What Kind Of Water Do Betta Fish Need?

Betta fish, or the Siamese fighting fish, originate in Southeast Asia but are also highly popular as aquarium fish and domestic pets, mainly because of their rich and striking colors and simple maintenance requirements.

When it comes to keeping betta fish as pets, you will need to ensure that all their living conditions are up to standard and are suitable enough for them to thrive. A significant part of this includes the kind of water they can live in.

You can use several different kinds of water for betta fish as long as you prepare the water well, although some are bound to be more appropriate for them than others.

If you are confused about where to start, look no further!

This guide lets you go through the different kinds of water you can use for betta fish, what you should account for, and how to get the water ready for your fish. Let’s begin!


6 Types Of Water You Can Use For Bettas

Several types of water contain different properties, levels of chemicals, nutrients, bacteria, and other elements that can help determine the level of suitability for betta fish.

While one type might be okay to use as is, another might require several steps of filtering and conditioning before it is ready for your bettas.

This is why it is essential to understand each kind of water and what you can expect from it.

So let’s take a look.

1. Tap Water

Tap water is the water you can access directly through your taps or faucets. This kind of water is what you can abundantly find in your own home, making it extremely easy for you to use it as an option for betta fish, especially since it is also way more affordable.

Tap water contains several chemicals such as chlorine or chloramine, each of which can make the tap water safer for humans to use and consume. However, such chemicals can be dangerous and fatal when it comes to fish.

Yet, if you manage to properly treat and condition the water, you can use it as a suitable choice for bettas. This is because tap water contains several nutrients that can improve your fish’s living conditions and health.

2. Spring Water

Springwater is generally the water that comes in the form of bottled water. This kind of bottled spring water can work pretty well for betta fish, considering that it does not include any harmful chemicals (such as chlorine) in its contents.

In addition, bottled spring water is also likely to contain all the nutrients that tap water can also provide, which can be beneficial to your fish. What you do need to watch out for here, however, is an excess amount of nutrients that might end up harming your betta.

Make sure you also ensure that the pH level is suitable enough for your fish; otherwise, you might need to bring it to its appropriate level. You might also need to condition the water a bit.

Bottled water can prove expensive in the long run since you will need to keep buying it each time you want to change the water.

3. Distilled Water

Distilled water is purified water, which does not contain any harsh chemicals such as chlorine. At the same time, however, distilled water does not have any nutritional content, such as minerals, which are essential for your betta fish to survive.

This makes distilled water ill-suited and inappropriate for betta fish since this will only adversely impact their health.

While you can try to increase the mineral content in this water by adding them separately, this can prove to be quite expensive and the cost of actually buying the distilled water in the first place.

4. Rainwater

Rainwater can sometimes work for your betta fish since it does not include any added chemicals in its content. As long as the rainwater is soft, you can collect it and use it for your fish if you test it beforehand.

You will still need to condition it, manage its pH level, and combine it with some treated tap water to make it suitable for bettas.

Despite this, you should note that rainwater might also contain several pollutants that can harm the health of your fish, which can then increase the efforts and costs required to treat the water.

5. Pre-Conditioned Betta Fish Water

You can easily find pre-conditioned betta fish water in local or online stores. This kind of water is specifically suited for betta fish since it tends to be treated, filtered, and conditioned to remove harsh chemicals, adjust the pH level and provide the necessary nutrients to your fish.

However, while this might seem like an ideal choice for your betta fish, you should note that such water is quite expensive, which can prove to be challenging to manage in the long run, which is why it might simply be more accessible and cheaper for you to go with tap water with the right amount of conditioning.

6. Well Water

If you do not have access to tap water and live in a remote and rural region, then healthy water might be the only option for you to use for your fish. However, you risk harming your betta fish due to the potential presence of metals, pollutants, and fertilizers, even though the water does not contain any chlorine.

However, if your options are limited, it might be better for you first to test the water and then make the required adjustments to it through conditioning and treating.

Things to Account For

It is now clear that the water you use must be suitable for your fish. We have already seen some conditions required for your fish to thrive, such as maintaining the essential nutrients in the water and getting rid of harmful chemicals.

There are, however, two more factors that you can look into:

pH Levels

Different kinds of water contain different pH levels. This means that while one type of water might be highly acidic in its pH content, another kind might have more of a neutral pH.

When it comes to betta fish, it is essential to adjust the pH levels so that they can thrive instead of coming across dirt or chemicals. For betta fish, the ideal pH levels are between 6.5 and 8, which is more or less neutral.

You can test the pH level of the water beforehand and then make adjustments as required.

Water Temperature

It is also essential to maintain the water temperature so that your fish can survive and thrive. While your betta fish can adapt well, it is still necessary to ensure that the water you keep them in is neither too hot nor too cold.

Ideal water temperatures for betta fish are 25-27℃ or 75-80℉. Ensure that the tank is of the right size to suit and maintain such temperatures while also investing in a heater if the temperatures in the house or outside the tank are generally colder.

If you need to make any changes to the temperature of the water, make sure to do so gradually so that your fish has time to adjust.

How to Prepare Water for Betta Fish

There are several steps you can take and methods that you can use to prepare the water for betta fish. You can take a look at some of these below.

1. Do Some Research

Make sure you research the kind of water you are using and what that water usually contains in terms of its properties, chemicals, nutrients, and pH levels. You will also need to research the betta fish to ensure that you provide proper care requirements and living conditions.

Based on this research, you can prepare the water by concentrating on the harmful chemicals and impurities.

2. Keep Testing the Water

You should test the water either through a home kit or by giving a sample to a local fish store. Based on what you find, you can then make the necessary adjustments and tweaks to the properties of the water (in terms of pH and chemicals).

Make sure you carry out this regularly testing to maintain the stability and condition of the water.

3. Filter the Water

Filtering the water can be an excellent way to get rid of all the harsh chemicals, pollutants, and impurities in the water without getting rid of the essential nutrients that it may contain.

Activated charcoal can be a great substance to use here since it can absorb toxins that might be present around it. However, you might need to leave it for a day or two to have its effect fully.

Once you are also done conditioning the water, filtering it once again for another 24 hours might help clear the water of impurities completely.

4. Condition the Water

After you filter the water for the first time, you should add some water conditioner to it to prepare it even further for the aquarium or the water tank for your betta fish.

You can buy this kind of water conditioner from a nearby store or buy a suitable one for your aquarium online. Add this to your water to get rid of chemicals like chlorine, chloramine, and, in many cases, even ammonia and nitrates.

Many conditioners might also contain elements that can help protect the coat of your betta fish.

5. Add Aquarium Salts

Aquarium salts usually contain evaporated sea salts that can aid the breathing of your betta fish by improving their gill capacity and functioning. This can make your fish much healthier and allow them to thrive in your aquarium or fish tank.

Such salts also have several electrolytes that provide energy and color to your fish. Thus, whenever you prepare your water, you will need to add some aquarium salts at the end of the process and right before you introduce your fish to the water.

Make sure you also add these salts whenever you change the water in the tank, even if partially.

6. Maintain pH and temperature

It is, of course, essential to maintain the pH levels and temperature of the water since betta fish require certain specific ranges in which they thrive. Therefore, neutral pH levels and warm water temperatures are ideal for such fish.

It might not always be possible for your water to maintain a consistent pH level and temperature since several external factors may disturb this standard.

This is why it is essential for you to regularly test the water while also investing in tools such as pH stabilizing chemicals and tank heaters to help you set the desired conditions.

7. Regularly Change the Water

Regularly changing the water inside your fish tank is essential to keep it stable and suitable for your betta fish. However, make sure you do not suddenly change the water conditions to extreme levels since your fish will not be able to adjust so quickly.

Instead, make gradual changes to the water. An ideal way of doing this is only to change the water partially each time so as not to disturb its essence. This can allow your fish some time to adapt.

Take the size of your tank into account to determine how often you should change the water. Of course, occasional complete water changes are required as well.

The Bottom Line

Tap water can be an ideal choice for betta fish since it is accessible and affordable while also containing the essential minerals for your fish.

As long as you test, filter, and condition this tap water, you should be able to use it well for your fish. However, you might need to carry out some extra steps for other kinds of water.


Jack Dempsey
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