Best Water For Betta Fish (The Answer is Easy)

Of all the available options of the best water for betta fish, betta-specific water is the best! Why? It’s pre-conditioned to suit betta fish’ water parameters and stripped of harmful chemicals. 

While the Siamese fighting fish are known to be hardy, they are very sensitive to water changes, so you shouldn’t take their required water parameters lightly. You can’t just use rainwater, bottled water, or tap water without checking if they contain contaminants. 

Fishkeeping (or like owning any other pet), while thrilling, can also be terrifying because you are responsible for another living creature. I learnt early on that water conditions can greatly impact the health and lifespan of your fish.

No matter what size tank you put your betta fish in, it doesn’t matter if the water parameters aren’t right! 

Even though you can use conditioners to remove chemicals and make just about any water safe for your betta, you still need to know the specific water requirements to keep your fish happy and healthy. 

Read on to find out! 

Water Parameters To Look Out For in Betta Fish Water

Here are the water parameters you should consider when choosing the best betta water for your fish tank:

Water quantity

While bettas are hardy fish and can survive in a 5-gallon tank, the best betta fish tank is a minimum of 10 gallons. A larger tank offers them more swimming space while making maintenance easier for you.

betta fish tank

Maintaining the correct water parameters for betta fish, like temperature and pH levels, is much easier if you have a large tank. 

Small tanks are prone to temperature fluctuations and toxin buildup which aren’t good for your betta’s health.

The pH level

Betta fish thrive at pH levels of between 6.5 to 7.5. These are neutral pH levels that Bettas need to survive.

The wrong pH levels can cause shock, leading to the death of your Betta fish. If you’re unsure how to check the pH levels, get an aquarium test kit from the pet store to check the pH levels of any betta tank.

If your betta fish tank’s pH levels are low, you can quickly raise the pH levels. You can try adding one teaspoon of baking soda for every 5 gallons of water. Start small and see how your betta adjusts before adding more.

Water Temperature

The water temperature of your Betta fish tank can mean the difference between life and death for your fish. With these fish originating from the tropical waters of Southeast Asia, it’s no surprise that they like warm water. 

red and blue betta fish swimming

A betta fish tank requires warm water temperatures of between 75 to 80°F. These temperatures are easier to maintain if you’re from a warmer country.

If you’re in a colder climate, or like your AC, you’ll need water heaters to keep the temperatures warm in the betta tank.

Note: Poor water conditions are one of the main reasons your betta fish could be laying at the bottom of the tank.

What Kind of Water Is Good For Betta Fish?

When you keep a betta fish, one of the most important considerations is what kind of water you’ll use in their tank.

You can use different types of water, but some are much better for your betta fish’s health than others.

Check them out below:

1. Tap Water

Tap water is one of the best options for betta fish water. If conditioned properly, tap water is a readily available and cheap solution for making water changes as frequently as needed. 

tap water for betta fish

Depending on where you live, the tap water is treated with chlorine and chloramine to remove disease-bearing bacteria. As great as this is for human consumption, betta fish can’t survive in water filled with chemicals like chlorine. 

Luckily there are a ton of water conditioners you can use to remove harmful chemicals like chlorine from tap water.

You can use Betta-specific or regular water conditioners to treat tap water and make it safe for your betta fish to live in.

The best way to find out if your tap water is suitable for a betta fish is by testing it using an aquarium testing kit or the local pet store can test it for you. 

2. Rainwater

Fish keepers are torn on whether or not to use rainwater or a better fish tank. Some feel this water contains numerous pollutants and high nitrogen levels that can harm Bettas. 

With most water being treatable, some fish keepers don’t mind using rainwater when changing the betta tanks’ water.

If you feel the same, you should ensure that the water parameters like pH are adjusted to fit your betta fish’s needs.

3. Distilled Water

Distilled water and tap water are different because distilled water doesn’t have any chemicals, nutrients, or minerals. It is completely pure water hence the term purified/distilled water. 

distilled water for betta fish

There are plenty of essential minerals found in water that Betta fish need. Without them, your fish will be less active and sick because their body lacks essential nutrients to strengthen their immune system.

Betta fish living in distilled water will often look dull and pale because of the lack of energy. They can even die if left in this water for too long.

Unless you plan to remineralize (add minerals) the distilled water, it is unsuitable for betta fish tanks. 

4. Well Water

Like tap water, the pH and minerals found in well water are determined by your location.

If the well is located near a farm, it’s easy for the water to be contaminated by harmful chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides, and these chemicals are fatal to your Betta fish.

The only way to be sure is to take a sample of the well water to a pet store for testing. Using a water conditioner that treats heavy metals and chemicals can make well water safe for your Betta fish to survive. 

5. Spring Water

Spring water or bottled water is a good option for a betta fish tank because it still contains minerals and nutrients beneficial to your Betta. Bottled water goes through various filtering processes to ensure it is safe for humans to drink.

spring water for betta fish

Filtering makes it soft water which betta fish like. With plenty of options in the market, it’s best to go for bottled spring water because you can check the ingredient list to know its mineral and nutrient contents.

Some aquarists find this a better option than tap water as long as you aren’t using flavored bottled water (we’d hope not). You still need to check the pH levels and temperature to be sure it’s safe for your betta tank. You can do this using an aquarium test kit or pH test strips.

Spring water, however, is a more expensive option compared to tap water that is available in your home. 

6. Betta-specific Water

If all these options seem like too much work, go to a pet store and try betta-specific water! 

Betta-specific water is the best choice for most beginner and experienced aquarists. You don’t need to use a water conditioner like tap water, and it’s convenient if you don’t have much time. 

Many online and local pet stores offer betta water already treated with the right pH levels to add directly to betta fish tanks. 

Although it doesn’t have harmful chemicals or metals, buying it makes it more expensive than tap water. But at least with betta-specific water, you won’t have to worry about additional preparation. 

Tips to Maintain Good Water Conditions for Betta Fish

  • Depending on the size of your fish tank, you should carry out 25% water changes at least once a week. If the fish tank is small and overstocked, you might have to do this more frequently.
  • Use aquarium testing strips to check the betta water’s pH levels and prevent any drops or spikes in pH levels. 
  • Use an aquarium-safe thermometer to monitor the water temperatures to ensure they are warm enough for your betta fish. 
  • Regularly clean the betta fish tank to prevent ammonia buildup from fish waste or leftover food. 


Is purified water safe for fish? 

No. Pure water isn’t safe because it lacks plenty of minerals and nutrients that benefit your fish’s health and quality of life. It can only be suitable for a betta tank if minerals are added.

Can I use tap water for Betta fish? 

Yes. Tap water is one of the best options for bettas if treated to remove chemicals like chlorine that make it sterile. Untreated tap water is harmful to Bettas because it still contains chemicals.  

Does boiling tap water remove chlorine for fish? 

Yes. One of the fastest ways to remove the majority of free chlorine in tap water is by boiling and letting it cool. Boiling speeds up the removal of free chlorine, but you might need a conditioner to remove it and chloramine from tap water completely. 

So, What’s The Best Water For Betta fish?

The best water for betta fish is free of chemicals and other harmful components that can kill your fish. You’re on the right track if your chosen water meets the water parameters to keep your betta fish healthy. 

Betta-specific water is the safest and easiest option to go for. If constantly buying this water is expensive, the next best option is conditioned tap water. 

It’s a preferable alternative because you can find it in any home and use conditioners to remove chlorine and other contaminants, so they don’t affect the health of your fish. 

To ensure these water requirements are met, you need to use aquarium test kits, thermometers, and water conditioners to make the water safe for your bettas.

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