Betta Fish Water Conditions (FAQ)

If you’re just getting a betta you’ve probably asked yourself what kind of water for betta fish tanks is best. Without the right water, your betta may die a lot sooner than you’d like. Not all water is created equally when it comes to betta fish. There are so many questions when it comes to betta fish water conditions, and this helpful article of frequently asked questions is going to answer them all!

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The Ultimate Guide To Betta Fish Water Conditions!

Without proper knowledge, all water whether it’s distilled, spring, or tap can be fatal to a betta fish. But the worst of all water has to be distilled water…

Distilled Water For Betta Fish

Distilled water is a type of purified water. On paper, purified water sounds incredible. But when it’s added to your tank, it’s only incredibly unhealthy.  Distillation takes a lot of dangerous chemicals out of water which is great for fish. But in doing so it also removes all the nutrients and minerals, which fish need to thrive.

If you use distilled water for your betta a few things will start happening.

  • Your betta will start to look dull and colorless. Without the correct nutrients in the water, the color of your betta will quickly fade.
  • Your betta will also lack energy and become lethargic.
  • And lastly, without the proper minerals and nutrients, your betta will die.

While both spring water and tap water can be used for your betta fish, distilled water should ALWAYS be avoided.

Can You Use Spring Water For Betta Fish?

Spring water is similar to distilled water except mineral and nutrients haven’t been taken out. Whereas the harmful substances such as chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals have.

Still, you shouldn’t use spring water straight away. Before adding spring water to your tank you need to check whether the pH level is within the range bettas need. Which is as close to 7 as possible. If not, then your betta has an increased chance of getting sick.

Also, you may think that all water is the same, but different companies will have different pH levels. This is because they source their water from different locations. So if you are buying bottled spring water, you’re best off getting it by the gallon and making sure it’s the same brand.

Once you’ve found spring water that fits the water parameters of your tank, you don’t have much else to worry about. Spring water is going to provide all the necessary nutrients and minerals for your fish whilst being chlorine free!

The only downside to using spring water, of course, is the price.

Can You Use Bottled Water For Betta Fish?

Another type of water people ask about is bottled water. The problem with bottled water is that there are so many types. Obviously, if you’re using bottled spring water and you’ve tested the pH, then it’s going to be fine. But there are other bottled waters out there such as, deionized, distilled, demineralized and god forbid you ever accidentally used flavored bottled water.

So when it comes down to using bottled water it is normally easier just to avoid it.

blue betta splenden

Can You Use Well Water For Betta Fish?

While it’s not as common, some people are curious whether you can use well water for betta fish. In some places, well water may be better for your fish than tap water. However, in other places, it could be a lot worse.

Oftentimes well water is left untouched. So while it may not have any chlorine or chloramine in it, there could be heavy metals. If bettas are living in this water the heavy metals will make them sick.

You can get heavy metal testing kits as well as chlorine and chloramine testing kits. But they can often be quite expensive. Personally, if I was set against using tap water, I’d also avoid well water and stick to bottled spring water.

Is Tap Water Safe For Betta Fish?

Tap water is the most commonly used water for betta fish and all fish in general. Reason being that it’s easy to get hold of and a lot cheaper than spring water. However, if you plan on using tap water then you need to remember that it isn’t initially safe for fish.

Tap water is treated to make it safe for humans to drink. And the only way to make it safe is by making it inhospitable to anything living. Chlorine and many chemicals and heavy metals are some of the things you will find in your tap water, which is lethal to bettas.

The good news is you are able to remove the chemicals and metals from your tap water. And once they’ve been removed your betta will be left with all the nutrients and minerals it needs to survive! It’s as simple as buying a water conditioner and dechlorinating your water.

How Long Can A Betta Fish Live In Tap Water That’s Untreated?

You may have heard that bettas are hardy fish, so you think you won’t need to worry about dechlorinating your water. But the truth is, not dechlorinating your water is going to cut your bettas life dramatically short.

Your betta may appear fine and like he’s thriving, but he will be getting poisoned by the chlorine. By not treating your water first you’re going to knock years off your bettas life. And if your betta isn’t strong it may die in a matter of weeks.

The good news is that water conditioners that make water safe for your fish are super cheap! So you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on them.

How To Dechlorinate Water For A Fish Tank

If you haven’t dechlorinated water for a fish tank before then don’t worry. It may sound complicated, but it’s incredibly easy. All you need to do it is the right water conditioner. I love API Stress Coat.

Once you’ve got the right conditioner it’s as simple as following the instructions. Normally you will only have to add 1/2 or 1 teaspoons of dechlorinator for every 10 gallons of untreated water. And remember, you only need to dechlorinate your whole fish tank if you’re adding 100% new water, otherwise all you need to do is dechlorinate the water you plan on adding to your tank.

How Long Does It Take To Dechlorinate Water For Fish?

A good dechlorinator isn’t going to take long, and you’ll be able to add your betta in no time! Obviously, there’s more than one answer because it really depends on the brand of dechlorinator you’re using. As a rule of thumb, the chlorine is often treated within 2 minutes and other substances such as chloramine will take 5 minutes to be neutralized. Either way, as you can tell it’s not going to be too long.

blue betta

What Is A Stress Coat Additive?

A stress coat additive is similar to a water conditioner. While a water conditioner is only going to treat water, a stress coat additive will treat your fish. Even if there’s nothing wrong with them, it’s going to replace their slime coat. A fishes slim coat is what helps keep them healthy and less prone to diseases. But it can often be damaged during handling as well as when it interacts with other fish.

You can add a stress coat additive to your tank whenever you want, especially if you think your betta is stressed. And normally it’s a good idea to add when your betta is being introduced to a new tank. (Get API Stress Coat.)

What Is The Best pH Level For Betta Fish?

As a hard and fast rule, you’re going to want to keep the pH level of your tank at 7 or slightly more acidic. Having said that, a lot of bettas have been known to thrive in more alkaline conditions as well. The key is to keep the pH level as stable as possible. If your pH level drops too quickly, even by 0.2 it can kill bettas. At the very least it will seriously stress them out.

Things To Remember Before Adding Bettas To Water

Even if you know all of this stuff, you shouldn’t add a betta to your tank straight away. I personally like to wait 24 hours before adding a betta to a new fish tank. There are two reasons you should wait a while.

  • To allow chlorine in the water to evaporate. Water conditioners are great at removing chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals from your fish tank. But if you’re extra cautious then waiting 24 hours will also cause the chlorine to dissipate. This is a nice way to give yourself peace of mind.
  • Waiting 24 hours also gives your tank time to change any nitrogen to outgas. When you add tap water to a tank a lot more goes on than a people realize. For example, you may notice bubbles forming on the side of the tank. If you leave a glass of water out long enough you’ll notice the same thing happening as well. The bubbles that you see are being caused by the water saturating with nitrogen. If you introduce your betta to a tank whilst this is happening, you risk the bubbles forming inside them. Which can be incredibly dangerous for your betta. However, leaving the water for a while will cause the bubbles to dissipate, making it safer for your betta.

How Often Should You Change A Bettas Water?

Once again how often you’re going to need to change your bettas water depends on a few different factors. How big the tank is, whether it’s filtered, or if your betta is being housed with other fish. All of these factors are going to influence how quickly the water can become unsanitary.

If you’re unsure how often you should change your bettas water, then it’s normally recommended to change 25% of the water once a week.

If you change too much water it can affect the parameters of the tank. The pH, ammonia levels and hardiness of the tanks water could all become thrown out of balance. Causing havoc for your betta.

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Betta Fish Water Conditions – Conclusion And Main Points

Now that you know the ideal betta fish water conditions you should have no problem replicating them in your tank.

Caring for your Betta can be tricky, but it gets easier with the right guide. Click here to read a comprehensive guide on Betta fish care! 

So to go over the main points you should:

  • The best water to add to your tank is tap water, as long as it’s conditioned first. Failing that, you should try using spring water
  • You should ALWAYS avoid purified or distilled water, as it lacks the necessary minerals and nutrients your betta needs to survive.
  • It’s often beneficial to use a stress coat additive. This is going to restore your bettas natural slime coat, which can be removed during handling or when your betta is stressed.
  • Just because your betta may survive for a time in untreated tap water, the chances are it will cause a lot of damage over time.
  • Making tap water safe for bettas is incredibly simple, you just need to add water conditioner beforehand.
  • Even though water conditioner treats water very quickly, it’s still best to let water stand in your tank for a day or two before adding your betta.
  • The ideal pH for bettas is 7 or slightly more acidic.
  • And as a rough guide, you should do a 25% water change once a week.

If you liked this article or have any more questions make sure you leave a comment in the section below. Also, don’t forget to bookmark this page and share it with any friends that have bettas or are just starting out.

Is Your Betta Fish Living Alone?

If so, then you may be interested to know about lots of tank mates that can live with them. So check out the Ultimate Betta Tank Mate Guide where you’ll learn about 68 different tank mates that can live with your betta, as well as fish to avoid. You’ll also learn how to create the perfect environment for mates, how to introduce tank mates and much more! So check it out!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! And if you have any more questions you can ask them in the Q&A Section!

Betta Tank Mate Guide

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Also if you’re new to keeping betta fish then you should definitely check out a few of these articles:

  • Do Betta Fish Need A Heater? – Find out WHY heaters are so important for bettas and the dangerous consequences that happen when you don’t have one. You’ll also learn how to heat your tank in an emergency to keep your betta alive if your heater breaks. If you think your betta doesn’t need a heater then you NEED to read this article and find out why they’re so important. And the circumstances where you TRULY don’t need one.

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