The 10 Best Aquarium Water Conditioners

Looking for the best water conditioner for your tank?

If so, you have come to the right place!

I can’t stress enough over how essential a water conditioner for any freshwater tank owner!

It helps maintain a healthy environment and the correct PH balance for your aquatic pets and much more…

I tested out a lot of water conditioners available over the years, and in this post, I have reviewed my 10 best picks.

So, let’s dive into…

Contents show

The Best Aquarium Water Conditioners

ProductsQuantityRemoval of 
Seachem Prime50Ml – 2 LitresRemove of Chloramine and heavy metals
API Stress Coat 1 oz – 1 GallonRemoves Chlorine and Ammonia
API tap water conditioner1.25 oz – 64 ozDechlorinates water completely
Tetra Betta Safe50 Ml and 100 Mlneutralizes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals
Natural Rapport Professional Aquarium water16 Fl OunceRemoves Chlorine and Ammonia.

1. Seachem Prime

 

Seachem Prime is one of the best water conditioners out there in the market.

The significant part is that this conditioner can be used for both salt and freshwater tanks that makes it even more unique!

It removes chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia very efficiently along with other toxic elements.

It also helps your biofilter run more smoothly, which is another plus point!

The Seachem prime is available in 100 ml up to 2-liter bottles. A 100 ml bottle can adequately treat a 1000 Gallon tank (wow!)

 Things i really like
  • 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.
 Things i don’t like
  • The Seachem prime does have a popular complain about its foul smell! So, you might have to bare that.

2.  API- STRESS COAT Aquarium Water Conditioner

 

This water conditioner is typically available in a 16 oz bottle but is also offered in other sizes.

The API-STRESS COAT is a great conditioner to maintain your tank periodically.

It helps regulate the compounds in tap water and make it safe for your fish! You can use this formula every 2 weeks.

If you previously have been using tap water, then your fish might have already incurred gill and slime coat damage.

The Aloe-Vera in the formula is not only great to create a stress-free environment but also heals your fish.

You can use this in both salt-water and fresh-water both!

You won’t need to constantly worry about your tank’s biological environment and can enjoy your healthy and happy fishes.

 Things i really like
  • The different sizes make it ideal for any size of water tank!
  • This water conditioner is also easy on the pocket and goes a long way for your tank.
  • Has healing and tissue regeneration qualities for your fish
 Things i don’t like
  • Sometimes the Aloe-Vera addition can also slime up the tank enough to interfere with your filtration system!

3. API- TAP WATER CONDITIONER- Aquarium Water Conditioner

 

This product is specifically made to cure your tap water of all the unhealthy compounds.

Usually, these compounds can cause trouble breathing, can cause gill damage and tear up tissue.

But you have the API water conditioner to save the day! It will prevent all this damage for you.

You can use it in both salt and freshwater aquariums. It is available from 1.25 oz to 64 oz bottles!

A quantity as small as 3ml is adequate for 10 gallons of water, which is due to the highly concentrated formula.

 Things i really like
  • It is a great dechlorinater and neutralizer. It works effectively to secure your tank of any harmful chemicals!
 Things i don’t like
  • 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

 

The tetra Bettasafe is also another great product available on the market.

It’s effective and easy to use. It removes all harmful chemicals from your tap-water and makes it fish-safe!

It also adds a protective slime coating for your fish to stay healthy and happy!

Bettasafe also encompasses the technology to bind the heavy metals in the water so they can be removed by the filter easily!

It is available in 50ml (1.7 oz) quantity.

As the name suggests, it is safe for your Betta fish particularly!

It makes your tank a healthy and thriving environment for your Betta fish.

 Things i really like
  • It works super-fast! It dechlorinates your water instantly
  • Most users were super satisfied with how safe and effective the conditioner was for their fish.
  • It is relatively affordable as well but still has a small quantity.
 Things i don’t like
  • For the small quantity you might need to repurchase it every month or so.

5. Natural Rapport Professional Aquarium Water Conditioner

 

The natural rapport professional aquarium water conditioner is a safe and effective method to treat tap water.

It adds electrolytes to the water to create a stress-free environment for your fish.

In simpler words, that means that the electrolytes boost the environment of the tank and keep your fish healthy and happy.

In addition to this, it also maintains an optimum PH level to make sure the biological balance is in place.

It is formulated for both saltwater and freshwater tanks, it can also treat nearly 1000 gallons of water!

And just like a good water conditioner, it dechlorinates and neutralizes the chlorine in your tap water too.

It retails at an affordable price in a 16-fluid oz bottle

 Things i really like
  • This formula can remove heavy metals such as zinc copper and lead
  • It buffers the PH balance and maintains it for your fish
  • It acts as a great chlorine neutralizer and adds electrolyte balance
  • It also adds a synthetic slime coating to create a stress-free environment for your fish
 Things i don’t like
  • The formula is an all-rounder however it does not replace the good bacteria in your tank!

6. Hikari Usa Ultimate Water Conditioner for Aquarium

 

This water conditioner retails in a 4oz bottle, and it performs all the functions a good conditioner should.

After researching and testing thoroughly, Hikari has used their 140 years of experience to create magic in a bottle!

The product aims to maintain the overall health of your tank and give it the longevity it needs!

It neutralizes the chlorine in your tank and removes other toxic compounds like ammonia.

Moreover, it removes heavy metals like Nitrites, that can harm the tank’s biological environment.

It also removes heavy metals and toxins like copper, from your fish tank.

It works fast, and you can add your fish after stabilizing the water instantly!

The Hikari USA really is the Ultimate find for all your needs.

 Things i really like
  • 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!
 Things i don’t like
  • The one is con is the quantity. The 4 oz quantity may not be sufficient enough and would require frequent repurchasing!

7. Seachem Stability

 

The Seachem stability formula is made after extensive research and development!

It is available in 500 ml and 1000 Ml bottles, which lasts long.

One of the best factors is the fact that it prevents the ‘new tank syndrome.’

In simpler words, the new tank syndrome is when you set up a tank, and its biological environment is not fit for your fish!

It is the number one cause of death for domesticated fish.

Seachem stability also establishes a safe biofilter environment.

it also has bacteria that facilitate the breakdown of harmful chemicals like ammonia nitrite and nitrate’s

it is a great way to stabilize the water and create a healthy environment for your fish

 Things i really like
  • Another good point about this is the fact that there is no danger of overuse of the product!
 Things i don’t like
  • Using the Seachem stability does not allow you to cycle your tank for at least 20 days!

8.  Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner

 

The Aqueon tap water conditioner is another excellent conditioner available on the market.

It comes at an affordable price for a decently sized 16-ounce bottle.

It is also sufficient for any size of a tank and comes in different quantities ranging from 8 ounces up to a Gallon.

After adding the water conditioner there is no wait time required, and the formula instantly stabilizes the tap water.

You will be glad to know that it does not hurt your fish if you use an excess quantity. You just need 4 quarts in a gallon.

It helps restore the natural slime coat and makes a stress-free environment for your fish

This conditioner is also ideal for smaller betta bowls that lack circulation and filtration.

 

 Things i really like
  • It is affordable and you can give it a permanent place in you water maintenance kit
 Things i don’t like
  • Some users had the complaint of how it leaves foamy film on top of the water
  • It is also not an ideal conditioner is salt water.

9.  Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt for reef aquariums

 

The instant Ocean Reef crystals reef salt is specially formulated for reef hobbyists and reef tanks

It’s available in quantities defined by the number of gallons in your tank, which is a great guide!

You can use it for smaller tanks that are 10 gallons and medium to large tanks that are up to 200 gallons.

It encourages coral growth and is entirely safe for different types of corals in your tank.

Some of them include the Stony coral, Coraline algae and anemones.

Another plus point is how it has minerals like magnesium and calcium better essential for your reef tank

It detoxifies heavy metals and Is nitrogen phosphate-free.

 

 Things i really like
  • this all in one package is great for your reef tank and has the essential mix of salts
 Things i don’t like
  • 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. Marineland Black Diamond Media Premium Activated Carbon

 

The marine land premium activated carbon comes in a 5-ounce bottle and goes up to 40 ounces.

That means it is fit for any size of a tank and can treat a great quantity of water!

In addition to this, it is compatible with both fresh and saltwater tanks. Anne will also not harm the health of your filter;

the activated carbon is the key ingredient that makes the water squeaky clean.

It removes all the toxins and also neutralizes the effect of other dangerous compounds too!

Fit for industry standards this water conditioner is overall a great choice for your tank!

it is also offered in premium version, which is claimed to work twice as fast as the normal one!

 Things i really like
  • one of the great aspects about this is the filter compatibility in how you can use it for any kind of tank
  • customers also appreciated the product as it was great for alcohol filtration.
 Things i don’t like
  • a frequent complain about the product is how users have had a hard time rinsing it out
  • it has also left carbon dust which are very fine particles of carbon in your tank which are hard to remove

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.

Tap water is treated with chemicals like chlorine and chloramine which can be harmful to your fish.

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, we 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!

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 what they are

De-Chlorinators

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.

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.

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!

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 too much for your fresh-water tanks!

Now you can decide what type of conditioner is fit for your tank.

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 can I 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 inside the water.

But that figure can also vary according to the number of gallons and size of a 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.

In fact, 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!

Make sure you have no fish in the water when adding in 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?

Another critical factor is to 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.

However, 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 to use the water conditioner is when 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 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

try not to add too much or too little and follow the steps just right to see effects!

Is a water conditioner 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 you 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.

But 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?

Yes! A water conditioner is obviously made to be safe for your fresh-water fish. I

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 adds 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

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

Although, 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’s (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

1ML of the solution is sufficient for 10 gallons of water

Other essential tips for changing your tank water and maintain 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!)

Next 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)

Related Questions

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. 

Related Articles:

Other Sources

Leave a Comment