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…
The Best Aquarium Water Conditioners
|Seachem Prime||50Ml – 2 Litres||Remove of Chloramine and heavy metals|
|API Stress Coat||1 oz – 1 Gallon||Removes Chlorine and Ammonia|
|API tap water conditioner||1.25 oz – 64 oz||Dechlorinates water completely|
|Tetra Betta Safe||50 Ml and 100 Ml||neutralizes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals|
|Natural Rapport Professional Aquarium water||16 Fl Ounce||Removes Chlorine and Ammonia.|
1. Seachem Prime
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- It is a great dechlorinater and neutralizer. It works effectively to secure your tank of any harmful chemicals!
- 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
- 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.
- For the small quantity you might need to repurchase it every month or so.
5. Natural Rapport Professional Aquarium Water Conditioner
- 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
- 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
- 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!
- The one is con is the quantity. The 4 oz quantity may not be sufficient enough and would require frequent repurchasing!
7. Seachem Stability
- Another good point about this is the fact that there is no danger of overuse of the product!
- Using the Seachem stability does not allow you to cycle your tank for at least 20 days!
8. Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner
- It is affordable and you can give it a permanent place in you water maintenance kit
- 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
- this all in one package is great for your reef tank and has the essential mix of salts
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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)
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)
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.