Best Filter For Betta Fish: Top 10 | Aquascape Addiction

Best Filter For Betta Fish: Top 10

Need help finding the best filter for your betta fish tank? we cover our top 10 picks that cater for a variety of tank sizes and provide the right features that a Betta needs.

Best Filter For Betta Fish: Top 10

While some people may not think that Betta fish need filters, it simply is not true. Every fish needs a good filter and that includes the infamous Siamese fighting fish. These little fish might have a big attitude and bright colors, but that does not mean that they do not like clean water.


Of course, there are many different kinds and sizes of filters out there, and tons of models to choose from. This can make choosing the right filter for your Betta fish a little tricky. Well, that is what we are here to help you with today, to find the best filter for Betta’s. Let’s get right to it!

IMAGE PRODUCT INFO OUR RATING
Marina I25 Internal Filter Our Pick For 3 Gallon Tanks 9.4/10
Marina S10 Power Filter Our Pick For 10 Gallon Tanks 9.4/10
Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on HOB / Up to 7 Gallon Tanks 9.1/10

Do You Need A Filter For A Betta Fish?

Yes, you do need a filter for a Betta fish. Some people think that because these fish usually live in somewhat dirty and cloudy waters, that they do not need filtration. However, these fish only live in shallow rice paddies for a short amount of time every year. While they are resilient and durable fish, they do much better in clean and clear water, just like any other fish out there.

As with any aquarium, you should have all 3 kinds of filtration for your Betta fish including mechanical, biological, and chemical. If you can’t do it all, you want to have biological and mechanical filtration at the very least. The short answer here is yes, you should absolutely have a filter for your Betta fish.

What Kind Of Filter Do I Need For My Betta?

This is a bit of an open ended question as there are many facets to cover here. We do not want to tell you what kind of filter to get specifically, as there are many which work just fine. However, there are some factors you want to pay attention to before coming to a final decision.

Size of Aquarium

You need to pay attention to the size of the tank and get a filtration unit that can handle as much water as is in the tank. Ideally, for Betta fish, due to the fact that they cannot really handle strong currents, a filtration unit that can handle about twice the amount of water in the tank per hour, while maintaining a low flow rate, is ideal.

If you have a really small tank, you might want to consider a hang on back filter as opposed to an internal one.

Note: We recommend getting at minimum tank size of 5 gallons for Bettas, we have reviewed our top 10 tank picks here.

A Quiet Filter

Nobody likes loud filters. It is as simple as that. Try to get one that is quiet, as Betta fish do not like much noise, and you probably do not either. In terms of noise, submersible filters tend to be the quietest as their motors are submerged.

Adjustable Output

As we mentioned before, Betta fish cannot handle strong currents, so getting a filter with an adjustable output is pretty important. Sure, getting one with lots of processing power is great, but Betta fish often cannot handle it.

Type of Filtration

As mentioned in the above section, you should aim to include all 3 major types of filtration. This includes mechanical filtration for debris removal, biological filtration for ammonia and other toxic substances, and chemical filtration for any leftover toxins.

Types of Filter

There are a few different filter types you can go with. People usually go with internal submersible filters or hang on back filters for Betta fish.

A canister filter is probably not necessary as they tend to have too much power and are usually best for larger applications.


Best Filter For 3 Gallon Betta Tank

Here we have what we think is the best 3 gallon Betta aquarium filter out there, so let’s take a quick look to see what it is all about.

Marina I25 Internal Filter

This particular filter is ideal for Betta tanks up to 6.6 gallons, but works just fine for smaller 3 gallon tanks as well. It is rated to process around 24 gallons of water per hour, which is more than enough for a small 3 gallon tank. Moreover, so your Betta fish does not get swept away, the outflow can be adjusted. It’s just fine for 6 gallon tanks, and for 3 gallon tanks it is more than ideal.

This is a very quiet filtration system thanks to the fact that it is submerged under water. Now, the downfall here is that it does take up a bit of space inside of a tank. Generally speaking, as far as submersible filters go, this thing is pretty compact, which is nice, but it will always take up room in the interior of any tank.

With that being said, it is very easy to install thanks to the simple to use suction cups included. Just place it inside of the tank with the suction cups and you are good to go.

Due to being submerged, it also does not need to be primed, which helps make life a little easier. In terms of filtration, the Marina I25 Internal Filter uses simple all in one cartridges which include mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

These cartridges are very easy to change, they work really well, but they are a bit small, so they will need replacing fairly often. All in all, this is in our opinion the best option for any 3 gallon Betta tank.

Pros

  • More than enough power for a 3 gallon tank.
  • Outflow can be adjusted.
  • Fairly small and compact.
  • Quiet.
  • No priming needed.
  • Simple all in one filtration cartridges.
  • Easy to install and maintain.

Cons

  • Takes up internal tank space.
  • Durability is a little questionable.
  • Cartridges need changing fairly often.

You can check the current price here


Best Filter For Betta 10 Gallon Aquarium

Since you might be keeping your Betta in a larger tank, or even have 2 Bettas, let’s take a look at what we think is the best filter for a 10 gallon Betta fish Aquarium.

Marina Power Filter

This particular filtration unit comes in various sizes including models for up to 10, 15, and 20 gallon tanks. For one, this is a hang on back filter, which means that it takes up absolutely no internal tank space, a beneficial feature.

It does however need a bit of clearance behind the tank, but not too much. In terms of installation, simply clip it onto the rim of your aquarium and you are good to go. This thing does not even need to be primed, which is always a nice feature.

The particular model we are talking about here, the one for up to 10 gallon tanks, is quite efficient at its job. It can easily process the entire volume of a 10 gallon tank several times over per hour, thus creating clean and crystal clear water. While it does have tons of water processing power, you can always turn the outflow down in order to create a gentler current for your Betta fish.

When it comes to filtration, the Marina Power Filter comes with 2 types of biological filtration media cartridges, both of which are very easy to change and ideal for biological filtration. This filter does also feature mechanical filtration, but it is not the best, plus it does not come with chemical filtration.

However, there are a few extra media slots on the inside, so you can customize it and add the media of your choice. On a side note, this thing is just a little bit loud.

Pros

  • Great processing power.
  • Awesome biological filtration.
  • Customizable media.
  • Easy to install.
  • Does not take up space inside of the tank.
  • Easy change cartridges.
  • Adjustable flow.

Cons

  • Does not excel at mechanical filtration.
  • Does not include chemical filtration.
  • Somewhat loud.

You can check the current price here


8 More Betta Aquarium Filters We Like: Reviews

If for whatever reason you did not feel the above picks was right for your tank we have picked out another 8 options that we felt was worth a mention, let's take a detailed look into each;

1. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter

This is another good Betta filter to go with. It comes in various sizes ranging from 20 to 300 gallons per hour. This particular one right here is ideal for Betta tanks up to 7 gallons in size and it can process up to 20 gallons of water per hour, thus effectively processing close to 3 times the entire water volume of the tank per hour. If that is too much, this filter does come with an adjustable flow knob so you can turn the outflow down for your Betta.

We do like that this is a hang on back filter because it does not take up space on the inside of the tank, plus it is easy to install too. Simply hang it on the rim of your aquarium and besides needing to be primed, you are good to go.

Keep in mind that it does require some clearance behind the tank. Another couple of drawbacks that need to be mentioned here is that the Penn Plax does need to be assembled, plus it is not particularly quiet either.

However, this thing does a great job at filtration. It features 3 stage filtration which includes mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. The cartridges used here are fairly easy to replace, although they do need to be replaced fairly often.

Yet, they do a pretty good job at removing all kinds of solid and dissolved contaminants from aquarium water. What is cool is that this thing can be used for both saltwater and freshwater tanks.

Pros

  • Easy to install.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Does not take up interior tank space.
  • Comes in various sizes.
  • Decent processing power.
  • Adjustable output.
  • Efficient 3 stage filtration.

Cons

  • Requires clearance behind the tank.
  • Not very quiet.
  • Requires assembly – not very easy.

You can check the current price here


2. Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter

This aquarium filter comes in various sizes including ones for up to 10, 20 , and 40 gallon tanks. However, the one we are talking about here specifically is the 10 gallon model. This thing can process close to 30 gallons of water per hour, so it is more than enough for a 10 gallon tank.

Yet, beware that you cannot adjust the flow rate here, which might be a bit of a drawback for you. To be clear, this is an internal filter, but it is only immersible, not submersible, so you cannot fully submerge it or else it will break.

With that being said, it does come with the necessary mounting hardware, which is about as easy to use as it gets. Yet, it does take up a fair bit of tank space as its design is not exactly compact.

What is however quite neat here is that this filter can work in as little as 2 inches of water, which makes it ideal not only for aquariums, but for terrariums and turtle tanks too. We do like how this thing is fairly quiet, which is beneficial for both people and pets.

The Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter comes with a bio-bag filter cartridge included, plus a bio-scrubber too. As you can see, this filtration unit is best for biological filtration, but it does engage in a certain amount of mechanical filtration as well. It does not include any chemical filtration, which is a bit of a drawback, but nothing major for a really small Betta tank.

Pros

  • Silent.
  • Easy to install.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Can work in minimal water levels.
  • Efficient biological filtration.
  • Creates a little waterfall.
  • Comes in various sizes.
  • Fairly durable.

Cons

  • Quite bulky.
  • Not great for mechanical or chemical filtration.
  • Cannot be fully submerged.

You can check the current price here


3. Deep Blue Professional Biomaxx Nano Filter

This is a very small filtration unit, one that is ideal for fish tanks up to 4 gallons, hence why it is called a nano tank filter, but this should be more than fine for a small Betta tank. It can process somewhere around 12 gallons of water per hour, which is perfect for a 4 gallon Betta tank.

It will keep the water clean and clear without creating a current that is too strong for your Betta fish to handle. Even better is that you can adjust the flow rate on this thing to suit the needs of your fish to a tee.

To be clear, this is a 2 stage filtration unit. It engages in mechanical and biological filtration, but not in chemical filtration. This is not the biggest drawback ever and it should be fine for a small Betta tank, but the Deep Blue Nano Filter, due to lacking chemical filtration, cannot handle very large bio-loads. Both the sponges for mechanical and biological filtration come included here, and they are easy enough to maintain, which is a bonus.

We do like how this is a hang on back filter, because although it does require clearance behind the tank, it takes up virtually no space within the tank, thus saving room for your fish. Also, it’s pretty easy to install, as you just have to hang it on the rim of your aquarium, secure it on, and you are good to go.

With that being said, you do have to initially fill the filter compartment with water, or in other words, you have to prime it manually. It is also not the quietest option out there.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to install.
  • Great for small tanks
  • Adjustable flow
  • Superior mechanical and biological filtration
  • Does not take up interior tank space
  • Easy to maintain
  • Fairly durable

Cons

  • No chemical filtration
  • Cannot handle large bio-loads
  • Not very silent

You can check the current price here


4. SunGrow Biochemical Sponge Betta Filter

This is defintiely one of the more unique options to go with out there, as it looks like it comes straight out of some futuristic sci-fi movie, but it does work quite well. To be clear, the SunGrow is ideal for Betta tanks up to 10 gallons in size, which should be more than enough for any Betta tank.

Keep in mind that this unit does not come with an adjustable flow rate, and the flow rate is very low. It cannot handle much more than 10 gallons per hour, but with that being said, Betta fish do not like strong currents anyway. You just cannot use this thing for tanks with heavy bio-loads due to the low flow rate.

With that out of the way, this unit is great in terms of filtration for smaller tanks, as it comes with all 3 major types of filtration including mechanical, biological, and chemical media. It does a very good job at water filtration and removing all kinds of solid and dissolved debris, but beware that maintaining and changing the media here is not all that easy, although it does not need to be done often.

What is neat here is that this thing does not need a power source per say. It does need to be connected to an air pump, but that is about it. Also, while this is an internal filtration unit, so it does take up interior tank space, it is designed to be small and compact. It comes in at 4.3 x 3 inches, so it is pretty small and is designed to fit right into the corner of a tank.

Pros

  • Durable and long lasting.
  • Low-maintenance.
  • Very quiet.
  • Does not need a power source.
  • Efficient 3 stage filtration.
  • Good low flow output for Betta tanks.
  • Looks really cool.
  • Fairly compact.

Cons

  • Media is a little hard to get to.
  • Cannot handle heavy bio-loads.
  • Only good for small tanks.

You can check the current price here


5. Corner Filter Aquarium Fish Tank Internal Air Driven Filter

This is another unique option to go with and is in fact very similar to the one we just looked at above. This is another filter that does not require a power source per say. You can hook it up to an air or water pump in order to send aquarium water through the filtration media. This thing does need to be fully submerged in order to work, but it does not require priming or anything like that.

You can simple place this unit in the bottom of your tank, right in the corner. Although it will take up some space inside of the tank, it is designed to be fairly small and compact, so the space it takes up is fairly minimal. Something else that we like about this particular filter is that it is very quiet and energy efficient too, both big bonuses as far as we are concerned. We also like this option because it is extremely easy to set up and to maintain.

Now, what needs to be made clear here is that this unit is only ideal for tanks between 5 and 10 gallons. It is too big to fit in any tank under 5 gallons, but does not have enough power to deal with any more than 10 gallons of water.

It has a very low flow rate, which is good for Betta fish, but it also means that it cannot handle heavy bio-loads. The filter media here is already included and it is easy to get to, which is nice in terms of maintenance. This filter engages in all 3 major types of filtration for clean and clear Betta tank water.

Pros

  • Small and compact.
  • Good for small tanks.
  • All 3 types of filtration.
  • Quite durable.
  • Low flow rate for Betta fish.
  • Does not require a power source.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Quiet.

Cons

  • Cannot handle heavy bio-loads.
  • Is not adjustable.
  • Takes up space inside of the tank.

You can check the current price here


6. PENN PLAX World Aquarium Filter

Another unique option on this list, the Penn Plax World Filter is another one that simply needs to be attached to an air pump in order to work. To install it, all you have to do is attach it to the inside of your tank using the included suction cup, plus hook it up to any air pump.

It does need to be fully submerged as it is an internal submersible filter, but that is no big deal. It might take up a bit of space, but generally speaking, it is fairly small and compact, so it does not take up too much space.

This thing is fairly quiet, or actually totally silent, which is always nice. Now, this is a chemical and biological filtration unit. It actually does a great job in terms of biological and chemical filtration, plus the media barely ever needs to be replaced, cleaned, or maintained.

While it does not engage in any mechanical filtration, which is in all honesty not good, it does a fine job at the other types of filtration. Do keep in mind that this thing has a very low flow rate and is only designed to aquariums up to 5 gallons in size.

It does a fine job at what it is designed for, but it does not have an adjustable flow rate, nor can it handle large bio-loads. This is for small Betta tanks with 1 fish and a couple of plants, but no more.

Pros

  • Space saver.
  • Easy to install.
  • Compatible with any air pump.
  • Does not need electricity.
  • Quiet.
  • Good biological and chemical filtration.
  • Does not need much maintenance.

Cons

  • Does not engage in mechanical filtration.
  • Only good for small tanks.
  • Cannot handle heavier bio-loads.

You can check the current price here


7. Aquarium Masters Nano Filter

This is a nice little nano aquarium filter to go with, one that is ideal for tanks up to 4 gallons in size, but no more. It is not like it is a bad filter, but it is small and just cannot handle more than 4 gallons of water, especially if there is a heavy bio-load present.

What is pretty impressive here is that it can process around 12 gallons of water per hour to keep water clean and clear, but in order to make a suitable habitat for your Betta fish, the flow rate can be adjusted, which is always nice.

This is a simple hang on back filter, so you really just need to place it on the rim of your aquarium and plug it in. It is definitely quite easy to install. We do also like it because it does not take up any space within the tank, but it does need some clearance behind the tank, albeit not that much. Keep in mind that this unit does need to be primed manually, but that is no big deal. On a side note, this filtration unit is not the quietest option out there.

The Aquarium Masters Nano Filter is a 2 stage mechanical and biological filtration unit. As you might notice, it does not include chemical filtration, but for a small Betta tank, this should not be a huge deal.

The mechanical and biological filtration included here is however quite efficient, plus easy to maintain as well. Although it might not remove some chemicals from the water, it does a pretty darn good job at removing debris, ammonia, and nitrites too.

Pros

  • Easy to install.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Does not take up room inside of the tank.
  • Efficient mechanical and biological filtration.
  • Easy to change filter media.
  • Fairly durable.
  • Good for small tanks.

Cons

  • Requires priming.
  • Needs clearance behind the tank.
  • Not very quiet.

You can check the current price here


8. Elite Underwater Mini Filter

This is the final option on our list today and it’s a good low flow filter for Betta tanks. This particular unit can be used for Betta tanks up to 3 gallons in size, but no more. It does not have an adjustable flow rate, but it does not have all that much processing power anyway, so it does not create a current that is too strong for your Betta. While the processing power per hour is not huge, it is good enough for a small tank with a light bio-load.

This is a submersible filter, so it does need to be fully under water in the tank. This means that it does take up some space, but it is designed to be small and slim, so it’s not too bad in terms of taking space away from your fish.

Installation is easy as all you need to do is attach it to the inside of the tank with the included suction cups, plus it can be mounted vertically or horizontally, and it does not require priming either.

In terms of filtration, this thing uses a bio-foam pad to provide you with mechanical and biological filtration. While the bio and mechanical filtration capabilities here are pretty good, it does not include chemical filtration.

This could be a problem for some, but for a small tank, it should not be a huge issue. The pads are easy to clean and replace, which is a benefit no doubt. We do also like how this unit is fairly quiet, as well as durable too.

Pros

  • Small and compact.
  • No priming needed.
  • Easy to install – vertically or horizontally.
  • Perfect for a really small Betta tank.
  • Quiet.
  • Durable.
  • Good mechanical and biological filtration.

Cons

  • Cannot handle heavy bio-loads.
  • Only for really small tanks.
  • No chemical filtration .

You can check the current price here


FAQ For Betta Filters

Let’s quickly talk about some of the most frequently asked questions in regards to Betta fish and the filters for their tanks.

How Often Should I Clean My Filter?

This really depends on how dirty the water is. If you have more than 1 fish, if the fish is in a really small tank, or the water seems to be dirty in general, you will need to clean it more often. Generally speaking, mechanical filter media should be cleaned every 3 to 6 weeks depending on how dirty it is.

Biological filter media should be cleaned as little as possible due to the bacteria population. Chemical media usually cannot be cleaned, but it does need replacing. The tubes and other parts of a filter should be cleaned roughly once per month.

How To Tell If My Filter Current Is Too Strong?

As you know, Betta fish cannot handle strong currents. If the plants in the tank are bending away from the filter, if the fish seems to be having trouble swimming and maintain a position, or if it actually gets blown away from the filter’s output, you know that the current is too strong.

This is why getting a filter with an adjustable output is a big deal when it comes to Betta fish.

How To Baffle Filter For Betta’s?

When you baffle a filter, it means that you are placing something over the output to modify the current, or in this case, to slow the current down. One thing you can do is to place some larger plants right in front of the outflow.

You can also use something like a thin sock or a sponge to dampen the current. Some people modify water bottles as well.

Conclusion

We hope you have found our reviews and information helpful on finding the best filter for Betta’s, there are plenty of good options but these are just the particular filters we thought was worth a mention.