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Tea for Bettas?

Tea For Bettas!

It’s common knowledge that tea has many health benefits, but do you know that a tea from South Africa might just blow your other favorite water conditioners out of the water? Meet rooibos tea.


Rooibos tea (pronounced ROY-boss) is native to South Africa and is acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant found in South Africa.  According to the South African Rooibos Council I talked to, rooibos is not a true tea, but an herb. But, also touts ton of serious real benefits for tropical fish. Ranging from healthy bones to cancer and tumor prevention and even better colors. Many experts agree that it won’t be long before rooibos rivals IAL — including matcha green tea for shrimp — in popularity throughout the world with fish keepers and aquaculture farms. It contains highly effective antioxidants that fight a large range of diseases naturally in fish stocks. In fact, there is almost no part of the fish that doesn’t benefit from rooibos.

Red rooibos tea has no oxalic acid unlike IAL so there is never an issue with kidney function and calcium build up.  Rooibos tea is rich in many minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, zinc, magnesium, and alpha hydroxy acid. It also contains antioxidants like aspalathin and nothofagin and extremely potent and versatile phenolic compounds.

Rooibos contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimutagenic qualities. Polyphenols are organic chemicals that are often praised for their antioxidant capabilities.

Aspalathin is one of the rare antioxidants found in rooibos tea and it has a number of unique qualities. It can help balance blood sugar levels, improve insulin resistance production and glucose absorption by muscles, and boosts insulin secretion from the pancreas in aqua stocks.

Red rooibos tea is rich in calcium, manganese, and fluoride minerals that assist in maintaining good bone structure in fry and stronger teeth. It does this by increasing the bioavailability of minerals in your system

The alpha hydroxy acid and zinc in this red tea are very good for the betta skin and help keep the natural colors.

This tea is a rich source of antispasmodic agents, making pellet digestion easy. This is mainly due to the activation of K+ (potassium) ions in the body without antagonizing the activities of calcium, according to a report published in the Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. This can reduce the presence of hyperactivity in the gastrointestinal tract, thus preventing intestinal issues due to changes in foods.

Rooibos tea is said to contain rare nutrients like quercetin and bioflavonoids that assist in good blood circulation and also obstruct hemorrhaging in transport.

From your skin to scales, , to bones, this high-antioxidant tea (herb) is nothing short of extraordinary.

Did You Know? Rooibos tea functions as both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage by free radicals and reducing inflammation.

Did You Know? Rooibos helps decrease the occurrence of hypertension by regulating hormones secreted from the adrenal gland and has a calming effect on most fish.

Did You Know? Many doctors report effectively prescribing it in supplement form to treat cancer, as it suppresses malignant tumor growth by stopping the processes involved in cell mutation.

Did You Know? Rooibos tea seems to help the fish’s immune system produce antibodies necessary to prevent and heal from fungus and bacterial infections.

So, if you do not mind that gorgeous brown stained appearance in your aquarium, but you simply cannot afford IAL this is an option.  Other products can increase your GH or are messy leaves, cluttering up your substrate and getting stuck on your filter intake and so on. So why not grab a bag of this herb and get all the positive effects of IAL at a better cost and better effect than what you are using now.

Would you like the benefits of a gentle algaecide, fungicide and viral inhibitor that has no negative side effects? Well here it is…..

Do you want to provide your fish with all the latest, greatest anti-oxidants? Do you want fantastic amounts of phenolic compounds that will leave you with sparkling, colorful (and virile) fish?

Of course, you do! That is why we are giving you this information and how to do.


But what is this magical product I am speaking of?

Well, it’s none other than Rooibos tea! A herbal tea made from a legume plant (herb), containing no caffeine and very few tannin’s compared to other teas. ”

In all seriousness, though, especially among wild betta keepers, and true natural only keepers, rooibos tea is well used. It will not increase or decrease KH or GH, it will not affect TDS, but it might increase pH by 0.1 or so if you have very soft water. But other than that, it is simply one of the best new products betta people can use. So, do consider giving some tea a try.

As an added bonus for people who use it, your aquarium will smell delightful, and it is a really nice tea to drink too when making your extract.


Production Process

The Western Cape’s Cederberg region is incredibly bio-diverse and home to a vast number of indigenous fynbos species. It is only here that Rooibos (Aspalathus Linearis) grows in its natural state.

The Cederberg region provides the perfect environment for Rooibos cultivation: Mediterranean climate (with a winter rainfall between 200 mm and 450 mm per year), deep coarse acidic sandy soils, and temperatures that can range from zero degrees centigrade in winter months up to forty-five degrees centigrade in summer.

Rooibos is a very hardy dry land crop; no irrigation is used and the Rooibos plant is often subjected to drought conditions. Superior quality rooibos generally comes from the higher altitude areas with lower rainfall and consequently lower yield. Cultivation practices vary: A typical Rooibos field is harvested annually for about 4-7 years; thereafter a rotation crop (typically oats) is planted for 1-3 years to provide fields with a rest/recovery period where nutrients are returned to the land.

Rooibos is grown from seed which is hand collected from healthy mature Rooibos fields. In late January each year, the seed is organically germinated and planted in a nursery. Following four months of attentive nurturing, and as winter gets underway and the temperatures drop, a few million of small organic seedlings are transplanted into fields by hand and using planting machines.


Most farms now practice conservation tillage which means that the soil structure of our fields is carefully preserved for long term soil health. Fields are generally prepared for planting in Autumn. When preparing our fields for cultivation, they are ripped with advanced custom developed tine implements which don’t overturn the soil but rather create deep un-invasive furrows in which Rooibos seedlings can take root. Field nutrient levels are monitored and organically certified fertilizers/nutrients are added when needed.


The Rooibos crop is harvested by hand once a year during summer (January to March) when the bushy-plant’s branches are cut using sickles and neatly bound into bundles (called “gerwe” in Afrikaans). The bundles are transported to a tea court (or processing area).



Upon arrival at the farm processing facility, the bundles are sorted and carefully fed into our purpose-built state-of-the-art cutting machines, which maintain a uniform cutting length (from 1 mm to 5 mm depending upon our clients requirements) to ensure a neat and consistent appearance of the final product.

The wet freshly cut (and bruised) Rooibos is then placed in a long low heap across our tea court to “sweat”… a carefully managed process of enzymatic oxidation takes place during fermentation which causes the Rooibos to “magically” change from green to the characteristic red/amber color and the wonderful flavor and sweet distinctive aroma of top quality Rooibos in unleashed.


After the sweating process, the fermented Rooibos is spread out across our tea court to dry 100% naturally in the hot African sun. The cutting, fermenting & drying processes are completed in less than 24 hours, and the newly made Rooibos is “picked/sucked up” by a special machine and fed into 400kg bulk bags which are then graded, labelled and transported to our dedicated tea stores.


Green Rooibos is made from the same plant as traditional Rooibos. The primary difference is in the process. For traditional Rooibos, the green wet tea is cut and “fermented” before drying. In the case of green Rooibos, the fermentation process is skipped, and the “green” tea is sun dried immediately following cutting. Green (unfermented) Rooibos light green/tan colour and a mild “green” taste reminiscent of green tea.


Following ordering by customers, the Rooibos is sieved (or sifted) to separate dust and non-uniform cuttings. Then, after sieving, the Rooibos tea is fed through state-of-the-art sterilization, pasteurization & drying machines to ensure the final product can be certified as hygienic superior quality Rooibos. Stringent bacteriological and quality control is ensured throughout the production process. Before leaving the sieving & sterilization plant, the tea is tested and certified by the PPECB (Perishable Products Export Control Board), using their strict phytosanitary grading system.


The finished Rooibos tea is weighed and packed in paper bags, which are then palletized and shrink-wrapped, ready for dispatch to contract packers and customers in South Africa and around the world. Working with our strategic partners, sellers offer a wide range of services to meet any specific customer needs such as blending, contract packaging and bulk supply.



The Dosage For Bettas:

The ‘dosage’ for optimum inhibition of bacteria/fungus/virus/algae is 1 teabag per 30 liters (about 10 gallons).

For removing algae – Add 1 tablespoon (15ml) per 50 liters/ 13 gallon every day. Weekly water changes!


Options for making it:

Tossing teabags into a filter will give you slow, long term release.

Boiling water, then adding teabags, and boiling them for 15-30 minutes (rooibos can be boiled), then letting it cool and adding the resulting ‘extract’ to the aquarium works for fast acting effects, but will be gone if you do a water change.


Boiling water, making yourself a cup of tea, staring at your fish, thinking about what to buy next and then adding teabags to the aquarium also works…Todd

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