First off I would like to say that your website has been the most resourceful betta page I have ever found and I will be checking in very regularly; it has helped me so much! I am so excited to have found it. I have one question that might be a silly one but I haven’t found an answer on the web or in books so I thought I’d give it a shot. I have recently purchased a new betta fish. I live in Oregon where the water is extremely clean. At our house we have Well Water. My question is, do I still have to use a water conditioner or anything in the water? I have had him for about two weeks in a ten gallon tank with a heater around 78-79 degrees and in the water from our sink that comes from a well- he is thriving and eating perfectly. He swims around his tank constantly and explores everything; he seems to be very healthy.I also have two large plastic plants, will these tear his fins? This has not been a problem so far but I wouldn’t want to risk it. I attached a couple of photos of him, his name is Shelbi.
A: Thanks for all the kind words. This is a common concern of betta keepers who are utilizing water from a well. The answer to whether or not well water is better for bettas is yes and no. Or really, it depends. If you are filling your aquarium with well water you don’t have the same concerns as others who are living off the municipal water supply. Well water isn’t typically treated with chlorine or chloramines, unless you are treating it yourself, which is a major concern for aquarists as it is extremely toxic to fish. When we condition our tap water, we aren’t only treating for these two items though. Most water conditioners are also detoxifying dangerous heavy metals. These heavy metals, such as lead, zinc and copper may still be present in your well water and may still pose a threat to your fish. Not all well water is high in heavy metals (not all tap water either for matter) so I can not be sure if it is an issue for you. Many aquarium hobbyists keep fish in untreated well water for many years without issue. All I can tell you is that heavy metal poisoning is a possibility. If your betta has been ok so far he may continue to be fine. You’ll have to decide if you want to treat for heavy metals. If you do, you may find Kordon’s Rid-Metals to be a good product for you. It is a single bottle that treats just heavy metals, unlike Kordon’s AmQuel+ and NovAqua which treat chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals in combination. Local fish stores are beginning to carry it more or you can use my old fall back for fish supplies by ordering at Drs Foster & Smith.