Water Conditioner for Fish Tanks

Aquarium water conditioners are effective in preparing tap water to use safely in home aquariums. Not all aquarium systems will require additives for conditioning the water; it depends on the chemical makeup of the tap water in your area, as well as the types of fish and other invertebrates in your aquarium.

When a Water Conditioner is Necessary

It is important to test the water before you decide to add any type of water conditioner to your aquarium. Water test kits are available at pet and fish stores as well as online. Your local shop may also perform water testing, though it will likely be cheaper to purchase a kit and do it yourself.

The most critical things to test for include:

  • Ammonia – Ammonia levels will be especially high during a startup cycle in a new aquarium system; any detectable ammonia must be immediately addressed, as ammonia is highly toxic to fish.
  • PH level – Unbalanced pH levels are a very common cause of stress to fish, and because pH is affected by so many factors, it needs to be tested frequently.
  • Nitrate and nitrite – High levels of nitrates and nitrites can lead to fish disease and death, and nitrates are sometimes the culprit in the case of algae problems.
  • Phosphate – High phosphate levels can trigger algae growth.

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Different Types of Water Conditioners

There are a number of effective water conditioning products to correct any imbalances discovered through water testing, as well as to remove chlorine and chloramines from tap water. Most fish water conditioners are added to tap water outside the aquarium tank, after which the treated water sits for a few days before being used to replace not more than 20 percent of the water in the tank. Amquel Plus is a popular brand of water conditioner that eliminates ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, chloramines and chlorine from the water.

Of course, you may prefer to purify your tap water for all use, not just for the aquarium. Whole-home options are available in this case. Recently, certain manufacturers have introduced magnetic water conditioners, electronic water conditioners, and/or electromagnetic water conditioners as alternatives to traditional salt-based products. These alternatives do not actually remove anything from the water; they simply keep scale and hard-water stains from forming, and there is some dispute as to whether they even do this effectively. Either way, these types of conditioners are unsuitable for conditioning aquarium water – you need a water conditioner that will actually remove the harmful chemicals from the water. If you are looking for an innovative solution, check out Water Right water conditioners.

Other Water Considerations

If at any time you notice cloudy aquarium water or water that is foamy or smelly, immediate action is required. The cause could be too much fish waste or uneaten fish food, which can lead to high levels of bacteria, and the treatment may include cleaning the water and/or adding aquarium salt and water conditioners.