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

Betta fish require a filter and a heater in their tank to thrive. A filter is necessary to maintain water quality and remove harmful toxins, while a heater ensures the water temperature remains between 75-80°F, which is essential for their health. Without this essential equipment, betta fish may become stressed and susceptible to diseases. For details, continue reading.

Whether a question emerges “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 splendid is regarded as one of the beginner-friendly fish to care for. So, taking care of them is not rocket science. However, does that mean betta fish don’t need any filters in the aquarium?

Conflict questions:

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 of any kind of floating debris and particles (the most popular mechanical filter is a filter pad). 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 odors from the water.

Can Betta Fish Survive Without A Filter?

The simplest answer is yes, betta fish can survive without the need for a filter whether it is male betta fish or female betta fish. 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 fish 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 degrees 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.

Betta Behaviors

Just like their outer appearance, betta splendens are also interesting in their way of living and behavior. However, they are also complex at times.

As a betta fish owner, did you know that betta fish recognizes its owner and swims around after seeing the owner? Or the fact that they stay awake during the day and sleep at night?

This little fish’s behavior makes anyone curious to know more. Betta fish prefers to be alone but he does not feel lonely. They are also beautiful and elegant territorial tropical fish. Betta fish is generally an aggressive fish and here are some more behavioral details of betta fish.


Betta fishes are curious little things. When you put something in their fish tank, they will notice it. They will even swim around and inspect those things. do betta fish need a fo

Betta Fish When Happy:

“The way to a person’s heart is through his/her stomach” isn’t only true for human beings. The same can be applied to betta fish.

Betta fish eats a lot when they are cheerful. The appetite is never-ending. When your betta fish is happy, it will start eating immediately after you put the food in the tank. That’s a sign that your betta fish is healthy.

Betta Fish When Depressed:

As I said a moment ago, the betta fish eats a lot when it’s happy. On the other hand, if you notice that the betta fish is not eating immediately after you are giving it food, that’s probably because your fish is stressed or unhappy.

Betta Fish When Sick:

Another sign of a healthy and happy betta fish is continuous swimming. But, if your fish does not swim much or does not keep going up and down when you approach them, and if don’t find them as aggressive fish it is a concerning sign.

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 there.

Adaptation Skill:

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

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter?

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 the 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. You also may use a water conditioner depending on your tape water.

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 beneficial 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 Keep Tank Temperature In Balance:

Does a betta need a filter? yes, 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 Changer

You should never change the water completely even when you are using a filter. That will clear off all the beneficial 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 gravel, 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 (Topmost reviewed Best Filter For Betta Tank ) I recommend and why:


1. Azoo Mignon Filter 60

If you are going to start your betta fish care with a smaller tank, the Azoo Mignon 60 will be the most suitable filter for your tank. It is easy to set up and has a power control system. Your betta will feel safer and enjoy its surfing moments more safely with this filter.  

Why Should You Buy It?

MAGNON FILTER 60 (One of the best betta fish filters)
MAGNON FILTER 60 (One of the best betta fish filters)


If you are a starter with a betta fish, that is already crazy enough. Being a beginner with filters brings another drama to your already new fish-parent experience.

The Azoo Mignon 60 is a beginner-friendly tank filter. It only takes a few minutes for you to figure out how it works.

Replaceable Parts:

The attachments or media that come with the filter might not last long. But you don’t have to worry as they are easily replaceable. In fact, replacing them will help the filter last a very long time.

Suitable For Small Tanks:

Azoo Mignon 60 tank filter is suitable for small tanks. You can set it up in a fish tank that holds up to 3.5 gallons or 15 liters of water.

Flow Control:

If you are using the filter in a small fish tank, the water flow or current should be under a certain level. Thanks to the Azoo filter’s flow rate adjust system, you can control the flow as your fish requires. If it is running at a lower rate, the fish will be more comfortable and stress-free in calm water.

Easy Set-Up And Cleaning:

The filter is very easy to set up. It takes only three to four steps to adjust completely. Cleaning the media and tubes is also simple.

  • Suitable for beginners
  • The flow rate is adjustable
  • Medical and chemical filtration
  • The sponge cover protects betta from harm
  • Flimsy media
  • Not suitable for a larger tank

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

2. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

Rather than thinking out of the box, let’s talk about something inside the box or the tank. You have already known that bettas prefer to swim in a quiet environment. So, you need to consider buying a filter that won’t make much noise.

The Aqueon Internal Filter is that kind of filter. And it can do the filtration from inside the tank as it is submersible.

Aqueon Quietflow - One of the best betta fish filter
Aqueon Quietflow betta fish filter

Why Should You Buy It?

Submersible Filter:

You can set up this filter inside your tank rather than outside. That’s because this filter is submersible. And being underwater is not going to do any damage to it.

Versatile Design And Smaller Size:

Your fish tank or aquarium is meant to add a new look to your living room or wherever you choose to keep it. So you would want to make sure everything about it is versatile.

In that case, the Aqueon Internal Filter will help you keep versatility in check. The filter is small in size and is designed to look suitable in your fish tank.

Three Stages Filtration:

While the Azoo Mignon 60 filter does a two-stage filtration, the Aqueon filter does a three-stage powerful filtration. It provides biological, chemical, and mechanical filtrations. A combination of these three keeps the tank clean and the environment healthy.

If You Can Handle The Toughness:

It is easy to install this filter as it does not come with lots of media. However, maintaining this filter may require a bit of patience and skill.

Some of its parts are a little hard to reach and can take a while to maintain. But once you get used to it, you will love how easily this filter adapts.

  • Noiseless filter
  • Three-stage filtration
  • Versatile design and submersible
  • Adapts easily
  • Hard to maintain

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

And finally, I have the AquaClear fish tank filter on my recommendation list. This filter is powerful, effective, and comes on a regular budget. It is suitable for medium to large tanks and does a great filtration job.

Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter-  best betta fish filter for betta tank

Why Should You Buy It?

Suitable For Large Fish Tanks:

If you are planning to get a large fish tank for your betta, I suggest you purchase the AquaClear fish tank filter. It has the capacity to filter up to 20 gallons of water. The powerful filtration allows you to maintain your large tank without going through a lot of work.

Noiseless Filtration:

Filtration noise is irritating not only for the fish. The non-stop sound can be annoying for you too. In this case, the AquaClear filter will be relaxing for you. Its filtration is noiseless and it will not stress out the bettas.

Control The Flow:

Don’t let the flow rate control your tank water current. You can adjust the flow rate with the adjustability system and keep the current under control. You can lower the flow down to 50%.

Powerful Filtration Stages:

This filter works on 3 stage filtrations: chemical, biological, and mechanical. But that is half of its filtration quality.

It also comes with a refiltration feature. That means the media will be in contact with a lot of water. And this process will keep the tank cleaner.

Easy Set-Up:

This filter will hand on the outer area of your fish tank. So setting it up won’t be an issue even if you are a beginner. You can set it up within 8-10 minutes by following the instructions manual.


  • Three-stage filtration
  • Noiseless filter
  • Suitable for 20 gallons tank size
  • Easy to set-up
  • Adjustable flow rate


  • No sponge filter
  • Can cause slight vibration

So, 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?

Your Fish May Die

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 in water washes off beneficial 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 fins. 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 fish alive for a long time.

NB. In our other article, we reviewed on best ammonia removal, you may like.

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 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:

  • Chemical filtration
  • Mechanical filtration
  • Biological filtration

Chemical Filtration:

You can understand from the name how this filtration process works. Chemical filtration helps remove harmful chemicals from your tank water. And chemical filtration happens with activated carbon.

Activated carbon is known for removing any kind of toxic chemical to keep the water clean. Activated carbon works as the charcoal used for this filtration heats up. The heat absorbs whatever chemical that needs to be removed.

However, activated carbon saturates over time. It needs to be changed at least once a month. And if your tank is crowded, the change has to be more frequent. NB. You can clean activated carbon for reuse.

Mechanical Filtration:

Mechanical filtration is basically physical filtration. In this process, you push the water through the filter media. Here, the media acts as a strainer.

Using this process, you can clean up floating debris, uneaten food, fish feces, etc. Though it does not guarantee a 100% cleanup of your tank cleaning this way is better than wastes remaining in the tank and making it stink.

Some filters come with sponges with larger holes. These types of filters are effective to catch more debris and keep the tank cleaner. The only downside of sponge filters is that they get clogged quickly.

Biological Filtration:

Biological filtration is most effective for tanks with a large number of chemicals. For the ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites that chemical filtration fails to clean, biological filtration can clean that.

This process converts ammonia into nitrites and nitrates are converted into nitrates. As nitrates possess lesser harm to your fish, biological filtration keeps your betta healthy.

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

What Is the Nitrogen Cycle? (A Clear Understanding)

Nitrogen Cycle on Betta fish Tank

The nitrogen cycle in aquariums is a process where different bacteria convert harmful wastes and release them back into the air. For your better understanding, here are some quick highlights of the cycle:

(a). Your tank and tank water contains many things. There is uneaten food that is decaying, fish feces, dead organisms, dead plants, etc. The bacteria in your tank will break these things down into ammonia.

And ammonia is known to be responsible for creating a poisonous atmosphere for your fish. The level of ammonia in your tank should be 0 ppm.

(b). Then another bacteria called Nitrosomonas turns ammonia into nitrite. Nitrites may not be as bad as ammonia.

But if it stays in the tank longer, it will cause more harm to your betta. That’s why the nitrite level should also be 0 ppm.

(c). And then, there are one more bacteria and it is called Nitrobacter. It breaks down nitrite and turns it into nitrates.

Nitrate is less harmful than nitrite and it is not as threatening as ammonia and nitrite. But the level of nitrate should be below 20 ppm.

(d). Finally, the live plants of the tank take away the nitrates from the water. And the whole process keeps repeating in the Nitrogen Cycle.

The biological filtration of your betta aquarium allows the bacteria to grow to let the nitrogen cycle be successful. In the nitrogen cycle, bacteria grow depending on the amount of oxygen that goes through your biological filter.

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 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 aquarium? 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.

Power Filters:

Almost every low-budget fish tank comes with a back. They are installed or set up at the back of the filter.

Using different in-tank tubes the water gets sucked up. Then the water passes through different media and reaches the filter box. And finally, it comes back to the filter again in the form of a waterfall.

Power filters are very easy to set up, which is why they are more popular. These filters fit almost all sizes of fish tanks. What I like more about this type of filter is the adjustable water flow system. It allows me to keep the current under control.

Marineland power filter can use as best betta fish filter

Our Recommended Power Filter for You: Our 1st choice is MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter. You can check the price on Amazon.

Tetra power filter is a best betta fish filter

Our 2nd choice is Tetra Whisper Internal Filter 3 to 10 Gallons, for Aquariums, in-Tank Filtration with Air Pump, Blacks & Grays (25816)

Another advantage of a power filter is that the media they come with are often replaceable. So, if you don’t like the ones they come with or get damaged, you can always change them.

These filters usually have sponges in them. The sponges are useful to keep the bettas from getting hurt and keep the tank clean at the same time.

However, power filters have slight disadvantages too. Unlike some other tank filters, power filters can be quite noisy. And if you are not a fan of constant filtering sound, it can be irritating.

Internal Filters:

You have already guessed it! The internal filters are the ones that you set up inside of your fish tank. In fact, it does not work unless it is being set up underwater. That’s why these filters are also known as submersible filters.

The internal filter works through two types of power sources: electric power or air pump. When the water gets filtered by the air pump, it creates bubbles. The bubbles create movement in water which helps with the filtration process.

Internal filters are of two types:

  • (i) Corner Filter
  • (ii) Sponge Filter
(i) Corner Filters:

There was a time when corner filters used to be very common. You would find them almost everywhere where there is a fish tank. That is because they don’t take up much space and do the job quietly sitting in the aquarium corner.

do betta fish need a filter like corner filter?
corner filter can use in betta fish tank

Corners filters are also called box filters because of their box-like design. And they are powered by an air pump. And being at the bottom of the tank keeps the airflow low. That is suitable for smaller fish tanks and good to keep your betta calm and stress-free.

Our Recommended Corner Filter: Dennerle Corner Filter, Black (5925) & AquaCity Corner Filter Aquarium Fish Tank Internal Air Driven Filter with Media XY-2008

(ii) Sponge Filters:

Sponge filters are ideal for betta tanks. They have low airflow and keep the tank clean through their regular two-filtration methods.

Sponge filters provide mechanical and biological filtrations. However, if you set up additional media, it can provide chemical filtration as well.

The filter has an air pump system that pumps the tank air. Then it pushes the air through the sponge filter tube. The bubbles created in this process draw the water and clear off the debris.

Sponge filters are very durable as well as inexpensive. And they do not take up much time to clean off if you are doing it from time to time. Besides your betta fish will be safe around the sponges.

On the downside, sponge filters take up space in your tank. As they are suitable for small tanks, you won’t get a better result if you use them in larger tanks. But using them in small ones can make the tank look crowded. [ Our recommended Sponge Filters is: Lefunpets Biochemical Sponge Filter Breeding Fry Betta Shrimp Nano Fish Tank for Aquarium Fish Tank 5 Gal-25 Gal].

Undergravel Filters:

Undergravel can use in betta fish tank
small Undergravel filter for small aquarium

I call this the undercover filter. If you are looking for a filter that would not be much visible, the under-gravel filter is for you. You place the mesh screen of the filter under the gravel of the tank and thus the name happened.

It has three parts: a plastic mesh screen, an air pump, and an outflow tube. This filter is very easy to set up and ideal for single betta housing in a smaller tank.

Though it is budget-friendly, it needs more frequent maintenance. And one part of the screen often gathers more debris than another which you will have to clear out.

Our Recommended Under gravel Filter for Betta Tank:

  1. Lee’s 15/20 Original Undergravel Filter, 12-Inch by 24-Inch
  2. Lee’s Pet Products ALE13200 Undergravel Fishbowl Filter, 1-Gallon [especially for small Betta tank]

HOB Filters:

AquaClear Hagen Power Filter is another best betta fish filter
Aqueon Quietflow HOB filter is another best betta fish filter

They are called Hang On the Back or HOB filters because they hang on the back of the fish tank. For starters, the HOB filters are the best. They are also suitable for freshwater tanks.

HOB filters are very useful for cleaning off your fish tank using all three filtration methods. This is one of the commonly used filter types and is suitable for small to large fish tanks. [click on the pictures to see the latest price on Amazon].

But, HOB filters require maintenance often. You need to clean the media every few days. Otherwise, they will get clogged and start to perform weakly.

Canister Filters:

Marineland small canister filter is best for betta fish tank

Canister filters are external filters for larger fish tanks. And they are widely used by professional fish keepers or hobbyist aquascapers who keep fish too.

The filter is usually kept underneath the tank or beside it, depending on the size of the filter and hose. It comes with an intake and an output hose. The canister of the filter is airtight. As a result, there is less loss of water because of evaporation.

Canister filters are more expensive than other regular filters. And the maintenance and cleanup take more effort. But you can be used an internal canister filter for your betta tank which is also affordable and valuable money.

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

You have learned what the different types of filters do. You have also to know 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.

How To Set Up Betta Fish Filter Into A Betta Tank?

Some fish tanks or aquariums come with filter compartments. But what if they don’t come with one? In that case, you need to set it up by yourself.

A betta tank setup with a betta fish filter is not expert-level work. Everyone can set up a betta tank but following the few steps instructions.

Depending on the type of filter you have, you can place it outside, on the back, or on the top of the filter. If you are using an internal filter, it has to be placed inside the tank but keeping a safe distance from the fish movement area.

And if it is an under-gravel filter, you can place it at the bottom of the filter and then cover it with gravel. The input and output suction media should be placed as instructed.

How Often Should The Filter Be Cleaned?

It is safe to say that you need to clean your betta tank filter once every four or five weeks. But if you are unsure of how often you should clean which betta tank filter, check this out:

HOB Filter: HOB filter needs to be cleaned once every two weeks, or at least once a month.

Sponge Filter: Since they come with sponges, they need more frequent cleaning which is once every two weeks.

Undergravel Filter: This one is tricky to clean as it stays under the gravel. But you need to vacuum the gravel twice a month.

Canister Filter:

This one does not require frequent cleaning. You can clean the canister filter once every three or four months.

How Often Should The Tank Be Cleaned?

Now, how often you should clean your betta tank depends on your tank size and whether or not you use a filter. A tank without a filter should be cleaned two or three times a week. And a tank with a filter needs cleaning once a week.

But by cleaning, I meant a change of water and cleaning off the gravel. If you don’t have a filter, you need to change at least 80% of the tank water. On the other hand, with a filter, you only need around 30%-40% water change.

And once a month you need to do a 100% water change. And while doing that, clean the tank with tank water only, not tap water. Cleaning the entire tank with tap water will clean off the good bacteria which is harmful to your betta.

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.

Food Habit:
  • Betta splendid 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.
  • Infusoria is ideal for newly hatched/ baby betta fish because infusoria are small enough to be eaten. They move and are very attractive to the baby betta. It can be purchased online or in some pet-fish stores. You also raise your own culture.
  • 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 the betta from the tank during the partial water change.
  • Remove betta from the tank only when you are changing 100% of the 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 male 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.

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/ betta bowl 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.


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 of 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 pet fish 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 is 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 the water almost every day and cleaning the tank more frequently. That’s why I always suggest everyone use a good filter for their pet fish tank.

~Happy Aquarist!

The Simple Guide to Caring for Your Magical Betta

~Walter James (Author)

To gather knowledge for proper care of your betta fish without harming his or her health, you may be tired of reading huge conflicting info from the different blogs!
But you can get simple and perfect solutions that will make your gorgeous little fish roomie live a happy and long life.

If you are interested to know all of reality, this Betta Care Guide can help a lot!

For details, click here.

Betta fish guide- The Simple guide to caring for your Magical betta- Walter James (Author)

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This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.