8 Best Filter For Bettas (And Why You Need One)

Betta fish require a reliable fish tank filter that will remove harmful toxins and circulate water in the 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. 

The best aquarium filters for Betta fish keep your tank clean, circulate water, and filter harmful toxins and debris.

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 your tank. With a filter in your tank, you are more likely to prevent illness.

Filters promote good health for Betta fish because they keep their environment clean. After the filtration process, a good filter will preserve beneficial bacteria so your Betta can thrive. The goal of a filter is to create an environment that promotes fish health with beneficial bacteria.

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.

Filtering Toxins

Filters remove and prevent the build-up of harmful toxins like ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites from your Betta’s fish tank. A good filter in your Betta’s take 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. According to Pet Helpful, oxygen is an important component of Betta fish survival since it helps them breathe underwater. The filter continuously pumps oxygen into the tank so your Betta can breathe as they swim.

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, algae, 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. Filters are great for preventing stagnant water, which can cause high levels of carbon dioxide to form. Carbon dioxide in the water will poison your fish. 


Without a filter in your Betta’s aquarium, your fishy friend can become stressed. Stress can be fatal to Betta fish, so you must ensure they have a safe environment by putting a filter in their tank.

How Is A Betta Fish Filter Used?

There are many uses to Betta fish filters in addition to filtering out bacteria and grime, such as circulating and cleaning your fish tank. The primary goal of filtration systems is to create a healthier environment for your Betta fish.

A Filtering Device

Betta fish filters have a primary focus on filtering your Betta fish’s aquarium water. They remove harmful pollutants, debris, and toxins from the water and filter them through their device before producing oxygen into the Betta’s water. 

An Aeration Device

Betta fish filters function as an aeration device to add oxygen to the water. Increasing the oxygen levels of the water is one of the main functions of fish filters. It is also one of the most important functions of the fish filters too because it prevents the Betta’s aquarium water from absorbing carbon dioxide.

A Circulation Device 

The aquarium filter is a circulation device that continuously moves water throughout the tank. As it moves water throughout the tank, it prevents the water from becoming stagnant. This way, no bacteria or grime can form on the surface of the water.

A Cleaner

Betta fish filters act as cleaners to prevent harmful bacteria from forming in the water of your Betta’s aquarium. As a cleaner, filters remove surface grime and continuously suck waste from the water to prevent bacteria from forming in the water. As a cleaner, this ensures a clean aquarium, which means that your Betta’s water is clear and their environment is fresh.

A Flow Creating Device

An important function of the aquarium filter is its artificial currents. Aquarium filters act as circulators to create smooth underwater currents in your Betta’s aquarium. As a gentle fish, your Betta prefers a gentle current that they can swim in with ease. In most cases, you can adjust the intensity of the flow rate.

A Conditioner

After going through the filter, water comes out softer and smoother. It is important that tropical fish like Betta have soft water in their tank. As the filter acts as a conditioner, it ensures that your Betta fish swims in soft water that is suitable for it.

Which Filter is Best for Your Betta?

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

There are many great aquarium filters. Below are some of the best aquarium filters for Betta fish tanks. Each of these filters has its benefits in addition to its drawbacks.

Mignon Filter 60

The AZOO Mignon Filter 60 is a great filter for Betta fish. It is the perfect, affordable filter for small tanks between three and ten gallons. The small, non-evasive design of the Mignon Filter is natural, so it will not stress your Betta as they explore their tank.

Pro: The Mignon Filter has adjustable settings, so you can manually choose the speed of your tank current. The replaceable cartridges make disposing of debris and waste easy.

Con: The Mignon Filter hangs on the sides of aquariums, which can be a drawback for people who have covered tanks. Additionally, the small size of this filter means that it is not ideal for large tanks.

Aqueon Quietflow LED PRO

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 goes through 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 necessary replacement filters of The Aqueon Quietflow. Although they are reusable, you must specially order these brand-specific items if they need repair. 

Rio Mini 50

The Rio Mini 50 is a small filtration system that is perfect for maintaining a clean and fresh Betta fish tank. The small tank is sleek and fully submersible, which means that it sits fully inside your aquarium to ensure all bacteria and toxins are fully filtered. The Rio Mini 50 is an internal filter that can accommodate any shape tank below five gallons.

Pro: The miniature filtration system, Rio Mini 50, operates quietly and is perfect for a small aquarium. The output speed of the Rio Mini 50 is adjustable so that you can change the current speed for your Betta. You can also change the direction of the filter.

Con: The Rio Mini 50 attaches to the side of the tank using suction cups. Some fish owners do not like suction cup attachments because they can become less effective over time.

AquaClear Cycleguard Power Filter

This hang-on back (HOB) AquaClear Cycleguard is a waterfall filter that creates a natural current for your Betta fish. The AquaClear Cycleguard is a small external attachment that you can clip onto remotely any part of your aquarium’s brim. It uses multi-stage filtration to remove harmful bacteria and preserve good bacteria.

It is a reliable system that will clean up to seven times better than other tank filters, which means it is good if your Betta is in a tank with other fish too.

Pro: The AquaClear Cycleguard 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.

Marina Slim S10 Power Filter

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. 

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.

Upettools Aquarium Pump

The Uppettols Aquarium Pump is a powerful filter that uses ceramic to remove harmful bacteria from 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: Ceramic purifies the water before it is filtered and oxygenated. The assembly and design of the Uppettols Aquarium Pump focus on purifying the water.

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. 

Aqueon LED 7.5 Gallon Shrimp Aquarium Kit

The Aqueon LED 7.5 Gallon Shrimp Aquarium Kit is a helpful kit made by Aqueon that comes with a filter, heat lamp, and fish tank all in one. The size of this tank is perfect for a Betta, and the gentle filter is suitable for their easy-going lifestyle, in addition to its adjustable speeds.

This filter is attached to the wall which means it does not take up any room from your Betta’s environment. If you need to, you can replace it with another filter later on if it is not suitable for your Betta. In the beginning, it is a great starting point. 

Pro: This silent filter has an external carbon cartridge that you can replace. The exterior replacement means that you do not need to get dirty while cleaning your filter.

Con: The Aqueon Aquarium Kit filter is attached inside the wall of the fish tank. That means that it cannot be removed for deep cleaning. It is a great starting point for beginner fish owners, but it can become unclean in the long run.

MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter

The MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter is an aquarium 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 twenty-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 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.

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. When choosing your Betta’s filter, you should focus on what will make the most efficient and comfortable environment for your Betta. 

A good filter for your Betta fish will not make excessive noise, takes up minimal space, and has good strength. You should acknowledge the type of filter you are purchasing to ensure that it is compatible with your tank. 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. If your filter is on the exterior of your tank, consider 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 versus 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 item. Purchasing a good filter from the beginning will save you money on tank maintenance and fish care.

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, the media is a biological component that water passes through to create beneficial bacteria. It is a necessary part of the filtration process, which many fish owners may care to choose the type of media they use.

Mechanical Layering

It is never too early for a beginner fish owner to start learning about the mechanical layering of filters. In most filters, the first layer is a sponge that filters all debris from passing through. The mechanical layers of the filter are cleaned the most frequently, and you will empty them the most often. Choosing a mechanical layering that is suitable for you can make upkeep much easier.

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Do Bettas Need Aquarium Filters?

Betta fish do not require a filter in their aquarium (especially if they have a labyrinth organ), but it is highly recommended to give your Betta an aquarium filter. If you do not include a filter in your aquarium, you still need an oxygen source for your Betta, such as a living plant.

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

Can A Filter Be Too Strong For A Betta?

Some filters can be too strong for your Betta because of the intense currents these strong filters may create inside your tanks. If a current becomes too strong, it may deter your active Betta from swimming 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.