Is it possible to use distilled water for betta fish?

In this post, we will answer the question “Is it possible to use distilled water for betta fish?”. We will also discuss which other types of water can be used in a betta fish tank.  

Is it possible to use distilled water for betta fish?

No, distilled water is not suitable for betta fish. However, if you opt for using distilled water, you will need to add several minerals, which will end up being rather expensive, especially given the high cost of distilled water in the first place. 

Water that has been distilled or purified differs from tap water in that it has been treated to remove all pollutants, minerals, and nutrients, keeping just pure water. While distilled water has many uses, it should not be used in betta fish tanks unless additional nutrients and pH correction are added.

Betta fish that are kept in untreated distilled water is deficient in numerous minerals necessary for survival, and as a result, lack energy, have a dull appearance and may perish. Using distilled water makes no sense due to the required addition and assessment of nutrients and pH. Alternatively, use tap or bottled water. 

If you use distilled water for your betta fish, the following will occur: 

• Your betta fish will become dull and colourless: without the proper nutrients in the water, your betta fish’s colour will rapidly fade; 

• Additionally, your betta fish will lose vitality and become lethargic. 

Finally, if your betta fish does not receive the essential minerals and nutrients, he or she may die.

For betta fish, can I use spring water?

Yes, spring water is more expensive than tap water, it does include minerals or nutrients because it has not been processed to remove them, unlike distilled water. Furthermore, because this water does not contain chlorine, it is completely secure to be used in betta aquariums as far as the pH levels remain within suitable betta fish ranges.

Always make sure to test the pH of your water before putting it in your tank to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Because of the way bottled water is processed, the pH values of different brands of bottled water vary. If the pH level has to be altered, make sure you have pH increasing or decreasing solutions on available. 

Gallons of natural spring may be obtained at your local store for a dollar or two per gallon, and if the pH level is adequate, it will already contain the elements that your fish will need to stay healthy in their habitat. It can also be kept in the same room as the tank, allowing the temperatures of the water in the container and the water in the tank to be compared. When utilizing spring water, it is also advisable to use a stress coat ingredient.

Can I keep betta fish in well water?

Likely, persons who live in rural areas without access to municipal water are reliant on well water for their drinking needs. While you might assume that this water is safe since it has not been treated with chemicals in the same way that municipal tap water has, you would be mistaken about that. 

Well water may contain chemicals used in pesticides and fertilizers, as well as high concentrations of heavy metals such as copper or iron. You might get into problems if you use chlorine to eliminate pollutants from your water before adding that into your water supply. 

Most neighbourhood local stores will test a drop of your water if you take it in. If you’re still undecided, here is a good place to start. Despite the fact that many conditioners cure heavy metals, chlorine, and other impurities that could harm your fish, there are solutions available that just treat heavy metals. Always check the pH levels of the water to ensure they are adequate for your betta fish, which can be determined using a test.

Betta fish-specific water

Water that has been labelled expressly for use with betta fish may also be available to purchase. Such bottled water was already carefully processed to be betta fish friendly. It has a pH that is within the proper range and has been thoroughly cleaned of dangerous chemicals and metals. 

It is not necessary to use this water because you may treat tap water on your own and save money. It is also significantly more pricey. If you prefer the convenience of water that is ready to be added to your tank right away, you have the option of purchasing pre-treated water.

Betta fish & Water conditions

When setting up a new tank or changing the water in an existing tank, it is critical to consider the pH. Although Betta fish prefer water with a pH in the range of 6.5 to 8, they can tolerate slightly more acidic water if the change is made slowly. Water will, for the most part, retain a pH close to 7, which is considered neutral. 

The pH levels of bottled spring water can range anywhere from below 6 to more than 9 depending on the source. Water which is a full 7 may never exist. Oxidation occurs as soon as it is contacted to the outside air. Perform a pH test on your tank’s water BEFORE adding it to guarantee that your betta fish is living in the best possible water. If the worst happens, test strips are inexpensive and can save your betta’s life. 

As your betta fish defecate in the tank, as well as waste and detritus, the pH will rise. Regular water replacements and regular cleaning are essential for this reason. The tinier the tank, the more the water’s qualities are likely to change.

Changing your betta fish’s water

Extreme variations in temperature and pH should be avoided at all costs. The new water in their tank must be acclimated by the betta fish. Cycling, sharing water changes, and becoming acclimated can all be beneficial. These help to minimize tension, which is extremely harmful to the health of a betta fish. 

Perform partial water changes in their tank at intervals of 20 to 35 per cent at equally spaced intervals. The size of your tank, as well as whether or not it has a filter, will affect this. For deeper cleaning, it is also recommended to perform full water changes on an as-needed basis. 

Consider a 2.5 gallon filtered tank, where 20 per cent of the water must be changed once or twice per week to ensure that it is fresh and properly treated, and a full 100 per cent water change when needed for deeper cleanings (i.e. algae buildup, debris, disease, etc.). You’ll be able to keep the water as stable as possible, decreasing ammonia, bacteria, and stress in your betta fish. Nitrogen cycles in unfiltered tanks are more difficult to regulate, necessitating more frequent inspections.

Summarising tips & rules

Let’s go over the water needs for betta aquariums, some of the water characteristics that betta fish demand, and some additional ideas for the water that you put your betta fish in before you go out and purchase or even use water for your betta fish tank.

• Betta fish require water temperatures ranging between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, which means you will almost certainly need a heater. 

• Betta fish require water that is free of ammonia, has a pH level near 7, has low levels of nitrites and nitrates, and has a hardness level of approximately 80. 

• Betta fish require water that is free of ammonia, has a pH level near 7 and has a hardness level of approximately 80. It is possible that you will need to purchase water conditioners as a result of this. 

• You really must purchase a high-quality filter for your betta fish tank, preferably one that performs mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration functions. It must be capable of handling three times the volume of water contained within the aquarium every hour. 

• Once a week, you should attempt to perform a 20-35 per cent water change in your aquarium. The water should never be changed in full at one time. (see water change guide).


In this post, we answered the question “Is it possible to use distilled water for betta fish?”. We also discussed which other types of water can be used in a betta fish tank and the water requirements for betta fish tanks.  

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is it possible to use distilled water for betta fish?

Is it safe to put a betta fish in bottled water?

Yes, although it is more expensive than tap water, it does contain minerals or nutrients, unlike distilled water, it has not been processed to remove them. Additionally, because this water is chlorine-free, it is completely safe to use in betta aquariums as much as the pH levels are within acceptable betta norms.

Is sponge filter good for betta fish?

In general, sponge filters are suitable for the majority of fish tanks. Because of the gentle flow of sponge filters, they are great. The use of low-flow filtration enables the creation of fry, betta, and shrimp tanks, which flourish in this environment.

How do I make distilled water?

Distillation is a straightforward procedure. Heat tap water until it begins to vaporize, then turn it off. During the condensation process, the vapour returns to water, leaving behind any mineral residue. When this process ends, the final condensed liquid is distilled water.

In an aquarium, what sort of water should be used?

The water used in our aquariums must be as pure and clean as possible, free of any hazardous substances such as chlorine, heavy metals, and nitrogen compounds. There is some leeway here, but the purer the water, the better the odds of a successful start.

Can I give my betta fish cleaned water? 

Distilled water and purified water are the same things. Thus, you should not use this type of water for your betta fish unless you add the appropriate amount of nutrients and minerals needed for your betta fish to thrive.


Bryan. 2017. What Kind of Water for Betta Fish?

Young, T., & Bone, J. (2021). A better life for betta fish. Every Child, 27(2), 8-10.

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Stanton, L. 2022. What Kind of Water Do Betta Fish Need?