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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want a natural looking tank. When my cycle completes I was going to trade my plastic plants for some low light/maintenance plants. My local fish shop that I just found regularly carries IAL. Is it okay to use these all the time in your water? How do you use them? Do you just sit them on the surface or do you break them up? When do you change them?
 

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I use IALs in most of my tanks as it gives my wild bettas somewhere to hide and seems to induce bubblenesting and territorial behaviour in my males.

For use with my splendens, I sometimes boil up a few leaves and create a concentrated extract that I add to their water after a water change. But mostly, I put a whole leaf in each week, and take it out once it starts to sink and go soft.

In my wild tanks, I let the leaves sink down to the bottom and break down naturally. I for one, have never noticed any discernible ammonia spike due to the leaves breaking down in the tank, and I've found this encourages the growth of microorganisms that helps feed my fry.
 

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I second LBF. I use IAL all the time in my water and it has no negative effects at all. :) My fish love to pick food off it, and sometimes my cories or bettas rest on it as it starts to sink.
 

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I just use extract to make the water darker, not for any other reason.

I've found IAL pretty useless at doing anything special or medicinal to be honest. However, my males like building nests under them so I just add them in to give them something to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah from I seen it looks like a placebo effect to be honest. I just wanted it to go in my tank to make it more natural looking.
 

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At the very least, the IAL darkens the water, mimicking the betta's natural environment and making him feel more secure. My guys definitely like building nests under them. There are a lot of different ways to use them: some people steep them to make an extract that they then add to the tank, some put IAL in the filter, and others just put them straight in the tank (which is what I do). I take them out when they start feeling slimy.
 

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Anecdotally, the first time my guy built a bubble nest was when his water was heavily IAL'd (a full leaf in a half gallon).

I put crushed up leaves in my gallon water jug where I mix water for changes and float a full or half leaf on top of the water. I take it out when it sinks.
 

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I have actually found that the water seems 'stickier' when I put my IAL in, like I've added Bettafix or something. Odyesseus's usually pathetic bubblenests are definitely more magnificent with a fresh leaf in there giving off leaf juice. :)
 
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