Originally Posted by bearwithfish
so any breeders out there have experience with using tea leaves? i personally have not used them and hear they are wonderful. why? what do you do? what benefits are there? fill us in
I don't know the chemistry of IAL, so you could go to Bettysplendens and read the Betta Health & Care section.
IMO, it all comes down to water quality. If your water source is suitable for bettas and you keep its quality in good condition, you don't really need IAL.
I don't use IAL for breeding unless the fry are showing problems (not eating, tail closed, etc).
Actually other leaves can be used as well (here, some fruit leaves and other plants). They aren't as effective as IAL but they serve the same purpose, brighter colors and happier betta.
Here, people use it in different ways. Some just place the leaves in the tank (a bit dirty), while others would make a thick solution then cup it into the fish tank. Some would even use hot water to make the solution (I don't do this because I don't want to change its chemistry).
In all cases, you don't need to make the water dark brown. You only want a yellow brown color. The amount of leaves to be used depends on the age of the leaves. Older leaves (darker color) are best. About 1/4 of a leaf is more than enough for a 1.25g of water.