10 Best Aquarium Water Conditioner (Reviewed and Rated in 2021)

Wouldn’t you want to see your fish happy and stress-free? Well, you will need the best aquarium water conditioner to help you with that. Tap water contains chemicals which are added by public officials to make water safe for human consumption. However, these chemicals are very dangerous to fish and they cannot survive in an aquarium with untreated tap water. That is why you will need a water conditioner to do the job.

The chlorine and chloramine added in tap water can be neutralized by a water conditioner to make water safe for fish. Have a freshwater or saltwater aquarium below I will review some of the best water conditioners to help you select one for your aquarium. I will also give you a few tips and recommendations to help you make a decision quickly.

Do I need a water conditioner for my fish tank?

There are many reasons why you will need a water conditioner for your aquarium. I’ll take you through some of them.

One of the main reasons why you will need a water conditioner is because you will have to make the tap water safe for your fish. As you already know tap water contains chlorine and chloramines which are usually used to disinfect and kill bacteria in order to make it safe for human consumption. However, these chemicals are very harmful to your fish, invertebrates, live plants and anything else that you may be keeping in the aquarium. The water conditioner will help you to make the water safer by neutralizing these harmful components.

You will also need a water conditioner for your aquarium because it is the best way to remove chloramine and chlorine. These two chemicals tend to go directly into the bloodstream of your aquarium pets and end up poison in them. Example take it as your fish will get bleached inside by the chlorine. You also need a water conditioner when you experience poor quality water conditions.

So to answer the question yes you will need a water conditioner especially when you are setting up your new aquarium, adding water after evaporation and whenever you change your aquarium water.

We have reviewed some of the most recommended aquarium water softeners on the market today. Check their features, benefits, pros and cons and buying guide to help you make the right choice.

If you are looking for a reliable aquarium water conditioner then the tetra Aquasafe plus could be a good option. This conditioner, when added to your aquarium, will instantly begin to neutralize harmful chemicals from the tap water. This will make the water safe, providing a healthy environment for your fish in both marine and freshwater aquariums.

What I like

It is suitable for use when you are setting up an aquarium. Dosage is easy as 1 tsp treats 10 gallons of water. On top of that, the seaweed extracts the support growth of beneficial bacteria. What really impressed me was the slime Coat which not only protects the fish but also helps to heal them quickly when they get hurt. Also, it is quick, as it begins to work within a few seconds when added. It will leave the water safe, clean, and healthy.

What I don’t like

This water conditioner is very expensive compared to other conditioners in the same category. Also the Slime coat maybe a little too much for the fish because it acts as an extra to them.

  • Helps to neutralize tap water
  • Promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria
  • Works immediately when added
  • Ideal for both marine and freshwater aquariums
  • Adds essential minerals and vitamins in the water
  • It is very expensive
  • Slime Coat may not be necessary

This is one of my favourite water conditioners. It is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. It is a best seller not only because it’s from the Seachem brand but also because of other wonderful features it has. It comes in a 500 ml bottle which you can use to treat up to 5000 gallons of tap water. Dosage is very simple you will only need 5 minutes to treat up to 50 gallons that means 1 ml is equivalent to 10 gallons. You can choose to use the cup as each thread is 1ml.

What I like

It is highly concentrated and complete, you don’t have to use too much of it for it to be effective. Also, you can use it in either fresh or saltwater tanks. Works instantly and it will remove chlorine and chloramine permanently. I also liked that it is a detoxifier. Additionally, it will leave your aquarium water safe and healthy for any kind of fish.

What I don’t like

The most complaints of this water conditioner are about its foul smell. It is highly concentrated so it tends to have a very bad odour. You may also find some difficulty while memorizing the directions although this is not a big deal.

  • It is a powerful concentrated water conditioner
  • It is also capable of removing chlorine and chloramine
  • Acts as a detoxifier
  • Supports the natural production of slime
  • Has a foul smell

Any aquarium needs to be cleaned and properly maintained to provide a healthy environment for the fish. API stress coat is one of those water conditioners that will ensure that your aquarium has good quality water at all times. It is designed to restore the Slime coating which is very important for relieving stress in fish. This coating helps to quickly heal the fish in case they get injured. You can use it in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

What I like

It comes as a 3 pack which can provide you with fish food protection to the fish and also help to keep your aquarium decorations and gravel clean. This water conditioner will provide you with good quality water in your aquarium. The easy-to-follow instructions and the fact that you can use it in a saltwater or freshwater aquarium.

What I don’t like

This water conditioner only conditions and detoxifies the water but doesn’t clean it. Also, it cannot be used for biological filtration as it doesn’t support the growth or contain beneficial bacteria.

  • Ideal for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums
  • Protect and heals fish when injured
  • Neutralizes chloramines
  • Acts as a detoxifier
  • Comes as a 3 pack
  • Only conditions and detoxifies water, it will not clean it
  • Has no beneficial bacteria

You don’t have to use special water for your aquarium anymore. With the aqueon tap water conditioner, you can now have safe tap water for your aquarium fish. This water conditioner is ideal for use when setting up a new aquarium, changing water and adding more fish. With the right dosage added, it will begin to work immediately to neutralize any harmful components in the tap water.

What I like

The fact that it comes at an affordable price. It will detoxify ammonia and nitrites in your tap water. I also love that it is odourless meaning that you will enjoy working with it. Removes chloramine and it will keep your aquarium clean decreasing on maintenance. It can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

What I don’t like

This water conditioner comes with slime Coat which can be added to the fish and most times not necessary for them. This can make it too much for the fish since they can produce it on their own.

  • Detoxifies ammonia, nitrites and nitrates
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Ideal for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums
  • Cleans the aquarium
  • It is odorless
  • Doesn't promote restoration of slime coat

Wouldn’t you love a professional-grade water conditioner? The natural Rapport aquarium water conditioner might be the one for you. It is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. With it, you will be getting everything done by simply adding it to your water. It will remove chlorine, treat both stress and add slime coat.

What I like

Removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrates as well as heavy metal from the tap water. It is also totally safe for live reefs, invertebrates and crustaceans. On top of that, it will balance your water’s PH and electrolytes and slime coat in the water.

What I don’t like

It is not ideal if you want to remove nitrates from tap water. Also, it will turn your aquarium water to be overcast.

  • It will add a slime coat for the fish
  • Detoxifies ammonia, chlorine, nitrites and chloramine
  • Safe for Live reef aquariums
  • Capable of balancing the pH levels
  • Will add electrolytes in the water
  • Will not effectively remove nitrates

API tap water conditioner is concentrated enough to have one meal of it treat up to 20 gallons of water. It comes in a 16oz bottle with each ounce capable of treating up to 600 gallons of water. It is ideal for use in saltwater and freshwater aquariums. When it is added in your aquarium water it will not pose a risk to any aquatic life.

What I like

It works well to remove chlorine and detoxify heavy metals. It is highly concentrated meaning you don’t need too much of it to work and be effective. It will make the water safe for your aquatic life. Also, it prevents tissue irritation, gill destruction as well as the death of fish. It is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. To top it all it is great value for money for each gallon you buy.

What I don’t like

Unfortunately, this water conditioner will not detoxify ammonia from the tap water. If you have chloramines in your tap water, it will only remove the chlorine and with the ammonia. This will lead to an increase of ammonia levels in the tank. Also, it doesn’t add slime coat to your tap water.

  • Removes chlorine
  • Prevents fish from injuries and death
  • For both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • Has a detailed dosage guide
  • Doesn't detoxify ammonia
  • Dosage instructions start from 20 gallons. If you have a small aquarium you won't know how much to add

In need of a water conditioner that also comes with an app for simplified aquarium keeping? Well, the tetra brand offers its water conditioners with the tetra my aquarium app which ensures proper aquarium water care. Regular use of this conditioner issue was that phosphates, as well as nitrates, are neutralized. It will deal with all the harmful compositions in the water leaving it healthy. It will also help to make maintenance easy and quick.

What I like

The easy balance plus will add vitamins, minerals and electrolytes to ensure a healthier aquarium. It will regulate the alkalinity as well as the pH of the water so that the phosphates and nitrates are aghast. Also, it reduces and makes maintenance easy. It comes equipped with the tetra my aquarium up to make water care simple.

What I don’t like

It is not ideal for use in a low oxygenated aquarium. I also didn’t like that the conditioner will not remove chloramines. This means it will require you to use it with other tap water conditioners to get rid of everything.

  • Reduces the number of times you need to change the water
  • Reduces phosphates and nitrates
  • Adds electrolytes, vitamins and minerals
  • Regulates PH and alkalinity
  • Need to be used with other products
  • Won't remove chloramines

Another water conditioner from tetra. It is not doubted that tetra is among the leading aquarium accessory manufacturers and it has some of the best water conditioners on the market. Tetra betta safe water conditioner is among their many products. It is reliable and performs accordingly to keep your aquarium water safe. It is specially made for aquariums with Betta fish to keep them healthy and safe. If you are a beginner, you love this product because of how easy it is to use.

What I like

It is a great water conditioner that will ensure that your tap water is safe and healthy for your Betta fish or any other ornamental fish. It will work immediately you add it in the water. On top of that the condition I will neutralize ammonia, chlorine, heavy metal as well as chloramines in seconds. You only have to use it monthly for maintenance.

What I don’t like

It comes in a small quantity which means a large aquarium size will require more of it. This, in the long run, can turn out to be very expensive. When you add the incorrect dosage it will end up affecting its effectiveness.

  • Works within seconds
  • It is affordable
  • Grate for medicating Betta fish
  • Easy to use
  • Neutralizes ammonia, chlorine, heavy metal and chloramines
  • Comes in a small quantity

Fluval water conditioner is an ideal choice if you are looking for an effective yet safe water conditioner for your aquarium. You get to utilize it when setting up a new aquarium and when adding or changing water. Additionally, it will neutralize chlorine as well as other harmful molecules that may be in your tap water. It is a great option when you want something that will make maintenance easy and quick.

What I like

It will make the tap water safe for the fish. Also, it comes equipped with the Slime coat to help reduce stress for the fish and protect their fins as well as scales. On top of that, it will neutralize heavy metal, chloramines and chlorine from the tap water

What I don’t like

This water conditioner is not concentrated enough meaning you will need more of it per gallon compared to other brands. Also, the dosage needed to remove chloramines is double the normal one.

  • Protects sensitive parts of the fish
  • Neutralizes chlorine, heavy metal and chloramines
  • Helps make the tap water safe for fish
  • Ideal for salt and freshwater aquariums
  • Double dosage needed to neutralize chloramine

The tank first water conditioner comes from the aquatic experts brand. It is a safe water conditioner for all kinds of freshwater fish, invertebrates, shrimps plants as well as Turtles. It is easy to use and you won’t have to add too much for it to be effective. Also in case you accidentally spill a little more than you had to add, it will not affect your fish or any other aquatic life in the aquarium.

What I like

A slight accident of spills won’t affect your fish. It is a safe water conditioner that will remove nitrates, chlorine, ammonia, heavy metal as well as chloramine. On top of that, it is odorless and it is ideal for both fresh and saltwater aquariums. Also, you don’t have to be an expert to use this water conditioner because it is very easy to use.

What I don’t like

It doesn’t support the production of slime coat that is usually needed to protect the fish.

  • Neutralizes harmful toxins in tap water
  • Ideal for fresh and saltwater aquariums
  • Doesn't have an awful smell
  • Safe for everything in the aquarium
  • Works instantly
  • Doesn't support the production of slide Coat.

Buying Guide

When you want to buy a water conditioner there are a few things that you will have to keep in mind. These will help you select the best for your aquarium.

Capability to remove chloramine

Chloramine is a composition of both chlorine and ammonia. You will find that some water conditioners will be able to remove it while others will only remove chlorine and not ammonia. Ammonia is one of those toxic elements that can totally stress you are fish. I highly recommend a water conditioner that will be able to remove all the chloramines so that your fish can have a stress-free environment.


Price affects a lot of products and aquarium water conditioners are no exception. Depending on how much you have set aside for a water conditioner the actual price of the product you want to buy will affect your budget. Water conditioners come in bottles and each has got a number of gallons it can treat.

You need to know the gallons your aquarium holds before you purchase a water conditioner. This is because the price will increase per gallon. Go for something that will treat more gallons per bottle as it will serve you for longer.

Immediate effect

When choosing a water conditioner look for one that will not take ages to be effective especially when you are adding fish or setting up a new aquarium. A water conditioner which will immediately start removing ammonia, chlorine, nitrates, chloramines, nitrites as well as heavy metal is a good choice. It will guarantee that your fish will be safe even when you have just changed the water.

Suitable for both salt and freshwater

All the most water conditioners are ideal for both salt and freshwater aquariums, some only work in one. It is very important to check the manufacturer’s recommendation before you purchase one. This is because you may purchase one which does not work in the other type of aquarium. I recommend an aquarium water conditioner that will work well in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

Extra capabilities

Some water conditioners are capable of doing more than just making the tap water safe. For example, some can balance the pH, add electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, slime coat all to promote a healthier habitat. Such water conditioners are the best choice because they will ensure value for your money. You will not have to worry about your fish being stressed or hurt thanks to the slime coat. 

Fish are like babies and the more care we give them the more they will grow and be happy. Also, a water conditioner that doesn’t have an awful smell can be a great choice. You may think you won’t be near the aquarium to smell it but remember that even the fish can smell. So a bad smell can tend to stress them out.

How does water conditioner work?

Water conditioners act as a negatively charged magnet while the chlorine, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites and chloramine act as the positively charged magnets. When you add water conditioner to your tap water containing these elements it will attract them and they will cling onto the water conditioner instead of the fish. This happens it will make these harmful components harmless.

Therefore, the water conditioner will have neutralized these elements. I recommend a water conditioner that will be able to neutralize chloramine as well because tap water has mainly chlorine and chloramine chemicals.

What amount of tap water conditioner should I use in a fish tank?

The amount of water conditioner you can use in your fish tank who depend on the brand that you will buy. Some brands make a highly concentrated formula which can treat more gallons per bottle while others are not so concentrated and will not treat as many gallons per bottle.

For a highly concentrated conditioner, you may have 1ml for 20 gallons while the other can treat 1ml for 10 gallons. However, I highly recommended to check the manufacturer’s guidance on how much you can add to your aquarium per gallon.

In case you have a smaller aquarium of less than 10 gallons, this can be hard to gauge on the right amount using a cap or teaspoon. Normally you can just add a few drops of the air conditioner into the fish tank and it will be enough to make the water safe for the fish. Always remember the amount will depend on the brand you use, and also the size of your fish tank.

How often should you use water conditioner in the aquarium?

The best time to use water conditioner in the aquarium is mainly when you have changed the water. So basically whenever you change the water each week in the aquarium, you will have to use the water conditioner so that it can neutralize the harmful elements in it to make the water safe. You can also use it when you are adding water. Water in the aquarium tends to evaporate so whenever you add more add the conditioner as well.

Also when you are setting up a new aquarium because then you will be adding fresh water which needs to be neutralized. Remember to add the conditioner only when the water is inside the tank. It will be easier to know the dosage as per the number of gallons your aquarium can hold. Never use the conditioner daily because it might turn out to be harmful to the fish.


Q: Can water conditioner kill my fish?

A: No, it cannot. The only thing you have to do is to be careful when adding each dosage. It can only kill your fish if you power the entire bottle of water conditioner into the aquarium. Therefore, you should always stick to the dosage as recommended by the manufacturer and your fish will be fine.

Q: Can I had the fish right after adding water conditioner?

A: Yes, you can. Most water conditioners work instantly to remove the harmful components in the water. In most cases when you get yourself a good conditioner you don’t even have to remove the fish when changing the water. Immediately after changing the water you can add the conditioner while the fish are inside. Removing the fish tends to stress them out and they can end up being sick.

Q: Will my water conditioner work instantly?

A: Most water conditioners from reputable brands are reliable and performing. They tend to work immediately you add them in the water. However, some may take a few minutes before they are effective. Depending on the brand you have, it will have manufacturer’s guidance on how fast the conditioner can be effective. If you want the best results to look for a conditioner from a popular brand because they tend to be reliable and effective in a matter of seconds.

Q: What is the difference between chlorine and chloramine?

A: Chlorine is usually pure and tends to evaporate when exposed to open air. When it evaporates it disappears making the harmful bacteria and viruses in the water return before the water reaches its destination. Chloramine, on the other hand, is a combination of both chlorine and ammonia. 

This combination is stable and it was made so that the chemical doesn’t evaporate in the air as for the case of pure chlorine. Chloramine is able to travel and reach its destination without allowing any harmful bacteria or viruses to affect the water. These two chemicals are usually added together to ensure that tap water is safe for human consumption. The only difference is that chlorine is pure while chloramine is a combination of both chlorine and ammonia.

Final Words

If your fish have been swimming to the top to catch a break it is probably because of the untreated tap water. With all the benefits of a water conditioner, I suggest you select one of the above best aquarium water conditioners to help make tap water safe for your fish.

With my guide, you are now more informed on why you need a water conditioner and you don’t have to look further for one. All the products I have reviewed are of good quality and they are all designed to offer the right performance which will give your fish a stress-free and safe environment. All you have to do is to select the one you feel will work best for your aquarium.

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