What Kind Of Water To Use For Betta Fish? Let’s Find Out

What Kind Of Water To Use For Betta Fish

Similar to a man in a gas chamber, the wrong aquarium water can agonizingly suffocate your Betta fish. Turns out, placing the fish in cured/treated water can solve the problem. So, what kind of water to use for Betta fish?

Well, the answer depends on where you get the water. In America, we consider tap water abundant. However, we need to check the water parameters like pH, KH, GH, etc.

You can also try out bottled water, well water, and even distilled water for betta fish. The only thing you need to do is keep the parameters constant.

The perfect water for betta fish should have the following parameters:

  • Temperature: 23.8°-27.7°C (75°-82°F)
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: 10-20 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • GH: 50-66.7 ppm
  • KH: 53.6- 89.4 ppm
  • pH: 6.5-7.5

Note: The BOD value of the water should be at about 1-2 mg/l (ppm). Keep the air pump running to keep the value lower.

Why Use Treated Water For Betta Fish?

Why do fishes in the public aquarium live better and healthier? The reason is, they have treated water to survive. When fishes have good water, their life span increases, and diseases hardly pop up. The reasons for using the right kind of treated water for Betta fish are,

  • Enhances the water quality
  • Prevents algae from growing rapidly
  • Eliminates all potentially toxic substances
  • Improves the life of Betta fish
  • Reduces diseases and water greening
  • Creates a better habitat for the other fishes

How Do You Prepare Water For A Betta Fish?

Treating the water for Betta fish is the most important step after the food quality. Follow the steps below to know how to treat water for Betta fish.

Equipment you will need:

  • pH meter
  • Thermometer
  • KH, and Nitrate meter
  • Water hardness meter/ GH meter

Here is a quick table for Betta fish water parameters:

ParametersUsable Range
pH6.5 – 7.5
Temperature75°-82°F (23.8°-27.7°C)
GH3-4 dGH (50-66.7 ppm)
KH3-5 dKH (53.6- 89.4 ppm)
Nitrate10-20 ppm

Step 1: Balance The pH

Taking a pH meter, we need to measure the pH value. If you find the pH to be lower than 6.5, add more water to mix. General tap water is around 7.5-8.5. To decrease the pH value, you can add tannins. Measure the pH every time you add some tannins to the water. We need the pH to be around 6.5-7.5.

If the pH value is not within the ideal range, you may need to adjust it. Fortunately, adjusting the pH value, i.e. lowering or increasing its value is not that difficult.

There are both commercial and natural products for adjusting pH in an aquarium. I prefer to use the natural product first, i.e. Indian Almond Leaves.

Indian Almond Leaves have tannins. Tannin is highly effective to lower the pH value. You can use one leaf in per square feet area. One leaf is enough for 1 month.

As the leaf deteriorate with time, it will release tannin, and the tannin will keep the pH down.

There are many natural sources for tannin. Some popular ones among hobbyists are Indian Almond Leavesdriftwoodalmond bark, etc.

If you want a quicker result, you can go for either API pH UP or API pH Down. Both are very reliable and deliver result much quicker.

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Step 2: General Hardness Check

GM or General Hardness is the number of minerals present in the water. The only way to control the hardness of water is by using a good quality filter. Adding some water from an RO filter will reduce the GM. Generally, the pH of water won’t go below the 50 ppm range. Use a water hardness meter to know the GM properly.

If you need to lower down the GH value, use API Water Softener. On the contrary, for increasing the GH, use Seachem Equilibrium.

Step 3: Carbon Hardness Fix

KH refers to the Carbon Hardness of water. When the KH level is higher, your chances of keeping a stable pH increase. Measure the KH level with a KH meter. If the level is lower than usual, add some limestone or dolomite to fix it. Add some fresh filtered water to reduce the KH level when needed.

Step 4: Nitrate Check

Long-term exposure to high levels of nitrate can stress out your Betta fish. Additionally, it can stunt growth, damage organs, and make the fish vulnerable to diseases. The simplest way to decrease the nitrate level is by changing the water. You can use bottled water where the nitrate concentration is near 10 ppm.

Step 5: Temperature Control

The normal temperature range is 75°-82°F (23.8°-27.7°C). Keep the aquarium in a room atmosphere to avoid an increase or decrease in temperature.

Water Test Kit For Betta Fish

The good thing is, with just one kit, you can check all the water parameters. If you are serious about betta keeping, I’ll highly suggest investing on this water test it. It will increases your success rate in betta keeping by many folds.

I am talking about the API Master Test Kit. With this single kit, you can measure the following water parameters:

  • Ammonia
  • Nitrite
  • Nitrate
  • pH
  • High Range pH

You’ll get the following items with the kit:

  • 7 bottles of testing solution
  • 4 glass tubes with cap
  • 1 color card

Can You Use Bottled Water For Betta Fish?

There is no way you can use bottled water directly for fish. Bottled water contains either more or less than the 6.5-7.5 pH level. Then again, the GH and KH levels may not fit your beloved Betta fish.

However, you can use bottled water if you know how to treat it for Betta fishes. Some brands offer the perfect blend of pH, KH, and GH for your fish to thrive. You can use those types of bottled water.

No matter what you do, check the parameters first before you put your fish in it.

Can I Use Distilled Water For A Betta Fish?

Distilled water contains no chlorine, contaminants, or harmful ions. But is it good for Betta fishes? Well, the answer is no.

Turns out, betta fishes need nutrients and minerals to thrive. So, avoid using just distilled water. You need to add a bunch of minerals to improve the distilled water quality. They don’t come cheap.

If you don’t want to break the bank, try using tap water instead. It’s easier and cheaper to treat.

Can You Use Fiji Water For Betta Fish?

Fiji water contains a low concentration of minerals. To give your betta fish a healthier life, avoid Fiji water. Then again, having no buffering capacity, the water will harm the fish slowly. You can try treating the water, but it will cost you a fortune.

Can You Use Tap Water For Betta Fish If Left Overnight?

Tap water has a lot of nutrients and minerals. However, most water-refine plants add a small amount of chlorine to prevent germ buildup. Leaving the tap water overnight won’t do any good for the chlorine. However, if you heat the water and leave it overnight, there will be no problem putting betta fishes in it.

Can You Use Boiled Tap Water For Betta Fish?

Yes. Boiling tap water removes the chlorine content from tap water. Turns out, your betta fishes won’t have a hard adjusting in it. Tap water is full of nutrients, and you need to leave it overnight after boiling.

Is Rainwater Good For Betta Fish?

Rainwater hardly contains any pollutants, but for your fishes, the water is a little acidic. Then again, rainwater doesn’t have all the minerals for Betta fishes. If you want to use rainwater, try adjusting the pH and mineral concentration.

Is Hard Water Bad For Betta Fish?

Hard water has a high concentration of minerals, which can damage the organs of betta fish. Additionally, the pH of hard water is high and dangerous for betta fishes to live. You can expect the fish to die within a week.

Is Brita Water Safe For Betta Fish?

Brita water filters remove chlorine, zinc, copper, and other minerals from hard water. So, using Brita water for betta fish can be a safe option. However, try checking the pH and other parameters before putting your fish in it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long should water sit before adding Betta?

After calculating the pH, temperature, and hardness, you need to leave the water for 15 mins. Give the water another check before adding your beloved Betta fish. Doing so will reduce the stress for the fish.

Q. How can I tell if my Betta is happy?

Happy betta fishes have vibrant colors with smooth swimming movements. Other parameters include fins are open (Not taut), feeds regularly, and stays upright. Sick betta fishes tend to stand on the bottom more often.

Q. Is bottled spring water safe for fish?

Even if you bring bottled spring water for fish, the pH and other water parameters need to be safe. If the water fulfills those requirements, you can keep your betta in it.

Q. What water do you fill a fish tank with?

You should always fill a fish tank with treated water. The water can be from the tap, spring, or bottled. Just keep these parameters in check, and you are good to go.

  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • GH: 50-66.7 ppm
  • KH: 53.6- 89.4 ppm
  • Temperature: 23.8°-27.7°C (75°-82°F)
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: 10-20 ppm
  • pH: 6.5-7.5


When it comes to aquarium fishes, Betta is the cream of the crop. However, they require top-notch care and water condition for thriving better. Hope now you know what kind of water to use for betta fish.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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