Betta fish live in their natural habitat where water is untreated. Tap water isn’t safe to use in an aquarium because it contains chlorine and chloramine harmful to betta fish.
The water for betta fish should be safe before introducing the water into the aquarium. Using additives called water conditioners creates aquarium water treatments that make the water safe for betta fish.
In this article, you’ll find out what is the best water conditioner for betta fish and the things to keep in mind when using one.
What does betta water conditioner do?
Regular water conditioners have a dechlorinator in the form of sodium thiosulfate which reduces the chlorine used to disinfect the water into chloride which is not so toxic to betta fish. More expensive water conditioners have both the dechlorinator and a sulfonate content to hold the chloramine, bind ammonia, detoxify heavy metals, and enhance the natural slime coat around your fish that protects it from diseases.
The beneficial bacteria can deal with ammonia from the chemical breakdown of chloramine. There are also brands that bind to ammonia to make it less toxic. It is very important to keep ammonia undetectable in your fish tank because this is very toxic and can kill your betta fish.
There are also brands that can detoxify heavy metals present in water. Heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc can be present in tap water. These dissolve in water and can be lethal to aquatic life. Detoxification is done by chelating agents by binding the heavy metals into a form that will be non-toxic for a period and you can filter it out during your routine water changes.
You can also add colloids to water conditioners and enhance the natural slime coat that your fish has around its body. This is your fish’s natural defense against bacteria and parasites. It serves as a barrier that keeps essential nutrients, and electrolytes balanced. It protects the fish from injury and lets it glide smoothly through the water.
How often should I add water conditioner to my aquarium?
You can add a water conditioner to your aquarium during the initial setup, and every time you change water.
We recommend doing partial water changes for non-filtered betta fish containers every two to three days. Once a week partial water change is an excellent practice for filtered betta fish tanks. This ensures your betta is always in a safe environment.
Changing water for your aquarium is not a complicated process. Make sure that the water you are adding has the same temperature as the water in the fish tank to avoid shocking your betta fish. You can set aside the treated water in the same room of your fish tank to let the temperatures to be as close as possible.
Is too much water conditioner bad for fish?
Too much water conditioner will not kill your fish outright. It will just be a waste of resources if you constantly use too much water conditioner.
Know the capacity of your fish tank. Manufacturers show the amount of water conditioner to use for a certain volume of water such as a gallon.
For example, you are performing a 50% water change in a tank with a capacity of 5 gallons half of which is 2.5 gallons. You would then need a dose of water conditioner for around 2 and a half gallons of water. Since recommended dosages are drops per gallon, you can use the dosage for 3 gallons. That small amount over the recommended dosage will not hurt your betta fish.
Best Water Conditioners for Betta Fish
We set up a list of the most common betta water conditioners to help you out in deciding.
This product removes toxic compounds, including chlorine, chloramines, and ammonia. It enhances the natural slime coat. It also contains aloe vera and green tea extract which help heal injuries and make betta fish healthier.
Recommended Dose: ½ teaspoon per gallon of water
This product instantly removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, and heavy metals.
Recommended Dose: 1 tablet per 2 gallons of water
This product removes chlorine, chloramine, and binds ammonia into a non-toxic form that beneficial bacteria will decompose in the tank. It can also detoxify heavy metals and it enhances the protective slime coat of fish.
Recommended Dose: 2 drops per gallon of water
This product neutralizes harmful chlorine, chloramines, ammonia, and heavy metals in aquarium water.
Recommended Dose: 14 drops per gallon of water or 4 drops per liter of water
This product removes chloramines and chlorine, detoxifies nitrite and heavy metals, relieves stress, promotes healing, and works instantly.
Recommended Dose: 10 drops per gallon of water
There are plenty of water conditioner brands that will make tap water safe for your betta fish to live in by removing harmful substances such as chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals. They can also contain important compounds that can enhance the natural protective slime coat of your betta fish.
To understand what is the best water conditioner for betta fish you can use, it’s best to research the brand and manufacturer of the water conditioners. Ask advice from your friends who have been in the hobby of fish keeping for quite some time now. You can also ask a reputable local fish store regarding the water conditioner they prefer to use for their store. This will give you a lot of ideas to help you choose your water conditioner for your betta fish.
Based on the recommended dose per product, it would seem that Seachem Prime has the least amount needed per gallon of water which may lessen the need to constantly repurchase. It also does all the functions expected from a more expensive water conditioner.
Your betta fish will truly benefit from a good water conditioner made by a reputable manufacturer. This will also give you peace of mind that your betta fish will not suffer from the harmful effects of substances in tap water.