Do Betta Fish Need A Filter? The Most Popular Question About Bettas

A fish filter is an essential gadget for a balanced and fresh aquarium ecosystem. It essentially cleans the debris in the water, removes the built-up toxicity of nitrates and ammonia, and aerates the water so that your pets can breathe.

Meanwhile, bettas can generally survive in a small bowl or tank without a special filtration system. So, a very typical question among beginner aquarists is, ‘do betta fish need a filter?’ or ‘do you know the best filter for betta?’

In most cases, the answer is ‘yes.’ On top of an aquarium heater filter, a fish filter will offer a clean and stable living environment to your fish. The animals tend to thrive better and live longer with an efficient filtration system.

Today, you’ll also get to know more about the upsides of using a fish filter, different types of filters, and how to select a good aquarium filter.


Benefits of Using A Fish Filter

Installing a filter brings plenty of upsides, which are exceedingly favorable for the general health of your betta friends. How does a fish tank filter work and benefit the creatures inside the tank? Let’s delve into it!

Water Paraments

The leading reason you want fish filtering in your aquascape is that it stops the increase in nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia.

Once any of those build up excessively in the water, it’s likely to become the culprit of your betta’s declined health.

Particularly, ammonia poisoning will foster stress levels and weaken a fish’s immune system.

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Fortunately, a filter comes in place with sponges that contain helpful bacteria feeding on nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia. As long as you keep an adequate amount of beneficial bacteria, all three factors will remain safe.

Move Water Around


A fish filter will stir the tank water around constantly.

Water standing still for an extended period will rapidly become stagnant. If you don’t stir the water around regularly, it will begin to absorb CO2 from the air.

That carbon dioxide not only harms your betta but also harms the pH level in the tank. Although you can deal with the issue with a decent air stone, it’s far more practical to use a fish filter instead.

Oxygenate The Tank

Keeping the water away from staying stagnant is not the only pros you need to set up a tank filter. The constant movement also helps oxygenate your aquarium.

Although betta fish have a functional labyrinth organ that enables them to receive O2 and breathe easily from the water’s surface, it’s imperative to other fish as well as plants in the tank.

You Don’t Have To Change Tank Water Too Often.

With a filtration system set up, you don’t have to change the water too often.

The major purpose of performing water changes is to help remove harmful chemicals and bacteria. A filter does an excellent job in this practice, so it’s no worry if you sometimes forget to change the tank water.

Just to remind you that it’s essential to carry out water changes because regular water refreshments will replenish vital nutrients or minerals for your bettas.

Otherwise, the fish will suffer from the lack of new minerals or new ‘energy.’

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter?

Thanks, in part, to the labyrinth organ, this species can breathe atmospheric air from the water’s surface.

That’s the reason breeders usually keep betta fish in an aquarium without a tank filter, as the fish can survive in tiny bowls or tanks.

However, the fish rely largely on frequent water changes. If the water remains the same for too long, particularly in a tiny vase or bowl, fungus and bacteria would eventually cause your pets to die.

In a word, betta can thrive without an aquarium filter, but it won’t live for a long time as when you install one in your aquascape.

With an efficient filtration system, the creatures can enjoy healthier living conditions and stay away from disasters.

Different Types Of Fish Filters

There is a wide range of different types of fish filters on the market for you to pick. It’s advisable to thoroughly weigh up each kind’s pros and cons to figure out the right one for your swimmers.

Corner Filter

People locate corner filters inside the tank, letting them free stand on the sand and gravel at the back corners. These gadgets are incredibly powerful yet don’t provide much oxygen. If your tank is relatively small, they’ll work just fine.

Canister Filter

Canister filters are among the best filters for a betta. These powerful pieces of equipment apply to larger tanks containing over 30 gallons of water.
The noteworthy downside to this type is the heavy maintenance. If you’re running a large aquarium setup with numerous creatures, it’ll be a nice option.

Undergravel Filter


Undergravel filters require little maintenance.

How Can You Tell It’s A Good Filter For Your Bettas?

When choosing the good filters for betta fish, you should take a deep look at the below factors:

  • Biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration: The lack of these three kinds of filtration will cause your fishy friends to fall ill.
  • Slow water flows: Too powerful water flow will push your fish around. Ensure to select a low flow filter for betta, or even cooler, a gentle filter for betta fish with an adjustable flow.
  • Easy clean-up and maintenance: Spending tons of time removing filter media will stress your animals out. Look for one that is easy to replace and remove with minor effort.


Do betta fish need a filter? Indeed, it’s well worth investing in a good-quality tank filter for your beloved bettas.

This piece of equipment offers the fish such superior benefits that they have proved it to be an outstanding choice for a home aquatic setup.

Despite maintenance requirements, effort, and cost, you’ll agree it’s a rewarding achievement to see your pets in glowing health.

Happy fish keeping!


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