How Long Can Fish Survive in Tap Water? (Answered!)

Fish are fascinating animals and have to be taken care of properly. It can become perplexing to understand what the water quality should be like in the fish tank including what type of water is used.

This is what a lot of fish tank owners struggle with.

The first question most people ask is, how long can fish survive in tap water?

Fish can survive in tap water for no more than a few hours. The chlorine in the water would kill the fish. If tap water is used in a fish tank, it has to be dechlorinated beforehand.

You should not put fish inside tap water. It’s unsafe and reckless. There are several issues a fish will have with this type of water and it will get harmed.

This article will take a look at some of the reasons why tap water is dangerous for fish along with what type of water is good for fish to swim in.

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Reasons Tap Water Is Bad For Fish

1. Too Much Chlorine

It’s common for tap water to have too much chlorine.

Each region is going to have specific regulations in place for municipal water sources. In some places, the tap water will have less chlorine compared to others. However, this is a risk you should not be taking as a fish owner.

If you don’t have a reason in place for handling a situation such as this, it is not worth the risk you’re taking.

It is quite possible to kill a fish using tap water that hasn’t been filtered. You have to filter the tap water before putting it in the fish tank.

2. Unstable pH Levels

The pH levels tend to be unstable with tap water.

The range is not going to be ideal for fish unless it is filtered. This can take a bit of time, especially if it is not the first thing on your mind while caring for a fish.

You will not want to place the fish in a tank that has tap water. This can lead to the pH levels becoming dangerous.

If you do use tap water, make sure to let the filter run for a few hours. You should also test the pH level beforehand.

How long can fish survive in tap water

3. Causes Harsh Reaction

It is natural for tap water to cause a harsh reaction in fish.

The fish might start developing spots on its scales and/or other similar issues including not being able to swim properly.

Keep this in mind when it comes to adding fish to tap water. This is unsafe and it is going to lead to serious issues over the coming hours.

It is better to use a water source that is purer and is going to be filtered. This is regardless of where the water is coming from whether it’s a tap or a well.

Tips For Preparing Water for Fish

1. Use Filter to Clean the Water

The first thing you are going to want to do is to invest in a good filter for the fish tank.

The idea behind doing this is to make sure the water is clean for your fish. This goes for any type of water source including tap water.

Let’s assume you do want to use tap water in a fish tank.

For situations such as this, you will want to take the time to let the filter run for a few hours. This will help clean the water and get rid of impurities.

2. Test the pH Level

The pH level should be tested in the fish tank.

This is a must and it is the only way to ensure the fish are safe at all times. A lot of fish tank owners will continually test the pH levels to keep their fish healthy.

You will want to do the same.

The pH level of water in a fish tank should be set at 6.8 to 7.6.

Just taking the time to test the pH level will go a long way.

You will get a read on how the water is in the fish tank along with what you need to do moving forward. If adjustments are needed, you will have the ability to change the water ahead of time.

This does go a long way in keeping the fish safe.

How long can fish survive in tap water

3. Change the Water Often

You will want to create a water-changing schedule for the fish tank.

Placing fish in tap water is unsafe if you are not doing this. Not only do you want to filter the tap water in a fish tank but also make sure it is changed regularly.

It is recommended to change 25% of the water in a fish tank every 2-4 weeks. The sooner you do it, the safer it’s for the fish.

By doing this, you will remain out in front of any issues that arise.

This does go a long way for those unsure about what they are getting into and/or the impact it’s going to have on their fish.

Just clean the water and make sure to change it regularly.

Related Questions

1. Can Fish Live In Tap Water?

Fish cannot live in tap water unless it has been appropriately filtered and dechlorinated. If the fish is placed in simple tap water, it will not survive for more than a few hours.

2. Is It Okay To Change Tank Water Every Day?

It is okay to change the tank water every day. There is no limit to how many times the water can be changed as long as the pH level is between 6.8 and 7.6. Professional fish breeders do this when creating optimal conditions for their fish.

Final Thoughts

How long can fish survive in tap water?

A fish can survive in tap waters for no more than a few hours. This is due to the high amount of chlorine found in tap water. It will harm the fish and cause it to deal with harsh symptoms in the short term.

Read More On Fish:

  1. Using The Right Fish Tank Light
  2. How Fish Grieve for Other Fish
  3. How To Give Cucumbers To Fish
  4. How To Move Your Fish Around
  5. Tips For Adding Water To Fish Pond