Living in Fishy Luxury: The Best Betta Water Conditioner

best betta water conditioner

Want to treat your fish to a new level of luxury? Add these conditioners to your list of the best betta water conditioners.

Conditioning for Greatness

Ok before you even ask, YES, you must use a water conditioner to create the healthiest environment for your fishy friend. The debate over whether water conditioning is necessary is still raging, but we can assure you if you want your new buddy to live their fullest life, a water conditioner is a must-have.

This guide will walk you through what water conditioners are, and why you need them, as well as introduce you to our favorite brands so finding the best betta water conditioner is easy and stress-free!

Conditioner is for More Than Just Hair!

Betta fish are a beautiful way to add color to any room or to get your first taste of having an aquarium. Among the oldest domesticated fish in the world, these colorful friends originated in the fresh waters of Southeast Asia. Also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, the betta is a stunningly colorful fish with a beautiful large tail fin that almost looks like a flowing dress.

While these fish are highly territorial, they’re extremely hearty and low maintenance. While they can be very accommodating to poor water and tank quality, they’re not invincible. These freshwater fishes aren’t overly tolerant to the most common form of home aquarium tank water, distilled water.

Distilled or bottled water is great for humans, by removing the minerals and impurities the water tastes better and is possibly healthier for us to drink. For fish though, it’s the worst nightmare imaginable.

Fish need all of those minerals in the water that they use for nutrients – without them, they’re swimming through the fishy equivalent of a desert. Devoid of food and nutrition, they won’t be able to survive for very long.

You can tell if your betta isn’t adjusting well to the water by looking at their color – when those bright and beautiful colors start to fade you know something isn’t quite right. When you’re setting up your tank, you need to add a conditioning agent to the water to create the ideal environment for them to thrive.

Almost any other water than the natural waters of their ancestral Southeast Asian home will need a water conditioner. A water conditioner will make your pet’s new home safe for them to live in before they even arrive.

Water conditioners dechlorinate the tank water in the tank and make it safe for the fish to live in. Some water conditioners also use a “stress coat additive” which helps your fish maintain its natural slime coat.

A slime coat doesn’t sound like something you’d ever want to wear, but your fish needs a healthy slime coat to survive. It’s almost like a second skin that prevents dirt, bacteria, and other harmful substances from infecting your fish.

Each time you change the tank water you should condition the water to make sure there will be no harmful chlorine to hurt your fish. Even though these little fishes are known for their endurance, chlorine will take years off their life.

Best Betta Water Conditioner

1. API Stress Coat Water Conditioner

API is an excellent company for aquarium products of all kinds. This all-in-one conditioner for betta fish is a great way to keep your fish healthy for life. By using this product whenever you set up or change the water in your aquarium, you’ll keep the mineral content perfect and remove any harmful chlorine and toxic chemicals.

This is one of our favorites because of the stress coat additive that is included in the conditioner. It’s always easier to have a single product that fills multiple uses. This bottle of water conditioner will keep your fish’s slime coat healthy and ready to protect them from anything that might sneak into their water.

Using this conditioner is simple – you only one teaspoon per 10 gallons of water. If your tank setup is much smaller then you can scale down proportionally. This quality water conditioner is a great choice for any new tank setup or for existing tanks that are going through a routine water change.

The API Stress Coat+ is an excellent choice to create a safe environment for your pet to live a healthy life.

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2. Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Betta Bowl Plus Water Conditioner

Another great option that’s a little more specifically formulated just for betta fish is the Aqueon Plus Water Conditioner, which creates optimal conditions for your betta to thrive. This conditioner is specially designed for smaller tanks or bowls, which are common homes for betta fish.

This conditioner will detoxify any heavy metals and minerals, making any type of water safe for your fish. The de-stressing formula is great for introducing a new fish to its home since the actual process of netting and transportation is confusing and stressful for the fish.

Using this product is easy since the cap doubles as a dose applicator. One cap equates to 5ml (or 1 teaspoon) which is the dose of conditioner per gallon you’ll need to use. Our favorite part of this product is the proprietary nutrient formula that Aqueon designed specifically to support the health of betta fish.
This is a great choice for anyone who specifically owns betta fish, while it can be used in any aquarium setup, Aqueon developed this specifically for betta fish.

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3. API Tap Water Conditioner

Another excellent choice from API, this betta water conditioner almost instantly neutralizes any chlorine in tap water. This tap water conditioner can be used for routine tank maintenance as well as new tank setup, however, it’s ideally used for new tank setup.

The formula of this tap water conditioner is a high-concentration, “super strength” formula that might be a little too intense for routine tank maintenance. The ideal use is to completely neutralize chlorine, chloramine, and other harmful chemicals, with a high-concentration formula in a new tank.

You can use this liquid water conditioner in any type of water, but ideally, you’ll want to use this in tap water. As far as a fish is concerned, tap water has the most impurities of any type of water you can use for your fish’s home.

You’ll need a teaspoon or the included dosing cap on the bottle to get started. Since this is a super strength formula, be very careful not to overdo it. You only need a single ml per 20 gallons of water for this betta water treatment.

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4. TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner

Another high-strength water conditioning product, Aquatic Experts use a cutting-edge proprietary formula to remove chemicals in tap water instantly. If you’re in a rush to get your fish into their new home, this might be your best choice.

An overlooked benefit of Aquatic Expert’s water conditioner is their “no-smell” formula. Most water conditioners have an immediate, almost sharp, chemical smell. It can be quite a shock to the nose if you’ve never used a water conditioner before.

Our favorite part of this water conditioning formula though is that it’s extremely forgiving despite being a high-strength formula. If you over or under pour with an intense formula, you run the risk of creating a more toxic environment for your fish.

The Aquatic Experts conditioner can produce almost instant detoxification results, while still being safe for betta fish in the event of an overpour.

Use a single capful to measure out 5ml for every 10 gallons of new water you’d like to treat.

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5. Tetra BettaSafe Aquarium Water Conditioner

Another great product specifically designed for the needs of betta fish, the Tetra BettaSafe conditioner will turn any water into a safe environment for betta fish. This isn’t a high-strength formula so it’s great for setting up a new tank, but it works best for monthly routine water replacements.

Though not instantaneous, the BettaSafe conditioner will detoxify any water within a minute. While detoxifying, it also reduces stress and introduces elements into the water that your betta will love. The nutritional blend will also support the maintenance of a healthy slime coat for your fish.

You won’t need a measuring spoon or cap to use the BettaSafe conditioner, though you can use the cap to measure out 2mls if you’d like. The BettaSafe works more like an eye-dropper so you can precisely drop in the amount of conditioner that you’ll need.

Use 14 drops per gallon when either setting up a new tank or when performing monthly tank maintenance. Since you probably won’t want to spend your entire day counting out water conditioner drops, it’s best to use this one for bowls or very small tank setups.

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Buying Considerations and FAQ

The most pressing buying consideration is what kind of tank you’re going to be setting up for your betta fish. Since almost all available water will need to be treated with conditioner, you’ll need to pick one up regardless.

However, if you’re setting up a large tank for the first time, you probably want to go with one of the high-strength, fast-acting formulas so that you won’t need to measure out very much at one time. If you’re going for a small tank or bowl setup, a lower-strength conditioner like the BettaSafe would be an excellent choice.

Below are some common questions asked about betta water conditioners. Please note the answers apply to all products in this guide, unless specifically noted:

How long in advance should I treat the water?

Let the water in a new tank sit long enough to reach room temperature before adding a water conditioner. Then add your conditioner of choice and follow the directions from the brand before adding your fish.

Do I need other products to set up a new betta bowl or aquarium?

No, water and water conditioner will be all you need at first. Though over time, the needs of your fish could change and you may have to seek out additional products.

Do I need to have a stress coat additive?

Technically no, but it isn’t a bad idea to use an all-in-one formula to treat any betta aquarium. By including the stress coat additive you’re almost giving your fishy friend a multivitamin to swim in, in addition to the clean and chemical-free water.

Will water conditioners alter the pH level of the aquarium?

No, if the pH level were to be altered it could prove ultimately harmful to the fish. Water conditioners will not affect the pH level, they will only remove harmful chemicals in the betta’s water.

Brand Overview

Below you can find a quick guide to the brands mentioned here:


API is one of the world’s leading fish product manufacturers. They make foods, water treatments, and testing kits to ensure any aquarium reaches its full potential.


Aqueon is another leading manufacturer of all things fish, though their brand focuses predominantly on bettas. They offer care guides in addition to their fantastic product lineup so your betta fish can live a long and healthy life.

Aquatic Experts

Aquatic Experts focus primarily on filters and filtration systems for large aquariums and ponds. They specialize in all things filtration however and make an excellent water conditioner.


Tetra is an all-in-one aquatic resources company, producing everything from food, to filters, to colorful plant pieces that turn any aquarium into a paradise for the fishy inhabitants.

fish in aquarium


If you’re buying a betta fish or doing your monthly tank maintenance, you need a high-quality water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals and toxins found in the water.

We think the best betta water conditioners are all-in-one products that contain a stress-reducing and nutrient-boosting additive that not only removes toxins in the water, but also promotes a healthy slime coat, and keeps your betta fish healthy, colorful, and thriving for years to come.


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