For those of us who love having pets, we all want to do the best we can at caring for our chosen animal family members. That includes the fish we hold near to our hearts. Fish have very specific needs that are unlike those of cats and dogs. Their needs can also vary greatly between the different species of fish.
Someone who is getting their first fish tank may have questions they need answered about all aspects of caring for their fish. But, even seasoned fish owners will find they need help with the right way to care for a type of fish they’ve never had before.
One common type of fish in many households the world over is the betta fish, otherwise known as the Siamese fighting fish. This fish is beautiful with vibrant colors and larger than average fins fanning out from their bodies. While the fish may be a common choice for families, their needs are quite specific, and that includes the type of water that is best for a betta fish.
Water From The Faucet—Will Tap Water Kill My Fish?
Yes and no is the answer to this question. You can fill your fish tank up with tap water, however, if you plunk your betta fish, or any fish, into the tank right away, it will likely die. There is chlorine in tap water, which kills fish of all types. You can let the water sit after filling up your fish tank, though, and the chlorine will eventually evaporate. Then the fish water is safe for your pets.
How Long Does It Take for Tap Water to Lose Chlorine?—How Long Does It Take for Tap Water to Be Safe for Fish?
The amount of chlorine in tap water varies across different locations. On average, it will take 4-5 days for the chlorine to disappear. If you want to speed the process up some, you can stir or circulate the water, expose it to UV light, or aerate it to nudge the evaporation process along. There are also products like water conditioners that will instantly remove the chemicals from tap water making it safe immediately.
Before you add your fish to the tank, you should test for the presence of chlorine in the fish water. You can do this with kits made specifically for this very task.
Is Purified Water Good For Fish Tanks?
Purified mineral water that’s been bottled is ok for fish tanks. It’s recommended over other kinds of water for most types of fish. As long as the water doesn’t have chlorine in it as the purifier, it’s a good choice for a fish tank.
Is Purified Water The Same As Distilled Water?
These aren’t exactly the same. Purified water has been cleared of any contaminants and the chemicals that were in it. Distilled water is purified water taken to another level. Not only are all of the contaminants removed, but the minerals and nutrients get removed, as well. For that reason, distilled water is not recommended for many fish because it’s lacking in substances that help keep fish healthy.
Can I Use Bottled Water For My Fish Tank?
You can use bottled water as fish water for your aquarium. You do need to choose cautiously, though. Not all bottled water is the same. There are three general types of bottled water:
- Purified – this may or may not be ok in your aquarium as it could contain chlorine, or it may have been distilled so it lacks in minerals good for your fish
- Filtered – similar to purified water, it depends on what has or hasn’t been stripped from the water as to whether this type of bottled water is suitable as fish water
- Spring – sometimes is passed through filters, but sometimes is not; has no chlorine, but does have the minerals and nutrients that are found naturally in spring water
The other factor to measure here is the pH level of the bottled water you intend to use as fish water in your aquarium. For a betta fish, you want a pH that’s not higher than 8 and not lower than about 6.5.
Is Spring Water Good For Fish?
Spring water is quite good for fish because of the nutrients and minerals it holds. It doesn’t have chlorine in it and isn’t stripped of its good properties that benefit fish. It’s a good choice of fish water for replicating a fish’s natural habitat. Spring water will help with keeping your betta fish healthy and happy inside a fish tank.
Can You Use Filtered Water For Betta Fish?
You can use filtered water for betta fish, but it depends on the level of filtration, meaning how much is being filtered out or not. Betta fish thrive in water that has nutrients and minerals in the open water. The fish water you’re using in the aquarium they’re living in needs to mimic the open water environment as much as possible. Don’t use water that’s been filtered down so much that it has nothing to offer your betta fish, such as distilled water. You need to make sure that chlorine or any other harmful chemicals have been removed, but not the beneficial elements in the water.
How Do You Treat Betta Fish Water?
Once you’ve chosen the right kind of water for your betta fish, such as bottled spring water or tap water that’s been cleared of its chlorine, you can condition the water with products found in pet shops that will help you keep your fish alive and healthy. You should condition the water in your aquarium with every water change you do.
How Often Should You Change Betta Fish Water?
Whether you use tap water, betta-specific water, or bottled spring water in your fish tank, you’ll need to change it on a regular basis. How often depends on the size of your tank, whether it’s a filtered or unfiltered tank, how many fish live in it, and how much you feed your fish. (Uneaten fish food can rot and create a toxic environment.)
Here’s a guideline to follow for changing the water in your betta fish tank. If the tank is small and unfiltered, you should change up to 50% of the water once a week. If you have a larger tank that has a filter, then you still need to change some of it every week, but 20-25% is probably ok.
Ultimately, you’re changing the water to keep the level of ammonia within a safe range for the fish. You can get test strips for checking the levels if you’d like that assurance.
Spring Water Is The Best Bottled Water For Betta Fish
It’s ok to fill your tank with tap water if you just make sure the chlorine is gone before putting the fish in it. Spring water in a bottle may be a better choice for its natural properties. The nutrients in the spring water will provide the most natural-feeling environment to the habitat you’d find betta fish in out in the open water. It may be more expensive to fill a large tank with bottled spring water, but if it’s within your budgetary constraints, it can give your fish the healthiest home to live in so you can enjoy your betta fish as long as possible.
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