The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

Best Filter for a Betta Fish

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A healthy and pleasant environment is vital for the existence of every living being, and the beta fish is no exception. Betta fish has a unique organ known as a labyrinth because this gives the Betta, the ability to breathe the air outside of water, which leads to the misunderstanding that this fish does not require a filter and can live in dirty water.

Allowing your fish to live in these conditions will make it challenging to keep your fish disease-free. To avoid these diseases, one can either change the water frequently or install a filter, which will help in removing toxins from the water. The safest and easiest way is by having a gentle and slow filter, which will help to maintain a nourishing environment as changing the water too often may cause stress in Betta fish.

Best Filter for Betta Fish Tank

1) AquaClear 20 Power Filter

This filter is practical, easy to use, and clean. It is HOB (hang on Back), which sits outside of the tank, which makes the cleaning job of filter media easier without disturbing the fishes.

It comes with biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration. It can fit seven times more filtration media as compared to other similar models, thus making the tanks cleaner and more transparent.

This filter keeps the noise to a minimum level. It is ideal for aquariums that range from 5-20 gallons. Depending upon the size of the tank, this filter will allow you to control the flow rate without compromising the filtration efficiency.

2) Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

Fully submersible in the aquarium, this filter is useful in keeping the tank clean by providing the three stages of filtration. This filter also provides a dense foam that will help to get rid of debris. The activated carbon, which gets rid of toxins, discoloration, and odors. While the patented BioGrid, which removes nitrates and ammonia.

Named as “QuietFlow,” it is quieter than the other filters in the market, which increases its popularity.

The filter position (horizontal or vertical), flow direction, flow rate, and flow height are easily adjustable, making this filter perfect for betta fish. This filter is available for aquarium sizes of 10, 15, 30, and 40 gallons.

3) Hikari Bacto-Surge High-Density Foam Filter (Large)

This inexpensive sponge filter is ideal for those on a budget. It works well in both saltwater and freshwater tanks. It provides excellent biological and mechanical filtration using a highly porous sponge that contains thousands of microscopic pores, and this will offer a large area to provide the support that benefits bacteria ecosystems.

It provides gentle filtration, making it suitable for betta fish that requires a gentle flow rate.

This filter has a unique air dispersion, which maximizes uplift to pull water through at a high rate. It allows more water to run through the filter in less time, thus increasing the efficiency. It also comes with air diffuser and uplift tube combination to provide maximum lift and avoid clogging problems.

Another advantage is that it is easy to set up, making it even suitable for beginners. The material used in the sponge is soft sponge material, which is easy to clean and has a long life.

Benefits of Filter

  • Facilitates the growth of minuscule ecosystems of various microorganisms, which help in breaking down waste in the water.
  • Removes decaying organic matter, excess food, free-floating particulate, fish’s waste products, and other dangerous chemicals from the water. Also, it helps in the prevention of ammonia stress in betta fish.
  • Aquariums become much more eye-pleasing when the water is more transparent. The glass will also be much cleaner, and there will be no unpleasant smell of standing water.

Type of Filter

Nowadays, there are many different types of filters available in the market. They include a Sponge Filter, Power or HOB (hang on back) Filter, Canister Filter, Under Gravel Filter, and an Internal Filter.

1) Sponge Filter

The Sponge Filter is one of the oldest, cheapest, most basic, and easy filtration systems to add to your aquarium. The air pump creates the force, and water is drawn through the sponge and gives mechanical filtration. The sponge will trap debris such as uneaten food, fish waste, and decaying plants.

The biological filtration is ready once the sponge has grown bacterial colonies and matured. For gentle filtration, a sponge filter is an excellent choice, such as in a fry tank and betta fish.

The cleaning method is also straightforward and simple. It only takes a few minutes to clean the sponge filter by rinsing it out, using the aquarium water. Tap water is not advisory to be used while cleaning the sponge as tap water contains chlorine, and it will also kill the beneficial bacteria in the sponge.

2) Power or HOB (Hang on Back) Filter

One would commonly find this aquarium filter hanging on the back wall of a tank. It is an excellent choice for a smaller tank as it will not take up any space in the tank. It uses a pump to push tank water through a series of filter media, and the water returns to the aquarium by creating a waterfall-like flow, which helps in oxygenation.

The pros of using this type of filter are that they allow for a wide selection of filter media depending upon the tank requirements. It also can easily clean without disturbing the fish as it sits on the outside of the fish tank.

3) Canister Filter

As it comes with superior mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration capabilities, the popularity of the canister filter has grown. It is placed outside of the tank and makes use of hoses submerged in the tank to filter water. Water is pushed through selected filter materials via an intake pipe at the bottom of the canister, and the return pipe gives the water back to the aquarium.

The advantage of this type of filter is that it provides a higher quantity of filter materials. It gives you a greater degree of flexibility concerning the choice of filter material, hence reducing the internal space in the aquarium.

While conducting cleaning, maintenance, and replacement, it can disconnect from the tank without disturbing the fish. One negative is it may be too powerful for a betta fish tank, so it may be best to go for the filter with an adjustable output rate.

4) Under Gravel Filter

This filter makes use of the gravel placed underneath as a filter instead of using filter media as done in other filters. It consists of a porous plate that is placed beneath the gravel on the base of the aquarium and comes equipped with one or more uplift tubes. These tubes will suck water down the substrate and back up through it, and this creates biological and mechanical filtration.

The con of using this filter is the absence of chemical filtration, which can lead to a high level of ammonia and nitrates in the aquarium.

5) Internal Filter

Internal filter, as suggested by the name, the filter is fully submerged inside the aquarium. It takes up little space and is flexible. When an internal filter works, water is drawn by a filter media through a water pump.

This filter uses foam as the leading mechanical material and a cartridge with activated carbon, which gets rid of the organic waste present in water.

Factors Affect Selection of the Filter

1) Aquarium Size

When choosing a filter, keep in mind the aquarium size. A filter that is designed for a large aquarium as it has a strong output can be disastrous for a small aquarium.

2) Output Rate

Betta fishes prefer a gentle and slow filter as it can relax and swim without any problems in the aquarium. One should prefer a filter with a low output rate.

3) Filter Media

A filter that comes with the three different types of filter media (chemical, biological, and mechanical) is better in maintaining the overall health of the ecosystem.

4) Filter Performance

Generally, people prefer a filter that is easy to install, use, and operate. There is no need to make having a fish tank more difficult with a complicated filter.
Low noise levels are also preferred.

5) Filter Cleaning

The filter media should be cleaned and replaced regularly. It is beneficial when having a filter media that can easily remove for cleaning without disturbing others.


Before purchasing a filter for the tank, many factors have to take into consideration. If there are no plans to add a filter in the tank, then the result can be disastrous, especially if you don’t have any experience of maintaining tanks.

So, don’t forget to include a filter that will lead to a healthy environment helping to keep your fish disease-free.

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