Best Betta Fish Water Conditioners Compared & Reviewed 2021

A good water conditioner will remove unsafe chemical compounds from your tap water. Making it safe for your betta fish.

But they’re not all made equal. In this guide, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

Not only have I reviewed the top choices, I’ve compared each one so you don’t only get the most effective, but you get the best betta water conditioner that’ll also last the longest.

Overview: Top Pick – Seachem Prime

Seachem Prime is the best water conditioner for your betta fish, because it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as well as dechlorinating the water.

And not only that, but a 100ml bottle of prime = 500ml of the other top brands.

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1. Seachem Prime (Top Pick)

What it treats:

  • Removes: 
    • Chlorine
    • Chloramine
    • Heavy metals
  • Detoxifies:
    • Ammonia
    • Nitrite
    • Nitrate

I’ll gladly tell you that I’m biased towards this product because it’s what I use for all of my personal tanks. I’ve used it for years, and I highly recommend it.

Here’s why: Prime is highly concentrated, making it the best deal in terms of what it costs per gallon to treat your water. It also detoxifies other compounds, especially the ammonia left over from chloramine.

Prime can also be a literal lifesaver in an emergency. If your tank suffers a sudden ammonia spike, this product can bind the highly toxic ammonia and turn it into nontoxic ammonium, which can help save your fish.

Some people do complain that Prime can sometimes be a bit stinky. Here’s the thing, yes, this is true… a little bit.

Sometimes Prime does have a bit of a sulphurous egg kind of smell, that only comes off the open bottle. Once you pour in the tiny amount your tank needs, it’s so diluted that you will not be able to smell it any more. 

It’s really not a big deal. 

Dosage: 2 drops per gallon

Pros: 

  • Treats a wide variety of potentially harmful compounds
  • Good to have for emergencies

Cons: 

  • It can be a little smelly sometimes

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2. API Stress Coat

What it treats:

  • Removes:
  • Chlorine
  • Chloramine (but doesn’t detox ammonia)
  • Heavy metals

Another common brand of water conditioner is API Stress Coat. This brand has been around for forever and a day and just can’t be ignored.

Stress Coat’s big claim to fame is that it has added aloe vera to the mixture which helps build up fish’s slime coats, making them better able to resist disease and heal from injury.

But this is a contentious claim and many in the fish world argue that aloe is actually bad for your fish. 

I can’t settle this debate here, it would take years of scientific study and analysis to figure this out definitively.

However, it is known for a fact that aloe vera has a negative impact on filter media resins, like Seachem Purigen. The aloe binds to the resin and causes it to become toxic. 

So do not use Stress Coat, or any other water conditioner containing aloe vera, if you use resin in your filter.

Dosage: 10 drops per gallon

Pros: 

  • Will dechlorinate tap water

Cons: 

  • Does not treat ammonia, nitrite or nitrate
  • Costs more per gallon than Seachem Prime
Sale
API STRESS COAT Aquarium Water Conditioner 4-Ounce Bottle (85B)
API STRESS COAT Aquarium Water Conditioner 4-Ounce Bottle (85B)

    Last update on 2021-01-11 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    3. Tetra Aquasafe Plus

    What it treats:

    • Removes:
      • Chlorine
      • Chloramine (but doesn’t detox ammonia)
      • Heavy metals

    I included this water conditioner, not because I think it’s a good product, but to illustrate how “cheap” brands actually cost you more money to use. 

    Tetra always advertises its products as if they are top notch and just the best stuff ever. But their water conditioner costs over 6 times more to use and it doesn’t do anything to detoxify any ammonia that’s left behind from chloramine.  

    Dosage: 10 drops per gallon

    Pros: 

    • Will dechlorinate tap water

    Cons: 

    • Does not treat ammonia, nitrite or nitrate
    • Costs much more per gallon than Seachem Prime
    Sale
    Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator, Packaging may vary
    Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator, Packaging may vary

      Last update on 2021-01-11 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      To Make Dosing Your Betta Tank Easier

      Betta tanks are pretty small, so you only need a little bit of water conditioner each time. I recommend using a dropper so you can measure out exactly what you need.

      Sale
      Ezy Dose Ear and Eye Medicine Dropper | For Liquid & Essential Oils | 1mL Capacity | Calibrated | Glass
      Ezy Dose Ear and Eye Medicine Dropper | For Liquid & Essential Oils | 1mL Capacity | Calibrated | Glass

        Last update on 2021-01-11 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Which Water Conditioner Is Best For Betta Fish?

        All water conditioners are not created equal. Big time. 

        I recommend Seachem Prime as the best betta water conditioner over other water conditioners, because it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as well as dechlorinating the water.

        It’s also much more highly concentrated than other brands. So you use a whole lot less to get the same job done. 

        For a comparison, I whipped up this nifty chart to illustrate how much more concentrated Prime is. This compares how many gallons of water 1 milliliter of each solution treats.

        A 100 ml bottle of Prime treats as much water as a 500 ml bottle of the other brands.

        So it’s a much better value, especially if you do tons of water changes. 

        On top of that, I really don’t buy API’s claims that aloe is of great benefit to fish. So I feel like the Prime is giving me exactly what I want, while not adding on extra compounds that I don’t really want.

        And neither Stress Coat nor Tetra Aqua Safe Plus can detoxify ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Only Prime does that.

        There you have it. In my opinion, Seachem Prime is the best water conditioner for a Betta tank. Or any kind of tank for that matter.

        I’ve used this product for years and years and it’s never let me down. 

        I wish you and your fish the very best!

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        Do I really need water conditioner?

        Yes, yes YES!!

        There are chemicals added by water companies, that are safe to drink, but highly toxic to aquarium inhabitants. These chemicals have to be removed from the water or they will stress and possibly kill your fish.

        Pro Tip: Well water does not go through a water treatment plant and so has not had these chemicals added. You can use well water in an aquarium without having to use a water conditioner.

        Chlorine vs Chloramine

        Chlorine (Cl) has been used by municipal water systems to kill waterborne bacteria and viruses, and make water safe to drink, since the early 20th century. 

        But in recent decades, more and more water supplies have started to use something called chloramine (NH2Cl). Chloramine is chlorine bound with ammonia. It can kill all the same things that regular chlorine can, but also has the added benefits of being a much more stable chemical.

        Chlorine will evaporate out of water if it’s left uncovered, but chloramine won’t. 

        The same chemicals that remove chlorine from water will also remove the chlorine part of chloramine. 

        But, if your water conditioner only removes chlorine, that means it leaves the ammonia part of the chloramine behind in the water.

        This is bad news since ammonia is highly toxic to aquatic animals.

        If your water company uses chloramine, make sure that you use a water conditioner that also detoxifies ammonia.

        Pro Tip: Check your water company’s website to see if they use chlorine or chloramine.

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