The Best Kind Of Betta Fish Tank Water

Published: 25th September 2009
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Oftentimes tropical pet fish lovers think that if their aquarium water isn't a green or brownish looking color that their betta fish couldn't survive and thrive.

However, if you take a look at a natural water environment you'll notice that it has some unique ways for providing small tropical fish just the right type of conditions needed to sustain abundant fish life. And it's amazing ability to cleanse away harmful materials lurking in the water.


Domestic tap water may be nontoxic (in a small quantity) for humans to drink, but rest assured, it can be toxic for a betta fish to exist in. Almost all domestic tap water contains chlorine and a sufficient concentration of iron along with poisonous elements such as lead and copper. In addition, tap water can also be too hard (or even too soft) for your pet betta fish. And oftentimes it may have abnormal pH levels.

Fortunately, there are a variety of products in the marketplace you can use to make domestic tap water completely safe and suitable for a beta fish tank aquarium.

The very first thing that you need to do (when using domestic tap water) is to remove ALL traces of harmful chlorine. Your local pet store will usually sell several brands of products designed for this purpose. In most case, all that's required is to follow simple instructions and place a few drops of a special liquid in the tank water, and then let it stand for up to 24-hours so that the chlorine actually dissipates completely.

Once you've removed all of the chlorine it will be safe to place your betta fish into their new water environment.


It's also extremely important that you check the levels of copper, lead concentrates, and especially traces of iron in the water. While these elements are generally okay for a human to drink in small doses they can be harmful to your betta fish and sometimes will end-up killing your fish. Another area you should NOT overlook is the "alkalinity and pH" of the water.

Side point: You need to regularly check and test the water so that you can provide a safe and stable water supply for your beta fish.

The necessary items required to do this are reasonably inexpensive and available from most pet stores. By using these products it'll allow you to "increase or decrease" the water alkalinity and pH levels.


There are other alternatives when it comes to using water for your betta tank. (1) You can buy purified and pre-treated water. And (2) you can use clean rainwater. However, purified and pre-treated water is the most expensive choice, but it does guarantee you water that's been prepared properly.

Side point: Purified and pre-treated water is BEST used when setting up a saltwater aquarium.

Generally speaking, rainwater is free of chlorine and heavy metals and is harmless for betta fish. Although rainwater is usually considered clean (without containing any harmful elements) you will still need to check it before use. Why? Because the very life of your pet betta fish depends on a water environment which is totally unpolluted and free of any harmful contaminates.


It doesn't matter what type of water that you decide to use you'll need to maintain it. One important reason for doing this is that fish eliminate waste, and it's that waste which consists of ammonia. In addition, bacteria in the aquarium will convert the ammonia into nitrite. However, nitrite is still harmful and especially to small betta fish.

Side point: An increasing build-up of bacteria will keep converting nitrite into nitrate, and is considered to be MUCH less harmful.

Another interesting thing in this ongoing process is... this cycle helps maintain an equilibrium in your aquarium. But there's still enough good reasons to regularly examine and change the tank water if necessary. Remember that the ammonia generation created by your betta fish could exceed the ability of the bacteria to convert this. And many times this can happen with new aquariums that haven't had time to produce sufficient bacteria in the water.

The ammonia generation also inceases any time you add new fish to the tank and/or increase the amount you feed your fish. Also, always remember that nitrates are harmful to betta fish especially in big doses. So, you should always regularly **TEST** the aquarium water, and change it often to help in keeping the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates under strict control. By doing so, you'll wind-up having an aquarium of healthy and happy betta fish bringing you hours of fun and enjoyment.

Peter Myles is an expert in the care and breeding of betta fish as well as betta fish care and offers free tips and advice at his website

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