The Indian almond leaf, also known as the Terminalia catappa, is a tropical plant from Asia, Africa, and Australia. The plant in the Ayurveda practice, a system of medicine widely practiced in South Asia.
Scientific studies have shown the medicinal benefits of the plant. T. catappa in a clinical setting has shown to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, wound-healing, hepatoprotective, anticancer, anti-aging, and antioxidant.
Almond leaf is quite popular in India and South Asia. Indian almond leaves are the dried leaves of the Terminalia catappa tree. Indian almond leaf is favored by many betta fish keepers in India. This is not surprising as studies have shown that the leaf has great uses for bettas. Many fish keepers have learned how to use the almond leaf for betta fish. Typically, the leaves are used in blackwater aquariums, which are quite beneficial for betta fish.
pH (abbr. power of hydrogen) is a scale used to specify how acidic or alkaline a water-based solution is. Acidic solutions have a lower pH, while basic solutions have a higher pH.
In the wild, Betta fish accustomed to soft, tinted and acidic water. As fishkeepers, we strive to replicate the natural habitat of our fish. For one, the properties of the almond leaf have the effect of lowering and stabilizing pH levels.
Furthermore, extracts of Indian almond leaf for bettas helps fight against a number of parasites and bacterial pathogens. The leaf releases into the water tannins which considerably reduces water hardness, making the aquarium more habitable for betta fish.
Almond leaves have two main methods in an aquarium. Most commonly, leaves can be dropped directly into the tank. Within a few days, fishkeepers will begin to notice a change in the
However, some people avoid this method because it interferes with the aesthetics of their aquarium. To circumvent the issue, these fishkeepers must use an Indian almond in the form of an extract.
Currently, there notable few commercially available products on the market which provide aquarium-grade extracts. Ocean Nutrition for one, a company founded in 1982 in California, manufacturers Betta SPA, a water conditioner specifically made for Betta fish. The solution is specially formulated to dechlorinate water and contains the Indian leaf extracts.
Betta fish, like much other fish also brood best under a surface and certain conditions. Indian almond leaf provides the perfect platform to do this. It protects both them and the egg from or being swept away. The reduced pH and water hardness enhance brooding in the betta fish.
One of the attractions to almond leaf for betta fish is that the leaves prevent betta fish eggs from spoiling as a result of infections. It is not clear the chemical process that makes this happen, however, it is speculated that a chemical is produced by the same tree that produces the Indian almond leaf and this chemical helps wards off pest animals.
The Indian almond leaf is effective against diseases that target the scales or skin of betta fish. Some argue that T. capatta can treat fungal and bacterial infection better than standard medications like antibiotics. Flavonoids found in the Indian almond leaf are believed to be a cause for the anti-fungal and bacterial properties. The flavonoids and tannins released by the leaf harden the scales and skin of their fish. Thus helping fish avoid damage and heal more quickly.
The baby fish are not exempted from the benefits of Indian Almond Leaf for bettas. Because the fish are small, they need a place to feel safe and they hide beneath the Indian Almond leaf. It is also a source of food for the baby fish. As the leaves begin to break down, some microorganisms called infusoria begin to feed on the leaf. The fish, on the other hand, also feed on the infusoria pending their growth when they can feed on other things.
The properties of the almond leaf have the effect of lowering pH levels in the aquarium.
Anand, Arumugamvijaya, et al. “An Updated Review of Terminalia Catappa.” Pharmacognosy Reviews, vol. 9, no. 18, July 2015, pp. 93–98., doi:10.4103/0973-7847.162103.
“Terminalia Catappa.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Mar. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminalia_catappa.