The type of water you use for your betta fish can significantly affect its health.
That said, betta can live in tap water if it meets specific parameters. The quality of tap water will depend on your location.
Thus, you must make sure that you make the necessary adjustments to make the water safe for your fish. This guide will go over how you can meet these requirements.
Making Tap Water Safe for Betta Fish
Tap water can be safe to drink for humans in some parts of the world. However, that does not automatically mean that it’s suitable for betta fish.
Typically, tap water has added chemicals such as chlorine, which makes it all right to drink.
However, such chemicals can hurt or even kill betta fish, depending on the concentration.
Use Water Conditioner
You can use a water conditioner in the tank to remove chemicals from tap water. These are relatively inexpensive, and you can get great deals with high-quality ones, too.
It only takes a few seconds to make tap water safe for betta fish with a good water conditioner.
Purchase a Water Conditioner Specific to Betta Fish
The best way to meet the water requirements for betta fish is to purchase a betta-specific water conditioner.
That said, a regular freshwater fish water conditioner will work just fine, as well.
Ensure the Temperature Is in the Correct Range
If you’re using tap water for your betta fish, you must test the temperature before placing them into it.
You should make the water is anywhere between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This range will keep your betta fish healthy, comfortable, and happy in the long term.
Measure the Temperature with a High-Quality Thermometer
You should use a high-quality thermometer to measure the temperature of the tap water.
Moreover, you must factor in the temperature of the room. If your room’s temperature is colder, buy a heater for the tank.
Make sure to test the temperature after you install and use the heater for a few hours.
Check the pH Levels
Tap water is typically somewhere between 6.5 pH and 7.5 pH so that you can drink it. However, it’s in your best interest to check the pH levels before putting your betta fish into the tank.
You can purchase a pH test kit and monitor the tap water yourself. Instead of that, you can also take some of the water to your local pet store.
The store can check the pH for you and let you know if it’s close to neutral (7 pH).
Ideal Water Parameters for Betta Fish
Betta fish can survive in more types of water than one. However, there are specific parameters that are ideal for their health, survival, and happiness.
Here’s an overview of those parameters.
Suitable Chemical Concentration
As mentioned above, tap water typically has various chemicals in it. Thus, these chemicals include chlorine, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
The ideal concentration for all of these chemicals in your aquarium water is 0 ppm. That said, a nitrate concentration of up to 40 ppm is still safe for your fish.
However, even an increase of 0.025 ppm of ammonia and 0.5 ppm of nitrite can spell harm to your fish.
Ideal pH Level
Betta fish can survive in tap water with 6.5 pH or 7.5 pH. However, the ideal pH level for their survival is 7 pH.
Thus, try to make the water as close to neutral as possible. Water below 6.5 pH or above 7.5 pH is too acidic or alkaline for betta fish survival.
General Hardness Levels
Some water hardness or general hardness (GH) is necessary for betta fish. General hardness is the percentage of salts, particularly magnesium and calcium, dissolved in water.
Therefore, GH levels between 30 ppm to 120 ppm are best for betta fish. The salts help them grow and stay healthy.
Carbonate Hardness Levels
Carbonate hardness (KH or CH) is the tap water’s buffering ability. Therefore, it pertains to the water’s ability to maintain a stable environment for fish.
Thus, KH levels between 80 ppm to 120 ppm are best for betta fish. However, anything beyond 40 ppm and 240 ppm is toxic for betta fish.
After conditioning tap water, checking its pH levels and setting its temperature, it’s safe for your betta fish.
Furthermore, monitor the water after regular intervals to ensure that your fish stay safe.
Why Tap Water Is Good for Betta Fish
Tap water contains various minerals and nutrients.
Thus, betta fish need to consume these minerals present in the water to survive.
Tap Water Is Convenient for You
One great thing about using tap water is that you don’t have to go out of your way to access it. Moreover, conditioning it and keeping a steady temperature is relatively inexpensive.
You can also mix in cold and hot water in the tank with ease. Consequently, it can make managing your betta fish an easy process, especially if you have a hectic schedule.
Can Betta Fish Live in Distilled Water?
If you’re looking for an alternative to tap water for betta fish, avoid distilled water. Betta fish cannot survive in distilled water because the essential nutrients and minerals are not present.
After some time, their appearance will look dull, they’ll lack energy, and they may die.
It’s best to use a water conditioner with tap water instead. If you plan on using distilled water, make sure to treat it correctly by adding the essential minerals.
Can Betta Fish Live in Bottled Water?
Yes, betta fish can live in bottled water as it typically meets the necessary parameters.
It can be a little expensive, however, in the long term.
Make Sure to Check the pH Level
Before you purchase bottled water for betta fish, check the pH level on the label. pH levels may vary with different bottled water, considering they’re made for human consumption.
Betta-Specific Bottled Water
You can find bottled water specifically for betta fish in your local pet store.
This option can be a quick and easy way to set up your aquarium, especially if this is your first time caretaking fish.
Bottled water has the essential nutrients and minerals present but no chlorine or other chemicals.
Bottled Water Is Expensive
While betta-specific bottled water is handy, it’s a more expensive option than tap water. You must remember that you have to cycle the aquarium water every week.
Thus, purchasing bottled water each time can become costly.
What to Keep in Mind When Changing the Water in Your Aquarium
You will need to keep replacing some of the aquarium water to keep the parameters consistent.
Partially changing the water once or twice every week is paramount to keeping your fish healthy.
Partially Change the Water Every Week
It’s best to partially change the tap water by 20% to 35% every week. You can do this in one day or divide it into two changes per week.
This way, you won’t risk shocking or stressing your betta fish. Sudden temperature changes can severely harm your betta fish due to stress.
As fish live in an aquarium, good bacteria begin to develop in the water. These bacteria help keep the betta fish healthy.
So, partially changing water is also a good practice because it doesn’t remove beneficial bacteria from the water.
Test the pH Levels and Water Temperature
Before partially changing the tap water, test the pH levels and temperature of the tank and new water.
This process will ensure that the new water doesn’t affect the betta fish’s livelihood. It’s best to keep pH testing strips with you to streamline this process.
Monitor Nitrogen Cycles
If you don’t use a filter in your aquarium, you should monitor the nitrogen cycles closely. Filters help with nitrogen regulation.
Thus, you will need to make adjustments to the water more frequently if you prefer not to filter.
Consider a Complete Water Change
You should consider a complete water change after a few months for deep cleaning. After some time, there’s a chance of algae and degree buildup in the tank.
Avoiding deep cleaning can foster disease and harm your fish in the process.
When performing a complete water change, make sure that the water parameters are consistent before and after.
Consider Using Aquarium Salts
You can protect your betta fish from fungi and parasites by adding aquarium salts to the tap water.
The salts promote healthy fin growth, help develop a healthy slime coat and reduce swelling and stress to your fish.
It also prevents the intake of harmful nitrate and helps recreate their natural habitat salinity.
Dissolve and treat the aquarium salt in another container with tap water. After that, add it to the betta fish aquarium.
Last Few Words
While betta fish can live in tap water and water from other sources, it’s vital to ensure it meets the appropriate parameters.
It may take a bit of effort on your part to maintain safe water for your betta fish.
However, this process is necessary for their survival and can be a fun part of the caretaking experience.
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