Betta fish hobby is always hard at the start. People always get into the dilemma of choosing which water to use in the aquariums.
With tap water being the cheapest at home, today, you’ll learn how to treat tap water for betta fish.
Do Betta Fish Require Special Conditions?
Siamese fighting fish (Betta fish) is derived from Betta splendens. They are Asian natives and live in shallow waters or slow-flowing streams. The fish are well known to be active during the day and inactive during the night. For that reason, they require darkness to rest.
Although some are wild-caught, most come from Thailand and other South East Asia countries’ breeding farms.
Due to breeding, they are sensitive and complex pets that require special conditions. Betta fish are prone to diseases and worms that destroy their body color. Secondly, the fish are tropical and hence need uniform water temperatures.
Why You Should Treat Tap Water for Betta Fish
Although tap water is regarded as the best for aquariums, it contains contaminants that may harm your betta fish.
Below are some of the reasons you should treat tap water before adding it to the betta fish tank;
It contains Chlorine and Chloramine
Chlorine is added to municipal water (tap water) to treat it against microorganisms. Chlorine acts as an oxidizer to the water by gaining electrons after chemical reactions.
Chlorine and chloramines are poisonous to betta fish because they get into their blood and reduce oxygen levels. Secondly, they damage their gills which results in death.
Balancing of Tap Water PH
Most municipal water PH ranges from 6.5 to 7.5, which may be unfavorable for betta fish. Betta fish requires a PH of 7.0.
Note any slight drop from the normal betta PH requirement may result in betta fish death.
Heavy Metals in Tap Water
Although betta fish require minerals from water, some heavy metals may harm them. Some of the heavy metals come from plumbing lines and other equipment that the water passes through.
Some harmful heavy metals are Manganese, copper, lead, arsenic, and chromium.
How to Treat Tap Water for Betta Fish
Using a water conditioner is the best way to treat water for betta fish. The water conditioner for betta fish I would recommend is API TAP Water Conditioner. API tap water conditioner has the following benefits;
- It neutralizes chlorine, chloramines, and other harmful chemicals.
- It detoxifies heavy metals.
- It protects fish gills and tissue from damage.
- It has a high concentration formula.
- You can use it in both fresh and salty water.
The water conditioner works by removing contaminants in the water and correcting the smell. If you’re figuring out how to dechlorinate water for betta fish due to the unpleasant smell, a water conditioner will solve your problem.
Some of the water conditioners soften the water. However, all of them alter the chemical structures of the dissolved minerals without removing them. The minerals remain in water with no negative effects, and for this reason, they become beneficial to fish.
The Procedure for Treating Tap Water for Betta Fish
Step 1: Filling the Tank and Adding API Tap Water Conditioner
First, note the volume of the water tank to determine the actual amount of the conditioner to add. Afterwards, you can fill the tank to 100%.
However, if you intend to add just a little amount of water, treat it in a separate area before adding it to the rest of the water.
After filling or determining the amount of water, add at least 3mls of water conditioner to 10 gallons of water. This is the manufacturer’s recommended volume, but you can confirm before using your newly-bought conditioner.
Step 2: Give Water About 24 Hours
It isn’t a good idea to add your betta into the tank immediately after treating the water with the conditioner. Leave your betta fish tap water overnight for the chlorine to dissipate.
Secondly, the water may release bubbles due to nitrogen gas. By the end of 24 hours, nitrogen gas will have popped up on the water surface.
Read: Baby Betta fish care
Step 3: Stress Additive
Although you have added the water conditioner, it’s good to include the API Stress Coat Additive.
During handling the fish, you may have interfered with their protective body coat which protects them against infections.
Step 4: Warm the Water
Betta fish survives in water under a temperature of 24.5 to 26.5 degrees. First, confirm the betta fish water temperature matches their tank and the new aquarium. The fish are highly tropical, and for this reason, they may get stressed if you alter the temperatures.
FAQs on Treating Betta Fish Water
Does Letting Tap Water Sit Remove Chlorine?
Chlorine gas is lighter than the air and will evaporate from the water at room temperature. However, the duration of evaporating fully depends on the surrounding air warmth.
The other alternative to removing chlorine is boiling the water for around 15 minutes. But unfortunately, all these methods of chlorine removal may not make the water favorable for betta fish. Heavy metals and other contaminants remain in the water even after boiling.
How Long Does it Take for The Chlorine to Evaporate from Tap Water?
It will take around 4.5 days for 2 ppm of chlorine to evaporate from 10 gallons of tap water. Note the rate of evaporation is determined by the temperatures around. As such, it can take even longer under cool temperatures.
How Do You Dechlorinate Tap Water Fast?
There are three easy ways to dechlorinate the water faster. Take a look;
Boiling and Cooling– By boiling the water, chlorine evaporates faster since it’s lighter than the air. Afterwards, you can cool the water for use.
Exposure to Ultraviolent light– You can leave the tap water in the sun for a certain period, and chlorine will evaporate.
Using Vitamin C– Vitamin C is effective in removing chlorine and chloramines from pools and baths. Additionally, you can use it in drinking water too. Unfortunately, it decreases the water PH levels.
It’s important to note all three methods will eliminate chlorine but not the other harmful substances and heavy metals found in tap water. The best method to treat tap water for betta fish is using a water conditioner.
Pet Advocacy Network: CARING FOR YOUR BETTA