Do Betta Fish Need A Filter & A Heater? [A Details Analysis With Real Fact!]

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter And Heater

Whether a question emerge “Do betta fish need a filter or not“,  “Do betta fish need a Heater or not“, _ its response cannot be straight “YES” or “NO”! It depends on several aspects including tank size, tank mates, caring and so on. Before I have to make a decision, I need to gather some knowledge on betta’s natural habitat….

Have you ever noticed a vibrant colored fish at home or office or at a pet shop that looks like it is swimming around wearing a silky skirt? I bet you have and that’s a betta fish you saw and probably wanted to have.

Betta fish is originally called the Siamese fighting fish. These fishes are native to Thailand and they are freshwater fish. And there’s an interesting reason behind the name.

The word Siam means water in Thailand. And betta fish is notorious for its aggressive behavior. Thus it ended up with the name ‘Siamese fighting fish’.

Betta fish is regarded as one of the beginner-friendly fish to care for. So, taking care of them is not any rocket science. However, does that mean betta fish don’t need any filter in the aquarium?

Since I am in the hobby, there’s always been a debate or conflict on two questions: do betta fish need a filter and do betta fish need a heater?

The answers to these questions depend on things like the size of the fish tank or aquarium, the environment around the tank or aquarium, the setups, and how frequently they are cared for.

It might not be entirely necessary to use a heater or a filter, but depending on the above factors you might need them. I like to use a filter and a heater in my betta fish aquarium. And if you are planning to get yourself a betta fish, this article will help you go through everything you need to know.

What Does Filter Do?

If you are thinking about getting an aquarium, then you must’ve heard about filters. A filter is an equipment that will keep your aquarium water clean and fresh. In any type of aquarium, some type of filter is mandatory for keeping the fish healthy and active.
A good filter will offer 3 types of filtration to clean the aquarium water: Mechanical, Biological, and Chemical.

Mechanical filtration means cleaning the water from any kind of floating debris and particles. Through biological filtration, the filter gets rid of Ammonia and Nitrite from the tank water. And lastly, the chemical filtration stage helps to remove harmful chemicals as well as bad odor from the water.

Can Betta Fish Survive Without A Filter?

The simplest answer is yes, betta fish can survive without the need of a filter. You will find a betta fish almost in every home or office where there is a fish tank or aquarium. And all fish stores have them. And they are usually kept in tiny fish tanks without filters.

A betta fish will survive without a filter in its tank. But it won’t survive long if you do not change the water from time to time. That also means it will take more time and effort to keep the fish alive without a filter.

Betta Fish Requirements

Some fish owners give up on having fish because they fail to understand why their fishes are not surviving. But believe me, it is not that hard to maintain a healthy life for your betta fish.

Many people who do not want to go through the hassle of owning a big aquarium often go through the conflict of having a betta fish in a small fishbowl. But in that case, your betta fish requires a few things. And you can maintain them very easily.


Betta fish requires an ideal temperature to survive and thrive. It should not be below 76-degree Fahrenheit (24.4°C) and it should not be above 82 degrees Fahrenheit (27.7°C). You can use a thermometer to check the tank or fish bowl’s temperature.


Betta fishes are carnivorous. And they eat a lot. But you might end up overfeeding your fish and leading to problems if you are not careful. Though they usually eat insects and insect larvae, you can also feed them with bloodworms, shrimps, and frozen food. We can suggest more reviewed Hikari Fish Food is also ideal for a betta. You can try Omega One betta pellets, which contain Min Crude Protein 42%, Min Crude Fat 8%, Max Crude Fiber 2%, Max Moisture 8.5%, Max. Ash 8%. 

Better Feeding Instruction: Feed 1-3 times daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes.


Bettas are usually happy on their own. They don’t need a friend or other fish with them. The male bettas are more aggressive and will fight other fish, especially male ones if you keep them together. However, female bettas do not fight if kept with other females.

How Are Bettas Different From Other Fish?

Betta fish is different from other fishes in numerous ways. That’s why it ended up in our today’s topic. Here’s why they are different:

Low Oxygen Tolerance:

Not many fish will survive in a low oxygen environment. But a betta fish will. They can stay in low oxygen water for a very long time and will only come up to take air when needed.

Capability To Live In Small Space:

The reason people keep betta fish in tiny fishbowls is because of bettas’ capability to survive in there.

Adaptation Skill:

When it comes to survival skills in small water or a puddle, bettas will amaze you with their surviving skills. They adapt according to the environment.

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter In Their Tank?

As I have mentioned earlier, whether or not a betta fish needs a filter differs from situation to situation. First, let’s see and compare how bettas do with and without a filter.

Betta Fish Habitats Without Filter:

You don’t need to use a filter if you are using a tank or bowl with less than 2.5 gallons of water. Filtering current can cause more bad things to happen than good ones. The betta fin can get damaged and the strong current can make your fish depressed.

On the other hand, the fishbowl or tank will get dirty frequently without a filter. That means you need to change water frequently. Don’t change the entire bowl or tank water. Change only 30%-35% of it once a week. You can change all of the water once a month.

Betta Fish Habitats With Filtered Tanks:

For the sake of your betta’s good health, you need to add a filter. A filter will clean the extra food and feces from the water and will keep the bacteria level in balance.

Besides, using a filter will make your fish tank maintenance much easier. It will save you some time as well. So, if you are going to keep your betta fish in a larger tank, make sure to use a filter.

The challenging part of using a filter is monitoring the water flow. Because if it’s slow, the tank will not clean properly. And if it’s too fast, it will disturb the betta.

To take care of this issue, you can use a filter that was meant for a smaller tank than you have. You can use a filter meant to be used for 5 gallons of water while your tank can hold 10 gallons of water.

There are various types of filters that you can use in your betta fish tank:

Benefits of Betta Tanks with Filters:

The reason everyone talks about using filters in a betta tank is obviously for the benefits. And if you are looking for reasons to use a betta tank filter, here they are:

Just because the betta can live in a small oxygenated environment does not mean you should keep it that way. The filter allows the tank environment to be oxygenated. It is good for both the fish and the water plants inside your tank.

Increased amounts of ammonia can stress your betta. Ammonia poisoning is common when the water does not get filtered in time. It can even end up killing the betta by destroying its immune system.

Using a filter helps you reduce the risk and prevent the increase of bacteria. It also keeps the water clean by filtering the dirt.  The filter sponges protect the good bacteria that consume ammonia and balance the healthy environment of the tank.

Changing the water every week may not be possible all the time. At the same time, you won’t want your betta fish to get sick. But when the water stays clean with a filter, you can sit back and relax.

Does A Betta Need A Filter? What Do I Think?

Having a filter in your tank saves you a lot of things and from a lot of things. I always prefer having a filter in my fish tank because seeing my tiny, beautiful betta living in its own dirt makes me sad.

I’ll run you through the things that I have experienced from using a betta tank filter. And I believe this will make you interested to have one. So, let’s know what I pointed out below for you

To Keeps Tank Temperature In Balance:

Keeps tank temperature in balanced

The tank temperature can change drastically because of the surroundings. But the betta fish should be kept at a temperature between 76°F-82°F. Without a proper change of water or filtration, the temperature can drop and rise more than expected.

Our Recommended Aquarium Thermometer:

As the filter works, it works on the temperature too. It will only require you to pay small attention from time to time to check if the temperature is correct.

To Keeps Your Betta Fish Healthy:

Do you know what happens when you don’t change the water in time? The condition of the water and the tank environment gets worse. But that is not only unhealthy for your betta but also life-threatening.

Bad water conditions can cause problems such as stress, discoloration, and infection. It can even lead your betta to death very fast. It also happens when you are keeping fish in a bowl where you cannot use a filter.

That’s why I would recommend a tank for your betta rather than a bowl. You can easily set up a filter and save yourself from lots of unnecessary tasks. It is also healthy for your betta fish.

To Keeps Your Tank Clean:

No one will be happy to live with or in their own food waste and poop, not even a fish. Certain good bacteria develop in fish tanks that clean up such wastes. Filtration plays a big role in developing good bacteria to keep the tank clean.

To Minimizes Water Change:

Aquarium Water ChangerYou should never change the water completely even when you are using a filter. That will clear off all the good bacteria. That’s a task you need to do only once in a while.

You only need to change around 30%-40% of the water weekly. As for the algae or gravels, you can clean them off by vacuuming. A complete change of tank water can be done once a month.

For myself,  I am using Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer to change my fish tank Water. This is our recommended water changer below-

Now, as you have understood the need for a betta fish tank filter, here are three filters I recommend:

1. Azoo Mignon Filter 60

If you are a beginner and looking for something that will be easy to understand and handle, I recommend you to buy the Azoo Mignon 60 filter.

2. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

You can buy this filter (Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter) if you want something that will be noiseless and works efficiently on medium-sized tanks.

3. AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter

If you have or want to get a big aquarium for your betta, you need to get yourself this AquaClear filter. It is more suitable for large tanks and gives you and your betta a noiseless experience with a cleaner tank.

What Happens To Your Tank Without An Aquarium Filter?

Fish Die without Filter

Those who are not used to using filters in fish tanks might not see or feel any differences in their tank water or environment. But trust my words, things can go wrong fast if you are not using a filter.

From infection to a deadly disease, your betta fish can suffer from numerous problems when your aquarium does not have a filter. Here are the things that can happen to your tank without an aquarium filter:

An unfiltered tank can affect your betta’s mood and health. Without a filter, the tank environment will change. Your betta fish will be stressed if that happens.

Besides, without proper filtration or regular change of water, harmful bacteria will begin reproduction in the tank. This leads to different kinds of diseases and infections. In the end, the betta can die if things go wrong for a long time.

Without a filter, you will have to change the water more frequently. Not only is it a lot of work for you but also depressing for your fish. Moreover, frequent change of water washes off good bacteria from the tank.

Other than these, it will be difficult to keep the tank temperature under control. There is a possibility that the temperature will keep rising and falling with the constant change of water. And that is not good for your betta either.

This is why you need an aquarium filter for your fish tank. It is useful for both you and the fish.

Reasons To Use A Filter In Your Betta Tank

Why do you need to use a filter in your betta tank? My answer is, “why not?” You have various reasons to use a filter in your betta tank and here they are:

REASON-01: Removing Ammonia, Nitrites, And Nitrates

Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are poisonous to your betta. They can start by giving stress and end up taking the betta’s life.

When the tank water doesn’t get filtered properly, the amount of ammonia increases rapidly. The more amount of ammonia the less oxygen supply in the water will be. And it can give your betta stress or can cause ammonia poisoning.

Once the level of oxygen drops you will notice that the betta is gasping a lot in order to breathe. It will also suffer from inflamed eyes and fin. These are the red flags and they mean that your betta is in danger.

That’s why you need to get a tank filter. The filter comes with sponges that gather good bacteria. These bacteria lower the amount of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. And thus, the filter keeps the fishes alive for a long time.

REASON-02: Moves Water Around

The filtration process prevents the water from going stagnant. Water becomes stagnant when there is no movement in it. And this increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the tank.

But when you have a filter installed in your tank, the current will move the water around. It will keep the environmental elements in check.

REASON-03:Oxygenates Your Tank

Stagnant water is not responsible for increasing the amount of carbon dioxide only. It also prevents the tank from being oxygenated.

Filters help to oxygenate your fish tank. It not only helps your fish but also the water plant you use in the tank.

REASON-04: Less Water Change

I have discussed this a few times already and I will say it again. It might not be possible to change the bowl or tank water regularly if you are not using a filter.

Let’s say you are using a fishbowl. That could be easy to change the water. But it will still traumatize your betta.

Now imagine using a tank and needing to change the water often. As I said, it is going to be a nightmare. Because changing tank water consumes a lot of your time and energy. It drains out your betta as well.

But when you are using a filter, you don’t need to go through the trouble often. That’s why I urge fish tank owners to use filters.

What Type Of Filtration Methods Can Be Used In A Beta Tank?

The filtration methods are part of the nitrogen cycle. It is the process of breaking down the foods and wastes and then converting them into food again.

Extra food, scraps, and fish waste create a kind of toxic air in the environment which results in ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. The filtration process breaks down these toxic elements to balance the tank environment.

There are three filtration methods:

Besides, without these filtrations, you will have to clean tank water almost every day. Otherwise, your betta fish will suffer from various diseases.

What Type Of Filters Are Idyllic For A Betta Tank?

There might be only three methods for fish tank filtration. However, the types of filters for fish tanks are many. So, it is not difficult to choose from the available varieties.

There are filters that you can place outside your fish tank or have it hung on the tank. And then there are filters that you can place inside the tank. And if you want to keep your tank filter discrete, there are filters for that too.

But how would you know which type of filter is idyllic for your betta tank? Well, that depends on your filter size, type, environment, and a few other things. So, let’s have a look at a little more detail about the filter types to find the idyllic tank filter for your betta tank.

1 2 3 4 ………………….

Which Point Will You Follow To Select Your Filter for Betta?

You have learned what the different types of filters do. You have also known what advantages and disadvantages these filters have. Now it’s time to know about the points you need to follow or things you need to check for while buying your betta tank filter.

1) Filtration Methods:

I have already discussed the three filtration methods: chemical, biological, and mechanical. All these methods are necessary to be in your filter for your betta to be playful and healthy.

Expensive filters won’t guarantee safe filtration. So you need to make sure all three of the methods will work through your betta filter.

2)Water Flow Rate:

The betta fish needs to swim around in peace without the water current pushing it around or forcing it out of the way. If the water flow rate is too high, it will prevent the betta from living in the tank properly.

That’s why you need a filter that comes with flow rate control. It will allow you to keep the current under control and your betta happy.

3)Easy To Clean And Maintain:

If someone says that they love cleaning their fish tank or filter often, they are definitely lying. No one in this world likes to do that and neither will you.

And to save yourself from that frequent trouble, get yourself a filter that can be cleaned easily and does not cost much to replace. Filters with removable media are better options and they will last a very long time.


Is it safe for your betta’s health? That question’s answer should be positive when you are buying the filter. You don’t want to end up with a filter that will stress your betta and make it sick.

So, the brand of the filter quality has to be reliable. You may need to pay a few extra bucks but it will be worth it.

Does A Betta Need A Heater?

I find newbie fish lovers often coming up to me and asking, “Do betta fish need a heater?” And my answer would always be, “Yes, they definitely need heaters.”

Bettas are tropical fish and their health is governed by the water temperature. If you don’t use a heater, the temperature of the tank will depend on the surrounding environment. It is going to change throughout the day and will stress your betta.

So, the temperature in your betta tank should be between 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s lower, the betta will get sick and if it’s higher, the betta will age faster.

Taking Care Of Your Betta Fish [Check-List ]

To take proper care of your betta, you need to go through a checklist to make sure it is properly taken care of and is healthy. And there is how to take care of your betta fish and know it is doing great.

Click To See The Betta Care Check-List Here

Food Habit:
  • Bettas are carnivorous. So, they need food like bloodworms and shrimp, food that contains protein.
  • Food needs to be changed often as bettas tend to be picky.
  • Bettas are surface feeders. So make sure the surface of the water is cleared out of obstacles.
  • Feed twice a day.
  • Do not overfeed them.
Cleaning And Maintenance:
  • A clean environment is important for a betta.
  • Do not use soap to clean the tank or filter.
  • You can use white vinegar or regular bleach for proper cleaning.
  • Do not remove betta from the tank during the partial water change.
  • Remove betta from the tank only when you are changing 100% of water.
Other Plants And Decoration:
  • Betta feels happy when plants are added to the tank. It serves as a hiding place for them.
  • Do not use sharp fake plants.
  • Live plants help to keep the tank cleaner
A Healthy And Happy Betta Fish:
  • Never put two males or male-female bettas together in one tank. They will end up injuring or killing the other one.
  • Female bettas “may” live together without fighting.
  • If you are keeping two bettas in one tank, use a tank divider.


This is definitely one of the longest articles you have come across about betta. And if you are a beginner, I apologize if I have scared you off. It can be tough to remember everything I have pointed out so far. So here, I’ve decided to go through a recap about some of the most important points.

  • Betta Fish needs filters. It may live without one. But having a filter in the tank will keep the betta healthy and live for a very long time.
  • If you do not use a filter, you will have to change the water every day or at least a few times a week. This can make your betta depressed. But if you use a filter, you don’t have to change the water often.
  • Filters remove dirt and debris and clean the tank using three filtration methods: chemical, biological, and mechanical.
  • There are seven types of fish tank filters for you to choose from.
  • While picking a filter for your betta tank, make sure it comes with a controlled flow rate and easy to maintain.


I started this article with two important questions regarding betta: Do betta fish need a filter? And, do betta fish need a heater? Also, I went through everything I could come across about betta.

If you are going to start housing a betta, you need to know a lot more than you think. Hence, this long article is only to inform you of all those things.

Your betta fish might survive without a filter. But using a filter for the sake of your betta’s good health and long life is a plus.

Besides, a filter will save you from doing lots of extra work such as changing water almost every day and cleaning the tank more frequently. That’s why I always suggest everyone use a good filter for your betta fish tank.

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