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How Do You Make Tap Water Safe for Your Fish?

How to Make Tap Water Safe for Fish Aquariums San Diego, CA

The tap water we use for drinking, bathing, and even preparing meals isn’t the kind of water many aquatic species can survive in. Some (but very few) super-resilient species might survive in a tap water environment for an indefinite amount of time, but this would be gambling with aquatic life.

The bottom line of untreated tap water is that it isn’t safe for fish. It must be treated in terms of its chemical composition as well as of its bacterial content. Anyone who chooses fishkeeping as a hobby should be thoroughly familiar with making tap water safe for fish because this is what they’ll be doing every time they change their tank water.

Get Rid of Chlorine

The various chlorine-based substances added by water management agencies before it reaches the taps at your home have disinfectant properties that can be strong irritants and bacteria inhibitors. Chlorine and chloramine additives kill bacteria and other microorganisms harmful to humans, but they also kill good bacteria that supports aquatic life in a tank. The first step in making tap water safe for freshwater tropical fish is to get rid of its chlorine, a process that can be accomplished with aeration alone if you’re willing to wait over a week. Better options include freshwater aquarium supplies such as water conditioners and reverse osmosis filters.

Avoid Buildup of Heavy Metals in the Water

Hard water is a common occurrence across North America, and this is what causes a scaly buildup of sodium and potassium known as ring around the bathtub drain. Aeration alone won’t get rid of zinc, copper, and lead molecules in the water. For the most part, humans don’t have a problem ingesting these minerals in moderate amounts along with their drinking water, but many aquarium species won’t survive in such an environment.

Use Liquid Water Conditioners

A combination of aeration plus liquid water conditioner is often the preferred method to make tap water safe for fish, but these are only the initial steps. The matters of promoting bacterial growth via a good liquid bacteria like Microbe-Lift (https://www.aquaticwarehouse.com/bacteria/Microbe-Lift-Night-Out-II-Bacteria-8-oz) and testing for completion of the nitrogen cycle must be completed while introducing the most resilient species. Hardy fish are needed, along with the liquid bacteria, to grow this bacteria and get through the 21-day nitrogen cycle before adding any more fish. Water conditioners not only reduce chlorine and heavy metals, but they may also contain botanical extracts with healing properties for the delicate fish scales and dermal tissue. You can also cut down on the time needed to complete the nitrogen cycle by introducing bottled bacteria. Doing so will allow you to add fish in just a couple of days.

Use a Reverse Osmosis Filter

This is a more expensive method of making tap water safe for the aquarium, but it shouldn’t replace the steps of adding a water conditioner, testing the pH and ammonia levels, and adding bottled bacteria. This filter method is more commonly utilized by aquarists who keep saltwater species and freshwater planted aquariums.

Making the water safe for your fish isn’t the only thing you need to do to properly maintain your aquarium. Whether you need an aquarium temperature controller, beneficial bacteria, aeration products, or any other essential supplies for your tank, you can count on Aquatic Warehouse to provide everything you need. Stop by our store in Kearny Mesa, check out the products on our website, or give us a call today at 858-467-9297.


Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
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