Are betta fish freshwater fish?

In this post, we will answer the question “Are betta fish freshwater fish?”. We will also discuss a bit their water requirements and possible tank water solutions.

Are betta fish freshwater fish?

Betta fish are freshwater fish, to be sure. Betta fish are mainly found in Thailand’s tiny, shallow streams and rice paddies, where they may be found in their native environment. These are normally extremely large, and because of the tropical environment, the water is usually pretty warm as well. 

Our objective with our Betta fish tanks is to provide a habitat that is as near to their native surroundings as possible. Temperature, water parameters, filtration, lighting, and feeding are all important factors in keeping your fish healthy and happy. 

The most common problem I find with beginners who are attempting to care for a Betta fish is that they maintain them in tanks that are way too tiny. Betta fish are not meant to be kept in fishbowls.

What size aquariums do betta fish need?

If you believe that Betta Fish can live peacefully in a fishbowl, you are incorrect. The basic minimum tank size for a betta fish is at least 10 gallons, although even that is considered too little for this species. More is always preferable. 

The many types of water that may be used in a betta fish aquarium 

Although water seems to be a colourless and odourless liquid to the naked eye, different types of water are not all created equal, and you must use the proper type of water for your betta fish tank. Using the incorrect sort of water might cause your pet to become ill! 

So, let’s take a closer look at the many types of water that are accessible in greater detail today.

Tap water

The majority of fish keepers utilise water that comes directly from their faucets! You must not, however, utilise tap water in your fish tank without first conditioning the water. 

As a result, your local water utilities business chemically treats your tap water to remove any bacteria that may be present in the water, making it safe for you to drink as well as use for washing and other purposes.

Chlorine vs. chloramine

In the olden days, chlorine was the chemical disinfection of choice for the vast majority of public water systems. Simply running a bucket of tap water through your aquarium and allowing it to stand for 24 hours while stirring it occasionally was enough to make the water safe to use in your fish tank. It takes around 24 hours for the chlorine to drain completely, leaving the bucket of water completely safe for your fish to drink. 

However, in recent years, a more stable chemical known as chloramine has taken over as the primary disinfectant in the home water supply system. Chloramine is a compound that contains both ammonia and chlorine. The ammonia molecules that have formed a bond with the chlorine molecules prevent the chlorine from evaporating into the atmosphere. Because of this, the old-fashioned “stand and stir” approach for tap water filtration is no longer effective in killing germs or making the water completely safe for consumption.

What’s in your tap water?

If you want to know what chemicals and heavy metals are present in your tap water, you can either test it yourself with an aquarium water testing kit or ask your local government to provide you with that information. In the United States, there is a legal obligation that the water company informs its customers about the contaminants in the water that it delivers, thus you can expect them to notify you if you ask.

Tap water conditioner

It is necessary to add a tap water conditioner to your bucket of water before adding it to your betta’s aquarium for the water to be safe for usage in your aquarium. 

Conditioners operate by neutralising the chlorine present in the water they are used with. Alternatively, if your water includes chloramine, you will want a particular conditioner that breaks the link between chlorine and ammonia and attacks each one separately. Unfortunately, water corporations frequently switch between employing chloramine and chlorine to disinfect their systems. As a result, we recommend that you use a water conditioner that is capable of handling both situations.


Dechlorinators include a chemical known as sodium thiosulfate, which is responsible for the elimination of chlorine. Those products, on the other hand, are ineffective when used with chloramine-containing tap water. The reason for this is that once you’ve removed the chlorine from the water, you’ll be left with a bucket of water that’s full of ammonia, which might be fatal to your betta.

Chloramine neutralizers

Chloramine neutralizers are advised for use on tap water that will be used in your betta’s tank to prevent chloramine buildup. These conditioners are capable of dealing with chlorine, ammonia, and heavy metals, making them a suitable all-around answer to the most frequent chemical additions found in tap water. 

In addition to neutralising chlorine, chloramine neutralizers also transform ammonia into a non-toxic form of ammonium.

Ammonia testing kits

It is important to be certain that any ammonia test kit you use only tests for NH3 (ammonia). Some kits also report that the tank water contains NH4, which is a harmless ammonium compound, which results in an erroneous result.

Complete water conditioning solutions

A full water conditioning solution is a fantastic choice for your betta tank’s water quality. Complete conditioners are formulated with ingredients that are effective against chlorine, ammonia, copper, and other heavy metals. These products also function as pH buffers, and some of them contain ingredients that can help your betta’s protective slime layer to function more effectively.

Tap water benefits

As a result, tap water is easily available, inexpensive, and includes certain minerals and nutrients that betta fish require to grow. In addition, cold and hot tap water may be readily combined to provide the optimum temperature for your betta’s tank, if necessary.


Your betta’s aquarium may require water, and you may question if you may use the water from your rainwater butt in your garden to fill it. After all, rainwater is natural, has no chemical additions, and is about as pure as it gets when it comes to drinking water, don’t you think? Although it is possible to utilise rainwater in your betta’s tank, there are a few things that you should be aware of before doing so. 

Rainwater does not often include a high concentration of airborne contaminants, however, this varies depending on where you reside. For example, rainfall in the United States is largely free of contaminants. Rainwater is somewhat acidic, and it contains no compounds to neutralise the acidity. From close to zero, rainwater hardness (total dissolved solids, TDS) may be measured. 

TDS levels of practical nil and a pH level of 5 or less are common for wild bettas in their natural environment. As a result, your pet might survive just on rainfall. Another option is to combine pure rainwater with 5 per cent or 10% tap water, however, you will still need to treat the tap water before using it. Having said that, you will need to check your tank water since the pH might drop dangerously low due to the lack of buffering capability in rainfall. You will also need to test the hardness of the water and the carbonate hardness of the water to ensure that they are both within the range of values that your betta can tolerate. 

To be on the safe side, start by utilising 25 per cent rainwater and making up the difference with tap water later on. As long as the pH remains between 6.5 and 7.5, you can raise the amount of rainwater in the mix to 50 per cent of the total. Keep an eye on the water’s pH level, and if it begins to decrease, reduce the amount of rainfall in it.


Consider utilising bottled spring water instead of tap water to provide your betta with a luxurious type of water. The pH levels in bottled spring water are safe for your betta, and they should be between 6.5 and 7.5. Because bottled spring water does not include chlorine or any other harmful chemicals, you should confirm that the pH levels are suitable for your betta. We also recommend that if you are using spring water for your betta fish, you add a stress coat booster to help them cope with the stress. 

Although bottled water can be a cost-effective alternative to tap water for use in a betta tank, it is not always the most economical choice. You should only use “still” water and not carbonated or sparkling water

Distilled water

Distilled water has been treated to remove any minerals, contaminants, and nutrients from the water. So, effectively, all that’s left is pure water after all this. Purified water is beneficial for a variety of purposes, but it is not ideal for use in a Betta fish tank unless it has been supplemented with nutrients, minerals, and pH balancing agents. If you fail to do so, your betta will suffer, and he may succumb to his injuries.

Betta-specific water

Water that is specially marketed for use with betta fish may be found at several aquarium supply stores. Those bottles of water have been pre-conditioned to make them ideal for use in betta aquariums. 

In addition, all toxic chemicals and heavy metals have been eliminated, making this an excellent environment for betta fish. Although this water is ideal for your pet, it is generally prohibitively costly, and tap water is absolutely long as you use the appropriate conditioner to make it.


In this post, we answered the question “Are betta fish freshwater fish?”. We also discussed a bit their water requirements and possible tank water solutions.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Are betta fish freshwater fish?

Is it possible for betta fish to survive in saltwater? 

Simply put, you are unable to do the task. You can attempt, but you will fail. The survival of one betta out of 10,000 is feasible, but I have a sneaking suspicion that yours will not cut. Mollies, on the other hand, are unique in that they are essentially saltwater fish that can survive in freshwater. 

Is a betta fish considered a tropical fish? 

Yes, betta fish are considered to be tropical fish. The temperature of their tank must be maintained within a certain range of 76°F to 81°F. Owners should use a thermometer to check the temperature of their tanks. 

Are betta fish able to survive in cold water? 

Betta fish are unable to survive in cold water. Even if they manage to do so, they will not be able to do so for very long. Because they are tropical fish, they prefer warm water, and this is the reason. It’s as if you’re attempting to freeze the bettas by keeping them in chilly water. 

What is the betta fish life span?

Betta fish grow to be little more than 3 inches in length, on average. Their typical life span is between 2 and 5 years. Their fins are beautifully coloured, and they have a variety of tail forms. 

What is it that kills betta fish? 

The most prevalent reason for mortality in Betta fish is a bad habitat, which might include contaminated water, and ill-kept tank, unsuitable fish, a tank that is too small, and many other factors. Betta fish frequently perish as a result of stress, making it critical to regulate their exposure to unexpected change and to closely observe how they react to new experiences. 

Do betta fish suffer from depression? 

After all, the more you pay attention to your betta, the more you’ll see that he’s highly clever in his own right. Moreover, it is accurate to say that failing to meet your betta’s demands might soon result in him becoming depressed. And it isn’t just bettas who are affected. When it comes to depression, fish and humans are quite similar in their responses.


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