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I recently ran into multiple references here and elsewhere to Indian Almond Leaf (IAL), and I was curious to find out how it is used--whole or ground, and how prepared--and whether it is solely used for breeding bettas. I read that tannins in the leaves have antibiotic properties, but the person who reported this also admitted she had no "scientific evidence" that this was the case. I did a search in the archives and did not really find the explanation I was looking for, though if you could direct me to an illuminating thread, that would be great. Thanks.
 

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I know other members have recorded good experiences & that their bettas have been healed by the natural antibiotics/tannins ;)

You would only use a whole leaf though........it is good to have one in the water to balance the nitrates & also helps make sure the ammonia doesn't get to an exceedingly high level.

http://www.thaicatappa.com/index.php?lay=show&ac=article&Id=539123796


Benefits of INDIAN ALMOND LEAVES ^

- Anti-Bacteria properties
- Promote vibrant colorations.
- Stimulate black water conditions.
- Improve water conditions.


(You know about a year ago though......I found out the tannins leached out of acorns & oak leafs also works the same magic ;)
 

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^ Exactly what Ethan said. Tannis is also found in drift wood and maple leaves. :)
You would have to make sure that the leaves are dried though. A green leaf won't do anything, lol.
I've also used decaf green tea. It has the same properties as tannis.
 

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I buy my IAL leaves on ebay, they aren't expensive. They are too big to be used whole unless you have a big tank, so I break mine into smaller pieces.

You can either float them dry in the tank or in treated dechlorinated water which you add to the tank.

Here's a pic of one of my bowls treated with IAL, to give you an idea of the water colour.

 

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IAL is better, if you can get it. :)

I've tried a couple of different methods. I've boiled them, then reduced the mixture to create IAL extract, but it tended to go icky. Now I prefer just to use whole leaves. In my 5 gallon quarantine tank, I have four leaves forming the substrate. It turns the water a nice golden colour. My leaves are nearly a year old, though, so I need a lot more of them to get the same effect as a couple of new ones would give.

I'm not sure about the antibiotic properties, etc, but I can report that it encourages bubblenesting in my males and has appeared to help with fin rot. :)
 

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I'd love to use crushed IAL as the substrate in one of my tanks!

I rinse my IAL (ordered from eBay) under cold water and trim the very end of the leaf (where the base would attach to the tree) off before adding to the tank; Kaze always builds bigger nests when the leaves are in the tank. It's great!
 
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