What happens if you put a betta fish in tap water?

When I first got my fish he was really jumpy. But then he started staying at the bottom of his bowl and not eating. Im starting to think it is because we put him in tap water not bottled water. So can someone please tell me what happens if you put your betta fish in tap water and if their is anything I can do to help???????

7 Answers

  • Mark
    Lv 4
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you use tap water and you are on a publicly supplied water system, your fish will die most likely. Water contains chlorine and chloramine which need to be neutralized by a water conditioner such as Seachem Prime. You do not need bottled water either. It has been shown that there are no standards to bottling water so you really have no idea what is contained in the bottle. Use tap water and a dechlorinator. Also your fish is staying at the bottom of the bowl because he is depressed due to his home. Bettas need to swim and explore an interesting environment with live plants and things to swim through, and require a 5 gallon tank minimum to do so. Bettas are also tropical fish and require heaters to be active, a cold betta is a lethargic betta. So upgrade his home, heat him up, feed him a good quality betta floating pellet and some frozen bloodworms as a treat (not freeze dried) and you will have a happier pet and be a better pet owner. Fish are not decorations and deserve to live their lives as happy as they can.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Tap water contains chemicals like chlorine which are lethal to fish. You can buy conditioners in your local fish store (I recommend Easy Balance) that will neutralize those chemicals to make tap water safe for your fish. You should be adding in the right amount with every water change. Don't use bottled water since a) it wastes plastic and we're trying to be greener nowadays and b) the cost will add up everytime you do a water change (which should be weekly).

    Now I must comment on this - you're keeping your betta in a bowl. Huge mistake, though it is the most common of mistakes I hear about in fishkeeping. Betta's are small, yes, that doesn't mean they should be forced to live in such a small puddle of water. Bowls are too small to be able to be filtered let alone heated, so the cold stagnant water will be a complete breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. Betta's are tropical fish, they need to be kept in warmer than room temperature water, between 78 and 82F to be exact. All specimens, even shrimp and snails, deserve to be in clean, filtered water. A sponge filter is best for betta's because they don't appreciate strong currents, but you could also just put some pantyhose over the current to weaken it.

    The bare minimum for one betta is a 5g tank. Please go out to WalMart or your local fish store and get one of those, a kit should be around $75-100. Yes, it can be costly, but if you didn't know what you were getting into, then you're not ready to keep a fish.

  • Gary C
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Naturally, what happens when you put a fish in tap water depends on what's in the tap water.

    Most tap water has chlorine added to it (to kill pathogenic bacteria). In a great many cases, it also has ammonia added (the ammonia/chlorine combination is known as chloramine). For aquarium purposes, this is important because chloramine is very stable, and will not escape from water on its own, the way free chlorine will if you "age" the water. If you are on a city water utility, you can get more information about exactly what's in the water from the water department. If you have your own well or cistern, you may have to pay for a test to find out what chemicals are in the water. (Most well water is not chlorinated, but it may contain other toxic elements.)

    Both chlorine and ammonia poison fish by burning the fish's gills. Therefore, the fish cannot respirate properly and doesn't get enough oxygen. (By the way, chlorine gas was used as a chemical weapon against humans in World War I.) A strong dose of chlorine or ammonia, or chloramine, will kill a fish more or less instantly, but a small amount will just make the fish sick.

    Most of us in the aquarium hobby use tap water, rather than bottled water, to fill our tanks, but before putting fish in, we add water conditioner. Water conditioner, also known as dechlorinator or dechloraminator, is just a chemical or a group of chemicals, that neutralizes chlorine and ammonia in the water. Some brands of water conditioner claim to also do various other things. It is inexpensive, especially in the amount you'll need for a typical betta tank, and is available at every pet shop. Even some large grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, and feed stores sell aquarium water conditioner. Some brands of water conditioner neutralize chlorine but not ammonia, so if there is ammonia or chloramine in your water, or if you don't know if there is or not, be sure to get water conditioner that says on the label that it neutralizes (or "removes") both chlorine and ammonia.

    As for your fish, if it is still in the untreated tap water, I would get it out of that water as soon as possible and put it in water that has been treated to remove the chlorine and ammonia.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    1. it depends where you live; we all have different tap water conditions. if your tap water is bad then it'll be bad for the fish.

    2. you just got the fish. it's probably stressed out from moving just give it time and it'll come around

    3. betta's need a 5 gallon tank alone not a fish bowl.

    Source(s): 1. i use tap for for ALL.. my freshwater fishs. no chemicals added (dechlorinater , etc) 2. i had the fish not eat for a week and just lie on the bottom and now he/she is all hyper 3.no fishs hould be kept in a small bowl; it's like you living in a closet would you like that? ive been raising all sorts of fish my whole life and still do i got a 16 inch sfpleco now and a 1-2 inch fh. getting more fish when i get my 120g
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  • 10 years ago

    tap water contains many bad stuff for fish such as chlorine,chloramine,high ph,heavy metals.

    when i was small i would always keep my betta in tap water and nothing happened.

    he lived for about a year with me but he was older.

    so dont worry too much because bettas are very tolerant fish and can survive anything but their lifespan will shorten

    but if you add water conditioner then its much better because it will get rid of chlorine,chloramine,and heavy metals so add water conditioner and it should be okay.

  • 10 years ago

    the tap water will kill it unless you put dechlorinator in the water!!!!! use the tap water and buy a bottle of this and just put a couple drops in the bowl (or read back label) then your fish will be fine

  • cheese
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    did you add a water conditioner to the water to remove the chlorine? if you didn't it could die from chlorine poisoning.

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