Can Betta Fish Live in Tap Water?

Last Updated on October 5, 2020

The natural bodies of water where the Betta fish live do not have chlorine mixed into it. That is basically the major difference with tap water. You can mix chlorine and chloramine with the water distributing institutions to make water safe for human consumption. These compounds are not safe for Betta fish!

So answering the question: “Can betta fish live in tap water?” – Yes, they can!

Using tap water for a betta fish tank is a very obvious choice for new and seasoned hobbyists alike because it is highly accessible and cheap. It has the minerals needed by fish and commonly has a neutral pH. These reasons make it one of the best water for betta.

There are plenty of effective and affordable brands of water conditioners available. Water conditioners detoxify the chlorine and chloramine and other harmful substances such as heavy metals found in tap water. This will make it safe for betta fish care. The water where betta fish live is critical and knowing what water betta fish need will ensure health and longevity.

How often should you change betta fish water?

A weekly water change of 20 to 25% is good for a well-established betta fish tank with a filter. An established tank has been thoroughly “cycled” so the nitrogen cycle is in place. Beneficial bacteria can decompose toxic ammonia into less toxic nitrites and further into even less toxic nitrates.

It’s better to do daily water changes if you put betta fish in tiny containers. It’s frowned upon by betta fish enthusiasts to put betta fish in such living conditions as it doesn’t give the betta fish an opportunity to thrive.

100% water changes are not advisable regularly because water parameters and temperature will fluctuate too much if you do this. This will stress out your betta fish and can even lead to sickness and death.

You can read up more on how often should i change the water for my betta fish.

How long till tap water is safe for fish?

It is good to know if your tap water is treated with chlorine and chloramine. You can check with the water treatment facility in your area. This is because chlorine and chloramine have unique properties.

For tap water that contains only chlorine and not chloramine, you can let it sit for 24 hours and the chlorine will dissipate into the air. This process is not expensive, but, it takes 24 hours and does not remove chloramine. 

Your best choice is to use a water conditioner for aquarium purposes to remove both chlorine and chloramine to make water safe for your betta fish. 

Related: Can Betta Fish Live in Cold Water?

Does boiling tap water remove chlorine?

Boiling water for 5 to 15 minutes will remove chlorine faster than by waiting for it to gas off for 24 hours. This process will not remove chloramine though and requires more energy consumption.

It would be easier and cost-efficient to use a water conditioner. Water conditioners are fast-acting. It will neutralize chlorine and chloramine in tap water in as little as five minutes. 

How do I keep my betta fish water clear?

One habit many fish keepers have difficulty stopping is overfeeding. This is most probably one of the top reasons your betta fish’s water is always cloudy and not clear. Uneaten food will release ammonia into the water column and can also bring about bacterial blooms if the beneficial bacteria aren’t capable of breaking down dissolved organics.

Feed your betta fish with the amount it can finish within 2 minutes. You can take out any extra food not eaten after 2 to 3 minutes. Do this just to make sure nothing rots after feeding.

Installing a filter will be very helpful in keeping your betta fish’s water as clear as possible. Filters have parts that trap fish waste and uneaten fish food. This is also the place where beneficial bacteria proliferate. These beneficial bacteria will help keep your fish tank in balance.

Betta fish love live plants that provide interesting areas where it can swim through and explore. Their natural habitat has lots of plants. Plants will help keep the water clear by using extra nutrients in the water. They will act as a natural filter which will also enhance the beauty of your fish tank.

Can betta fish live in tap water

How long should water sit before adding betta?

It is advisable to treat tap water in a bucket and place it in the room where you set up your betta fish tank. Wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes so that the water temperature will be as much as possible. This will prevent any sudden shifts in water temperature which may lead to temperature shock to your betta fish.

How do you know a betta fish is happy?

A betta fish is highly territorial and it will be happy defending its home. Male betta fish are more aggressive compared to female betta fish. The gill flaring and fin fanning displays by male betta fish will amaze a new fish keeper. This is a sign that your betta fish is happy because it has claimed a territory to call its own. Avoid betta fish fights by only keeping one betta in a tank.

Another way to know that your betta is happy is being alert when you come near its tank. It will swim around checking its home and you’ll notice that it will get used to a feeding routine as long as you stick to a feeding schedule. That is a good response from a betta fish and a delight for you to see.

A good appetite is a sign of a happy and healthy betta fish. Make sure it has the right food. Remember that betta fish are carnivores. Give it food specifically made for betta fish to avoid constipation and bloating.

Poor water conditions can lead to diseases. You can even use test kits to be sure that your betta fish’s tank water parameters are optimal. Clean water may sound easy but it is crucial in making your betta fish healthy and happy.