Betta Fish Water Conditions

When in the wild Betta fish live in tropical, freshwater areas (Southeast Asia). These are shallow, swampy waters, often with very unstable conditions, dirty or prone to drying out. Despite that, they know how to survive and thanks to their toughness and ability to withstand such conditions, they were named Siamese Fighters or Betta Splendors.

During history were often organized fights for these fish, which are naturally very aggressive and insolent. However, although in the wild Bette can survive longer in really bad conditions, dirty water, and without food – in the aquarium will not.

It is not logical to have a pet that we will not take care of. So, before deciding to buy a pet think twice and do research.

The water in the aquarium where the Betta fish are must be of precisely defined parameters, that is, the ideal quality for Betta fish. Otherwise, the immunity of the Betta fish could weaken which further leads to the disease.

Bottled, Tap Water, Distilled … Which One Should I Pour Into The Betta Fish Aquarium?

The best and simplest choice is tap water. Ecologically, as well as in terms of mineral composition and pH ratio – ordinary tap water is quite sufficient

Its mineral composition will change after you put Betta or more fish in it, as well as when you add decorations or plants.

The recommended pH level of water for Betta fish is 7.0 which is neutral and ideal for the health and happiness of Betta fish. The water from the tap usually has such a pH level and it is perfectly fine to put it in the aquarium. In addition, thanks to the mineral composition, the water from the tap will be easier to heat, and in general, it is great for Betta fish.

If you live in an area where there is no water supply and city water filtration from the tap, so you manage in other ways – maybe it would be better to before you put it in put fish in such water – to test and see what exactly and to what extent it contains.

You can also buy a water analysis kit at pet stores. If, however, you suspect that a more complete analysis is needed – take it to a specialized laboratory for detailed analysis.

Distilled Or Bottled Water

Distilled water and bottled water are not good for Betta fish due to their mineral composition, i.e. the lack of minerals in distilled water. The composition of bottled water is not always the same and is generally not ideal for Betta fish.

However, it is not enough just to pour water from a tap and that is it. Water from the city water supply is often treated with agents such as chlorine to be harmless to humans, but it harms Betta fish. To adapt the water to the fish – buy water conditioners. There are several types, so it is best to consult with the seller about choosing the best one.

A water conditioner is one of the basic things for proper care of aquarium water. It neutralizes chlorine and all possible harmful chemicals.

When Should I Change The Water?

When in the Betta aquarium, the fish are much more sensitive than in nature. Probably because their survival instinct is somewhat weaker. i.e. works in a much milder mode than in the wild. They are very sensitive to water changes, or any change.

Whether you’ve added a new plant, slightly altered the diet, or added a new fish to the aquarium – Betta will experience this as a shock and it will take some time to get used to. The problem with stress and shock in Betta fish is that it weakens the immune system and the fish becomes susceptible to many health problems. So it is with the change of water.

The general recommendation is that if your aquarium is regularly filtered and you use a water conditioner – it is enough to change 15-20% of the water per week.

In addition to the fact that more frequent changes cause stress to Betta fish, it also harms the good bacteria that have settled in the water. They decompose ammonia and prevent algae from growing abundantly. In case you keep Betta fish in a bowl or a very small aquarium where you can’t or don’t want to place a filter – you have to change 50% of the water every day to at least try to maintain optimal conditions.

Our recommendation is to buy a larger aquarium anyway; it will be easier for you as the owner, and Betta will undoubtedly be happier and healthier.

Water Temperature

Adequate water temperature is of inestimable importance to the Betta fish. Its tiny body will tolerate neither an increase nor a decrease in temperature; therefore, the ideal water temperature is 76 ° – 81 ° F (24.5 ° – 26.5 ° C). Then Betta is happiest even when there are no health consequences. To always keep the water in the aquarium at relatively the same temperature – you must have a heater and a thermometer.

Water Temperature

Depending on the size of the aquarium – you will buy a suitable heater. If you have a very large aquarium – you will need one at each end.

So, the water in the whole aquarium must have the same temperature. There is a large selection of both thermostats and heaters on the market; before you buy the cheapest – you might still need to inquire and consider whether this is a really good and cost-effective move. Cheaper aquarium equipment spoils quickly, even if you don’t know it – which means that in the meantime there could have been serious disturbances in the water condition that harmed Betta fish.


In addition to being necessary for purifying water from food residues, bacteria, algae, and other impurities – the filter contributes to the oxygenation and aeration of water.

This means that the water in the aquarium must be rich in oxygen to suit Betta fish. It not only contributes to the quality of the water, but it is also already vital for the Betta fish – because otherwise, it could suffocate. In the process of water purification, the filter produces a mild current, sometimes bubbles that cause the water to be slightly turbulent, which means that gases are exchanged at that moment.

More precisely, water emits carbon dioxide and other gases and takes oxygen from the air. If you use an appropriately strong filter about the size of the aquarium – you do not have to worry about aeration, that is – the level of oxygen in all parts of the aquarium. Otherwise, you would have to get an air pump that will contribute to oxygenation and aeration.

In terms of water hardness, Betta feels best in soft water, GH of 5-20 DH or 70-300 ppm. To reduce the hardness of the water, you can add herbs or leaves of Indian almonds and alder cones.

What Else You Can Do To Improve Water Quality?

Place the aquarium on a stable and solid stand, where you will always have all the necessary equipment and gadgets for aquarium maintenance and fish care. Never place the aquarium near a heat source, either natural or artificial. This will contribute to overheating of the water. The best is a shady place.

Some Betta fish tend to jump out of the aquarium and although it can be fun, it is often dangerous. You can buy an aquarium cover; be careful though, and don’t hold it constantly as it could disrupt the biochemistry of the water. Even when you put the lid on, leave one part open, so the oxygenation process can take place. 

Use nitrate and ammonia water analysis kits; say once a month or more often. This way you will have a detailed insight into the condition of the water.

Also, do not put decorations and toys made of materials that are not suitable for aquariums and that could disturb the chemical composition of the water.

And lastly, don’t ever overdo it with cleaning and caring. Get organized and establish a routine. This is the easiest way to notice if something goes wrong. Give yourself enough time to enjoy your pet.


Never underestimate the importance of quality water conditions for Betta fish. Water is their natural habitat and without water, there would be no fish. So, before you put a Betta fish or any other fish in an aquarium, do some research and find out everything you need to make the water for your fish pet the best possible.