Are you wondering, what might be the right water conditioner for your tank?
If so, then you have come to the right place!
If you use tap water for your tanks, then a good water conditioner is extremely necessary! We can’t stress enough over how essential a water conditioner for any freshwater tank owner!
Let’s dive into the 9 best water conditioners available:
Best Aquarium Water Conditioners
|50Ml – 2 Litres||Remove of Chloramine and heavy metals|
|API Stress Coat||1 oz – 1 Gallon||Removes Chlorine and Ammonia|
|API tap water conditioner||1.25 oz – 64 oz||Dechlorinates water completely|
|Tetra Betta Safe||50 Ml and 100 Ml||Neutralizes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals|
|Natural Rapport Professional Aquarium water||16 Fl Ounce||Removes Chlorine and Ammonia.|
|Hikari USA||4 oz||Removes Chloramine and removes toxic metals like Nitrites!|
|Seachem Stability||500 Ml and 1000 Ml||Removes ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrate|
|Aqueon Tap water conditoner||8 Ounce – 1 Gallon||Removes Heavy metals, ammonia and other elements|
|Instant Ocean Reef Crystals||10 Gallon – 200 Gallon||Neutralizes traces of heavy metals|
Aquarium Water Conditioners Detailed Product Reviews
1. Seachem Prime
- The Seachem Prime promotes a natural slime coat on your fish.
- Given how long it lasts it is extremely budget-friendly as well.
- It helps your biofilter function more efficiently in the tank.
- The Seachem prime does have a popular complain about its foul smell
2. API STRESS COAT Aquarium Water Conditioner 16-Ounce Bottle
- Removes harmful chemicals from both salt and tap water
- Formulated with Aloe Vera to protect and heal fish
- Helps in reducing electrolyte loss in fish, making fish healthier
- Neutralizes chloramines, detoxifies heavy metals, and removes chlorine
- You can not use it as the biological aquarium supplement because it does not contain bacteria
- It does not clean the water; it conditions and detoxifies it
3. API- TAP WATER CONDITIONER- Aquarium water conditioner
- It is a great dechlorinater and neutralizer.
- It works effectively to secure your tank of any harmful chemicals!
- It might not be great idea for you to use this in smaller tanks, due to the high concentration in the formula
- It also has a bit of an odor that you might need to bare when using it on your tank!
- It also has a frequent complaint of forming a foamy film on top of the water
4. Tetra Bettasafe Water conditioner
- It works super-fast! It dechlorinates your water instantly.
- Safe and effective.
- It is relatively affordable.
- For the small quantity you might need to repurchase it every month or so.
5. Natural Rapport Water Conditioner for Fish Tanks-Water Enhancer for Fish Tanks & Bowls
- This water conditioner buffers pH for both freshwater and saltwater tanks
- You only need to use it when you change tanks or water
- It removes heavy metals such as copper, lead, and zinc
- It does not provide the good bacteria that is needed in aquariums
- You still have to cycle the tank if you add this formula
6. Hikari Usa Ultimate Water Conditioner for Aquarium
- It does the job really well and creates the perfect environment for your fish
- It is also affordable and easy on the pocket!
- It has the fish-safe seal of approval and is non-toxic to humans and other pets!
- The 4 oz quantity may not be sufficient enough and would require frequent repurchasing!
7. Seachem Stability
- No danger of overuse of the product!
- Using the Seachem stability does not allow you to cycle your tank for at least 20 days!
8. Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner
- It is affordable
- Safe for your fish
- Provides a stress free enviornment
- Some users had the complaint of how it leaves foamy film on top of the water
- It is also not an ideal conditioner for salt water.
9. Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt for Reef Aquariums
- Great for your reef tank
- Has the essential mix of salts
- there have been some complaints about how this product turns the water yellow
- people also complain about the fact that this is a little calcium deficient an the concentration of calcium needs to be more
10. Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator
- This formula contains seaweed extracts, such as biopolymers, in order to support the development of beneficial filter bacteria
- It makes tap water a lot safer for fish
- It is great for strengthening the bacterial bed and getting rid of aquarium pollution
- It is not designed to remove ammonia
- The bottle does not come sealed
11. Hikari Usa AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X Water Conditioner for Aquarium, 16-Ounce
- Detoxifies the heavy metal copper that is hard to get rid of
- It is non-toxic to humans, pets, and aquatic life
- Unlike other conditioners, this one does a good job at removing ammonia
- When using Winkler dissolved oxygen test, it will give false readings
- When using Nessler’s total ammonia test, it will give false readings
12. Aquatic Experts Premium Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner For Fish Tanks
- This formula works perfectly for all freshwater, marine, and reef aquariums
- It consists of natural additives that will never leave an awful smell
- Users can get 100 percent of their money back if they are not satisfied
- It does not provide any support to help fish produce a slime coat
What does a water conditioner do?
A water conditioner is a formula that is made for your tank when you are primarily using tap water.
It can also disturb their biological cycle!
This is alarming especially if you are a fish breeder.
A water conditioner acts as a chlorine neutralizer,
It De-chlorinates tap water and removes other chemicals like ammonia that could harm your fish.
This makes the water safer for your fish to swim and breathe in.
Do we really need water conditioners?
Now as a new tank owner you might be wondering, do you really need these water conditioners in our tank?
You might be thinking this is just a gimmick or extra cost to incur when trying to maintain the tank.
So, let me ask you a question:
Have you ever noticed fish living in your residential water supply?
The answer is, no!
Fish cannot live in the regular tap water that we tend to use in our households.
That also means that the water is inhabitable for these fish and you need to add changes to it.
Our tap water has at least 0.4% of chlorine in it which is utterly toxic to aquatic animals.
Water conditioners biologically balance the water using chemical compounds, making it the ideal environment for your fish to breed and thrive in!
Otherwise, regular tap water can cause gill injury, damage their fins and possibly kill them after some time!
How do these water conditioners work?
In historical times people would usually boil tap water to get rid of the chlorine and ammonia inside
However, ever since technology has evolved we now have chemical compounds!
These compounds can breakdown the chlorine and remove it by neutralizing its effect in the water.
The compound is known as Sodium Thiosulphate!
And another thing:
Nowadays tap water does not just have compounds like chlorine but also contain nitrates that can promote algae growth in your tank.
So, water conditioners basically were evolved to neutralize these compounds in the water.
Types of water conditioners
Well yes! There are different types of water conditioner made to do separate things.
There are three main types of water conditioners available on the market!
Let’s find out!
The most common conditioners are called De-chlorinators.
This is what people used more popularly.
They work towards removing all the chlorine from your tap water and making it safe for your fish.
#2. Chloramine Neutralizer
The second type is called a chloramine neutralizer.
These formulas consist of more complex compounds.
When chlorine and ammonia in the water combine, it forms a toxic metal called Chloramine.
Chloramine neutralizers remove this and make your water reach safe pH levels.
#3. Complete Conditioners
The last type of water conditioner is known as a complete conditioner.
Like the name suggests these water conditioners handle every toxic element present in the water
It can remove chlorine, ammonia and heavy metals from your tank (an all in one option!)
Most people go for complete conditioners for their larger tanks since it’s a safer option!
#4. Reverse Osmosis conditioner (almost a conditioner)
Now, a reverse osmosis conditioner is not technically a conditioner, but in industrial terms, it is known as a re-mineralizer.
Most aquarists tend to use this so we will add it to the list.
Reverse osmosis formulas also help your tank remove chlorine and chloramine from your tank
Although these water conditioners can also remove the good minerals like calcium and phosphates
So well, we won’t really recommend them for your fresh-water tanks!
Now you can decide what type of conditioner is fit for your tank.
In any case:
Make sure you read all the labels and the key ingredients and look up their effect on the type of fish you have.
Most water conditioners are made with tons of research and testing, but it is always good to be sure about it.
How to use my water conditioner?
Now when it comes to usage, your instructions can vary from brand to brand.
Make sure you start off by reading the instruction pamphlet provided by the manufacturer very carefully
It is usually recommended to add 1 to 2 drops in your water tank.
Without any fish in the water.
But that figure can also vary according to the number of gallons and size of tank!
In that case, refer to the instruction pamphlet for any necessary changes.
It is recommended that you add the water 1st and then the conditioner to make sure of the dosage.
Some water conditioners may have a different formula than others.
While some are liquids, others can be in a solid form.
But all of them need to settle and dissolve in the tank.
So, no matter what the formula, you just have to dissolve it in!
What are specialty conditioners, and do I need them?
Specialty conditioners are a fancy way of selling you an overpriced product
These conditioners are alleging to have new, innovative technology that makes them better than the regular conditioners!
These water conditioners can soothe your fish with Aloe Vera and vitamin E.
They also promised to create a stress-free environment for your fish.
All of this is mostly this is a marketing gimmick to sell you an overcharged product.
The extra compounds product which does not really help with the environment too much.
These extra minerals and compounds can interfere with your filtration system and may decrease its life.
If you really want to try them out, then you could use them for a small period to heal your fishes.
Although long term use can promote other problems in your tank.
What to keep in mind when using water conditioners?
Here are some tips that help you make sure you are doing the right thing when using your water conditioner!
Some fish are sensitive to chemical changes, so its better that they don’t come in direct contact with the formula.
Moreover, we recommend that you wait a few hours to help your water conditioner to its magic.
After waiting a few hours, you can add in your fish just to make sure the conditioner is settled in the water!
You should also make sure you are using the proper dosage.
While some conditioners mean no harm even if they are overused, but some can damage the health of your fish.
Some water conditioners on the market come with a dosage cap, which is an excellent guide.
If no dosage guide is present, then read the guiding pamphlet in the box!
Go to the pamphlet to really do know what kind of those it is required for a specific gallon tank.
Should I be worried about key ingredients in certain water conditioners?
Read all the key ingredients carefully.
While fancy compounds like vitamin E or A may seem enticing to try out on your tank, they can seriously mess with your filtration system.
See whether these key ingredients are compatible with the fish in your tank.
You can also buy conditioners that are made for specific fish, for example, the Tetra Bettasafe water conditioner
That water conditioner is specially formulated for betta fish!
What are chlorine and chloramine? How can it harm my tank?
Household tap water is commonly used to replace and maintain aquarium tank water.
However, tap water is usually treated with different compounds to make it safe for use.
This keeps bacteria and microorganisms at Bay from your residential water supply.
These compounds can make a hostile environment for your fish and are straight-up toxic!
Some of these compounds include chlorine and chloramine (which is a mixture of ammonia and chlorine)
Apart from creating toxicity in your fish is a biological environment, it can also interfere with the filtration system
It is recommended for every tank owner to use a water conditioner and remove these compounds from the water.
This ensures a safe and healthy environment for your beloved fish!
When should I use my water conditioner?
A water conditioner is only used to balance out tap water when replacing it periodically.
You use it when adding new water to the tank, and that’s the only time you ever have to use it!
You can add the conditioner when your tank only has water inside to know the exact dosage you need to use!
Another great time is when you are setting up a new tank
Most new fishes cannot adjust to new tanks because of the new tank syndrome
There are a lot of heavy chemicals in compounds in the water that make the water unsuitable for the fish to survive in
After going through with the nitrogen cycle, it is recommended that you use the correct dosage of the water conditioner and stabilize the water.
How often can we use it?
A water conditioner isn’t something that we can use or add to the tank regularly or periodically.
It is recommended to use them before your scheduled weekly water changes specifically.
Since it is used on tap water, it is the only idea to use it when using fresh tap water to replace old tank water!
You can follow the dosage instructions on the pamphlets it provided with each bottle
In addition to that:
Try not to add too much or too little and follow the steps just right to see effects!
Are water conditioners going to be compatible with my filter?
If you are worried about conditioners messing with your filtration system, then there is no need to be!
Water conditioners are formulated in a way so that they are perfectly compatible with your filtration system.
However, as mentioned before specialty conditioners can mess with your tanks filter. Heavy particles and compounds can destruct carbon filter inside.
Make sure to use a conventional water conditioner which has been rated by consumers to be good for the tank!
How long should I wait before adding my fish to the tank?
While most water conditioner work instantly it is still a good idea to wait until it settles in the water
A bucket worth of water will take at least 2 minutes to dissolve the water conditioner inside fully
So, it is recommended that you wait at least 5 to 6 minutes and then add your fish to the tank!
What quantity should I use in my tank?
All water conditioners come equipped with an instructional guide inside which tells you the recommended dosage.
The dosage can vary according to the size of your tank. The more the gallons of water the more conditioner you will require.
The dosage also depends on certain brands of conditioner.
Some might require more than others.
A little water conditioner goes a long way, and you do not need more than a few drops on average.
Will switching brands disturb the environment of my fish?
It fine to use any good brand of water conditioner! Just do your research and make sure you are getting the right thing!
The main aim is to rid the water of chlorine and other heavy metals.
Just make sure your conditioner is doing its job like it’s supposed to!
How can I be sure of the pH balance in safety levels of my water?
If you are concerned about the hardness of your water and want to know if it’s safe, then you can!
You can do this by testing out the water! Try testing the pH level along with Nitrites/nitrates and other minerals.
You can even test your tank for carbon hardness to make sure it completely safe for your fish!
Is the water conditioner safe for my Fish?
Water conditioner is obviously made to be safe for your fresh-water fish.
It is recommended that you add it before adding your fish in the tank.
But once you have added and dissolved in the water, then you can go ahead and add your fishes without fear of harm!
Most water conditioners offer a slime quote on your fish which is basically a barrier between your fish and the water it is surrounded by.
This means of water conditioner add an extra level of safety for your fish in the tap water
Most fish with weekend immune system scan contract common aquatic diseases.
The protective barrier prevents those diseases and prevents them from happening in the future too!
They make the immune system of your fish is stronger and help them recover as well as fight of illnesses.
Is water conditioner safe for saltwater tanks?
If you want to know whether you got what your conditioner is compatible with your saltwater tank, then read up the information guide provided.
Most water conditioners are classified with what water type they are consistent with.
While most water conditioners on the market are good to go for both salt and freshwater tanks, you have nothing to worry about
However, in some cases, water conditioners are specially designed for reef tanks or freshwater tanks
Some saltwater tanks also required extra help.
It is better to find out what extra compounds your saltwater tank might be needing
Or even better:
Check water conditioners and treatments for those compounds and then use them for your saltwater tanks
Should I be using a water conditioner for my smaller tank?
If you’re using something as little as a fishbowl or even something as large as a 300-gallon tank a water conditioner is safe to use for all freshwater
It is much more difficult to measure the right dosage when it comes to smaller tanks.
We would recommend using a small syringe or a dropper to put 2 to 3 drops in a minimum 20-gallon tank.
Since a little water conditioner goes a long way, you do not need any more quantity than that!
Are there other ways to dechlorinate my tank?
While there aren’t other products on the market, you can create a small DIY at home of making your own water conditioner
You can buy sodium thiosulfate which is the basic compound used in water conditioners.
This compound is impossible to overdose, and you can get 500 grams of it for anywhere between 3 to $5!
Mix 500 grams in a gallon of water (preferably mineralized bottled water).
Shake it up well and there you have your own DIY water conditioner.
You can make small doses every time you use the water conditioner to treat the tap water,
or you can make a single quantity for it to last longer the years of time
1 ML of the solution is sufficient for 10 gallons of water
Other Essential Tips for Changing Your Tank Water and Maintaining it
Now while changing the tank water might seem like an easy job, there are a lot of complicated factors that might be an afterthought to you!
Here are some vital things to keep in mind when you change your tank’s water.
First of all, the essential factor of changing water properly; is to keep your fish in a safe and healthy environment while you do it!
Add your fish in a bucket and make sure you don’t take too long to change the water as it can distress your fish! (especially If you are a breeder!)
Make sure that you remove all your aquarium accessories, along with the gravel bed.
Try to clean all the accessories individually, you could dip them in a bleaching solution as well. (Just remember to rinse thoroughly)
Try using a gravel vacuum and suck out all the impurities that gravel tends to harbor overtime
When everything else is clean including the glass walls of your tank, it is time to replace it with water
After you have pumped out the old water, you could try adding the new one back in through, perhaps a pipe or a bucket.
If you are using a bucket, then it is recommended that you treat the water in the bucket and then add it into the tank.
It is much easier to resolve compounds in an empty bucket rather than fully furnished tank
If you have your tap water ready in a bucket, then add the recommended dosage of water conditioner in it and let it settle for 5 minutes.
Once everything has settled in, you can add it back to your tank
In the end, you can use a pH scale to test whether the pH levels of your tank are in the required range or not! (Just to be extra sure)
How much water conditioner should I put in?
The amount you should put in varies for different reasons. It all depends on the type of conditioner and how much water is in your aquarium. For a precise measurement, each water conditioner formula should contain instructions for how much to put.[/su_note]
Where can I get water conditioners? Try to buy from authentic pet stores instead of third-party sellers. There is a lot of tampering with products that can harm your fish!
Should I be adding the water or the clarifier first? It is recommended that you add the water 1st since the water can help you decide the correct dosage of the water conditioner
What water conditioner is ideal for my Betta fish? The tetra better fish water conditioner is the ideal for your better fish as it room dechlorinates and removes toxic metals while giving your fish a healthy slime coat.