Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Fish > 10 Best Aquarium Water Conditioners in 2024: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

10 Best Aquarium Water Conditioners in 2024: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

clear water in aquarium_NikhilThomas_UnsplashWater conditioner is a staple for aquarium keeping because it offers the easiest way to maintain and clean your water. But not all aquarium water conditioners are created equal.

Our reviews will provide you with the best aquarium water conditioners available in 2002. From the most effective to the best value, you are sure to find what will work best for you. There’s also a buyer’s guide to help you shop and answer all your questions about water conditioners.

divider-fishbowl

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner
  • Works quickly
  • Neutralizes all contaminants
  • Easy to measure out
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Fluval Biological Enhancer Water Conditioner Fluval Biological Enhancer Water Conditioner
  • Herbal extracts to reduce fish stress
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Safe for salt and freshwater
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    API Stress Coat Water Conditioner API Stress Coat Water Conditioner
  • Heals slime coating on fish
  • Fast-acting
  • It helps injured fish heal
  • TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner
  • No strong chemical odors
  • The concentrated formula offers good value
  • Removes a wide variety of compounds
  • SeaChem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner SeaChem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner
  • Highly concentrated
  • Works almost instantly
  • Removes ammonia and nitrates
  • The 10 Best Aquarium Water Conditioners

    1. Tetra AquaSafe Plus Water Conditioner — Best Overall

    Tetra AquaSafe Plus Freshwater & Marine Aquarium Water Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    Tetra AquaSafe Plus Freshwater & Marine Aquarium Water Conditioner saves you time when setting up your aquarium. This water conditioner is a fast-acting formula that works almost instantly. This doesn’t mean that Tetra skimps on effectiveness. This product will completely neutralize all unwanted contaminants in your tap water, removing both chlorine and harmful metals. Along with a precise measuring cup to avoid overdosing, these factors make it one of the best overall water conditioners available.

    In addition to being a superior water conditioner, Tetra AquaSafe Plus adds minerals that fish need into your water. There is not much to complain about with this product, other than that it is difficult to measure out for tanks under 10 gallons. You will need to use a pipette or syringe for extra small tanks for measuring.

    Pros
    • Works quickly
    • Neutralizes all contaminants
    • Easy to measure out
    • Provides mineral supplementation for your water
    • Decreases the frequency of water changes
    Cons
    • No clear measurements for small tanks

    2. Fluval Biological Enhancer Water Conditioner — Best Value

    Fluval Biological Enhancer Water Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    The best aquarium water conditioner for the money is Fluval Biological Enhancer Water Conditioner. This inexpensive conditioner contains added herbal extracts to reduce stress in your fish, particularly when moving them to a new tank. Another great feature of this product is that it contains all-natural ingredients.

    This budget-friendly, chemical-free product works just as well, if not better, than many others. You won’t need to use that much to get your water quality up; you need only about 0.5 mL per gallon of water, so one bottle goes a long way. The water should clear up within 30 minutes. The only downside is that the smallest measurement on the cap is for a 20-gallon tank.

    Pros
    • Herbal extracts to reduce fish stress
    • All-natural ingredients
    • Safe for salt and freshwater
    • Use a small amount for good results
    • Works efficiently
    Cons
    • No cap measurement below 20 gallons

    3. API Stress Coat Water Conditioner — Premium Choice

    API Stress Coat Water Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    API Stress Coat Water Conditioner isn’t just a water conditioner; it doubles as a fish treatment. Occasionally, fish lose their slime coating under stressful conditions, like when you change their water. API offers treatment for your water and helps your fish regain their slime coating. It takes 15–30 minutes to work, at which point, all chlorine and dissolved metals are removed, and your aquarium is safe for fish.

    API Stress Coat Water Conditioner contains herbal extracts to reduce fish stress and help injured fish heal and recover faster. However, you need to be extremely careful of how much product you add to your water. The additives are easy to overdose on, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on dosing. This product is also on the expensive side, which is why it is a premium listing.

    Pros
    • Heals slime coating on fish
    • Fast acting
    • Helps injured fish heal
    • Herbal extracts to reduce stress
    Cons
    • Easy to overdose

    If you are looking for help to get the water quality just right for your goldfish family in their aquarium, or just want to learn more about goldfish water quality (and more!), we recommend you check out the best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfishon Amazon today.

    The Truth About Goldfish New Edition

    It covers everything from water conditioners to tank maintenance, and it also gives you full, hard copy access to their essential fishkeeping medicine cabinet!


    4. TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner

    TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    TankFirst Complete Aquarium Water Conditioner detoxifies your water and removes chlorine, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and heavy metals. The best thing about this product is that it doesn’t have a strong odor like many others. The concentrated formula offers good value, as you don’t need to use much of the product for it to be effective.

    The biggest downside of TankFirst is that it doesn’t improve your water in any way, nor does it promote the regrowth of your fish’s slime coat. However, it does do a good job of cleaning the water.

    Pros
    • No strong chemical odors
    • The concentrated formula offers good value
    • Removes a wide variety of compounds
    Cons
    • Doesn’t promote slime coat regrowth
    • Doesn’t add minerals to the water

    5. SeaChem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner

    SeaChem Prime Fresh and Saltwater Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    SeaChem water conditioners are frequently recommended products for hobbyists. They’re simple to use, and easy to measure out, and it’s harder to overdose on your tank than some other products. SeaChem offers a highly concentrated formula, so two drops will treat 5 gallons of water. Since it comes in a giant jug, you’ll only have to purchase a water conditioner once every year or two.

    SeaChem Prime Conditioner works in under 2 minutes for tanks with submersible pumps. If you don’t have a pump, you’ll still see results in 15–30 minutes. It will neutralize chlorine, ammonia, and nitrates and is safe to double dose if you have nitrate or ammonia spikes.

    The only thing that we don’t like about this water conditioner is its foul smell. We advise conditioning your tank with the window open, so your room doesn’t retain the odor.

    Pros
    • Highly concentrated
    • Works almost instantly
    • Removes ammonia and nitrates
    • Low risk of overdose
    Cons
    • Foul odor

    6. Fritz Aquatics Complete Water Conditioner / Dechlorinator

    Fritz Aquatics Complete Water Conditioner Dechlorinator

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    Fritz Aquatics Complete is a jack of all trades if you’re looking for a water conditioner with multiple benefits. It’s a good product for removing large amounts of chlorine from your tap water, and it softens your water at the same time. It takes about an hour to work, but it removes excess nitrates and ammonia.

    There are some a few things that this water conditioner doesn’t do that you may appreciate. It doesn’t alter the pH of your water, which is abnormal for conditioners that remove ammonia. There’s not much to complain about other than the chemical smell. It’s reminiscent of rotten eggs but disappears after about 15 minutes.

    Pros
    • All-in-one product
    • Removes excess ammonia
    • Removes nitrates and nitrites
    • Doesn’t alter water pH
    Cons
    • Rotten egg smell

    7. Jungle Start Right Complete Water Conditioner

    Jungle Start Right Complete Water Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    Jungle Start Right Complete Water Conditioner offers the neutralization of dangerous compounds in tap water and protects your fish’s slime coat. This product contains aloe, which is an antiseptic, so if you have sick or injured fish, this is a huge bonus, as it will help promote healing.

    The downside to aloe is that it tends to clog up aquarium filters. This product doesn’t do so,however. There’s also no risk of overdosing on this water conditioner, making it a good choice for beginners or hobbyists who don’t want the risk.

    There isn’t much to complain about with Jungle Start. It does take a bit longer to work than many other products, but overall, it does a good job.

    Pros
    • Helps repair slime coat
    • Contains aloe to heal injuries
    • Doesn’t clog filters
    • Effectively removes chlorine from tap water
    Cons
    • Takes longer to work
    • Doesn’t remove ammonia and nitrates

    8. Fluker’s Saltwater Concentrate/Water Conditioner

    Fluker’s Saltwater Concentrate Water Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    For a saltwater-only water conditioner that makes your tap water into a carbon copy of seawater, look no further than Fluker’s Saltwater Concentrate/Water Conditioner. This product is easy to use; you can mix it up with a bowl and a teaspoon. You don’t have to prepare your water in buckets; simply add Fluker’s to your aquarium. It dechlorinates and adds just the right amount of salt with only a couple of drops.

    If you’re keeping crabs or other aquatic creatures, they can be finicky around treated water. If you find that this is the case, you may have to add additional salt, as the product doesn’t contain enough salt to keep all sea creatures happy.

    Pros
    • Almost perfectly mimics seawater
    • Easy to use
    • Safe for hermit crabs and other marine invertebrates
    Cons
    • Not enough salt content for all aquatic creatures

    9. Brightwell Aquatics Blackwater

    Brightwell Aquatics Blackwater

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    Brightwell Aquatics Blackwater offers an aquarium water conditioner that mimics blackwater river conditions. It does this by introducing beneficial minerals into your water, along with other chemicals. It doesn’t change your water color, but it basically mimics the chemical makeup of blackwater. If you have live plants in your aquarium, this can help them thrive. Blackwater conditions can also help fish to spawn, so beware of suddenly having an overstocked tank.

    If you want your aquarium to look like blackwater river water, you will be disappointed. This conditioner doesn’t tinge the water brown, but it does make it slightly green for a short period after adding the product.

    Pros
    • Establishes blackwater river conditions
    • Improves fish and plant health
    • Adds beneficial compounds to the water
    • Softens hard water
    • Encourages spawning
    Cons
    • It doesn’t tint the water brown
    • It leaves behind a green tinge

    10. Python Multi-Purpose Water Conditioner

    Python Multi-Purpose Water Conditioner

    Product Form: Liquid
    Length: Freshwater, saltwater

    Python Multi-Purpose Water Conditioner deactivates the chlorine in your tap water, so you don’t have to use distilled water in your aquarium. This product also significantly decreases your ammonia levels and works relatively fast. Python conditioner contains herbal extracts to calm your fish and leave them happier than they were before the water change.

    The biggest issue with this product is its cost. While it isn’t necessarily more expensive than most other water conditioners, you need to use twice the amount to effectively dechlorinate and condition a similar volume of water. If you have a big tank, this could become a serious downside in the long term.

    Pros
    • Contains herbal extracts to promote calm fish
    • Easy to use
    • Effective dechlorinator
    Cons
    • Must use twice as much conditioner to treat your water

    divider-fish

    Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Aquarium Water Conditioner

    What to Look for For in an Aquarium Water Conditioner

    With so many types of water conditioners, it’s understandable to be confused about which one is best. Here are a few things to consider.

    Safety and aquarium compatibility

    While most water conditioners are safe for freshwater and saltwater aquariums, not all are. Some are also better for certain types of fish. Ensuring that you have the right product for your needs is the most important consideration when making a purchase.

    Decontamination time

    Ideally, you want a water conditioner that is effective in the shortest amount of time possible. Even if you’re only doing a partial water change, it’s stressful on your fish. The shorter amount of time that it takes to do the water change, the better, which means you need a conditioner that works fast.

    Additional Benefits/Effects

    Many water conditioners have added ingredients to benefit your water or your fish. Their main job is to remove chlorine, but some also neutralize nitrates and ammonia. Others even promote healing and slime coat regrowth.

    Image Credit: Sergii Figurnyi, Shutterstock

    Cost

    The price on the bottle doesn’t always represent the overall cost of your water conditioner. Look into how many gallons of water the bottle treats. Some only require a couple of drops, while others may require multiple capfuls.

    divider-fishbowl

    Conclusion

    Hopefully, these reviews have given you a good idea of which aquarium water conditioner is right for you. We recommend Tetra AquaSafe Plus Freshwater & Marine Aquarium Water Conditioner as the best overall aquarium water conditioner. It is fast-acting and effective at removing all tap water contaminants, and has added minerals to make your aquarium a healthy environment for your fish. The best value is Fluval Biological Enhancer Water Conditioner. This all-natural product contains herbal extracts to reduce fish stress. It’s fast, effective, and available at a budget-friendly price tag.


    Featured Image Credit: Nikhil Thomas, Unsplash

    Our vets

    Want to talk to a vet online?

    Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

    Our vets