Why Water Conditioner Is So Important for Fish & Aquariums

Date Posted:6 December 2022 



While fish are certainly low-maintenance pets, fish tank maintenance is still required. Keeping on top of it will help ensure your fish are happy and healthy. As part of your routine maintenance, you’ll need to do water changes and ensure the aquarium filters are cleaned on a regular basis. This is where water conditioner comes into play. Adding water conditioner to your aquarium is crucial for fish tank maintenance. It is vital that you familiarise yourself with water conditioners, including how to use them safely and effectively.


What Is Water Conditioner & Why Is It Important?


Water conditioners, also known as water ager or chlorinators, are an essential solution that is added to tap water to make it safe for fish. This is necessary because tap water contains chemicals such as chlorine, chloramine, ammonia and other harmful substances. While these chemicals make tap water safe for humans to drink, they can harm or kill fish, along with all the beneficial bacteria that provide biological filtration within your aquarium.


Exposure to high levels of chlorine causes rapid destruction of the gills and skin tissue, which can lead to suffocation or even death for a fish. Chlorine also has an effect on the respiratory system because it disrupts the ability of cells in the gills to take up oxygen from the surrounding water, leading to asphyxiation. In addition, chlorinated water may contain toxic byproducts that become fatal if ingested by a fish over time.


In some cases, even low levels of chlorine can cause irritation and damage to a fish's eyes, fins and scales due to its oxidising properties. This is why it is so important to add water conditioner to tap water before adding it to your aquarium.


How to Use Water Conditioner to Improve Your Fish’s Environment


Water conditioner should be used when you’re setting up a new aquarium, changing water or topping up your tank. Before you use fish tank conditioner, it is a good idea to check the package for instructions and recommended dosages. However, there is generally one main method of implementing aquarium water treatment.


The safest way is to fill a bucket or container with the amount of tap water required, add the recommended dose of water conditioner, and then swirl the liquid around with a clean stick or spoon. Let it sit for a few minutes to ensure the treatment has time to take effect. It is now safe to pour the treated water into your aquarium.


For those that use a hose connected to a tap to fill up the aquarium, add the recommended quantity of water conditioner directly into the tank prior to running the tap. It’s important to note this process should be completed slowly and with caution as chlorine can still harm the fish if water is added too quickly.


Our Top Water Conditioner FAQs




Can I Put Water Conditioner in With My Fish?


If you are setting up your fish tank, we recommend adding water conditioner and beneficial bacteria to the water, and then cycling the tank for a couple of days before adding any fish to your tank

For smaller water changes and top ups, as long as you follow the directions on the bottle, you can add water conditioner directly into your aquarium.


Can Too Much Water Conditioner Kill Fish?


You might be surprised to find that too much aquarium water conditioner can kill fish. However, it would probably take an entire bottle of conditioner to cause fatalities, and, even then, most are likely to survive. Overdosing on water conditioner is less harmful than underdosing because if the chlorine in tap water is not properly detoxified, this could be detrimental to your fish.


How Does Aquarium Water Conditioner Work?


As described above, water conditioners neutralise the chemicals found in tap water and break down chloramines so new water can be added to the aquarium quickly and easily. Essentially, water conditioners make chlorine harmless via the formation of ionic bonds. The treatment acts similar to a magnet, drawing the chlorine away from the gills of the fish.


How Long Does Aquarium Water Conditioner Take to Work?


Generally speaking, water conditioners are very fast acting. If you add a water conditioner to tap water and stir as instructed, the treatment should only take a few minutes to do its job. If you’re adding conditioner directly to a tank that has proper flow, it should take 2–5 minutes. If you’re only changing a small portion of the water, you don’t have to wait any time at all.


Wondering Where to Get Water Conditioner for Your Fish Tank?


Here at Aquarium Kingdom, we pride ourselves on supplying top-quality home aquariums and associated products. We are an enthusiastic team of aquarium experts, and have extensive knowledge in all things related to fish care. If you have any questions about aquarium water treatment, please reach out today. And for the best aquarium water conditioner on the market, shop our online store!


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