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Old 03-30-2012, 06:18 AM   #1 
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Tea has stained my bettas...

After a bit of research, I decided to put rooibos tea into my tanks. It appeared to relax my skittish male and made him feel a lot safer in the tank.

But it stained him.
He was vibrant white and blue. Now he is muddy cream/tan and muddy blue. It is a bit shocking. There are no other changes in his behavior, so I am entirely certain it is due to the tea. I am removing it from the water with water changes, but still...

The female has also been stained, but not as seriously as the male.

I was thinking about picking up some IALs, but will they do this too? Has anyone else experienced this with tea?
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:29 AM   #2 
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I use a heap of IAL in my betta and killifish tanks and have never noticed any difference in colouration. If anything, it makes their colours much more vibrant and bright.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #3 
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Location: Australia fish have never lost their colour under IAL, they've just brightened up.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:30 PM   #4 
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Tannis being released into the water will not have any adverse effect towards the Betta resulting in stinging the Betta. The most likely reasoning to this specific situation could be be the fact of tannins naturaly staining the water then in which could leave the fact of changing the bettas appearance from the brown waterm but when placed in clear water the colors will show again normally

Another possible symptom could be due to the fact of tannins naturally lowering the PH, and hardness within the tank. Which means that a tank with an already relatively low PH, and hardness meaning that the parameters could go lower resulting in a stressful level which then could lead to dilluted colors.

Or it could be due to the water parameters being so low in the tank, with a somewhat high differential between tap water which would mean if water during water changes is introduced at an accelerated rate it could end up resulting in a sudden change in parameters which would then also lead to dilluted colors and a low immune system

Also, if he seems to have a very improved behaviour in which he acts more lively and isn't as stressed then I would leave the tank as it is, and keep the tea in there as he seems to enjoy the slightly stained water which has a very good effect

Last edited by Mo; 03-30-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:31 PM   #5 
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I assure you, he is definitely stained. It is probably not from the tannins - my guess is from the other components in the tea. I doubted myself on it, but after doing some water changes with the water slowly changing back (mostly) clear, he is most definitely colored differently... With a cast of brown over his entire body.

It has also been going away bit by bit now that the water is more clear.

I am wondering if maybe tiny suspended particles of tea stained (got stuck to or imbedded in) his slime coating. I think this is probably the most likely culprit, not the tannins. This is why I was curious about IALs - I doubt they would have such a problem as there isn't much other than the tannins leeching out.

The ph was only minimally different when I changed the water - a 50% change of 7.0 into a 6.8 tank isn't going to be that stressful. Plus, his other colors didn't get washed out - they are just as dark but with a sort of overcast of brown.

I will probably stick with the tea until I can get some IALs, but leave it in the water only long enough to yellow the water a bit.
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