Aquariums and Tap Water

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Tips for Aquarium Owners

Do I need to treat tap water before using it in my aquarium or fish pond?

Yes, some special attention is needed before tap water is added to ponds or aquariums.

The drinking water treatment that helps safeguard our health leaves behind a small disinfection residual to help ensure continued protection as the water makes it way through pipelines to your tap.

This residual, called chloramines, is safe for humans, but is harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms.

Fish in aquarium

As a fish owner, it's important for you to neutralize or remove chloramines from water before it is used in your aquariums or ponds.

  • Treatment products are readily available at aquarium supply stores.
  • Chloramines react with certain types of rubber hoses and gaskets, such as those on washing machines and hot water heaters.
  • Black or greasy particles may appear as these materials degrade. Replacement materials are commonly available at hardware and plumber supply stores.
  • Chloramines do not dissipate as rapidly as chlorine disinfection, neither does it dissipate by boiling.

If you still have questions about using tap water in your fish pond or aquarium, please check with your local pet / fish store professional.


(updated December 3, 2015)


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