Top 10 Best Aquarium Water Conditioners [Review + Buying Guide]

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We always use tap water for our aquariums as it is the easiest source of water in our household and contains all the necessary minerals. However, it also contains chlorine chloramine and some other heavy metals which are deadly for fish.

So, what should you do?

The easiest solution, in this case, is to use a good quality aquarium water conditioner.

Today, we will talk about the best aquarium water conditioners on the market and how to properly use them.

Let’s get started!  

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS Rating  Price
Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater and Saltwater
10
API Stress Coat Water Conditioner API Stress Coat Water Conditioner
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater (Has a separate model for marine condition)
10
API Tap Water Conditioner API TAP Water Conditioner
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater and Saltwater
10
Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater and Saltwater
9.5
Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater and Saltwater
9.5
Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater
9
Fluval Water Conditioner for Aquariums Fluval Water Conditioner for Aquariums
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater and Saltwater
9.5
Tetra 77140 EasyBalance PLUS Water Conditioner Tetra 77140 EasyBalance PLUS Water Conditioner
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater
9.5
Hikari USA AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X Water Conditioner for Aquarium Hikari USA AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X Water Conditioner for Aquarium
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater (Ponds and Large Tanks)
9.5
Aquatic Experts TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner
  • Aquarium Type: Freshwater and Saltwater
9.5

Top 10 Best Aquarium Water Conditioners of 2020  

Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner – The Overall Best

Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner

In this world, only a handful of ideas and products are unanimously loved. Luckily, I’ve found a water conditioner with absolutely zero haters, Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner.

The best thing with this water conditioner is that you’ll see instant and permanent results. A spoonful of conditioner can treat even the dirtiest aquariums in seconds.

In addition, Seachem Prime is almost universal – you can use it in a freshwater tank or in a saltwater tank without any problems. The chlorine and chloramine content will soon drop to almost zero.

Furthermore, it acts as a supporting agent for your tank’s biological filter. If you use the water conditioner with a decent quality aquarium filter, you can say goodbye to aquarium issues forever!

You won’t break the bank when you buy this one either, and the dosage quantity is fairly low.

Notable Features

  • Works against chlorine and chloramine
  • Suitable for both fresh and saltwater aquariums
  • Immediate action with permanent effect
  • Supports the existing bio-filter
  • Detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and other common harmful heavy metals
  • Available in 8 different sizes

Pros

  • Supreme quality and effect
  • Can be used in all types of aquarium
  • Fights against most common harmful elements
  • Requires only a small amount of solution per dosage (5ml for 50 gallons)
  • Doesn’t harm fish or plants

Cons

  • None!

API Stress Coat Water Conditioner – The Ultimate Combo

API Stress Coat Water Conditioner

API Stress Coat is a unique product. It serves two great purposes at once – it treats the water in the aquarium and heals any physical injuries sustained by your fish.

That’s right, this water conditioner acts as a healing agent!

Basically, this product is a combination of three individual products:

  • API Stress Coat
  • API Stress Zyme
  • API Tropical Flakes

The Stress Coat is the main item in the package combo. It removes chlorine and chloramine from tap water while detoxifying heavy metals.

As you already know, it also heals the fish. The aloe vera content in the conditioner mainly acts as the healing agent which replaces the slime coat of the fish. As a result, your fish will feel less stress and will thrive in the water.

The second product, API Stress Zyme, contains live bacteria which consume the sludge that covers the gravel and decorations. The high bacteria count aids the bacteria colony in the biological filtration layer of your filter too.

The final product, the Tropical Flakes, also help to offer cleaner water. The special formulation of the flakes helps fish produce less ammonia.

So, this combo works from all angles to clean the water in your aquarium.

Notable Features

  • A combination of three individual water treatment products
  • Removes chlorine and chloramine from tap water
  • Aloe vera protects the slime coat of your fish
  • Beneficial bacteria remove sludge from gravel and decorations
  • The special flakes reduce ammonia discharge by combining high-quality protein
  • A separate marine aquarium formulation is also available  

Pros

  • Acts from three different angles to offer the finest quality water
  • Cleans decorations and other objects as well as treating the water
  • Supports biological filtration
  • Perfect for tropical fish such as betta or guppy (separate formulation for marine tanks is also available)
  • Keeps fish healthy and stress-free

Cons

  • Produces a bad odor
  • Expensive

API Tap Water Conditioner – The Value King

API Tap Water Conditioner

Let’s talk about a basic option which serves as the perfect budget option while also offering top-notch quality. I’m talking about API Tap Water Conditioner – the value champ.

This water conditioner serves just one purpose – to eliminate chlorine, chloramine, and other heavy metals from tap water.

But don’t be mistaken, the API Tap Water Conditioner serves this purpose perfectly. You’ll see results instantly, as with any other premium option.

One of the best features with this conditioner is that it has a very strong concentration. This means that you’ll need only a very small amount to treat even the largest tank.

Another bonus is that you can use it in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

Notable Features

  • Neutralizes chlorine and chloramine instantly
  • Very strong concentration
  • Makes tap water suitable for fish
  • Can be used in both freshwater and saltwater conditions
  • Protects fish against gill damage and tissue irritation

Pros

  • A simple yet powerful solution
  • Instant results
  • Even a very small quantity is enough to support large tanks
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Suitable for all kinds of water conditions

Cons

  • May be overpowering for small tanks

Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator

Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator

As you already know, Tetra is a big name in the aquarium industry. Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner/Dechlorinator has all the desired features.

Of course, it can handle harmful elements such as chlorine, chloramine, and other heavy metals. In addition, it enhances the protective slime coats of the fish and actively heals any physical wounds.

Tetra uses natural biopolymers and other essential minerals and vitamins in order to enrich the water quality.  

Considering all the features, I’m sure you’ll want to get your hands on this product.

Notable Features

  • Eliminates chlorine and chloramine from tap water
  • Improves the bacteria bed to decrease water pollution
  • Heals wounds on fish scales
  • Comes with essential biopolymers, vitamins, and minerals
  • One teaspoon is enough to treat 10 gallons of water
  • Comes in five different packaging sizes

Pros

  • Superior results
  • Heals fish wounds
  • Doesn’t affect the pH level of the water
  • Quick results
  • Offers beneficial elements for fish
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Creates a transparent film on the surface of the water

Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner

Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner

Natural Rapport is a brand which comes from the USA and boasts of being a family-run business which is dedicated to aquarium supplies.

Their water conditioner – Natural Rapport Aquarium Water Conditioner – tries to offer an all-in-one solution for both freshwater and saltwater tanks.

Yes, it reduces the quantities of all kinds of harmful elements such as chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrites, and other heavy metals, so you can call it a great solution to all kinds of water issues.

Is it just like any other good water conditioner?

No!

There are two factors which make this one special – it adds electrolytes and buffers the pH level in order to create a stress-free aquarium. In addition, it replaces the slime coat of the fish so that they can thrive.

Notable Features

  • Eliminates chlorine and chloramine from tap water
  • Reduces ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels
  • Adds electrolytes, slime, and stress coats for the fish
  • Removes heavy metals
  • Also suitable for marine aquariums – helps coral, plants, and crustaceans

Pros

  • Helps reduce all kinds of harmful agents in an aquarium
  • Balances water quality
  • Suitable for all kinds of aquariums
  • Heals and protects fish

Cons

  • Can create a cloudy layer in the water

Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner

Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner

Aqueon Tap Water Conditioner is another great example of a basic water conditioner for your aquarium. This doesn’t come with flashy eye-catching extra features, but it gets the job done.

So, if you’re looking for a good water conditioner that will remove all kinds of harmful elements (mainly chlorine and chloramine) from tap water, this could be the perfect option.

This is how a proper budget-friendly option should be.

Notable Features

  • Eliminates chlorine and chloramine from tap water
  • Includes supplements to reduce stress on your fish
  • Detoxifies ammonia and some other heavy metals
  • Comes with a dosage cap for easier measurement
  • Available in three sizes

Pros

  • Creates safe water conditions for fish
  • Doesn’t cause harm to other living organisms in the tank
  • Quick action formulation
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Doesn’t include slime coat protection for fish
  • Leaves a foamy layer on the surface

Fluval Water Conditioner for Aquariums

Fluval Water Conditioner for Aquariums

What can I say about Fluval? It is one of the most trusted brands in the fishkeeping community.

Fluval Water Conditioner for Aquariums is another great example of a basic water conditioner that doesn’t use flashy marketing tricks.

It serves two main purposes – it removes chlorine and chloramine and protects the mucus membrane on the bodies of your fish.

Fluval Water Conditioner comes with a patented stress-reducing formulation. You can use it in both freshwater and saltwater conditions.

Notable Features

  • Eliminates chlorine, chloramine, and other heavy metals from tap water
  • Protects the mucus membranes of your fish
  • Comes with patented formulation that reduces stress in fish
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater tanks

Pros

  • Helps reduce all kinds of harmful agents in the aquarium
  • Suitable for all kinds of aquariums
  • Protects fish
  • Reduces stress in fish by using a patented formulation

Cons

  • Requires a double dosage to properly eliminate chloramine
  • Low concentration – a bottle does not last long

Tetra 77140 EasyBalance PLUS Water Conditioner

Tetra 77140 EasyBalance PLUS Water Conditioner

Now let’s talk about a different kind of water conditioner. Up to this point, all the products I’ve mentioned have focused on just one feature – eliminating chlorine and chloramine.

Tetra 77140 EasyBalance PLUS Water Conditioner takes a different approach – it mainly acts to balance the pH level of the water. It also drastically reduces the nitrate quantity.

Tetra has tried to create a solution which balances the water so you don’t need to change the water so often.

So, if your main headache is an imbalanced pH level, you should try this product.

Notable Features

  • Creates a balance of pH level in the water
  • Made from inorganic minerals, vitamins, and polymer granules
  • Prevents any sudden change in the pH level to reduce stress
  • Actively removes nitrates and phosphates

Pros

  • pH stabilizer
  • Adds vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes
  • Reduces stress in fish
  • Reduces the need for frequent water changes

Cons

  • Only suitable for freshwater tanks
  • Doesn’t actively fight chlorine and chloramine

Hikari USA AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X Water Conditioner for Aquarium

Hikari USA AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X Water Conditioner for Aquarium

Hikari is known for designing premium products for aquariums. Hikari USA AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X Water Conditioner for Aquarium also compliments their premium legacy.

It comes with all the expected features, such as the ability to remove chlorine and ammonia, replacing the slime coat, and adding electrolytes.

However, it also offers a unique feature which no other product offers. It “ages” the water instantly. We don’t completely change all the water as this doesn’t offer suitable living conditions for fish, but  if you use Hikari USA AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X, you can age all the water instantly.

In addition, this is one of the few products which can be used in a pond or a very large tank.

Notable Features

  • Eliminates chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrite, and even copper
  • Adds electrolytes and replaces the slime coat of the fish
  • Increases alkalinity
  • Suitable for large tanks and ponds
  • Can “age” the water instantly

Pros

  • Fights against almost every kind of harmful content
  • Offers better living conditions for fish
  • Also suitable for ponds
  • Can age the water

Cons

  • Not suitable for saltwater conditions

Aquatic Experts TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner

Aquatic Experts TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner

Are you worried about a horrid smell coming from your Aquarium? Well, there is a product which can tackle this issue. I’m talking about TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner.

Why is this important?

Well, most water conditioners create a foul smell, but this one does not suffer from this issue.

You shouldn’t mistake this product for a weak one. It can also remove chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrite, and heavy metals. 

It can also be used in every kind of tank.

Notable Features

  • Works against chlorine and chloramine
  • Completely removes foul smells
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • Immediate action with permanent effect
  • Detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, other common harmful heavy metals
  • Available in three different sizes

Pros

  • Odorless formulation
  • Instant action
  • Can be used in all types of aquariums
  • Fights against most common harmful elements
  • Doesn’t cause harm to fish or plants

Cons

  • No slime coat protection for fish
  • Expensive

Why Should You Use a Water Conditioner in an Aquarium?

The problem lies in the tap water which we have in our households. It almost always contains harmful agents such as chlorine and chloramine, which are toxic for fish.

These two elements can be lethal for your fish. This is why fishkeepers don’t change all the water in the tank at once.

Also, chlorine prevents bacteria, but you’ll need some good bacteria in your tank to destroy ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

So, how do you remove chlorine from the water in a fish tank?

Quite simply, you do it with a water conditioner.

There are some water conditioners on the market which actively reduce these three nitrogen-cycle byproducts. This makes a water conditioner a supporting element for your existing filtration system. As a result, your filter will function properly for a long time.

Another purpose of a water conditioner is to prevent heavy metals. Aquarium filters can eliminate these.

In short, water conditioners try to balance the water quality in your aquarium so that your fish can live a happy, stress-free life. 

So, if you’re thinking do I need water conditioner for my fish tank? the answer is yes.

More: Best Starter 10-Gallon Fish Tank

Which is the Best Aquarium Water Conditioner?

In my opinion, the best aquarium water conditioner should contain a minimum quantity of chemical agents and additives. You must create an environment which offers the highest level of “natural feel” while reducing the levels of chlorine and chloramine.

An excessive quantity of additives can lead to even more problems.

From this perspective, Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner comes to my mind. This conditioner doesn’t have too many additives. It performs perfectly and has almost no negative feedback from those who have bought it. Almost every fishkeeper loves it.

Why is that?

Because it delivers exactly what it promises to deliver.

As well as taking care of the chlorine, it also reduces ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. As a result, the aquarium filter tends to last for a longer time.

Of course, there are a lot of great products out there, but Seachem Prime is the best water conditioner for planted aquariums, in my opinion.

More: Best 10-gallon Tank Filter

How Does an Aquarium Water Conditioner Work?

With a few simple chemical reactions.

The chlorine enters the tap in ionic form. This chlorine ions attach to fish gills and cause many deadly diseases. Plus, chlorine can also destroy the bacteria.

Water conditioners mostly contain commercial dechlorinators such as solidum thiosulphate (this can differ from product to product).

Dechlorinators form ionic bonds with chlorine ions and create chlorides (such as hydrogen chloride).

This overall process can cause an imbalance to the pH level and make the water acidic. In order to counter this, aquarium water conditioners also contain pH buffers to create balanced water conditions.

Similarly, water conditioners contain many kinds of chemicals which counteract different pollutants in the water.

So, how do you use anti-chlorine in your aquarium?

You simply pour in the correct amount of conditioner and the reaction should start within seconds.

More: Best Water Conditioner for Betta Fish Tank

When Should You Add Water Conditioner to an Aquarium?

You should add a water conditioner in two situations:

  • When setting up an aquarium for the first time
  • Every time you change the water

This is the general rule. There are some products which come with different usage guidelines. You should always stick to the recommended guidelines in order to achieve the best results.

How Much Water Conditioner Should You Use in a Fish Tank?

This depends on the product and the guidelines which come with it.

For example, Seachem Prime has a higher concentration. Only a spoonful (5ml) is enough to treat 50 gallons of water. However, Hikari USA AHK72236 Ultimate Cloram-X can only treat 10 gallons of water with 5ml of conditioner.

Therefore, Seachem is 5x stronger.

It is imperative that you stick to the instruction manual to avoid any nasty accidents.

More: Check Our Guide To Goldfish Tanks

How Often Should You Use Water Conditioner in an Aquarium?

Again, you must stick to the instructions.

A water conditioner comes with a number of benefit, but if you overuse it, you can disrupt the chemical balance in the water.

The rule of thumb suggests that you should use conditioner only when changing the water.

Conclusion

Let’s talk about today’s winners – what is the best aquarium water conditioner?

As I said, credit for this goes to Seachem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner for being an all-round solution.

Second place goes to the ultimate combo of API Stress Coat Water Conditioner. It treats water, adds beneficial bacteria separately, and offers healthy food which reduces ammonia levels.

Finally, third place goes to API Tap Water Conditioner for being the value champ with all the basic features.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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