7 Best Filters For Bettas In 2023 (And Why You Need One)

Last Updated on 2023-10-19

Betta fish require a reliable fish tank filter that will remove harmful toxins and circulate water in their fish tank. The best betta fish filters are non-evasive, which means they make a minimal impact on your fish’s physical life while having a maximum impact on your fish’s health. These filters are small and produce an optimal current in your Betta fish’s tank. 

In this article, we’ll go through all the reasons your betta fish needs a filter, as well as what to look for and the best filters for your betta! So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Key Takeaways:

  • Betta fish require a filter for their tank to maintain adequate oxygen levels, circulate water, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Options include Corner Filters, Sponge Filters, Undergravel Filters, Canister Filters, and HOB Filters (hang on back).
  • Factors to consider include noise level, filter size, tank size, filter strength, internal vs. external placement, and budget.
  • Recommended filters include AquaClear Power Filter, Marina Slim S10 Power Filter, Tetra Whisper Internal Filter, Aqueon Quietflow LED PRO, Upettools Aquarium Pump, and MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter.

Reasons Why You Need A Betta Fish Filter

Betta fish require a filter in their tank to survive. Filters assist in maintaining adequate oxygen levels, moving water around, and preventing bacteria from building in the tank. With a filter in your tank, you are more likely to prevent illness.

Because they keep the tank so clean, they promote good health for your betta! After the filtration process, a good filter will preserve beneficial bacteria so your betta can thrive for even longer. The goal of a filter is to create an environment that promotes fish health with beneficial bacteria.

Here are all the reasons filters are so beneficial for your fish tank!

Filtering Toxins

Filters remove and prevent the build-up of harmful toxins like ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites from your betta’s tank. A good filter in your betta’s tank prevents ammonia poisoning, which can be deadly to your Betta.

Aeration or Oxygenation

Placing a betta fish filter in your fish tank introduces oxygen into your betta’s water. As your filter works to clean the water it also continuously pumps oxygen into the tank so your betta can breathe easier.

Promotes Cleanliness

Keeping a filter in your fish tank is a good way to clean your tank by removing leftover food debris, fish bodily waste, and more. Filters keep the water in your fish tank clean, which means that using a filter in your Betta’s fish tank minimizes the need for replacing water and cleaning your fish tank.

Circulates Water

A tank filter helps circulate water in your fish tank to create a natural flow. Not only does this natural flow help oxygenation, but its’s also going to help keep the water temperature in your tank stable as well, by moving warm water across your tank.

best filter,betta fish

(Taking care of your Betta can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Click here to read an article with everything you need to know about Betta fish care.)

So Do Bettas Need Aquarium Filters?

Betta fish absolutely require a filter in their aquarium, they provide clean water, oxygenation and a place for beneficial bacteria to grow. Without a filter, you’re going to risk the health of your betta.

Without a filter, you must change the water more frequently because ammonia will build quicker, your fish may become stressed more quickly, and their lifespan could be shorter. 

What Are The Different Types Of Betta Filters?

Before you buy a filter for your betta tank, there are many different filters you can choose from. These include:

  • Corner Filter
  • Sponge Filter
  • Undergravel Filters
  • Canister Filters
  • Hob Filters

Sponge filters are always a great choice because they slow the flow of water which bettas love! However, if you need more space HOB filters are also a great choice (HOB stands for hang on back) which is what this filter does.

Here’s a little bit more about each one!

HOB Filters

HOB filters are the most common choice of filter for betta owners. They’re great for beginners because of how easy they are to use and clean.

Sponge Filters

Sponge filters are another extremely common choice for betta owners. They’re great for smaller tanks and they’ll provide plenty of biological and mechanical filtration. However, one downside of sponge filters is that you’ll need to add chemical filtration into them yourself. So pick one with enough space.

Corner Filters

Corner filters and sponge filters are pretty much the same, except as you can guess, corner filters are placed in the corner of your tank, which in some cases means, they’re going to take up less room.

Canister Filters

If you’re planning on getting serious or you’re keeping your betta in a large tank, then canister filters are definitely the way to go. Canister filters are much more adjustable and you can change the filter media inside to suit your needs!

Undergravel Filters

Undergravel filters aren’t seen as much anymore and for good reason. These filters are places under the gravel of your tank which makes them a nightmare to clean. As well as this, they don’t provide any chemical filtration.

(Check out this article if you want to find out more about filters for bettas.)

Which Filter is Best for Your Betta?

Many fish tank filters can help your Betta fish thrive by emulating their natural environments. For instance, the natural underwater current that the Aquaclear creates is a prime example of how filtering systems can emulate the Betta’s ideal environment and create a minimal impact in their tank.

With that being said, there are many great aquarium filters. But listed below are some of the best aquarium filters for any betta fish tank! Each of these filters has its benefits in addition to its drawbacks.

Filter NameTank Size SupportedKey FeaturesProsConsPrice
AquaClear Power Filter5-110 GallonsAdjustable flow rate, multi-stage filtration, minimal impact on Betta tankEmulates natural Betta environment, quietExterior design may cause water loss, size$38.00
Marina Slim S10 Power Filter10 GallonsCompact design, easy to clean, disposable filtersSuitable for small tanks, sleek designHigh price for some, proprietary filters$19.94
Tetra Whisper Internal Filter4-40 GallonsAerates water, three stages of filtration, easy to installGreat design, easily adjustableRequires specific filter bags$14.92
Aqueon Quietflow LED PRO10-20 GallonsLED indicator for cartridge change, five-stage filtration, submerged pumpUnique LED indicator, removable cartridgesIntense current, proprietary filter media$19.91
Upettools Aquarium PumpUp to 55 GallonsMulti-filtration with ceramic media, internal filter, protective foam sleeveIdeal for heavily stocked tanks, biological mediaEvasive design in small tanks$12.99
MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power FilterVarious sizes up to 75 GallonsWet/dry biological filtration, multiple stages, interchangeable cartridgesAffordable filtration, interchangeable cartridgesSome find cleaning the bio-wheel unpleasant$20.66
Tetra Whisper Power Filter5-60 GallonsQuiet operation, efficient cleaning, ideal for larger tanksQuietest filter, suitable for bigger tanksRequires specific filter media$14.99

1. AquaClear Power Filter (5-10 Gallons)

This hang-on back (HOB) AquaClear Power Filter is a waterfall filter that creates a natural current for your Betta fish. With a small external attachment that you can clip onto any part of your aquarium’s brim. It uses multi-stage filtration to remove debris, waste, and ammonia from the tank while preserving good bacteria, thanks to the biological media!

Pro: The AquaClear is a prime example of a betta fish filter because of its adjustable flow rate. If the current is too much for your betta, you can lower the flow rate and reduce its resistance.

Con: The exterior design of the AquaClear Cycleguard creates significant water loss because of splashing and water evaporation. The large size of this filter can cause stress on your Betta if you attempt to intrude on their territory by placing it in a small tank.

AquaClear 30 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 10- to 30-Gallon Aquariums
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation; we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every 2 weeks for maximum operation and efficiency

2. Marina Slim S10 Power Filter (10 Gallons)

The Marina Slim S10 Power Filter is a perfect tank for Betta fish because of its minimally evasive, compact design. This filter is easy to install and maintain, with disposable fillers. Since the design is so open, this filter is easy to clean. 

(You can also get a bigger version of this filter for a 15 gallon tank.)

Pro: The Marina Slim filter is has a sleek and compact design that is fantastic for Betta fish tanks up to five gallons. Despite the compact design, it is still easy to clean and does not require any tight scrubbing.

Con: The price of the Marina Slim S10 is high for some people. However, it is worth the investment if you plan on keeping fish for a long time. Some fish owners complain about the high prices of the Marina Slim filters. Since they are a special design, you cannot get them elsewhere.

Marina S10 Power Filter, up to 10 gallons
  • Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • Self priming
  • Easy to maintain
  • Adjustable flow control

3. Tetra Whisper Internal Filter (4-40 Gallons)

The Tetra Whisper Internal Filter is a great choice for any tank up to 40 gallons in size! While it’s great at aerating water, and providing the three stages of filtration you need, it’s downside is in the fact you have to buy the filter bags specifically for it.

Pros: Great design, easily adjustable and doesn’t take up much space in an aquarium.

Cons: You have to buy the filter media specially for it.

Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter 40i with BioScrubber – 20-40 gallon (25818), Black
  • UNIVERSAL DESIGN: Tetra Whisper 40i Internal Filter is an all-in-one air pump and water filter system.
  • INTERNAL FILTER: Mounts on the inside of your aquarium with clip (included).
  • CATCHES DEBRIS: Dense, dual-sided mesh filters debris and fish waste.
  • AERATES WATER: Air-driven design filters up to 170 GPH while oxygenating water.
  • CONVENIENT DESIGN: Uses large easy to change Bio-Bag cartridges; filter mounts inside aquarium, making it possible to place tank flush against the wall.

4. Aqueon Quietflow LED PRO (10-20 Gallons)

The Aqueon Quietflow is a minimalistic filter that is great for betta tanks. The submerged pump attaches to the side of the tank easily and takes up minimal space. This filter uses a five-stage filtration process that filters out debris and toxins while introducing oxygen. The Aqueon Quietflow is a large filter that is great for aquariums at least ten gallons or larger.

Pro: The Aqueon Quietflow has a unique LED indicator that signals when its debris cartridge needs changing. The cartridges are removable and reusable.

Con: The current of this filter can become relatively intense, so you should be aware of this when installing your new filter.

Furthermore, some people do not like the replacement filters of The Aqueon Quietflow. Although they are reusable, you must specially order these brand-specific items if they need repair. 

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5. Upettools Aquarium Pump (Up To 55 Gallons)

The Uppettols Aquarium Pump is another great filter which comes with multi-filtration which is exactly what you want in an aquarium filter. It uses ceramic media balls to harbor beneficial bacteria in your fish tank.

This filter is an internal filter that attaches to the sides of your Betta’s fish tank using a set of suction cups. There is a protective foam sleeve on the exterior that prevents debris from entering and fish from being sucked inside.

Pro: This filter pays special attention to biological media, so if you have a heavily stocked tank, it’s definitely a great choice for you!

Con:  The design of the Uppettols Aquarium Pump is evasive in your fish’s territory. If you have a small tank, this filter can take up a lot of room. 

UPETTOOLS Aquarium Biochemical Sponge Filter Ultra Quiet Aquarium Air Pump Bio Sponge Fish Tank Foam Filter Comes with 2 Sponges 2of Bio Ceramic Media Balls
  • 【Multi-filtration Functions】Upettools sponge filter combines a single scientific 7-layer ribbing shape sponge design, which can quickly establish a bio-filter, improve purifying water quality, and the oxygen port can rotate 360 degrees without dead ends, keep your fish tank crystal clear and clean.

6. MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter

The MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter is an aquarium filter that also comes with a rotating bio-wheel. This power filter goes through multiple stages as it filters the water, with the ability to filter up to a 75 gallon tank. The Penguin Bio-Wheel comes in various sizes, accommodating all fish tank sizes.

Pro: The Penguin Bio-Wheel is an affordable filtration system that is perfect for small betta tanks or large fish tanks with a betta in them! In addition to being an affordable investment itself, all cartridges for the Penguin Bio-Wheel are affordable.

The cartridges are also interchangeable with several other brands, which means MarineLand allows its consumers to use more affordable brands when you can find them.

Con: The biological filtration of the Penguin Bio-Wheel is considered outdated to some people. Given it is a wheel, people have also claimed that cleaning these types of filters is an unenjoyable experience.

Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter 150 GPH, Multi-Stage Aquarium Filtration,black, 20 – 30 Gallon Aquarium, 150 GPH
  • WITH ROTATING BIO-WHEEL: Patented Bio-Wheel technology provides excellent wet/dry biological filtration.
  • MULTI-STAGE FILTRATION: Delivers mechanical, chemical and biological aquarium filtration to maintain a clean aquatic environment.
  • MARINELAND FILTRATION PRODUCTS: Count on Marineland brand for the most reliable, technically advanced aquariums and accessories on the market.

7. Tetra Whisper Power Filter (5-60 Gallons)

If you have a bigger fish tank, then this is definitely the filter for you! It’s main selling point is how quiet it is, so it won’t disturb you or your betta! And while it’s great at cleaning your tank, the main concern with this filter, once again is the fact you’ll need to buy specific filter media for it!

Pros: The quietest filter on this list which means it won’t disturb you or your betta.

Cons: You need to buy filter media specifically made for it.

Tetra Whisper IQ Power Filter 10 Gallons, 105 GPH, with Stay Clean Technology
  • QUIET AQUARIUM FILTER: The Tetra Whisper IQ Power Filter with Stay Clean technology contains a sound shield for quiet filtration less than 40 dB.
  • SELF PRIMING: Submerged motor starts up with no priming required.
  • CAPACITY: The Tetra Whisper IQ 10 Power Filter works in filters up to 10 gallons (105 GPH).
  • STAY CLEAN TECHNOLOGY: By maintaining healthy pH levels, creates easier maintenance for healthier fish.
  • CARTRIDGE REFILLS: Change cartridges monthly; uses medium-sized Tetra Whisper Bio-Bag Filter Cartridges (refills sold separately).

What to Consider When Choosing Your Betta’s Filter

In addition to basic requirements such as producing adequate filtration, there are many other things to consider when purchasing your betta’s filter. For example you should focus on what will make the most efficient and comfortable environment for them. 

A good filter for your betta fish will not make excessive noise, and it should also take up minimal space. On top of this it should also be powerful enough to get the job done, but gentle enough to now create a powerful flow.

And of course, if budget is an important factor, it is important to consider price points before investing in your filter. 

Noise Level

The amount of noise that your filter makes is critical when investing in a new betta fish filter. An aquarium filter that does not make a lot of noise will keep your household peaceful. It’s important to remember if your filter is on the exterior of your tank, consider the splashing noises it could make.

Filter Size

The size of your Betta’s filter should be an adequate ratio compared to your aquarium. The ideal Betta fish filter will not overtake a large portion of your Betta’s tank. Smaller filters mean that you will make a smaller impact on your Betta’s living environment.

Tank size

When choosing your Betta’s filter, remember to consider the size of your fish tank. You must choose a filter that supports the number of gallons in your tank. For instance, you do not want a filter for a 50-gallon tank running in a 5-gallon tank.

Strength of the Filter

The strength of your aquarium filter can have a major impact on your betta fish. The best aquarium filters have numerous settings so that you may adjust the filter’s current to your betta’s preferred speed. 

Internal Vs External Filters

The internal or external position of the filter in your tank can impact how well it filters bacteria and toxins from your aquarium. It can also impact several other factors, including noise, the amount of space it takes up, the stress it causes your Betta, and more.


There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a filter when you can find some of the best Betta fish filters at affordable price points. Consider your budget when investing in a filter, but never pinch pennies when investing in this highly important piece of equipment. Purchasing a good filter from the beginning will save you money on tank maintenance and fish care in the long run!

The Media (Cartridge material)

The material used in the cartridge for your filter is something many fish owners like to consider before purchasing their filter. In a filter, there are three main types of filtration to look for:

  • Mechanical for removing debris
  • Chemical for removing chemicals
  • And biological for harbouring beneficial bacteria which remove ammonia.

All of these are a necessary part of the filtration process, so make sure you’re figuring out a way to add all of them into your tank!

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Can A Filter Be Too Strong For A Betta?

Some filters can be too strong for your Betta because of the intense currents they create inside your tanks. If a current becomes too strong, it may deter your betta from swimming around in their tank. 

How Do You Lower The Strength Of Your Betta’s Filter?

You can usually lower a strong filter through the filter settings. There are several other ways you can decrease the strength of the filter current, such as placing a filter sponge in front of the filter. You may also put living plants or other aquarium decorations in front of your betta fish filter.

Is A Filter Bad For Betta Fish?

Filters are great for Betta fish because they add oxygen to the water, keep your tank clean, and remove harmful bacteria from your Betta’s water. An aquarium filter can be harmful to your Betta fish if you use a filter that is too strong for your fish or that takes up too much room in your fish tank.


Aquarium filters are highly beneficial to Betta fish because they create a more clean and beneficial bacteria environment. When purchasing a filter for your Betta fish, keep in mind that you must focus on different elements like size, sound, and strength. If you are familiar with filter specifications, you may want to experiment with different chemical or mechanical components of filters.

The many different elements of Betta fish filters will make a huge impact on your Betta fish’s health. Filters promote the growth of beneficial bacteria like good algae, and at the same time, it removes things like ammonia, which comes from fish waste. The best fish filters constantly circulate water and promote cleanliness in the aquarium. 

Some of the best filters in betta fish tanks are the Mignon Filter 60 and Aquaclear Cycleguard. These are reliable and adjustable filters that are great for small Betta fish tanks. These small tanks are minimally evasive and will not cause the same type of stress to your Betta fish as other filters may.

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