Origin. With a name like “Indian almond leaves,” we suspect these leaves originally came from India. We get ours thru a California company that gets them from Thailand. They undoubtedly now grow them commercially in Thailand.
Before the Origin. Before we finally found a source for these leaves, we kept getting requests for these “magic leaves” or yellow powder that would turn ordinary roundtails into bulletproof fighters. Several of our Asian customers used Black Water Tonic (former name) as the closest solution they could find. We tried to find these magical leaves for years. Most of the information we heard we just chalked up to Southeast Asian Urban Legends.
Couple Years Ago ... We heard the word “tea” in many of the requests, so when MelaFix came on the market, we thought this might be the answer. It’s made from an extract of the teaberry tree and helps wounded fishes heal. We tried it. Good product, but not the reputed magical leaf.
Indian Almond Leaves. Now that we have the leaves, our Southeast Asian betta customers still rave about the benefits of these magic leaves. (They rave even more when we run out.) We tried them ourselves and were impressed. In fact, we tested them on 60 of our bettas. We liked the results also.
Recipes. Use one square-inch of leaf per half-gallon of water for individual fish. Use one leaf per 10-gallon rearing tank for the fry. Use one-leaf per half-filled 10-gallon breeding tank.
Results. First you see your water turn yellow, then brown. The changed water seems to harden their scales. It helps them heal wounds and ward off illnesses. Be careful, because it also makes the male more aggressive at breeding time. On the other hand, it also helps the female recover from any wounds she receives during the breeding process.
The Science. Tannic and humic acids leach into the water to work this magic. It drops the pH in the water and hardens the betta’s scales. This works very similar to Black Water Tonic -- only better. There’s lots more ingredients in there that add to the mix. Most of the scientific explanation went over our head. We now believe in the magic.