If you don’t know what the best water for betta fish is, then don’t worry because we got you covered!
Providing your betta fish a pleasant home means you need to note what type of water you are putting into its tank. Tap water is easily accessible and an obvious choice for most fishkeepers but there are a few steps you need to do to make it safe for your betta fish.
Can you use tap water for betta fish?
Tap water has a neutral pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 making it ideal for your betta. It contains minerals essential to a betta fish’s health, which makes it a superb choice. Bodies of freshwater such as rivers, streams, and lakes are quality sources but because of many pollutants in our environment these are unsafe for direct human consumption.
Water treatment facilities use chlorine and chloramine to decontaminate water to make it safe for drinking. Tap water you get at home will still contain these chemicals, which are toxic to fish. It damages their gills and inside their bodies. Exposure to these chemicals will often injure your fish and lead to their death.
Chlorine and chloramine will also kill beneficial bacteria in your fish tank, which break down ammonia and nitrites. Having high levels of ammonia and nitrites are dangerous to fish.
Betta fish water conditioner
Water conditioners eliminate chlorine and chloramine present in the water, making it safe for our pet fish. Therefore, water conditioners are an important part of the aquarium hobby. Some brands also bind the ammonia present in your aquarium, giving more time for the beneficial bacteria to decompose it into less toxic substances.
Related: Can Betta Fish Live in Cold Water?
Purified water for fish tank
Purified water, aka RO water, has gone through a process called reverse osmosis. It is also called “soft water” because all the minerals in tap water have been stripped off by going through a reverse osmosis system.
This system has a membrane inside that filters out all the minerals, chlorine, and bacteria. This makes the water safe for drinking. Bettas like their water slightly acidic at a pH of 6.5 to 7. Purified water contains a neutral pH of 7 which makes it safe for betta fish.
Betta fish need the essential minerals and elements present in tap water for good health. These are calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The RO purification process removes all these but don’t worry because there are products sold to remineralize the water.
The advantage of tap water is that it is easy to obtain, very accessible, and has the right amount of minerals readily available. The disadvantage of using tap water is you are really not sure if all the harmful chemicals have really been taken out before it goes into your betta fish’s home.
Betta fish prefer soft water and can tolerate the range of 5-20 dH (degrees hardness) or 70-300 GH (general hardness) ppm. The advantage of using purified water will allow you to control this parameter by adding re-mineralizers and testing your water until you achieve the specific parameter needed. The disadvantage of using RO systems for purification is primarily its cost.
Is spring water good for fish? Arguably the best water for betta fish
Spring water comes from the natural reservoirs of water underground called aquifers. Rainwater collects in these aquifers and as pressure increases the water passes through rocks, sand, and gravel which act as a natural filter. This is nature’s process of filtration which produces freshwater. It goes out through openings on the ground, and they call this the source.
Using spring water for a betta fish seems naturally good, right? Hold on. It is more likely that bottled spring water from the supermarket is basically the same as your tap water. The spring water that is being sold also goes through the process of chlorine treatment. It then goes through carbon filtration to remove the chlorine leaving the minerals intact.
What if you live near a spring water source? Can you get spring water directly and use it in your betta fish’s tank? It is risky because of the polluted envorinment, and there might be contaminants present in the water.
There are various sources of spring water making every brand different. Some may have certain minerals higher than the others which will affect the parameters of your fish tank. If you use spring water, then it would be best to test if its parameters are suitable for your betta fish.
Tap water is less costly and is available in the privacy of your own home too. You just need to use water conditioners to make it safe for your fish’s tank.
Distilled water for betta fish
Distilled water has gone through a boiling process leaving behind pure water with no chlorine and minerals. You will need to remineralize distilled water to make it suitable for your betta fish. It will cost less compared to having a reverse osmosis system installed. The expense accumulates over time though if you keep on using distilled water instead of tap water.
Betta fish water change
Try to do 15-20% water change every week if your betta lives in a tank which has adequate filtration. Using a small container for your betta fish will require more frequent water changes of 30-50% every other day.