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Old 06-23-2009, 11:05 PM   #1 
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Tap Water Conditioner - anyone use it?

Hi. I'm a newbie and I came to this forum as I'm betta sitting for a friend and want to make sure I take good care of the fish.

While at the pet store buying a net (as I have since found out, according to this forum that a net isn't the best thing to use - but it's better than nothing at the moment for changing the water) the sales clerk asked if I needed help and I asked how long should I leave tap water sitting out before I use it for a water change ... and the reply was at least several hours and I should use a tap water conditioner.

I purchased NutraFin Betta Plus Tap Water Conditioner for Bettas -
Makes tap water safe for bettas
Protects scales & fins
Contains Tropical Almond Leaf Extract

My question is has anyone used this product and does it make the water cloudy or cause small white things (that look like wax for lack of a better word) floating on top of the water?

The first water change I did I left the water sitting for 3 days and then I added the conditioner based on the sales person recommendation.

The betta seems to be doing ok - though I haven't had fish in years, he looks like he's doing ok. He's moving around, staying at the top and there are a few bubbles (things I learned from reading this forum.) He appears to come to the surface to get air often.

The owner had him in a very small 'betta' square plastic tank and I moved him into a taller vase, which he seem to prefer as there is more room for him to swim. There is no filter and no heat source and I have no way to check the water temperture. He doesn't look sick and has no trouble finishing his food within 2 minutes (another thing I learned from here). The only thing in the vase are glass rocks/pebbles that were in the square plastic tank. (Looks like an item one can get at a dollar store to use with flowers in a vase.) (I made sure the rocks were rinsed well with hot water to clean off any poop before putting into the vase.)

The owner also does a full water change every few days and that is what I have been doing every two days. I will do a full water change tomorrow without using the conditioner. The new tap water will have sat out for 48 hours so I believe it will be ok to use. The owner has had the betta for several weeks and it was a gift to the family, so the owner really doesn't have much knowledge; I have found out more info on bettas in the past few days from reading this fourm - thank you for this!

My concern right now is the water conditioner - maybe it holds dust from the air and that's what is floating on the top of the water? Also
I haven't noticed much poop - is this normal?

I would appreciate comments / suggestions; I want to give the best care I can to the fish but please keep in mind this is not my fish and I'm limited to how much money to spend if suggestions are made to purchase water testing kits etc. Thank you very much.

Last edited by msfishtoyou; 06-23-2009 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:15 AM   #2 
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Location: Mercer Island, WA and Sarasota, FL
Now, I'm not an expert, but my dad explained to me what a tap water conditioner does (he's a big fish fanatic, we have 3 tanks plus my betta right now, so I take his word for things). A tap water conditioner binds to the metals and unsafe-for-fish minerals found in tap water and causes them to precipitate out of the water. This means that they will fall to the bottom, or, as you mentioned, float on top. Yes, the water is supposed to be cloudy - that means it's working. If it turned very cloudy, it means that you really need to keep up the conditioning, because your water contains a lot of minerals/metals that could potentially harm the fish. As for poop, one fish really doesn't produce all that much poop - I don't think you'll notice it, particularly with your regular changes.

This is what I know. I'm a bit of an amateur myself, so we'll have to see what the bigshots say, but good luck!
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:57 AM   #3 
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Thank you for replying; I appreciate it.

Last night I couldn't stand the white things floating on top, so I did a 50% water change. The water this morning is a tad bit cloudy compared to last night, so I guess the remaining water conditioner is still working.

I have another bowl of water that's been sitting for a few days so I will add the conditioner to that and use it for the next water change and see if more white things float on top.

If any 'experts' can chime in, that would be great too.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:16 AM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
I have never used Nutrifin betta plus so I don't know anything about it. I use Prime and Aquasafe. I don't know what could be causing the floating particles. You really don't have to let the water sit for awhile before putting it in your bowl. Sometimes I let mine sit and sometimes I don't.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:23 AM   #5 
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You do not have to let the water sit out at all to tell the honest truth. The Water Conditioner is designed to take everything out of it that is harmful to fish. As long as you put the correct amount of conditioner in the water then you should be ok to put it in your tank directly from the tank(with conditioner in it).

As for particles I have had fish for years and never saw conditioner do that. Sometimes it will make the water cloudy for about a day and that means you are using too much. Otherwise your water shouldn't have particles and stuff like that. Make sure whatever bucket you are using is cleaned before and afte ryou put water in it. If you do decide to have water sit out befor eputting it in the tank make sure there is a lid on it!
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:04 AM   #6 
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I had that conditioner when I first got my betta. It does leave little "swirlies" in the water. From what I've researched and heard around here it's from the aloe vera in the conditioner. It is not harmful but can be fixed by using a different conditioner if you don't like it. I switched and now the water doesn't have the filmy swirls in it anymore. Conditioner is a MUST though!!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:02 PM   #7 
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Using a water conditioner is a MUST. It not only neutralizes heavy metals but also chlorine and chloramines. True, chlorine will dissipate if the water is left out for a couple days but chloramines will not. I use Tetra Aquasafe and have never had a problem with floating particles so not sure what that is. Also, you can treat the water and use it right away. You don't need to let it sit out. The water conditioner pretty much works instantly. In fact, when I do a water change on my big tanks I just add the water conditioner to the tank and then fill with water using my Python. On my betta tanks I add the conditioner to the fresh water in the bucket then pour it into the tank.

Not all conditioners are the same. Check out the attached link to see which conditioners treat what.
Product review of Water Conditioners / Dechlorinators for the aquarium
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:47 PM   #8 
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Use the water conditioner. Chlorine may leave the water in 48 hours but chloramine dosen't.

How big is the jar? A quart jar should be changed every two or three days but anything larger can go about 5-7 days.

Some bettas (most bettas) eat quickly but each betta is different and some may eat slower than others.

The original owner should buy a bigger jar for the little guy (or use the big vase).
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:47 PM   #9 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
I had trouble with Stresscoat. It left white, swirly stuff in my water and it even hung off my beta's fins.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:55 PM   #10 
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Wow! Thanks ladies & gents for the comments!!! I really appreciate the help everyone has offered.

The vase looks like it holds approx the size of a 2 liter bottle of soda (maybe lightly less). When the owner brought the fish to my home I immediately told them that square plastic tank is not big enough!!! I will certainly stress again to the owner to get a larger bowl or better yet a 2 gallon tank; in fact I said I would purchase one but I do not think the owner would reimburse me so the vase is doing fine for now. The fish seems to enjoy it!

I would like to keep the little guy, as I have grown attached to him.
How one becomes attached to a fish, I'm trying to figure out.

I'm happy to hear I do not have to let the tap water sit for days if I am using the water conditioner; my counter top and husband will be happy the bowls will be removed.
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