Homemade Betta Spa


Indian Almond leaves are found in the natural habitats of bettas in Thailand. Adding the Tannins from IAL to domestic bettas tanks has been reported to do the following:

-Promote breeding and spawning behavior
-Harden scales
-Make the bubbles in a bubblenest stronger and stickier
-Boost the immune system of a sick betta

And many other things

Homemade Betta Spa

Here's a step-by-step guide to making your own bettaspa out of Indian Almond leaves, this is an easy process and in the end is much less expensive then constantly buying betta spa at $5 for a 25 ounce bottle that is half as strong as this.

*Please Note: Oak leaves are about 99% compatible with Indian Almond leaves, so if you can't get any IAL (which can be purchased on Aquabid) you can use Oak leaves, make sure they're dried and haven't been sprayed with any chemicals/pesticides

*You will need a 6 qt. pot, 20 Indian almond leaves, a container to put the finished product in.



Step one: Fill the pot with 1 gallon (4 qt.) of water and put the leaves in. Bring the water to a good boil, then reduce the heat and leave the water on a slow boil (or a simmer) for an hour.



Step Two: After one hour turn the heat all the way down and let the leaves steep in the water for another hour.



Step Three: Take out the leaves and place them in a plastic zip lock baggie. Then bring the remaining solution back up to a boil and let it reduce until there's about 1/4 of the original amount of water (in this case 1/4 of a gallon)

Step Four: Let the solution cool and then place into awaiting container, it should be a dark brown, almost black.


Repeat steps 1 - 4 with the same leave again, except this time slow boil them for 2 hours, then you can throw them out because by then there'll be pretty much nothing left in them.

Add one tsp. per gallon to your bettas tanks or your spawn tanks, it should turn the water a nice light rich tea color.


*Please note that this can be done with different amounts of leaves, for example I used 1/4 gallon of water and 5 Indian Almond Leave, and it made 16 oz. of Betta Spa.

Keep resulting "Betta Spa" refrigerated, it will stay good much longer!


Very cool and neat. I should try it sometime



.Very interesting.


I have a large Oak tree in my backyard... Will that work? Only 20 Oak leaves will be good?


Oak leaves will work! Make sure they're dried and that they haven't been treated with any type of chemicals! You don't have to use 20, that will make A LOT of home made betta spa. I would suggest cutting the amounts in 1/4 only use 5 leaves and 1/4 gallon of water, this will get you about 16 oz. of Spa, you only need to use a small amount to achive the right coloration in the water!


Interesting! I would love to try it but I don't have the time


Sounds cool!


So oak leaves definitely work? I think I know where to get some (right outside XD) but I can't be sure whether or not they've been sprayed, I'll have to go to the mountain. But they ARE ok right? what's your source?


Heres some info from aquariumwiki.com

Oak Leaves
Dried Oak leaves can be used in aquariums to add tannins and essential minerals to aid the health of your aquatic animals and plants.
If used in large amounts they will also reduce the pH of the water.
It also suppresses bad bacteria and fungus and aids the development of fish fry and tadpoles by promoting infusoria growth.
See Bogwood and Indian Almond Leaves for more details.

Used by many KillI fish keepers.


Only collect dry leaves during autumn/early winter that have naturally fallen off or just about to. Keep the leaves in a air proof bag and they will keep for many months.
Do not collect leaves near a road or at the edge of a farmer field as it may have chemicals on it.
Do not collect leaves with bird droppings on them.


Some people don't like the tannins given off by Oak leaves, so boil them in water to hasten their release or use less leaves.
This boiling process destroys the naturally good bacteria, fungus and infusoria on them.
So if you don't want the tannins, but do wish the health benefits, use less leaves.
Rinse the leaf under tap water to remove any possible containments.

I was told about Oak leaves on a forum I used to frequent a long time ago, but just google oak leaves in aquariums if you're not sure or want more info.

Betta/Horse lover

Great thread JustFlareIt I should try that some time.


Question: What about just putting the leaf (oak or IAL) in the tank directly?

Another one: Is it ok to use for non-spawning, non-sick bettas, or should it only be used for spawning or sick bettas?


Its great for any bettas! Helps to keep them healthy and happy, you don't need to add a lot, just a small amount, just enough to slightly tint the water. Add a little more though if you're breeding or treating a sick fish.

You can add the whole leaf, or a small part of a leaf if you chose to. But you need to be careful because the leaves will rot pretty fast in the water and can pollute the tank, and you also can't control the amount of tannins added to the water if you just put the leaf in.


Ah, rotting, didn't think of that! I'll have to call up my mom and see if she has dried oak leaves in her yard - she has the kind of trees with the smaller leaves - will any oak leaf work?

ETA just googled, her oaks are live oaks


I'd love to try that!! But I don't know where to find them in my country


Pro tip! Thanks JFI!

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