How to Treat Tap Water for Betta Fish?

how to treat tap water for betta fish

To ensure that the water conditions for your betta fish are always at the proper standard, we’ll cover how to prepare and test the tap water for betta fish in this article.

Your poor fish will quickly perish if you put tap water directly into the tank! To explain, consider that untreated tap water contains substances that are extremely toxic to fish.

Fortunately, it’s fairly simple to make tap water safe for your betta’s tank. The simplest way to do that is to add a special de-chlorinator to the water before putting it in your betta’s tank.

In this manual, we’ll show you how to prepare tap water for use in your betta tank.

How to Treat Tap Water for Betta Fish?

While tap water is frequently used in aquariums, it contains chemicals like chlorine and other metals that make it safe for human consumption but could be lethal and unsafe for betta fish in that state.

Get An Aquarium Water Conditioner

You can prepare tap water to be safe for betta fish keeping if you don’t have distilled water. To dechlorinate your tap’s unfiltered water, you must purchase a water conditioner. It takes a half teaspoon to neutralize ten gallons of tap water.

If the chlorine concentration in the tap water is too high, you might need to add up to one teaspoon. You only need to dechlorinate the new water and add it to the tank if your tank already has some water in it but needs more.

how to treat tap water for betta fish

Test the Water and Remove Contaminants

The type of chemicals or metals you want to remove will determine the type of tap water treatment you use. Chloramine, chlorine, dissolved solids, sodium, and inorganic chemicals like phosphates, fluoride, copper, nitrites, and nitrates are among the most prevalent contaminants. Hard water can contain pesticides as well, especially in rural areas.

To remove these chemicals and make the tap water safe for your betta fish, use an aquarium conditioner. Remember that different elimination method may be necessary for different chemicals.

Stabilize the Water PH at 7

Knowing the ideal pH level for betta fish survival in the tank is crucial before filtering tap water. Betta fish require a stable pH of 7, but you can continuously raise the acidity a little bit.

Add the Water Conditioner to the Water

Your tap water’s chlorine and chloramines are eliminated by a water conditioner. Aquarium water conditioners contain dechlorination compounds that neutralize tap water by dissolving chlorine and rendering it inert inside the fish tank.

Even though you can buy water made specifically for bettas at a pet store, you should be aware that it only contains conditioner and might not be completely safe for your pet. Disease and ammonia-related issues like lethargy and inactivity in bettas are still potential risks.

Read More: Where Do Betta Fish Live in the Wild?

Dissipation Treatment for Tap Water

Another option is to put the required quantity of water in a big bowl. By leaving the bowl outside for the water to evaporate, you can dechlorinate it. Within 24 to 48 hours of dissipation, natural oxidation takes place, and the container continuously produces bubbles as it does so.

As a result of its inability to ensure complete oxidation, this method of water treatment is not generally advised. Your betta fish may continue to be harmed by the remaining chemicals, leading to issues over time.

The strong bond between the molecules of ammonia and chlorine may prevent the dissipation process from being effective in removing chloramine from tap water. You must purchase specialized water conditioners with chloramine neutralizers, which convert ammonia into harmless ammonium.

how to treat tap water for betta fish

You can use ammonia testing kits to check the treated water to make sure the chemicals were successfully converted before adding it to your fish tank.

Use a Dechlorinator

Ammonia and chlorine combine to form chloramine. By adding a de-chlorinator, you can remove it from your tap water just as easily as you can chlorine. You can choose the dechlorinating agent that is best for your aquarium from among the many different manufacturers that produce them.

Chloramine has difficult evaporation because the ammonia molecules are tightly bound to the chlorine molecules.

Apply An All-in-one Water Conditioner

To get rid of copper, ammonia, chlorine, and other metals found in tap water, you can also use a complete water conditioner product with strong additives and chemicals. Such products’ additives and pH buffers strengthen your betta fish’s slime coat, increasing its defenses.

Use Bottled Water Instead

The pH of bottled water typically ranges from 5 to 8. Despite the fact that this is regarded as being safe for humans, you should test to make sure the pH is just right for your bettas before performing a water change.

Because it lacks the harmful chlorine and other contaminants present in tap water, well water, and other unfiltered water sources, I’ve discovered that giving betta fish bottled spring water is a relatively safe treatment.

Remember that you must still test the bottled water for nutrients and minerals before using it to replace the hard water. Additionally, properly acclimate your betta fish to prevent other health issues.

how to treat tap water for betta fish

Why Do You Need to Treat Tap Water?

Why then should tap water be treated before being added to your betta’s tank?

For drinking, cooking, and washing, we use tap water. Your community’s water treatment facility adds specific chemicals to the domestic water supply to kill dangerous bacteria that could otherwise make you ill if you drank the water.

Chlorine and chloramine are two of those substances, and both are extremely toxic to fish and other aquatic life.

Additionally, the biological filter system and tank’s beneficial bacteria will be destroyed by chlorine and chloramine, resulting in poor water quality and a toxic environment for your fish and other livestock.

The pH and salinity of the water can also be impacted by chlorine and chloramine.

PH Level

Water with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 will be ideal for betta fish. However, they can also survive in medium- to semi-hard water. Bettas typically thrive in softer water.


The ideal water temperature for bettas is between 76 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (24.5 and 26.5 degrees Celsius).

How to Make Tap Water Safe for Betta Fish Without Conditioner?

Vitamin C is the answer, and it can be used to get rid of chlorine in tap water. Just like some of the other methods mentioned above, this one is also very easy to use, making it one of the most popular. For your water to become chlorine-free, all you need to do is add vitamin C.

You can check out more information we have on How to Make Tap Water Safe for Fish Without Conditioner?

An acidic pH of 7 or higher is ideal for betta fish growth. Before bringing the water to the faucet, be sure to add the water conditioner to ensure the safety of the bettas. Chlorine or chloramines can poison a fish’s blood quickly and easily.

Betta fish need minerals and nutrients that are typically found in other foods in order to survive in tap water. Every seven days, add at least 10% to 15% more water to the filtration tank. In large tanks, betta fish can survive for up to three weeks without needing a water change.

how to treat tap water for betta fish

Can I Use Bottled Water for Betta Fish?

It should be noted that most bottled water shouldn’t be used to fill your betta’s aquarium.

Drinking water is frequently processed through a reverse osmosis system, where the minerals are removed and then added back in to satisfy consumer preferences. Naturally, distilled water contains no minerals at all.

If you can find a bottle of water that is labeled “spring water,” and you know for a fact it came and was sourced from a spring, that kind of water is generally okay for use in an aquarium.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, treating tap water with a de-chlorinator, which you can find in your neighborhood fish or pet store, is the simplest way to remove potentially harmful chlorine, chloramine, and other chemicals before adding it to your betta tank.

Make sure to keep a close eye on the water if you have an unfiltered tank because nitrogen cycles can be challenging to control in such a situation. Additionally, perform regular pH tests to make sure your fish are healthy and content.


How Long Can a Betta Fish Live in Untreated Tap Water?

No matter what, you should never put your betta fish in a tank with untreated tap water. In some cases, bettas can endure a few days in untreated tap water. The fish won’t likely survive more than 24 hours in an uncycled tank filled with tap water.

How Often Should You Change a Betta’s Water?

A 10% to 20% partial water change per week is ideal. The water in a large betta tank, however, can be changed by 20% to 30% every two to three weeks.

How Long Does Tap Water Need to Sit before Adding Betta Fish?

Let the water sit for 15 minutes. This time is necessary for your betta to gradually get used to the temperature, pH, and mineral hardness of the water in the tank. It will be detrimental to your betta’s health if you rush these steps and do not give the fish time to adjust to the water.

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