5 Best Filters for Betta Fish Tanks

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Unfortunately, too mant people still keep their Bettas in small fish tanks with no filter installed. It is not that they can’t survive in those conditions, they certainly can.

However, if you want your Betta fish to thrive and be healthy then it is definitely recommended to get a filter.

These beautiful fish require proper care just like any other domesticated fish. By installing a filter, you do yourself a favor too. Without it, you need to change the water at least two times a week in order to keep it clean. The frequency, of course, depends on the size of your aquarium.

Either way, a filter can guarantee that your water will be clean for long-term without requiring you to change it. Thus, it saves you some time and energy while contributing to the well-being of your Betta fish. Not to mention that the accumulation of leftover foods, ammonia and other toxins can cause serious health issues.

Best Small Aquarium Filter for Betta Fish

Any experienced fish keeper would agree that filters are essential when keeping Bettas. We are going to help you to find the absolute best aquarium filter in the market by reviewing five of them. By reading our reviews, you will be able to make the right choice according to the type of fish tank you have.

With Bettas, what you want to avoid is strong water flow. Therefore, we are only going to show you those models that this species can comfortably live together with. In their natural environment, the Betta fish has used to still waters. A stronger filter would only make them stressed in the long term.

A good filter keeps the water oxygenated and also facilitates the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the water. These can be very useful because they take care of the waste that is generated in the tank over time. Now let’s get into it and see the 5 Betta Fish filters you can currently buy!

1. Hygger Quiet Aquarium Filter

Although this compact black box looks like it could be anything, it is actually one of the best aquarium filters out there. This model from Hygger is an adjustable internal filter that turns out to be really good for Betta Fish tanks.

It can potentially cycle 110 gallons of water through itself in the span of a single hour.

And the thing is that you won’t even notice anything because you will be barely able to hear it working. It comes with spray bars and an in-built 2-level system capable of cleaning all the aquarium water with ease. Its filtration system includes a polyfiber floss chamber and an activated carbon chamber.

These two are highly effective when it comes to cleaning your tank for all the particles, odors, waste and other contaminants. Since it is adjustable, all you need to do is to figure out the ideal water flow for your Bettas and the filter will guarantee that it’s going to stay constant.


2. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

This internal filter by Aqueon looks simple and it’s simple to use it as well. Despite how minimalistic it looks like, it actually has a lot of cleaning potential.

For a 10-gallon Betta fish aquarium, it is an outstanding choice.

It can clean as much as 57 gallons of water every hour and it comes with one replaceable catridge that is easy to handle.

You can test it out on your own whether it’s better to use it in a vertical or a horizontal position. What is going to be the best feature for your Betta fish is that you can adjust the flow rate.

Set it to generate a slow and gentle flow and your fish will have no problem swimming around it. Its 3-stage filtration system comes with a dense foam, activated charcoal and a BioGrid for thorough cleaning.

If you want to ensure clean water for your Bettas in the long run, then this Aqueon model is going to satisfy their needs.


3. MarineLand Penguin Filter

The MarineLand Penguin is powerful enough to keep your aquarium water clean, yet it won’t bother your Betta fish at all. It comes with a really simple, yet effective 3-stage filtration system.

With the catridges that come with it, this filter will clean the water up from all the debris, toxins and discoloration.

Even if you put it into an aquarium that is contaminated with high levels of nitrates and ammonia, it will do a great job dissolving those unwanted chemicals.

With the MarineLand Penguin, noise is not something you will be concerned about. Thanks to its noise-reducing covers, it is as quiet as it needs to be.

All in all, it is convenient, easy to use and highly effective. Although it is not adjustable, you will have to choose a model that is not too powerful for your Bettas. You can solve this problem by installing two of the weaker models in your fish tank.


4. Boxtech Aquarium Hang On Back Filter

This Boxtech fish tank filter is made from completely safe materials, which is not very common among aquarium filters overall. It is rather rare among manufacturers to use ABS plastic for this purpose.

They not only make the filter safe but also highly durable. If you buy it, you can be sure that it will stay with you for years.

Now since we looked up some really quiet filters for you, this one is no exception. This Boxtech model is not going to affect the life of your fish in any way except making the water cleaner for them. While its motor is realiable, it is designed to be as quiet as possible.

The motor generating too much water flow is not going to be an issue here. You can simply adjust it whenever you want and your Betta fish are going to feel comfortable around it.

The multifunctional 3 in 1 filter built into the product will run the water through a layered filtering process. The result is going to be a well-cleaned aquarium every time.


5. Whisper In-Tank Filter

This filter has been introduced to the market by the manufacturer Tetra and we can only recommend it for a 10-gallon Betta Fish tank.

When installing this filter, you have two options. You can either mount it with two suction cups or just hang it using a hanger.

As its name suggests, the Whisper is so quiet that you or your fish are not even going to hear it. The other huge benefit is that you can position it however you want. Even if the filter’s back pushes against the wall, the water flow is still going to be the same.

With its 3-stage filtration system, the water in your aquarium is going to be cleaner than ever. It does a great job collecting all the debris and waste accumulated in the tank.

Then, the second layer takes care of all the odors and discoloration. Finally, the Bio-foam puts all the beneficial bacteria into effect and dissolves the nitrates and ammonia that gets in its way.


How to Choose a Filter for Betta Fish?

If you are about to get a filter for your Betta Fish, the main thing you should think about is low flow power. This species simply can’t stand strong water currents. Your choice will obviously depend on the size of your aquarium too.

The ideal filter is the one that cycles all the water through itself four times every hour. So let’s say you know the gallons per hour output of the filter. If you have a 5-gallon tank, you multiply it by 4 and what you get is a filter with a 20-gallon output per hour.

This calculation applies only for an empty tank so make sure to buy a slightly more powerful one if there are a lot of plants and decoration in it. A surefire way to minimize the water current is to buy two or three weaker filters.

Can a Filter Be Too Strong for Betta?

It certainly can and it will quickly make your Betta fish stressed, which is not good for his health. If the fiter is too strong, you will notice that your fish has a hard time swimming around. It is like when the wind is too strong on the street and you can barely walk.

Furthermore, your Betta should swim straight instead of swimming in a curve. If he does it all the time, then it might be a sign that the current caused by the filter is too strong. The most obvious sign is when your fish avoids the area of the filter all the time.

The Betta quickly learns that it’s not pleasant to be around that current. Now this species loves to hide between plants and decoration every now and then. However, if this happens all the time, then you should probably check if your fish is bothered by the filter.

How to Lower Filter Water Flow?

There are four ways to reduce the water flow of your filter. Firstly, you can drill bigger holes into it. A bigger hole will allow you to insert a bigger intake pipe. Thus, you are going to reduce the turbulence in your filter and it will result in weaker water flow.

Secondly, you might need to buy a denser sponge. The sponges that manufactures give with the filter are often too loose. This means that the water flows through it too quickly. In this case, you can guarantee a softer flow by cutting out a denser sponge and changing it.

The easiest method is to simply lift up the filter so that a part of it is above the water line. This also somewhat reduces the turbulence. And the last thing you can do is to make a spray bar. You can also buy one but it’s really easy to make one at home.

With a spray bar, you can make the water flow through small holes along the tube, which is the most effective way to create a low current.

Can Betta Fish Live Without a Filter?

If you put them into a tank that doesn’t have a filter nor a heater installed, your Betta Fish is going to survive. However, this doesn’t change the fact that this is not how Bettas should be kept at home. Many people think they can keep them in small bowls without any equipment but that is simply not healthy.

As a result, the lifespan of the fish is going to be greatly shortened. Also, their immune system is going to get so bad that many fatal diseases are going to be right around the corner for them. Bettas kept in such bowls without a filter are very stressed, weak and miserable overall.

If you are aware of the needs of your fish, then you should by all means install at least a filter. As a result, your Betta fish is going to live a long and healthy life.

Can You Turn Off Betta Filter at Night?

What you should turn off at night is the lighting in your fish tank. Turning off the filter is not a good idea for various reasons. The reasons are all the different kinds of toxins and bacteria that can accumulate in those hours. You just give too much time for them to contaminate the water enough so that it causes health problems to your Betta fish.

Your fish might sleep at night but that doesn’t mean that the toxic chemicals in the water stop being active. Filters are crucial for keeping up the healthy nitrogen cycle in the aquarium because that is where all the useful microbe colonies can be found.

Also, the Oxygen flow is not only important for your fish but for the microbes as well.

How Often to Clean Betta Filter?

This is a part of your aquarium that greatly contributes to the quality of water in it. You should fit it into your routine to clean it every now and then, thus ensuring that your Betta fish live a healthy life. The filter is not something you should clean too often.

It is where most beneficial bacteria can be found. These bacteria together act as a biological filtration system for your aquarium which is very useful. By cleaning the filter frequently and thoroughly, you will also get rid of a huge portion of these bacteria, if not all of them.

When it comes to sponge or hang-on filters, you generally need to clean them every couple of weeks. If you have an in-tank filter, it is enough to clean it once a month. A canister filter, however, only needs to be cleaned every three months.


There you go, now you have the 5 best Betta Fish filter options and plenty of information on which one to choose! When it comes to filters, the main point is to get rid of all the debris, bacteria and other contamination that can be found in the water.

With a good filter, you don’t even need to think about these factors. The water in your aquarium will be clean enough for your Bettas to stay completely healthy. And, of course, the water flow will be low enough so that it won’t bother them in the long run.

Now the only thing you need to do is to order the filter you liked the most online and install it once it arrives. The results will speak for themselves.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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