Betta Fish Water Guide: Ideal pH Level, Parameters & How To Change

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Good water care is the staple of good aquarium and betta fish care. If you look after your fish’s water so many problems can be avoided.

We know that due to the amount of information out there it’s not easy and the thought of the consequences of getting your betta fish water care wrong can be scary.

This one-page guide will help you answer the most common questions:

  • What kind of water is ok for a betta fish?
  • What temperature should my water be?
  • How do I condition and treat my betta fish’s water?

What kind of water for a betta fish?

Is Tap Water Okay?

Tap water for betta fish

Your tap water is an easy choice for betta fish water and is the most popular choice. Tap water can be used as long as you condition it properly. (We’ll discuss this below.) There are several great things about the water available from your faucet.

  • Betta fish will thrive in a water with a “neutral” pH of around 7.0. Most tap water pH will fall within a range of 6.5 to 7.5.
  • It’s easy to adjust the temperature directly out of the faucet to the best range for your fish.
  • Additionally, tap water contains trace minerals and nutrients that will give you a healthy and happy betta.

If you’re concerned about the actual pH of your home’s water, most pet stores can test your water, if you bring in a sample. Another option is to pick up a pH test kit, if you’d like to monitor the water yourself.

Is Distilled Water OK?

No… It may seem to be an easy solution – just twist off the cap and fill your betta fish tank – but don’t do it!

Distilled water has had all its minerals removed – and in this case, it’s not a good thing. Your fish needs these basic minerals to stay healthy.

It’s better to condition your tap water. Some stores may offer a bottled “Betta Water” – such as Elive Betta Water – which is simply pre-conditioned, non-distilled water. This is a quick and easy way to set up your first bowl, but not necessary.

Keep Your Water in Good Condition

No matter where you live, your tap water will have a combination of chlorine and/or chloramine, and minerals.

Cities treat water with chlorine/chloramine to remove bacteria, and although this gives us clean safe drinking water, this means that there are harmful chemicals in the water if you were to add it unconditioned to your tank.

If you just panicked, because water additives never crossed your mind – it’s okay. Water conditioner is here to help! This will remove chlorine/chloramine from your tap water, giving you healthy and safe water for your betta fish.

If this is your first fish, consider this an essential item – don’t leave the store without it.

There are a number of options, two of the most popular are, Fluval Water Conditioner and Tetra Aquasafe. You’ll need to use it with every water change.

Water Temperature

Bettas are native to Southeast Asia, where they live their lives in rice paddies, under the sun – they are tropical fish. They are healthiest in water temperatures that are similar.

The best betta water temperature is between 76° and 80° F (24.5° and 26.5° C).

Consistency is key. This can be achieved with a good heater for your betta fish tank and you should check it with a thermometer regularly.

Marina Floating Thermometer for Betta Fish Tank with Suction Cup, Aquarium Thermometer, 11201A1
  • Easy to read floating aquarium thermometer with suction cups
  • Includes a safety zone indicator appropriate for most tropical fish
  • Equipped with suction cups to attach to the side of your fish tank
  • Ensures your aquarium is at the proper temperature
  • Thermometer is 4.25 inches tall

When adding new water to a tank, make sure that the new water has the same temperature as what your fish is now swimming in. Abrupt changes in temperature can put your betta into shock. A simple thermometer is invaluable here – check both the tank water and the new water to make sure they match.

Betta fish water changes

Fish do all their living in the water that surrounds them. This means that leftover food and fish waste will constantly build up, creating high ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, and an unhealthy environment. Fortunately, this is easy to remedy – with water changes

How often to change the water

You’ll want to do a partial water change at least weekly. Using the water conditioner that you brought home with your betta (we told you it was important!). If you are keeping your betta in a filtered tank (we REALLY think you should be) then each week change 15-20% of the tanks water.

Why shouldn’t I change all of my aquarium’s water? Well, there are actually certain amounts of beneficial bacteria in your betta’s water which keeps water levels optimal for longer. You’ll want to keep some of that around. Also keeping a lot of the original water means water levels and temperatures do not change much during the water change. Large sudden changes in the environment such as 100% different water will stress out your fish.

And Relax!

Here’s a re-cap of good betta fish water care…

  • Start with a conditioned tap water that has had chlorine and chloramine removed.
  • Avoid the used of distilled water – it’s actually bad for your fish.
  • Make sure to maintain the health of your water by always using a good water conditioner, like Seachem Prime, with every water change.
  • Keep the water somewhere in the range of 75-82 degrees F, and avoid fluctuations by avoiding places like sunny windows and using a small heater.
  • Keep your betta’s world free of pollution with a minimum of one partial water change a week.

Enjoy your new friend, and if you have any questions, please comment below!

Last Updated: October 17, 2021

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Comments 5

  1. Aranea June 11, 2018
    • @BettaInfo July 7, 2018
  2. Trevor D Money June 18, 2018
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      • Sheila Peacher May 16, 2019

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