Can You Use Fish Water Conditioner For Turtles? Read This First!

Nov 8, 2021

Can You Use Fish Water Conditioner For Turtles

Water conditioners usually finish when you least expect them to. This is because they are used in such tiny amounts that we often mistake the bottle to be full at all times.

And when this happens, you might want to improvise using a fish water conditioner as an alternative.

But the question lurks – are fish water conditioners safe for turtles? Or will they not be effective enough to get the right water parameters?

Let’s find out.

Can You Use Fish Water Conditioner For Turtles?

Yes, you can use a fish water conditioner for your turtles. Both the fish water conditioner and turtle water conditioner have similar goals – to keep your tank water free from chloramines and ammonia.

However, turtles are larger and 10 times messier than aquarium fish. This means that you will need more concentrated neutralizers for them to be effective for a turtle tank. 

Although the fish water conditioner will detoxify your turtle tank to some level, it might not be as plausible as using a turtle conditioner.

Here’s a link to a water conditioner for a turtle tank by API that I and thousands of other pet parents use, as attested on Amazon reviews:

Why I Love It?
  • From a reputable and credible brand
  • Bottlecap doubles as a measuring cup 
  • Specially formulated for turtles 
  • Can be used when the turtle is in its habitat 
  • Compatible with all other API products

3 Reasons You Need To Use Turtle Tank Conditioners

As I mentioned above, both these conditioners have similar purposes. Some of them are:

  • Clears your water from chloramine 
  • Detoxifies ammonia from the tank
  • Clears out heavy metals 

Clears Your Water From Chloramine

The drinking water we have in our homes is chlorinated to eliminate any kind of undesired microorganisms and bacteria. However, the chlorine content used to treat the water can have severe effects on our turtles.

So, if you are using tap water for the turtle tank, it’s wise to dechlorinate it first. And a water conditioner does it perfectly. 

Even the most basic of conditioners can also dechlorinate tap water. So, a fish conditioner will also definitely be able to perform this.

Detoxifies Ammonia From The Tank

A turtle tank needs to have an ammonia level of less than 0.25 ppm (basically zero). But, as your messy pets can increase ammonia levels at an accelerated speed, you need to be on your toes to keep them in check. 

When the ammonia amount is higher than the recommended, turtles can suffer from ammonia burns. This has severe health impacts on turtles and can cause all sorts of diseases. 

A water conditioner can keep your tank detoxified from the effects of ammonia. Alongside treatment, changing water regularly is equally necessary.

Clears Out Heavy Metals

Just because you dechlorinated your tank water doesn’t mean that you have cleared it from every possible harmful element. Unfortunately, there are some heavy metals present in tap water that are harmful to your turtles. 

Copper and metallic salts are some of the heavy metals that are harmful to your turtles if present in considerable amounts.

You have to be even more careful if you house bottom dwellers like shrimps and crustaceans, as they can die even from the slightest traces of copper. 

So, a reliable tank water conditioner will help neutralize amounts of possible metals in your turtle tank. But as I said earlier, water change is equally important to reduce the deposition of such metals.

Relevant Readings

Can Turtles Eat Peanuts? A Boon Or Bane For Turtles?

Why Is My Turtle Not Basking? Help Him.

How To Know If Your Turtle Is Happy? 8 Signs Of A Happy Turtle

Turtle Water Conditioner Vs. Fish Water Conditioner

In general, a turtle water conditioner has concentrated amounts of certain chemicals that can effectively detoxify a turtle’s tank better. They are made from quaternary ammonium salts, which effectively neutralizes ammonia toxicity. 

Furthermore, the ammonium salt reduces water tension in the tank, helping your turtle’s gills to pass oxygen into its lungs.

The fish water conditioners usually do not have algaecide. 

What algaecide does is prevent the growth of algae on a turtle’s shell. Usually, this happens a lot with turtles as their shells can quickly become an algae farm. 

The algaecide helps dissolve the algae debris so that your turtle can shrug it off or shed it naturally.

How To Use A Water Conditioner For Turtles?

Usually, most water conditioners are instructed to be added 1 ml per 2 gallons of water. Despite that, make sure you read instructions thoroughly, as each manufacturer might use different levels of concentration. So, go with what the package informs. 

Generally, a bucket of water is usually conditioned within 5 to 10 minutes.

For a new tank, remember to keep your turtles in a separate container while you treat the tank with the conditioner. 

Final Words On Can You Use Fish Water Conditioner For Turtles

Both the conditioners serve the same purpose. But the difference lies in their effectiveness and ability to dechlorinate and remove ammonia and other heavy metals. Turtle tanks get dirty real fast, so a normal dechlorinator that works for fish might not keep things under check control in a turtle’s tank. 

However, if you have run out of turtle tank conditioner and happen to be nowhere near a pet shop, going with a fish tank conditioner is better than nothing.

Recommended Readings

What Does A Turtle Look Like Without A Shell? It’s Surprising!

Can Turtles Eat Spinach? Spinach Have Oxalates!

Why Is My Turtle Stretching Its Neck: EXPLAINED!

rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.