How To Make Tap Water Safe For Fish Without Conditioner

Are you worried about the safety of your fish tank? Are you looking for ways to make tap water safe without using conditioner? If so, this article is perfect for you!

It can be hard to find a way to make sure that the water in your tank won’t harm your beloved fish, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. In this article, we will discuss the process of making tap water safe for fish without the need for conditioner.

We’ll explore ways to filter and purify tap water for fish and provide instructions on setting up aquariums with the cleanest and safest water possible. With these tips, your aquarium will be free from toxins and bacteria!

How To Make Tap Water Safe For Fish Without Conditioner

What’s in My Tap Water?

It is important to make sure your aquarium water meets the requirements for the species you are keeping. Test strips or kits can be used to measure levels of pH, nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate in your water.

Additionally, test strips can also help you measure levels of other minerals and nutrients like calcium, magnesium, sulfates, carbonates, phosphate, and silicate. If the levels are too high or low it could cause stress on your fish or cause them to become ill.

Therefore, it is important to take the time to test your aquarium water regularly and adjust parameters as necessary.

Why Is Tap Water Bad For Fish?

Ensure the water for your fish tank is free of chlorine and chloramine. These chemicals are usually found in tap water and can be harmful to your fish’s health if not removed. Chlorine and chloramine can damage the gills, skin, and other body parts of the fish, leading to serious illness or even death.

To protect your fish from these dangerous chemicals, it is essential to use a water filter or conditioner before introducing new water into the tank. Additionally, regular water changes are necessary to maintain good water quality and keep your fish healthy.

Can You Put Tap Water in A Fish Tank?

Yes, you can put tap water in a fish tank as long as it is pre-treated to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Many cities add chlorine to their drinking water to make it safe for human consumption, but this can be toxic for aquarium fish.


Chlorine is an extremely harmful chemical for fish, causing a condition known as acute necrosis that can result in cell death and respiratory problems. Unsafe levels of chlorine can be found in tap water that has not been properly treated; when added to a tank, it can kill the fish within hours depending on the concentration levels.

Signs of acute necrosis include pale, mucus-covered scales, redness, gasping at the surface of the water, erratic swimming, loss of appetite, and stress. It is important for aquarium owners to ensure that all tap water added to their tanks is properly treated with a de-chlorinator to avoid any potential harm to their fish.


Chloramine is a dangerous chemical often used to treat drinking water, but it can be deadly to fish. Chloramine passes through the gills of fish, where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream, making it difficult for fish to absorb oxygen. Signs of chloramine poisoning include redness around the gills, erratic swimming, and stress.

If concentrations exceed 0.002-0.005 ppm, then chloramine can be deadly for fish. To check whether your tank has chloramine in it, you should purchase a testing kit from an aquatic store. Taking swift action when chlorine levels are detected can help ensure your fish remain healthy and safe.

Incorrect pH Levels

It is essential to ensure that the pH levels of your aquarium are at the correct level for your fish in order for them to stay healthy. The ideal pH for most tropical tanks is 6.8 to 7.6, but depending on the species of fish, this range can vary. For instance, angelfish require a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, goldfish typically do well in a pH of 7.0 to 7.5, and neon tetras typically thrive in water with a pH of 5.8 to 6.2.

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However, if you add tap water into your tank that has a different pH than what is required by your fish, they can become sick and may even die due to toxic chemicals like ammonia rising suddenly in the water.

To mitigate this risk, you must be careful to slowly introduce only limited amounts of tap water into your tank and adjust the pH accordingly using measures such as water conditioners or buffers if necessary.

Heavy Metals

Researchers from the Department of Environmental Sciences have determined that heavy metals can be present in tap water. These heavy metals are generally considered to be of higher toxicity when found in hard water and typically include:


Iron is a common problem in fish tanks that must be addressed immediately. In even the smallest quantities, it can be toxic to fish, causing suffocation, gill tissue swelling, and mucous secretion. Copper exposure can also damage gills, kidneys, and spleens as well as weaken the immune system.

The iron stimulates algae growth which increases ammonia levels and can cause a harmful bloom. To avoid these issues, it’s important to filter out the metal with an appropriate filter before adding aeration.

It’s also essential to monitor your water quality regularly to ensure there are safe levels of both iron and copper present in your tank water.


It is important to monitor the levels of copper in your fish tank, as it can be harmful to your fish and other organisms. Copper can enter your tank through tap water if you have copper plumbing, and it is also often used to treat parasites in fish that cause diseases such as ich.

Copper has the potential to kill a variety of things, including anemones, crabs, filter bacteria, live corals, live rock, and shrimps. If left in the tank too long or at high levels, it will kill beneficial bacteria–creating conditions that can become dangerous for your fish.

Fortunately, you can easily remove copper from the aquarium with a heavy metal remover. In general, it is essential to check your water quality regularly and take any necessary steps to keep your fish safe and healthy.


Zinc is considered one of the most toxic heavy metals to fish in high concentrations, as it can cause damage to gill tissues and induce stress, ultimately leading to death. The toxicity of zinc is reliant on several factors, such as the type of fish, the hardness of the water, dissolved oxygen concentration, water temperature, fish’s ability to acclimate, and age.

Zinc can enter an aquarium through contaminated tap water. It is important to be aware of these factors in order to monitor your fish effectively and prevent any possible harm due to zinc exposure.

What do Water Conditioners Do?

Water conditioners facilitate the neutralization of chlorine disinfectants, allowing one to add water to the tank right away. Additionally, some water conditioners contain a chemical that detoxifies heavy metals.

This chemical wraps itself around the metal, making it non-reactive and protecting aquatic life from heavy metal poisoning. It is essential to read the label and find a product that meets your specific needs for your tank. Be sure to follow all instructions closely when using any type of aquarium water conditioner.

Other Ways of Making Tap Water Safe

Here are some other methods that can help to Make Tap Water Safe:

Letting the Water Age

Aged tap water is a mix of science and myth. For many years, aquarium enthusiasts believed that the aging process changed the water in a way that made it more “friendly” for their fish. In reality, if the tap water being used was treated with chlorine, allowing it to sit for a few days or weeks could give the chlorine time to dissipate from the water.

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This is because enough time will cause chlorine to evaporate from standing water. It is important to remember that although this may be beneficial for some types of fish, other fish may not find aged tap water suitable for their needs.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what kind of water is best for your fish and their environment.


Aerating tap water is a great way to remove chlorine and make it safe for fish. However, if your tap water contains chloramine the process of aeration will not work. Chloramine is a molecule that resists aeration and will remain in the water even after aerating or aging.

Copper and other heavy metals remain in the water regardless of aeration or aging. For these reasons, it is important to consider having your tap water tested before adding it to your aquarium to ensure it is safe for your fish.

Activated Carbon

It is important to use an aquarium filter that can effectively remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals from the water. One way to do this is by using an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon is composed of tiny particles that will absorb toxins when water flows through them. This process, called dechlorination, neutralizes the chlorine disinfectants in the water and removes chloramine as well as other heavy metals.

Activated carbon filters are available in two varieties: one with a granular layer of carbon and the other with a carbon block. Both are effective, but the block type is often more expensive. When using these filters, an air pump will also be needed to force the water through the filter for filtration to occur.

By utilizing an activated carbon filter in your fish tank, you can ensure a clean, safe environment for your aquatic pets. Be sure to research different types of filters that may be suitable for your particular aquarium setup before making any purchases.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a popular technique for filtering aquatic life forms’ water. This system works by pushing water across a semi-permeable membrane, leaving the impurities behind. RO filters can eliminate chlorine and other heavy metal nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate from tap water, making them ideal for aquarists looking to keep their tanks clean and free of unwanted contaminants.

In addition, these systems can also remove salt and minerals from the water so that you can customize the hardness and pH level to what works best for your fish.

However, it may take a longer period of time to make the water chlorine-free through RO treatment, and excessive chlorine concentrations may damage the system components which can be costly to repair or replace.

Ultraviolet Light

Using a UV lamp to dechlorinate your aquarium water is a good method for removing chlorine and other contaminants from the water. This process occurs when the sun’s UV rays interact with chlorine in the water. It is recommended to leave your aquarium water in a container for 24 hours before adding a UV lamp for maximum benefit. The interaction of chlorine and UV rays will create a nontoxic salt that does not affect the fish in your tank.

UV neutralization is effective at neutralizing chlorine, but it is less effective at neutralizing chloramine and requires a special type of UV light for this purpose. Furthermore, it requires a powerful UV fixture and long contact time with the water, which makes it more suitable for industrial operations than home aquariums.

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Therefore, if you wish to use a UV light to dechlorinate your aquarium water, it is best to consult an expert who can advise you on the best and safest option.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful chemical that can be used to reduce the chlorine content in drinking water and aquariums. By using vitamin C supplements, or products containing ascorbic acid, you can neutralize chlorine and chloramine from the tank, eliminating any dangerous bacteria and parasites present in the water.

Before adding these supplements to your aquarium, it is important to make sure you purchase them from a reputable pet store for safe and effective use. Additionally, always observe your fish closely after introducing these supplements to ensure their safety and well-being.

Boil & Cool

Boiling water is an effective and simple way to make it suitable for aquarium fish. Boiling the water will aerate it, leaving air bubbles in it, as well as helping evaporate chlorine from the water. It usually takes around 20 minutes of boiling to dechlorinate or make the water safe for your fish.

After boiling, it is important to give the water time to cool down thoroughly before introducing your fish, in order to avoid any harm coming to them. Boiling tap water also eliminates its chloramine content and makes the water healthy for your fish without using chemicals or other methods. Boiling is a cheap and quick way to prep water for your tank and make it suitable for your fish’s livelihood.


Can You Put Fish In A Tank Without A Water Conditioner?

It is advised to use a water conditioner before placing fish in a tank as chlorine and chloramine, if present, can be harmful to the fish.

How Long Should You Let Tap Water Sit Before Adding Fish?

The amount of time necessary to let tap water settle before introducing fish into the tank depends on the type of tap water used. Generally, 24 hours is sufficient for chlorine and chloramine to disperse. In certain cases, it may be necessary for the process to extend over a period of 5 days.

Is Bottled Water Okay For Fish?

Using bottled water for fish is not advised as it may contain filtered nutrients that are either beneficial or detrimental to the health of the fish.

Is Spring Water Safe For Fish

It is advisable to use bottled spring water when setting up an aquarium. Be sure to check the water parameters before introducing it, so that all the necessary nutrients and minerals are present.

Can Goldfish Survive In Chlorinated Water?

Goldfish and other fish should not be exposed to chlorine-treated water, as it can damage their gills and other parts of the body.

Can Fish Survive In Distilled Water?

No, fish cannot survive in distilled water. This is because distilled water lacks any minerals or nutrients that are necessary for its survival. These include calcium, iodine, sodium, and other trace elements found in natural and purified water.

Does Bubbling Water Dechlorinate It?

Yes, bubbling water through a filtering system or exposing it to ultraviolet (UV) light will dechlorinate it. Bubbling the chlorine out of the water by running it through a carbon filter is the most common method used for dechlorination.


Conditioner is required to make tap water safe for fish, but it is achievable. By first determining the quality of your tap water and then utilizing natural water preparation techniques such as water seeding, allowing chlorine to dissipate, boiling, or adding peat moss, you can create a safe and healthy environment for your aquatic friends.

With proper research and education on fish care and the necessary steps in making sure their habitat is suitable for their health, you’ll have no trouble providing a safe home for them.