, and promptly parboiled in the microwave for 1 minute. The parboiled leaves were then frozen into ice cubes for storage until testing. The leaves were offered to a small tank (3 gallons) of cherry shrimp after not feeding them for 1 day. The shrimp's immediate reaction was noted and the condition of the leaves after 12 hours and 24 hours was recorded. Leaves were removed after 24 hours. No attempt was made to standardize portion size.

Only a single test was done for each leaf type. It is entirely possible that repeated testing would reveal different results. If you try these foods and find that your shrimp react differently, please post your results on this thread. Additionally, some of the plants took much longer to be consumed than others simply because of the quantity available. 

Results:
Apple leaves:
These were very well received. Juvenile shrimp were interested immediately, the leaf was partially consumed within a day. **A caution: Fruit trees are often treated for insects. If you do not know for certain that the tree has not been treated this season, do not use the leaves.**
Immediate: Juveniles before it hit the bottom 12h: Several shrimp 24h: Much interest, leaf partially consumed. 2 days: Gone

Clover - White: Surprisingly little interest. 
Immediate: Investigated but ignored 12h: Untouched 24h: Untouched

Dandelion - Young: Dandelion leaves less than 2" in length were chosen. These were very well received by the shrimp and were completely eaten within an hour. Their response to young dandelion leaves was on par to their response to spinach or turnip greens.
Immediate: High interest 12h: Completely consumed 24h: -

Dandelion - Old: Sections of dandelion leaves with length greater than 5" were chosen. Little interest.
Immediate: High initial interest 12h: Almost untouched 24h: Almost untouched

Grape: Smaller leaves were chosen, less than 4" across. These were very well received and were eaten much more like a tree leaf than a spinach leaf. Aside from young dandelion leaves, these were by far the most popular of the plants I tried.
Immediate: High interest 12h: Numerous shrimp eating 24h: Almost consumed, many shrimp still eating (I let them finish it, as it seemed mean to take away the leaf while they were enjoying it so much.)

Oxalis: Also known as wood sorrel. These were eaten, but there was not the initial rush to devour them that was seen with dandelions and grapes. A small quantity was used, so it is hard to compare the response to something like a grape leaf.
Immediate: Little interest 12h: Almost consumed 24h: Consumed

Broadleaf Plantain - Young and Old: Two separate tests were done with broadleaf plantains (which are not closely related to the tropical bananas of the same name.) Both were underwhelming.
Immediate: Swarmed by juvenile shrimp 12h: Almost untouched 24h: Almost untouched

Raspberry leaves: Ignored initially, devoured later. I left this in the tank for a few days and it wound up being thoroughly enjoyed. The shrimp treated it much more like a tree leaf than a spinach leaf.
Immediate: Some interest 12h: Untouched 24h: Untouched 4 days: Gone

Rose leaves:
Rose leaves are fairly thick, so I expected them to be treated as a tree leaf. There was a surprising amount of interest in the leaf as soon as it was in the water, however, and the shrimp were still nibbling at it 24 hours later. Four days out, it was consumed completely. **A caution: Roses are some of the most heavily treated plants people keep in their gardens. If you are uncertain about whether a rose bush has been treated, do not use the leaves.**
Immediate: Moderate interest 12h: Appearance unchanged, shrimp still interested 24h: Some holes, shrimp still interested 4 days: Gone

Rose Petal: Very difficult to sink, devoured once it hit bottom. My shrimp rarely swim up to floating food, so there was no surprise when this didn't attract a lot of interest while bumping around at the top of the tank. Gone in a couple of hours once it hit bottom. Times are from when it finally sank. Next spring I hope to test apple, pear, and multiflora rose petals, all closely related plants. **A caution: Roses are some of the most heavily treated plants people keep in their gardens. If you are uncertain about whether a rose bush has been treated, do not use the petals. I personally would avoid any and all commercially purchased flower petals as well.**
Immediate: Frenzy 12h: Gone 24h: Still Gone icon_smile.gif

Wild Strawberry: Very surprising, but these were completely ignored.
Immediate: No interest 12h: Untouched 24h: Untouched

 

 

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I have a few leaves I washed and am drying now I'm gonna move a single shrimp into a new tank I just finished cycling and see what happens.  If it eats on it and survives I'll try it on my cull tank and go from there.

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Madcrafted:  Nice work!  Keep us posted...  I've only used oak and maple leaves as I've got a lot of that in my area.  They like them better if they're boiled to soften them up, but don't go crazy over them.  Their favorite has always been boiled mulberry leaves.  They go after them like candy, so I always use them as a baseline comparison...  But the oak and maple make good bottom litter and probably grow biofilm pretty well.

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  • 1 month later...

Well so far they do not like them as much as mulberry but more than ginko,maple,grape,or IA. But if i put them in with a mulberry leaf they go to that. I have just been clipping a leaf hear or there and letting them dry ontop of my beamswork fishtank light. Once dry i put them in my rcs tank and the next morning they have sunk and are covered in shrimp as long as there are no mulberry leaves in there.

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None of my shrimp seem to go for the almond leaves. Grape are nice becsuse they take a long time to break down. Ginko have still not broken down all the wsy to their Skelton and iv had them in my tank for over a month. Has anyone tried black Walnut leaves? From reading it seems like they have lots of antiviral n antibacterial properties but the pspers never specify what type of walnut leaves

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It seems to be a toss up with the stinging nettles and mulberry as far as consumption goes. I just filled up a kiddie pool with the nettles a few days ago for the last harvest of the year, they were nearly 8 foot tall when I chopped them. These plants are very invasive and would take over my entire back yard if I let them. They all started as little sprouts around the compost bin from what I guess was a dropped cluster of seeds. Now they own the compost bin. I mean I have to literally chop a path if I want to make compost. It's a 9 foot triple bin and they have covered the whole front from side to side and about 8 feet in front of it. Between that and the three black mulberry trees, I've got shrimp food for days. 

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What do the nettles supply that the mulberry dont or vise versa?

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Stinging nettles is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium (43%/13% respectively). I shade dry some of them for winter storage. Otherwise I feed fresh with a quick boil or freezing... either way, doesn't matter much.

 

Mulberry provides many benefits. it contains many vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that contain antioxidants. It's also a good source of fiber. I like to feed these fresh as well as when they fall. 

 

 I've experimented with others but always circle back to these. They readily accept them (tear into most times) and they grow around my house, so I can easily pluck fresh during spring and summer. 

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Wow, that's good info!  It also looks like they're a good source of iron and other vitamins and minerals.  Here's a link:  https://www.livestrong.com/article/517716-nettle-kidney-function/

 

Might want to dry them and then boil first though, to remove the histamine on the hairs of the leaves and stems?  Maybe?

 

I've got a lot of that growing around my house!  I'm going to pick and dry some...

 

:)

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Plucked and boiled, dried and boiled...doesn't matter that much. Only difference I've noticed is that when I feed them dried and boiled, they will start eating it right away because it's much softer and easier for them to pick apart. They'll eat the stem and all within 24 hours. When fresh plucked, they wait for it to break down and soften up some. By the next day, they'll swarm it. By the 3rd day, there's not much left but a skeleton. I usually just pull the uneaten stem out unless one is hanging on to it for dear life. 

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Yeah, same for me.  They like it boiled because it's softer and easier for them to eat, I think.  If it hasn't been boiled it takes a day for it to soften enough for them...

1 hour ago, madcrafted said:

I usually just pull the uneaten stem out unless one is hanging on to it for dear life. 

 LOL!

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  • 1 year later...

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