6 Ways To Make Tap Water Safe For Fish Without Chemicals

Last Updated on 2023-10-26

If you don’t have any water conditioner to add to your tank, then you may be wondering whether it’s possible to make the tap water safe without conditioner or chemicals.

In this article, not only will you learn all the different ways you can treat your tap water, but you’ll also learn why untreated tap water is so bad, as well as other frequently asked questions. So, keep reading!

Key Takeaways:

  • Importance of Water Conditioner: Using a water conditioner is the best way to make tap water safe for fish by removing chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals.
  • Alternative Methods: If you don’t want to use chemicals, you can consider alternative methods, including letting the water sit for 24 hours, boiling it, using UV light with a sterilizer, adding reverse osmosis water, using a faucet filter, or using vitamin C tablets to dechlorinate the water.
  • Overall Recommendation: While there are various methods to make tap water safe for fish without chemicals, using a water conditioner is still the most recommended approach for the best results in ensuring the health of your fish.

Why Is Tap Water Bad For Fish?

There are a number of reasons that tap water is bad for fish. However, the main two are chlorine and chloramine, which are found within it.

When chlorine and chloramine aren’t removed from the water, they’ll cause serious harm to your fish, as well as stressing their immune system. 

If there is too much chlorine and chloramine in the water, you’ll often notice the gills get damaged first; however, it’s not uncommon for damage to occur all over the body.

Do You Need To Condition Tap Water?

While conditioning tap water is the best way to remove chlorine and chloramine, there are also other ways you can get rid of them as well. 

It is important to note, though, that conditioning tap water is the best way to remove heavy metals from the water, so it’s still recommended to use a water conditioner, as other methods can’t do this!

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How To Dechlorinate Tap Water Without Chemicals

If you don’t want to use chemicals to dechlorinate the water in your tank, then here are the other methods you can try!

MethodDescriptionTime Required
Let The Water SitAllow tap water to sit in an open container. Chlorine and chloramine will dissipate over time.1-5 days, generally 24 hours
Boil The WaterBoil tap water to make chlorine and chloramine evaporate. Ensure it matches tank temperature.Fast, but cooling required
Use UV LightEmploy a UV sterilizer to dissipate chlorine and chloramine in the water.Around 24 hours
Use Reverse OsmosisAdd reverse osmosis water to the tank. Expensive but effective.Effective but costly
Try A Faucet FilterUse a faucet filter to remove chlorine, chloramine, and some heavy metals.Suitable for chemical-free
Vitamin CUtilize vitamin C tablets to dechlorinate water. Effective and simple.Quick and easy

Let The Water Sit

The easiest way to dechlorinate your water without chemicals is to simply let it sit. However, this is also the most time-consuming method as well. Letting the water sit can take from anywhere between 1-5 days before the chlorine and chloramine have dissipated completely.

Generally, though, leaving the water for 24 hours is long enough in most cases.

Boil The Water

The fastest and most efficient way to dechlorinate the water in your tank is to simply boil it. When you boil water, it will cause all the chlorine and chloramine to evaporate, so once it’s cooled down, you can add it straight to your tank!

Just remember, before adding the water to your tank, make sure it matches the temperature.

Boiling water is also one of the best ways to remove chloramine as well. However, the process will still take a while. In fact, you’d need to boil 10 gallons of water for an hour to remove 1 mg/l of chloramine.

Use UV Light

It’s also possible to use UV light to dissipate the chlorine and chloramine in a tank as well. To do so, however, you will need a UV sterilizer. However, if you do plan on using a UV light to get rid of chemicals, it will still take around 24 hours. 

Use Reverse Osmosis Water

You can also just add reverse osmosis water to the tank as well. However, due to how expensive reverse osmosis filters are, this method will not be good enough for most people.

Try A Faucet Filter

Unlike all of the above, faucet filters not only remove the chlorine and chloramine from your water, some can also remove heavy metals as well. So if you don’t plan on using chemicals ever, then a faucet filter is a great choice for you!

Vitamin C

Believe it or not, you can also use vitamin C tablets to get rid of the chlorine and chloramine in the water. Just a simple vitamin C tablet is going to be more than enough to get the job done!

Now, check out this video by Fluval Aquatics on how to make tap water safe for fish!

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Now you know all the different ways you can treat water without chemicals, here are some more frequently asked questions that people have!

What is the Difference Between RO and Deionized Tap Water?

RO and deionized water differ in their ability to filter impurities. While RO can filter out minerals, chlorine, and bacteria, deionization is effective against even some impurities that RO cannot capture. However, neither method is effective against microorganisms.

Can You Put Fish In A Tank Without A Water Conditioner?

You should never put fish in a tank without a water conditioner unless you’ve used another method to remove the chlorine and chloramine. If you put them in a tank while there are still chemicals, it will cause permanent harm to your fish.

How Long Should You Let Tap Water Sit Before Adding Fish?

How long you should let tap water sit before adding fish depends entirely on the tap water you’re using. But generally, after 24 hours, all of the chlorine and chloramine should have dissipated. However, it can take up to 5 days in some cases.

Is Bottled Water Okay For Fish?

While it is possible to use bottled water for fish, it’s not recommended. Oftentimes bottled water goes through a filtering process, which either removes some of the essential nutrients fish need or adds some that can be unhealthy for them!

Is Spring Water Safe For Fish

If you want to use bottled water, then you should stick to bottled spring water. This is going to have all the nutrients and minerals fish need. You should just check the water parameters to make sure that they’re all fine before adding it, though.

Can Goldfish Survive In Chlorinated Water?

No fish, including goldfish, should be subjected to chlorinated water. It’s never good for them, and it will damage their gills and the rest of their body!

Can Fish Survive In Distilled Water?

You should not use distilled water in your fish tank because all of the essential nutrients in it have been removed. This will cause your fish to become malnourished and eventually die.

Does Bubbling Water Dechlorinate It?

Bubbling water can be an effective way to dechlorinate water fast. So if you need water fast, aeration is a great method.


As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can make water safe for fish without chemicals. However, for the best results, it’s always essential to make sure that you’re using a water conditioner!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!


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