How to Add Tap Water to Backyard Fish Ponds

Koi and other pond fish do best with chemical-free water.
Koi and other pond fish do best with chemical-free water. (Image: Art Wolfe/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A natural pond is fed by natural water sources, but your backyard pond is not a natural pond and if you need to add tap water to your pond you will need to treat the water first to remove the chemicals that municipalities add to make it safe for humans to drink. Your water district will add either chlorine or chloramine to your tap water to kill bacteria that might be harmful to humans. Unfortunately, both of these chemicals are deadly to fish and to many fresh-water pond plants, as well. Fortunately it is easy to neutralize these chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Several 5-gallon plastic buckets
  • De-chlor liquid

Fill a 5-gallon bucket with tap water. Add 1 tbsp. of a commercial de-chlorinating liquid that also eliminates ammonia. Check the label before purchasing to make certain the product you are buying eliminates chlorine and ammonia.

Pour the treated water directly into your pond. Fill additional buckets and follow the directions in Step 1 to continue adding water until you have added the desired amount.

Fill several 5 gallon (or larger) buckets with tap water and allow them to sit for a minimum of 12 hours if you do not have -- or do not wish to use -- a commercial de-chlorinating agent. Stir the water at least twice during this 12-hour period. This will cause the chlorine as well as any ammonia to evaporate from the water, leaving it safe for your pond fish.

Pour the water that has been standing in buckets for 12 or more hours directly into your fish pond. If more water is needed, refill buckets with water and allow the water to sit for a minimum of 12 hours before adding to your pond.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow the tap water to warm up to ambient air temperature before pouring it into your pond, as cold water can shock fish.

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