When you’re carrying a basket down a pet store aisle brimming with water conditioners – each promising to make tap water safe for your goldfish – it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
With a mountain of choices, which is the best aquarium water conditioner?
It depends. The best aquarium water conditioner for your particular needs may not be the best option for the pet owner next door. So how do you make the decision?
Some water conditioners are specialized for certain situations (for instance, API Stress Coat is particularly effective in hospital tanks), while others are designed for specific aquarium sizes (Seachem Prime is highly concentrated, so it’s more convenient in large aquariums).
In this article, we’ll compare four popular water conditioners. We’ll weigh the pros and cons and take a look at the highlights – what sets each water conditioner apart. By the time we’re through, you should be able to determine the best aquarium water conditioner for your tank.
Let’s dive into your options.
The Best Aquarium Water Conditioner: A Product Comparison
Though some water conditioners include extra additives, the fundamental goal of a water conditioner is to make tap water safe for your goldfish. For this reason, I recommend buying a water conditioner that neutralizes both chlorine and chloramine at the very minimum (you can read more on how water conditioners work).
But how do the top four water conditioners compare?
The following chart analyzes the most popular water conditioners on the market. You’ll get a quick glimpse on how each conditioner differs (hopefully making it easier to find the best aquarium water conditioner for your goldfish). Later, we’ll look at each product in detail.
|Neutralizes Chlorine & Chloramine||Removes Ammonia & Heavy Metals||Detoxifies Nitrite & Nitrate||Restores Slime Coat||Heals Cuts & Scrapes||Strengthens Bacterial Bed||Concen -tration|
|API Stress Coat||X||X||X||X||Low|
|Tetra AquaSafe Plus||X||X||X||X||Low|
|Aqueon Water Conditioner||X||X||X||Low|
Already selected the best aquarium water conditioner? Hold on!
Before you make a hasty decision, let’s take a closer look at each product in turn.
API Stress Coat
API Stress Coat doesn’t just remove chlorine. It promotes a safe environment for your goldfish by neutralizing chloramine and detoxifying harmful heavy metals in tap water.
This water conditioner leverages the natural healing abilities of Aloe Vera to nurse your goldfish back to health, healing damaged tissue and torn fins faster.
When goldfish are sick or hurt, the slime coat might take the brunt of the attack. Without a slime coat to shield off infection, goldfish can be even more vulnerable to diseases.
Not only does API Stress Coat reduce stress, but it also creates a synthetic slime coat. The extra slime protection helps your goldfish fight off infection, safeguarding against electrolyte loss during stress and boosting oxygen flow through the gills.
If your goldfish are under a lot of stress, API Stress Coat might be the ticket out. In fact, API Stress Coat is scientifically proven to reduce fish stress by 40%.
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of water conditioner treats 10 gallons (38 liters) of water, with one 16-oz bottle treating 960 gallons of aquarium water.
Depending on the size of your goldfish tank and water changing schedule, API Stress Coat offers 6 bottle sizes:
- 1-oz bottle treats 60 gallons or 227 liters
- 4-oz bottle treats 240 gallons or 908 liters
- 8-oz bottle treats 480 gallons or 1,817 liters
- 16-oz container treats 960 gallons or 3,634 liters
- 64-oz container treats 3,840 gallons or 14,535 liters
- 1-gallon (128-oz) jug treats 7,680 gallons or 29,072 liters
Cap can be used for measuring on smaller bottles. Available large container sizes make it easy to manage multiple aquariums at the same time (and save money with every ounce!).
API Stress Coat may very well be the best aquarium water conditioner for quarantine and hospital tanks. Add this water conditioner to every water change, following the instructions on the bottle.
Tetra AquaSafe Plus
Tetra AquaSafe Plus quickly converts tap water into a safe haven for goldfish, neutralizing chlorine and chloramine on the spot.
But it doesn’t stop there! This handy water conditioner detoxifies poisonous ammonia and heavy metals, creating a risk-free environment for your goldfish.
Tetra AquaSafe is rich in important vitamins and minerals, filling the gaps where tap water is lacking and promoting energetic breeding behavior during the early months of spring. With stress-reducing slime, your goldfish can stay active and healthy all year long.
Tetra AquaSafe Plus also includes an advanced BioExtract formula that features natural biopolymers produced from kelp. These seaweed extracts boost biological filtration, strengthening beneficial bacterial colonies that keep your aquarium water clear and healthy.
1 teaspoon (5 ml) treats 10 gallons (38 liters) of aquarium water, and one 16.9-oz bottle treats 1,014 gallons of water.
Depending on your aquarium size and water changing frequency, Tetra AquaSafe Plus offers five different bottle sizes:
- 1.69-oz bottle treats 101 gallons or 382 liters
- 3.38-oz bottle treats 202 gallons or 765 liters
- 8.4-oz bottle treats 504 gallons or 1,908 liters
- 16.9-oz bottle treats 1,014 gallons or 3,838 liters
- 33.8-oz bottle treats 2,028 gallons or 7,677 liters
You can use the bottle cap for measuring. Shake well before use and always read the directions on the bottle.
With its seaweed extract and unique blend of vitamins, Tetra AquaSafe Plus might be the best aquarium water conditioner for breeding tanks. Use it when setting up a new aquarium or with every partial water change.
Seachem Prime not only plays the role of a chlorine and chloramine neutralizer! Heavy metals and harmful toxins don’t stand a chance.
Prime is a concentrated solution that cuts down on nitrite and nitrate. Unlike some water conditioners, Prime doesn’t just break the ammonia/chlorine bond in chloramine either. It also removes toxic ammonia, turning harmful chlorine into a safe substance.
When the immune system is at its lowest, new goldfish are especially susceptible to goldfish diseases during shipping and handling. And after a long car ride home, a new aquarium environment can be just as stressful.
Seachem Prime stimulates natural slime coat production, helping your goldfish fend off infection without the use of synthetic or artificial slime compounds found in some water conditioners.
You don’t need a lot of Prime for it to work its magic. In fact, this water conditioner is the second most concentrated dechlorinator on the market (source)!
1 teaspoon (5 ml) treats 50 gallons (189 liters) of water, while a single 16.91-oz bottle treats 5,073 gallons of water.
Prime offers 6 different bottle sizes:
- 50-ml (1.69-oz) bottle treats 507 gallons or 1,919 liters
- 100-ml (3.38-oz) bottle treats 1,014 gallons or 3,838 liters
- 250-ml (8.45-oz) bottle treats 2,535 gallons or 9,596 liters
- 500-ml (16.91-oz) bottle treats 5,073 gallons or 19,203 liters
- 2-liter (67.63-oz) container treats 20,289 gallons or 76,802 liters
- 4-liter (135.26-oz) container treats 40,578 gallons or 153,604 liters
Bottle cap can be used for measuring solution. Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle.
Prime is especially popular in goldfish aquariums because it’s extremely concentrated. If you’re a hardcore goldfish hobbyist, Prime might be the best aquarium water conditioner if you like yours to last awhile. You’ll save money no matter which bottle size you use.
Seachem Prime is effective for routine use, regular water changes, or setting up a new aquarium. If fish-in cycling, you can also use Prime throughout the nitrogen cycle to keep ammonia and nitrite levels under control.
Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner
Sometimes you don’t need all of the extra additives that come along with a fancy water conditioner.
Aqueon’s standard water conditioner includes everything you need to make tap water safe for goldfish, neutralizing both chlorine and chloramine. The conditioner also restores your goldfish’s natural slime coat at the same time that it detoxifies heavy metals and ammonia from chloramine and fish waste.
1 teaspoon (5 ml) treats 10 gallons (38 liters) of aquarium water, and a 16-oz bottle includes enough solution for 960 gallons.
Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner offers 5 bottle sizes:
- 2-oz bottle treats 120 gallons or 454 liters
- 4-oz bottle treats 240 gallons or 908 liters
- 8-oz bottle treats 480 gallons or 1,817 liters
- 16-oz bottle treats 960 gallons or 3,634 liters
- 1-gallon (128-oz) container treats 7,680 gallons or 29,072 liters
Attached dosage cap can be used for measuring.
If your goldfish never get sick and you’ve already established a healthy aquarium environment with adequate filtration, Aqueon might be the best aquarium water conditioner for your tank.
The standard Aqueon Water Conditioner can be used any time you add new water to the aquarium, whether setting up a new tank or performing partial water changes. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Depending on the water conditioner brand you buy, how much conditioner you actually need to safely treat tap water will vary. No matter how slight the difference, always follow the instructions on the back of the bottle exactly.
After all, they’re there for a reason!
So, What Is the Best Aquarium Water Conditioner?
The water conditioner you ultimately stick with is up to you.
No conditioner is the best aquarium water conditioner for all situations: each has its own unique benefits. Just make sure to treat tap water with a solution that neutralizes both chlorine and chloramine, detoxifying harmful heavy metals that might take a toll on your goldfish’s health.
Once you find the best aquarium water conditioner for your tank, you can rest easy knowing your tap water is 100% safe for your fish inhabitants (as long as you keep up with regular water testing of course!).
How About You: Do You Have a Personal Favorite?
What is the best aquarium water conditioner for your goldfish? Which water conditioners do you use?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below!