Do Betta Fish Need A Filter? Aquarium Answers | Aquascape Addiction

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter? Aquarium Answers

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We answer the common question of do Betta fish need a filter? along with other helpful Betta information as they are not like most other fish.

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter? Aquarium Answers

Most hobbyists and aquarium enthusiasts are familiar with the betta fish, a beautiful and elegant creature that is ideal for beginners and expert fish keepers alike. Now, we are also familiar with the fact that most fish tanks need a water filtration unit to keep the water clean and the fish alive. However there is some controversy when it comes to betta fish, mainly whether or not they really need a filter. We are here to answer this question; Do betta fish need a filter?

So, Do Betta Fish Need A Filter?

This is kind of a tricky question and there is no real clear answer. Technically speaking, betta fish are classified as “labyrinth fish”, which is a fancy way of saying that they have an organ that resembles a lung. This means that they can actually take oxygen straight out of the air from the top of your fish tank, but they can also filter oxygen out of the water too.

For many people, the fact that betta fish don’t really need an oxygenation system is reason enough to conclude that a water filter is not needed. However the oxygenation is only one factor that comprises a healthy fish tank.

Betta fish are still quite susceptible to bacteria, solid debris such as fish waste, ammonia, nitrates, and other unwanted compounds or aquarium guests. While they are some pretty resilient fish, the betta will eventually succumb to various maladies when the water becomes too impure to live in (here is some more information on the average life span of a Betta). water hardness, Ph levels, ammonia, nitrates (you can also use plants to lower nitrates, we have covered some good options over at this article), and other compounds definitely need to be filtered out of the water to keep your betta fish as healthy as can be.

Many people decide that changing the water in the aquarium every few weeks is more than enough, but the fact is that build ups can happen pretty quickly, so a filter is always a good thing to have, plus it means having to change less water and do so less often. When it comes down to it, we would without a doubt recommend that you get a good water filtration unit for your betta fish tank.

Why Is The Betta Fish Different From Other Fish?

This goes back to the point we made before. Other than their name, the thing that makes betta fish different from many others is that they have evolved to be able to take oxygen straight out of the air as well as the water, something that most other fish simply cannot do. This makes them quite versatile and resilient because they can survive in fairly low oxygenated tanks, but they still do require some good old O2!

What We Think Is The Best Filter For A Betta Fish

AZOO Mignon Filter 60

This is a great little water filtration unit to include in your betta fish tank. One of the reasons as to why it is such a great choice to go with is because takes up very little space in your aquarium. Whether you have a small or large tank, you don’t want the filter taking up too much room, which is why this hang on the back model works so well.

The AZOO Filter simply hangs on the back of your betta fish tank with minimal water contact, therefore saving the space inside the tank for your betta fish to swim around in. Keep in mind that this is a nano filter which is ideal for fish tanks up to 10 gallons in size, but no more.

Another thing that makes this an ideal filtration unit for your betta fish tank is that you can adjust the flow direction. Betta fish don’t like aquariums where there is a strong current, especially through the middle of the tank, because they aren’t the strongest swimmers and tend to get swept up in currents. Well, the AZOO Mignon Filter 60 lets you direct the water flow in any direction, and it lets you adjust the flow rate too, thus allowing you to create the perfect environment for your betta fish.

On a side note, you are also going to like this particular filter because it is very quiet and is not going to disturb your fish or the serenity in your room. There is also the point that the whole thing is fairly small, plus it is quite energy efficient as well.

The next thing that makes this an ideal water filtration unit for your betta tank is that it can take a wide variety of filtration media. Yes, it can take filter catrirdges, but those get dirty fast and need to be replaced often. Therefore it is quite convenient that this filter can also used sponge filters, carbon filters, and many others too. More or less, as long as the media you get fits into the filtration chamber, the AZOO Filter can handle it without a problem.

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3 Other Good Betta Filters: Reviews

1. Aqueon QuietFlow Internal Filter

This is another good betta fish tank filter to go with. Unlike our number one option, this one is an internal filter, which means that it does take up some space within your aquarium. However, the filter itself is fairly small and compact, and only takes up a little bit of room on the edge of your aquarium.

The Aqueon Internal Filter is ideal for tanks of up to 10 gallons in size and it can handle up to 57 gallons per hour, not that you will need that much! This model does actually come in various sizes, a mini, small, and large size, with the largest size being ideal for tanks of up to 40 gallons.

We really like this model for betta fish tanks because the whole thing is fully submersible and can be put anywhere in your betta fish tank. It uses convenient little suction cups to attach anywhere along the inside walls of your aquarium, thus making it easy to move attach and move around, plus it works when positioned both horizontally and vertically. Moreover, this also makes for a great betta tank filter because it uses easy to replace cartridges. The cartiridges can be rinsed out every few weeks, and only need replacement every few months.

Something that makes this model ideal for betta fish tanks is that it has an adjustable return flow rate, which means that you can set the flow rate low enough as to not disturb your betta fish and have them being pushed all around the fish tank. Even better is that this thing also features the ability to adjust the height of the return flow as well as the direction, which allows you to create the perfect swimming conditions for your betta fish.

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2. Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter

Yet another great betta fish tank filter option to go with is the Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium filter. One of the things that makes this an ideal betta fish filter is that it does a wonderful job at keeping the water clean and free of impurities.

This is thanks to an advanced 3 step filtration technique which includes mechanical filtration for debris, biological filtration for impurities, and chemical filtration to kill off any unwanted guests. When it comes to keeping the betta tank clean, the Aqua-Tech Aquarium Filter definitely gets the job done. Even better is that all of the filtration techniques are enclosed in 1 easy to replace cartridge for the ultimate in convenience.

Another thing that makes this an ideal betta fish tank filter is that it hangs on the side of the aquarium. It barely takes up any space in your aquarium and simply lets the clean water flow down into the tank like a waterfall. This is beneficial for your betta fish because it does not have a high flow rate and does not create a harsh current which your beta fish will not be able to deal with.

Plus this thing also helps save room for your betta fish to swim around in. That being said, this filter comes in various sizes for 15 gallon, 20 gallon (we have covered more options here for 20 gallon tanks), 40 gallon, and 60 gallon tanks, which means that the Aqua-Tech can accommodate virtually any aquarium. This is a very simple to install and easy to use filtration system that will work wonders for your betta tank.

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3. Rio Mini 90 Internal Power Filter for Aquarium

This final option may be last on the list, however it is definitely not the least valuable. This is a great little submersible water filter for your fish tank that can be fully submersed in the water, it uses suction cups to easily attach to the inside of the tank, and it can be placed in any position as long as it is in the water.

While this model does take up some room in the fish tank, it is quite compact so the amount of space it takes up is quite minimal. Speaking of minimal, this is also a fairly quiet filtration unit so you won’t have to worry about getting noise complaints from your betta fish.

While this unit can handle upwards of 80 gallons per hour, it is ideal for tanks up to 15 gallons in size, thus making it perfect for smaller betta fish tanks. Moreover, it also has an adjustable nozzle so you can adjust the flow direction to suit your betta fish’s needs without question.

To keep your water clean, this thing has a dual compartment filtration system with 2 mechanical filtration cartridges. The real beauty here is that the cartridges can be replaced with other types of media such as a carbon filter, some biological filter, or sponges too. As long as they fit into the compartments you can use virtually any media type you want. It can do all of this while still being quite energy efficient too!

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You might also like these related Betta articles


While it is not 100 percent necessary to have a filter in your betta fish tank (we have covered a tank guide here), it definitely does help to keep the water clean and it allows your betta fish to thrive without having to worry about impure water or way too low oxygen levels.