Conditioning Tap Water for use in your Aquarium

Author: Simon Curry
Published: Friday 4th October 2013
Updated: Thursday 23rd January 2020

Conditioning Tapwater for use in your Aquarium

As tap waters most common disinfectant element is chloramine, which is in itself very harmful to fish when taken in through the gills and to pond life in general, a counteracting agent is required to neutralize the chloramine element within water you are using to fill your aquarium.

Not doing this correctly may result in disaster. Fish gasping above the water surface, erratic behavior and burning/scarring around the gills are a telltale sign something is not right - even if you keep your aquarium well aerated. The counteracting agent chemical is commonly referred to as a "chloramine conditioner".

Another factor to bear in mind is heavy metals - the kind of heavy metal elements that build up in your pipes - especially metals such as copper, lead and iron. Where as we all need a trace element of heavy metals in our biology - it will be too much for your fish to take. Before filling your aquarium be sure to run your tap for around 2-3 minutes to make sure any dislodged heavy metal particles are clear form the water flow. A good idea is to run the water into a bucket, then use that water to water your plants so as not to waste any.

There are three types of water conditioner available:

  • Dechlorinator: Instantly removes chlorine but leaves ammonia and heavy metals.
  • Chloramine Neutralizer: Instantly removes chlorine and either binds the ammonia molecule, rendering it harmless, or converts the ammonia to an inert compound. Some brands also neutralize heavy metals.
  • Complete Conditioner: Eliminates chlorine, neutralizes ammonia, detoxifies heavy metals and eliminates copper. Also, provides pH buffering, electrolytes and protection of fish slime coats.

Of course, you should not buy any of these products before understanding the quality of tapwater you have available to you. You can either request this information from your local water supplier, or you can use water test strips. We recommend using king British "6 in 1" water test strips.
We also recommend the following water conditioning products to help get the best possible water quality for your aquarium.

Safe Water: Removes harmful ammonia & nitrate. Read more....

Safe Guard: Makes tapwater safe for Aquariums. Read more....

Fin Rot & Fungus Control: Treat fin rot and fungal infections. Read more....

Green Algae Control: Cleans most forms of green Algae. Read more....

White Spot Control: Treats fish with external parasites. Read more....