Most people know that you can’t use city water in a fish tank because of the chlorine and other chemicals it contains. But what about well water? Can you use that to fill up your fish tank?
The answer is yes, you can use well water for your fish tank – but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using well water for your fish tank, and we’ll also share some tips on how to make the switch from municipal or tap water to well water.
So read on to learn more.
To answer the question – yes, a fish tank can be filled with well water. It’s possible that the water supplied by your well is suitable for direct usage in a tank, however, it depends on the well.
The majority of the time, your well water will not be good enough for an aquarium. You’ll need to treat your well water so it’s safe for fish.
The good news is that there are a number of effective methods available for making well water suitable for use in a fish tank
In this section, we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of using well water as opposed to tap or municipal water, and we’ll also provide some tips on how to make well water safe for fish.
What are the benefits of using well water?
There are several benefits associated with using well water over tap or municipal water, including
- Well water is generally affordable – many people will pay less per month on their utility bill by switching to a tank that uses well water as opposed to one that uses city or tap water.
- Well filter systems can be very effective at removing contaminants from the water, which means you won’t have to use as many chemical additives. For example, if you have a sand substrate, you wouldn’t need to treat your aquarium with beneficial bacteria supplements because there would be no ammonia present in thewater.
- There are some fish species that do well when they’re kept in water with a high level of minerals. For example, stingrays and eels thrive when they’re kept in water that’s rich in calcium carbonate. If you have a tank set up to use well water, you can easily add a few chunks of cuttlebone to the aquarium so your fish have access to the calcium carbonate they need from their food.
What are the cons associated with using well water?
In contrast, there are also several pitfalls associated with switching from a tap or municipal water to well water for use in an aquarium, including:
- It can take forever for your filter system to fully cycle if you’re using well water. The reason for this is that the minerals in yourwell water will cause a rapid growth of bacteria if you don’t treat it first.
- In addition to cutting back on the need for chemical additives, you’ll also reduce the amount of work you have to do each week by making sure your filter systemis fully cycled before adding fish or other aquatic pets to your aquarium
- Well water can contain high levels of nitrates and phosphates if you live in an area where farmers are using fertilizers on their fields nearby. This can lead to poor plant growth and even algae outbreaks in your tank unless it’s treated with algacides beforehand.
What kind of fish can live in well water?
As you can see, using well water for your aquarium isn’t always the best choice. There are some circumstances where you might want to use well water instead of tap or municipal water – but it’s not suitable for every type of aquatic pet.
Fish that do best when they’re kept in an aquarium filled with well water include
Tropical fish species that don’t mind slightly harder water with a higher pH level. Examples of these types of tropical fish include cardinal tetras, discus, and angelfish.
Some species of freshwater stingray or eel. These exotic pets thrive when they’re kept in a richly-mineralized tank provided they have plenty of places to hide
Community tanks contain several different types of pet fish. For example, if you have a tank filled with tetras and rasboras, they’ll all be able to thrive when they’re kept together in an aquarium filled with well water.
How long does it take for well water to be safe for fish?
The majority of tap or city water undergoes several stages of filtration before it’s put into your home’s supply lines, so it doesn’t need any treatment beforehand. Well water can contain high levels of nitrates and phosphates, which means it will require some form of pre-filtration before it’s suitable for use in an aquarium.
You might also want to consider adding beneficial bacteria supplements to the water if you aren’t using tap or city water, as well as adding a few chunks of cuttlebone to the aquarium so your fish have access to the calcium carbonate from their food.
As you can see, it will often be necessary to treat well water before you use it in an aquarium. In most cases, this will require a filtration system that’s able to handle moderately hard water with a pH level between 7.5 and 8.0.
Does well water have chlorine?
Well water does not contain chlorine, but depending on which area you live in there’s a chance that it might need to be treated first if you want to avoid harming your aquatic pets.
For example, some areas subject their tap or city water supply lines to chlorination in order to disinfect the water supply. This is why your local water authority will often suggest that you boil tap or city water before you use it to make sure it’s safe for fish tanks.
Not because there are chlorine additives in their water, but because the disinfectant used might react with something during transport and create a harmful chemical compound.
How can well water be made safe for an aquarium?
Well water doesn’t have any chlorine that would kill beneficial bacteria. However, using well water in an aquarium isn’t always feasible, as some people live in areas where the minerals in well water cause rapid bacterial growth if they’re not filtered first.
For this reason – and because of potential issues with nitrates and phosphates – you’ll need to put it through a filtration system that contains activated carbon, peat moss, and/or poly-filter.
There are aquarium filter cartridges available at most pet stores that are designed to remove nitrates from the water. As well as these filters, you might want to consider adding some live plants to your tank if you plan on using well water.
Live plants will help ensure the nitrates in the water aren’t allowed to accumulate – they’ll use them as part of their normal biological processes instead.
Depending on where you live, it’s also possible that well water is subject to high levels of calcium. If this is the case then it can cause certain problems if put into fish tanks.
If your tank has an undergravel filter then you’ll need to make sure it’s covered with the filter plate, while any powerheads or air diffusers will require a fine mesh screen. You can also use some aquarium-safe pebbles to cover the uplift tubes on your undergravel system.
This is because calcium accumulates at the bottom of tanks where it forms a solid layer known as ‘curd’ that prevents water from circulating through your filtration system smoothly.
Well water can be used in fish tanks, but it’s usually necessary to treat it first. This is because many areas subject their tap or city water supply lines to chlorination in order to disinfect the water supply.
However, well water doesn’t need any treatment because it does not contain chlorine, but depending on which area you live in there’s a chance that it might require some form of pre-filtration if you want to avoid harming your aquatic pets.