Can Betta Fish Live in Tap Water? – By Petsbent

can betta fish live in tap water? This is one of the most often asked questions about betta fish care. We drink tap water and don’t have any problems, so it must be safe, right? Why shouldn’t our fish drink it as well as our dogs and cats?

Can betta fish live in tap water? So The Answer is if There are some safe and cost-effective solutions, such as water conditioners and spring water, as well as some dubious and downright dangerous items, such as “Betta water,” that you should avoid. Let’s have a look at these options and see what works best for you and your specific setup!

In most city tap water, keeping betta fish is not recommended. Keeping any fish in plain tap water is, for the most part, dangerous. However, treated tap water is completely safe for your fish and most invertebrates. Why is tap water harmful (chlorine chloramines ammonia), how to treat tap water, inappropriate tap water, flushing tap lines, and well water will all be discussed.

Tap Water

The way we purify tap water is the fundamental reason why it is dangerous for fish. Chlorine is often used to disinfect and destroy microorganisms in tap water. This protects us from microorganisms, and the quantity used is little.

Fish, on the other hand, swim in it all the time and breathe it in. The percentage in tap water is too high for their little bodies to handle. Because bleach is chlorine, betta fish swimming in plain tap water is analogous to a watered-down bleach bath. This burns them on the exterior as well as the inside, causing damage to their delicate gills and organs.

The possible hazard present in tap water is chloramines. Chloramines, or bonded chlorine and ammonia, are a novel form of the sterilizer. Chlorine gasses out of the water in roughly 24 hours, but chloramines remain in the water for days. Because they also leak ammonia into the water, they are considerably more hazardous than chlorine.

Another issue with tap water is the presence of ammonia. While the majority of tap water contains chlorine or chloramines, not all tap water contains ammonia. Another cleaning agent is ammonia, which is particularly poisonous to fish. It’s a by-product of fish waste decomposition in most un-cycled aquariums.

Because betta fish dwell in un-cycled aquariums, ammonia poisoning is one of the most prevalent causes of death. Ammonia, like chlorine, can burn a betta fish’s fins, scales, eyes, and gills. The scales, as well as the fins, may fall off or become black. Heavy metals may be present in tiny concentrations in tap water that are safe for humans but not for fish.

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The Tap Water Treatment

The good news is that commercially accessible devices can readily solve all of these issues. Water conditioners exist in a variety of sizes, forms, scents, and uses. Some bind heavy metals and render them harmless, while others refill the slime coat and even neutralize the ammonia.

You won’t need a water conditioner if you know your water contains simply chlorine in terms of the concerns stated above. After a given length of time, chlorine gasses out of the water. The standard period is 24 hours, however by adding a bubbler, you can cut that time in half.

The bubbler will cause ripples on the water’s surface, increasing the water’s surface area. The quicker the chlorine escapes, the larger the surface area. Keep in mind that removing chlorine and adding oxygen might cause the pH to increase somewhat. This isn’t a huge issue, but if the pH of your tank is greater than the pH of your tap water, this is a possible explanation.

There are particular water conditioners for damaged fish, such as those with a simply torn fin or another mild injury. They will not only reduce chlorine and chloramines, but they will also assist your fish’s slime coat. Stress Coat is one example of this since it includes aloe, which may function as a slime coat and neutralize heavy metals.

Seachem Prime is your best chance for the most powerful and perhaps most helpful water conditioner. This water conditioner can neutralize 2ppm ammonia and nitrite and eliminate the heaviest metals. Most other water conditioners do not allow you to safely overdose on it up to 5 times. When cycling a tank, this is quite helpful.

Tap water that isn’t fit for drinking

Regardless of the water conditioner, you apply, some tap water will be unfit for bettas. This generally applies to tap water with a pH of more than 8.0 or a high concentration of heavy metals. Heavy metals can only be neutralized to a certain extent by water conditioners, and some tap water just contains too much.

It’s not always easy to pinpoint the particular component that makes your tank dangerous. Your water may be dangerous if you have fish fatalities despite ideal metrics (ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20). There are just two options available in these situations.

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The first option is to switch to a new supply of water. This may be accomplished in one of two ways. The first option is to purchase bottles of spring water from your local supermarket. Because there are no minerals in the water, it cannot be RO or DI (reverse osmosis or distilled). Fish, like humans, need minerals to operate, and they often get them from the water. They will suffer from severe mineral deficits and may die if these minerals are not provided.

Although the second approach is more cumbersome, I know someone who utilizes it. You would grab numerous buckets and drive to a friend’s home for this option. Your acquaintance must have a different source of water than you. Fill the buckets with water and bring them home to dechlorinate and use.

Installing a reverse osmosis filter, which filters out the majority of pollutants, is the last choice. The only disadvantage is the high cost and need for a remineralize. Because reverse osmosis systems remove almost all minerals from the water, you’ll need to remineralize it. The advantage is that you have complete control over what gets into your water. There are various commercially available remineralizes, the majority of which are designed for certain species, making it easy to choose.

Tap Lines Have Been Flushed

The city needs to “flush” the tap lines every now and again to keep them clean. The city is required to notify you when the tap pipes are being flushed, and they often suggest boiling your water. The water will be dangerous for you and your fish for the next three days. During this period, you should avoid water changes and drink plain tap water.

When flushing tap lines, surplus cleansers, usually chlorine, are pumped into the pipes. Excess chlorine may be removed by boiling the water, which is why the warning to boil water was issued. When chlorine is present in typical proportions, it takes around twenty to thirty minutes to boil it out of water.

Chlorine isn’t the only thing that makes the water dangerous. Flushing the tap lines removes mineral deposits and cleans them. These deposits accumulate on the insides of pipes, reducing the flow of water. The only issue with removing them is that they must be relocated. These mineral deposits are particularly damaging to aquatic life and may wind up in residential areas.

Water from a Well

Well, water, on the other hand, is a different matter. Wells seldom contain ammonia, although they often contain nitrates. Nitrates are another by-product of tank cycling, and levels over 20ppm are toxic to fish. Because mammals do not handle nitrates as effectively as they do ammonia, excess nitrates may be detrimental to humans.

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Mineral deposits can cause the water to be exceedingly hard. The mineral deposits near wells leak into the water because they are underground. This implies that people with wells may be limited to hard water fish like livebearers. Betta fish, which are soft water fish, may not be able to live in hard water.

Well-supplied homes are rare and far between and are often found in rural areas. Rainwater may be collected in a water butt if the residence is located away from large cities and contaminants. The Rainwater is similar to RO water in that it has extremely few minerals. Rainwater may be mixed with well water or remineralized for use in aquariums.


Can you use tap water for betta fish?

Yes, you can use tap water for betta fish but keep it clean and fresh.

How long can a betta fish live in tap water?

They can survive up to years but if you provide the extra space and a clean environment.


While not safe on its own, tap water treated with a water conditioning chemical mix may be used in a Betta aquarium. Other solutions, such as spring water, are also possible, but it is critical that you analyze your water before putting it in the tank to verify that no harmful consequences occur.

Jack Benz

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