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Is Well Water Safe For Fish? Make It Safe Easy Way

When preparing an aquarium, you must consider many factors. Among them, the aquarium water sources put into the fish tank are very important. Well, water has easy access and the possibility to find among all the water sources. But well water cannot be used directly in the aquarium. Here in this article, we will find the possibility of using well water for the fish tank.

Is well water safe for fish

Is well water safe for fish?

No, it is because of the quality of the well water. Not all water is of the same quality. But most of the time well water is not safe for fish. water from the well may contain harmful chemicals pollutants and impurities. Various gases may dissolve in water from the well. Therefore, it may not be good for fish health. Fish may show unusual behaviors, stop feeding, or sometimes may die due to the changes in the water quality.

But you can make it safe and suitable for fish!

Does well water need to be treated for fish?

Yes, well water needs to be treated before putting it into the fish tank. You need to be aware of harmful chemicals and pollutants that may contain in well water. Gases dissolving in water from the well may change the pH value it.

Treating of water from the well is done to improve the water quality and to make it suitable for fish.

Contents of well water

water from the well may contain microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Chemical fertilizers like nitrate and nitrite and human sewage are also present in well water. Further, chemical elements and minerals like Copper, Zink, Ferrous, Phosphorous, Bromine, Chlorine, fluorine, calcium, and magnesium include in water from the well.

Most often Organic chemicals, and radioactive forms of elements can be present in water from the well. Sometimes water from a well can be hard water.

Learn more Is Spring Water Safe For Fish? | Make It Safe Easy Way

How to prepare well water for your fish tank?

First, set up a fish tank by rinsing it. Include any rock or gravel in the tank before adding water. Oxygenate the water by filtering it directly through the pump. Well, water can contain chlorine and other chemicals.

They can be deadly to the fish. So, we must treat the water. Let the tank run for some time before adding fish into it. The best running time is one or two months (s). Once the water cycle has been established, you can begin adding the fish gradually. If you add all the fish at once, the formed balance can be upset, leading to the death of all the fish.

Treatment methods of well water for use in your fish tank

Some of the symptoms that the water is not suitable for the fish to include fast breathing, changing of color around the gills, and inability to breathe. If we observe these features in fish, better to use treatments for water before putting fish.

Check water source condition.

It is possible to direct the well water straight from a house to your aquarium. However, it is important to check the condition of the water first. If you dose not have a test kit you can test your water in your local pet store.

If the water comes from the local aquifer like a well, then it is possibly containing chemicals like fluoride and chlorine, chloramine naturally. But these chemicals like chlorine might be toxic to the fish. So, for the very first time, you need to remove the chemicals contained in the water from the well.

You can either decide to make the water from the well safe for use naturally. That is, without the use of any other additional chemicals.

test water quality of well

What water parameters to check on well water

  1. chlorine
  2. chloramine
  3. Nitrate
  4. Fluoride
  5. pH
  6. Hardness
  7. salinity
  8. Heavy metal

Read more 15 Ways to Lower pH in Freshwater Aquarium.

Stocking water for 48 hours to remove contaminants

First, you should realize that one of its most dangerous chemical components is chlorine. Ensure that the well water remains for a period of 1 to 2 days, so the chlorine component can naturally evaporate. As you wait for the natural evaporation of the chlorine, add an aerator to the water from the well to speed up the process.

The aerator will also enhance the chances of complete dissolving of chlorine from the water. There is the best tool to use, in making water from the well safe from heavy metals without using chemicals.

It is Reverse Osmosis (RO) purifying system. This purifier system can take out different types of contaminants from the water. In fact, some of the RO models are designed with remineralization that can correct other components such as the pH.

The reverse osmosis water system strips away so many unwanted waste elements while filtering the water from the well. After removing the chlorine and other chemicals the next step is conditioning. It involves making the well water ideal for the fish.

Conditioning water

Conditioning is a necessary and incredible step that can be done naturally. You are going to condition the already-purified well water naturally. For that, you can use dolomite filters, crushed corals, or decorative limestone within the fish tank. Using any of these compounds or aquatic plants will increase the pH levels.

However, if you want to reduce the pH levels in a case, you can do this naturally by including decorative driftwood in the aquarium. The pH can be naturally raised with baking soda. While limestone or coral can increase the pH level naturally.

Now well water can be used in the tank without any hesitation.

Use a water conditioner with well water?

Water conditioners are designed to be added to water from the well before it uses in an aquarium. It contains chemicals that convert well water less harmful to fish.

Effects of well water on your fish

Just like everything in life, the use of well water for fish has both good effects and bad effects. Water from the well is readily available for use. The contaminant content is far less than that of the surface water.

water from the well contains important minerals; nutrients and they will influence to have plus results on fish. Unpredictable pH and mineral content in well water may cause fish to change their behavioral pattern, feeding patterns, and reproductive patterns.

Fish may develop various diseases as a result. Furthermore, in adverse conditions fish may die.

Well water vs City water  (tap water)

There are both advantages and disadvantages when using city water and water from the well. Well water is coming from your own private well. So, we will not get a monthly water bill.

But tap water is supplied to our home by the city. The city collects water, puts it through a purification process, and then delivers it to your home via pipes. Tap water can be expensive since we must pay for that.

Most of the time well water is fresher and high in nutrients and high in minerals. Water from the well is high in healthy nutrients and minerals. But tap water is less fresh than water from the well and contains low minerals and nutrients. Because of the extensive filtering and chemical treatment, it might not taste as refreshing as water from the well.

Well water is usually protected from contamination during a time of a natural disaster. Natural disasters, like floods, can cause large-scale contamination to the city water supply. Therefore, tap water can become contaminated on a large scale.

The quality and quantity of water are the responsibility of the city. When you turn on your tap, you do not have to worry about the last time it was tested. If your well runs dry it is not the city’s problem, you are responsible for the quality and quantity of your water.

City water is available in most places. Unless you move to a very rural area, there is a high chance that tap water has been connected to your home. But well water is not available in all places. If available, the condition of the water may not be good everywhere.

Read more How Long Does Water Take to Dechlorinate ?

Why is well safe for humans and not for a fish tank?

Well water contains nutrients and minerals like drinking water. Which are very important to humans. These nutrients promote healthy-looking skin, reduce muscle and joint inflammation, enhance brain function, and help to maintain a healthy heart for humans.

But usage of water from the well for the fish tank is not safe. Not like human fish are having small bodies.

They are sensitive to the qualities of the water that they live in. If water temperature, pH, amount of oxygen dissolved in water vary in high amounts then their preferable ranges they cannot live in that water.

Is well water safe for a pond?

Yes, well water is not a problem. It is the best thing for a fishpond. The well water is usually hard, and it often clears up the pond without adding any other chemicals.

But be careful most of the water from the well has little dissolved oxygen. If you have already stock fish, be careful not to put too many fish at a time.

Is well water safe for goldfish?

Yes, goldfish can live in well water. But not in all water from the well. Because not all water is of the same quality. Goldfish can safely live-in water from the well if we do the following. Test the well water for impurities like ammonia, nitrites, nitrates.

Treat the water if impurities are found. Continue to test the water from the well periodically to make sure that it is still safe. Now well water is good for goldfish.


Well, water has easy access and the possibility to find among all the water sources. But well water cannot be used directly in the aquarium.

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.