Product Review and Recommendation
Clean water is the secret to keeping a healthy Betta fish. With each water change harmful chemicals are removed from your fish’s environment but without a good water conditioner new chemicals that are just as bad will be added into your tank with fresh tap water. Even water from other sources, such as a well, may have additions that make water safe for humans but toxic for bettas. Unfortunately, not all water conditioners are equal. Some only remove chlorine while others may remove ammonia. They may all claim to make water safe for immediate use but they certainly are not all what Betta fish need.
Often regarded as the best water conditioner available, Seachem Prime offers what others do not. It is a unique product in many ways. Not only does Prime remove chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals, it also detoxifies ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in a way that other water conditioners do not. Prime neutralizes ammonia by converting it into a non-toxic form for 24 hours. It works instantly, so there is no wait time needed before adding fish in to its treated water. It can also be safely added inbetween water changes to keep toxic ammonia at bay without affecting your pH levels, which Betta fish are sensitive to.
To use Prime simply add 2 drops per gallon of water before adding new water to your tank after a water change or directly to the tank inbetween water changes. The conditioner is fast acting and will neutralize all harmful elements immediately, although ammonia readings will still be present in water tests. This occurs because chloramines are chlorine and ammonia bound together. Prime unbinds these two chemicals to remove the chlorine and temporarily detoxify the ammonia, allowing beneficial bacteria to convert it into your nitrogen cycle or giving you time to either change the water or add another dose.
The conditioner is simply the best at what it does. A good water conditioner makes all the difference in your betta’s health. In my own personal experience, Prime is what saved my first serious betta. Despite the high levels of research I completed before ownership, I was never told about differences in water conditioners and was merely told to add a few drops during a water change to make the water safe. My poor boy had a severe reaction to his new water after a few hours when he was brought home, bordering on the brink of death for nearly a week before I sorted his issues out. One of the main problems was that my new local water (I had recently moved from the bottom of the state to the very top of the state, making my previous fish-owning experiences irrelevant in terms of water conditions) had high doses of heavy metals and ammonia, which my then water conditioner was not equipped to handle. Switching to Prime saved my boy’s life. Within a few hours of yet another water change but with the addition of Prime, my boy was active and healthy again.
You can buy a 250 ml bottle of Seachem Prime here, a 500 ml bottle here, or a fantastic 500 ml two-pack here for the best value. These supplies will last you a long time so it’s good to stock up, especially if you have a large tank. Your betta will thank you!