Do Betta Fish Need A Filtered Tank? (2024 Updated)

Do Betta Fish Need A Filtered Tank in 2024? Whether betta fish require filters or not is dependent on many factors such as the size of the tank, the degree of care, tank mates, and many more. There isn’t a straightforward “yes or no” answer, as they can live and succeed in both cases provided they are treated with care.

Problems are caused by misinformation and the assumption of novices that an empty bowl or another small tank will require more work-friendly and less costly.

This isn’t true at all and could lead to an unwell betta or even worse. Before you decide on filtration, be sure that you have read and understood the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Let’s begin by understanding the habitat of bettas which is rice paddies and shallow bodies of water. In times of drought, wild bettas could even be stranded in a muddy Puddle for a short period of time, with limited oxygen.

Betta fish can endure these conditions via evolution, thanks to their unique ability to take oxygen out of the atmosphere (at the surface of the water) in lieu of depending on their gills. This is due to their labyrinth organ. It classifies these fish in the category of Anabantoidei (also known as labyrinth fish).

Due to their endurance in water with low oxygen levels, They are highly desired and are recommended for those who are new to the sport. They are less difficult to handle as compared to other fish species that require smaller equipment, but misconceptions are all over the place.

The claim is that they prefer smaller habitats and live from the roots of a plant vase. These assertions are not true and could result in your betta just being able to survive. You want your beta to be able to enjoy a lengthy, well-balanced life with no pain is that right?

Do Betta Fish Need A Filtered Tank To Survive?

It’s true, Betta fish need an aquarium with filtration because they thrive best with stable parameters for water. Filters help maintain beneficial bacteria, while also neutralizing and cleaning ammonia as well as Nitrates. The creation of a natural ecosystem is vital to long-term health and reduces the chance of suffering from stress and illness.

Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Betta fish prefer tanks that are filtered to rid the water of any waste such as particles, decayed or uncooked food, feces, or dangerous particles. Another advantage of filters is that they improve the water’s quality by cycling the water which helps oxygenate it and keep the pH level stable.

But, it will require lots of work from your side. You’ll have to keep up with regular water changes and introduce beneficial bacteria that feed on the waste of your fish. Additionally, you’ll need to use an air stone in order to stir the water in a gentle manner. In any case, it’s better for the fish to make use of a water purifier.

What Happens to an Unfiltered Tank?

Tanks that weigh 2.5 Gallons or less aren’t required to have a filter since they could cause much more damage than benefit. Filters in small tanks can cause powerful currents that can throw betta fish about and strain them out.

If you keep your Betta fish in a small tank with no filters, the fish can’t have a long and healthy existence unless you change the water regularly. Even when you do the right thing, your fish could end up dying suddenly if the water gets too polluted at certain points.

In fact, bettas take in air by using their labyrinth organs however, they aren’t able to depend solely on it therefore the tank water needs to have oxygen.

You are able to do without the use of a filter for a time If you’re willing to regularly change your water. However, this can have an effect on the easily-aggravated Betta fish, particularly due to the unstable water that frequent changes in the environment create.

After a while, massive amounts of stress can be harmful to your fish betta. When coupled with waste from fish this can cause death.

Bettas are not the most powerful swimmers, and their fins that are long could make mobility difficult when there is a strong current. Betta prefers calm or slow-moving water. This is the reason why some caretakers opt for non-filtered tanks for their bettas, resembling their natural habitat.

However, the quality of water is rapidly deteriorating in low-volume, unfiltered tanks. The bigger the tank the greater the volume, the less the decline in water quality, and the more simple it will be to keep it in good condition.

Feces and food that are not properly cleaned cause ammonia, nitrogen, and nitrites to accumulate. If they are in large quantities, they could create stress and cause your betta to become sick.

The most frequent issues in smaller tanks that are not filtered are fin and tail rot. There are beneficial bacteria that are naturally present inside the aquarium.

The constant water changes can deplete beneficial microorganisms, and cause stress in the process.

The minimum tank size required for the beta fish is 2.5 Gallons, with the suggested size of 5 gallons or greater. The care of a beta fish without a filter can be a lot of work. Tanks that are not filtered require 2 to 3 water cycles with a water volume of about 25 percent and then an all-water change each week (depending on the water’s quality). In contrast, the 5-gallon tank that is not filtered will require only one water cycle each week at approximately 25%-35 percent of the total volume, and a 100 percent water change every month.

It is also recommended to make use of test strips to evaluate your water’s parameters in real time. To assist with tanks that are not filtered clean out food particles and poop prior to it settling and degrading.

(pro tip: Use an aquarium turkey baster that is designed to effortlessly suck the debris out from the aquarium).

If you read the article below you’ll soon understand the reasons why tanks that are filtered can be beneficial to Betta fish and are easier to keep clean.

Betta Fish Habitats With Filtered Tanks

There are a variety of filters you can purchase in the event that your tank does not have one. Examples of various types include hanging-on-the-back filters, under-gravel filter-powered filters, sponge filters,s or internal ones. The most crucial thing to consider for Betta fish is their strength and the ability to control flow. Your betta needs to swim in a fluid manner without difficulty.

We suggest purchasing an aquarium that is suitable for betta fish and has a filter device straight out of the box. Mix-matching different items can be a challenge However, if you’re buying a filter, then a smaller size than the one recommended is suggested. If, for instance, the tank you have is 5 gallons, you should consider an option that is rated for three to four Gallons.

What Do Betta Aquarium Filters Do?

  • Waste Reduction – elimination of food waste, feces ammonia, waste, and bad bacteria
  • Filters help improve the oxygenation of water
  • Good Bacteria Good bacteria and beneficial microorganisms build up in tanks and filter media
  • Tank Mates – Filters are needed in tank mates due to the increased bioload
  • Maintenance – lower maintenance and water cycle

Filtrated betta tanks have less need for maintenance making your life simpler. If you don’t remember to do water changes on an unfiltered tank, things can go very badly fast. If you have a tank that is filtered, there is no need for all-water changes, unless you are suffering from issues with algae or widespread disease.

In reality, the 25-30% water cycle every week and vacuuming the gravel every week is all that’s required, with the exception of replacing the filter media per the directions of your filter. Always wash your filter with tank water, not with tap water in order to protect beneficial bacteria.

Which Filter is Best for Your Betta?

A variety of fish tank filters will help your Betta fish thrive by mimicking their natural habitats. For example, the natural ocean currents that Aquaclear Cycleguard creates are prime examples of how filters can replicate the Betta’s ideal habitat and have a minimal impact on their tank.

There are numerous amazing aquarium filters. Here are a few of the top aquarium filters suitable to use with Betta aquariums. Each filter has its advantages, in addition to drawbacks.

Mignon Filter 60

AZOO Mignon Filter 60
  • Small compact design
  • Queit performance
  • Ease of maintenance

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is the AZOO Mignon Filter 60 is an excellent filter to use for Betta fish. It’s the ideal inexpensive filter for tanks that range from three to ten gallons. The slim, non-evasive style that is the Mignon Filter is non-evasive and small. Mignon Filter is natural, therefore it will not strain your Betta while they go about their tank.


Mignon Filter comes with adjustable settings, which means you can control the rate of the current in your tank. The cartridges that can be replaced make disposal of waste and debris easy.


The Mignon Filter is hung at the edges of the tanks which could be a problem for those who have aquariums that are covered. In addition, the size of the filter suggests that it’s not the best choice for tanks with large volumes.

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Aqueon Quietflow LED PRO

Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter, Size 75
  • Certified flow rates that assure proper water circulation for improved...
  • High flow rates for optimal dissolved oxygen content to promote...
  • Provides mechanical, chemical, biological and optional, additional...
  • Self-priming filter pump will auto-start initially or restart if power...
  • Internal pump design helps dampen noise and eliminate leaks with...

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is the Aqueon Quietflow is a minimal filter that works great with Betta tanks. It is submerged and attaches to the sides of the tank with ease and takes up a minimal amount of space. The filter is the five stages of filtration that removes waste and harmful substances while also adding oxygen. The Aqueon Quietflow is a large-sized filter that is ideal for aquariums with a minimum of 10 gallons or greater.


The Aqueon Quietflow has a unique LED indicator that indicates that its debris cartridge is in need of changing. The cartridges are able to be changed and are reusable.


The current from this filter may become quite high-intensity, and you must know this when you install this filter. Additionally, there are some who are not a fan of the replacement filters for The Aqueon Quietflow. Even though they’re reusable you need to order specific items from the brand if they require repairs.

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Rio Mini 50

Rio Mini 50 Internal Power Filter for Aquarium
  • Easy installation
  • Energy efficient
  • Fully submerible
  • Quiet operation

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rio Mini 50 is a tiny filtering system that is ideal for maintaining a clean as well as fresh Betta aquarium. The tank is slim and completely submersible. That means it can be placed within the aquarium to ensure that all toxins and bacteria are thoroughly filtered. Rio Mini 50 Rio Mini 50 is an internal filter that can be used in any shape tank up to five gallons.


The tiny filtering equipment, Rio Mini 50, runs quietly and is ideal for small aquariums. The speed of output of the Rio Mini 50 is adjustable to allow you to alter the speed of your Betta. You can also alter the directions of a filter.


It is a Rio Mini 50 that attaches to the tank’s side by using suction cups. Some fish owners don’t prefer suction cups because they are less effective over time.

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AquaClear Cycleguard Power Filter

AquaClear 20 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 5- to 20-Gallon Aquariums
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with...
  • Quick and easy installation; we recommend that you clean aquarium...
  • Provides optimal mechanical; chemical; and biological filtration
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam; Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax...
  • Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than comparable fish tank...

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Its hang-on back (HOB) AquaClear Cycleguard is a waterfall filter that creates an organic flow to your Betta fish. This AquaClear Cycleguard is a small external attachment that can be clipped to the remote of the brim of your aquarium. It employs multi-stage filtering to get rid of harmful bacteria while preserving the good bacteria.

It’s a reliable system that cleans up to seven times more effectively than other filter systems It is great to use if you’re Betta has been in a tank that has other fish, too.


It is the AquaClear Cycleguard is a great illustration of a Betta fish filter due to its variable flow rate. If the flow rate is too high for your Betta filter, you can reduce the flow rate, and also reduce the resistance.


The exterior appearance of AquaClear Cycleguard creates significant water loss due to splashing and the evaporation of water. The dimension of this filter could create stress on your Betta when you try to encroach on its territory by putting it in an insignificant tank.

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Marina Slim S10 Power Filter

Marina S10 Power Filter
  • Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • Self priming
  • Easy to maintain
  • Adjustable flow control

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Marina Slim S10 Power Filter is an ideal aquarium for Betta fish due to its small and compact design. It is simple to set up and maintain with fillers that are disposable. Because the design is wide, the filter is simple to clean.


The Marina Slim filter has a slim and sleek design that is ideal for Betta aquariums of up to five Gallons. Despite its small size, it’s still very easy to clean and doesn’t require any scrubbing vigorously.


The cost of Marina Slim S10 can be expensive for certain people. But it’s definitely worth it if intend to keep fish for a long period of time. Some fish lovers complain about the price associated with Marina Slim filters. Marina Slim filters. Because they are a unique model, they are not available elsewhere. these filters elsewhere.

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Upettools Aquarium Pump

UPETTOOLS Aquarium Biochemical Sponge Filter Ultra Quiet Aquarium Air Pump Bio Sponge Fish Tank Foam Filter Comes with 4/2 Spare Sponges 4/2 Bag of Bio Ceramic Media Balls
  • 【Multi-filtration Functions】Upettools sponge filter combines...
  • 【More accessories】Package include: 1 single sponge filter with 1...
  • 【Removable Sponges 】 You can take down the sponge from the filter...
  • 【Easy to Set Up】Simply install an airline into the unit and turn...
  • 【Max Suit for 40 GAL Fish Tank】Compatible with 2 suction cups, can...

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Uppettols Aquarium Pump is an effective filter that makes use of ceramic to eliminate dangerous bacteria from your tank. The filter has an inside filter that is attached to the side of the Betta’s tank by using a set of suction cups. It has foam-protected sleeves on the outside that stop debris from entering and allow fish to be taken into the.


Ceramics cleanses the water before it gets removed from the water and oxygenated. The construction and design for the Uppettols Aquarium Pump focus on cleaning the water.


The design of the Uppettols Aquarium Pump is evasive within the fish’s area. If you’ve got a small tank this pump could be a big burden on your space.

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Aqueon LED 7.5 Gallon Shrimp Aquarium Kit

AquaClear 20 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 5- to 20-Gallon Aquariums
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with...
  • Quick and easy installation; we recommend that you clean aquarium...
  • Provides optimal mechanical; chemical; and biological filtration
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam; Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax...
  • Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than comparable fish tank...

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is the Aqueon LED 7.5 Gallon Shrimp Aquarium Kit will be an efficient kit manufactured by Aqueon that comes with filters, heat lamps, and a fish tank in one. The size of the tank is ideal for the size of a Betta and the gentle filter is ideal for their lifestyle of easygoing, and it has variable speed.

The filter is attached to the wall. This means that it doesn’t interfere with your Betta’s space. If you’re in need of replacing it, you are able to do so with a new filter later in case it’s not appropriate to your Betta. It can be a good start for a beginner.


Silent Filter: This filter is silent and has an exterior carbon cartridge that is replaceable. The external replacement means you don’t have to be dirty when cleaning your filter.


Aqueon Aquarium Kit: Cons: Aqueon Aquarium Kit filter is connected to the outside of the tank. This means it can’t be removed to do deep cleaning. It’s an excellent starting point for novice fishkeepers, but it could be unclean over time.

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Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter

Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter 150 GPH, Multi-Stage Aquarium Filtration,black
  • WITH ROTATING BIO-WHEEL: Patented Bio-Wheel technology provides...
  • MULTI-STAGE FILTRATION: Delivers mechanical, chemical and biological...
  • MARINELAND FILTRATION PRODUCTS: Count on Marineland brand for the most...
  • COMPATIBILITY: Use with Marineland Rite-Size Filter Cartridges (see...
  • FIVE SIZES: Available in 75 GPH, 100 GPH, 150 GPH, 200 GPH and 350 GPH...

Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is the Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter is an aquarium with a moving bio-wheel. The power filter is able to go through several stages as it cleans the water and can filter up to a 20-gallon tank. The Penguin Bio-Wheel comes in different sizes to fit any size fish tank.


The Penguin Bio-Wheel is a budget-friendly filtering system that’s perfect for smaller Betta tanks as well as large fish tanks that have Betta in the tanks! Apart from being an investment with a reasonable price The cartridges that are included in the Penguin Bio-Wheel are reasonably priced.

The cartridges can also be compatible with different brands, meaning MarineLand lets its customers choose more affordable brands whenever they are able to locate them.


The biological filtration in The Penguin Bio-Wheel is considered outdated by some. Because it’s a wheel, many have also complained that cleaning such filters is a painful experience.

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Important Points To Consider While Choosing Your Betta’s Filter

Apart from the fundamental requirements like ensuring adequate filtration in the air, there are other aspects to take into consideration when buying the Betta filter. When you are choosing the Betta filter, it is important to be focused on what can create the most effective and comfortable setting that is suitable for you and your Betta.

A great filter to use for your Betta fish is one that doesn’t create too much noise, occupies little space, and is strong enough to withstand the test of time. You must be aware of the kind of filter you’re purchasing to make sure it is compatible with the tank you have. If budget is a major aspect, it is crucial to think about price points prior to making a purchase for the filter.

Noise Level

The volume of noise your filter produces is crucial when purchasing a brand-new fish filter. A filter for your aquarium that doesn’t make much noise can keep your home at peace. If your filter is situated on the outside of your tank, take note of the splashing noises it may create.

Filter Size

The size of the Betta’s filter should be in a reasonable ratio when compared to the size of your aquarium. The optimal Betta fish filter should not take up a significant portion of the tank. The smaller filters mean that you’ll make less impact on Betta’s habitat.

Size of the tank

When you are choosing the Betta filter, you must take into consideration the dimensions of your tank. You should select one that is compatible with the number of gallons that will be in the tank. For example, you might not need a filter for 50-gallon tanks that are running in a 5-gallon tank.

Strength of the Filter

The capacity of your filter in your aquarium can affect the health of your Betta fish. The finest aquarium filters are equipped with multiple settings that allow you can adjust the current of your filter to suit the speed that your Betta prefers.

Internal Filters vs External Filters

The external or internal position of the filter within your tank could affect how it removes toxins and bacteria from your aquarium. It also affects many other aspects, such as the volume of space it occupies as well as the stress it puts on your Betta, and much more.


There’s no reason to shell out hundreds of dollars for filters when you can get the best Betta fish filters for sale at reasonable prices. Take into consideration your budget when you purchase filters but don’t make a rash decision when purchasing this crucial product. The purchase of a quality filter, in the beginning, can reduce the cost of maintenance of your tank and the care of fish.

The Media (Cartridge material)

The material that is used in the cartridge of filters is something fishermen are looking at prior to buying their filters. In the filter, the material is a biological element that water goes through to generate beneficial bacteria. It is an essential component of the filtration process and fish owners will select the kind of media they choose to use.

Mechanical Layering

It’s never too late for the beginner fish owner to learn about the layering process of mechanical filters. In the majority of filters, the top layers are made up of a sponge that blocks all particles from passing through. It is the mechanical layer that gets cleaned most often, and you will be able to empty them most often. Selecting a layering system that’s suitable for your needs will make maintenance much simpler.

Is Your Bettas Filter Too Strong?

If the filter in your betta’s tank is too strong, you’ll require it to be removed or lower the power of the existing one. Filters aren’t suitable for tanks that are less than three gallons. You should increase the size of the habitat of your betta.

Affixed to the back and internal filters are available in different strengths and could be too heavy for a betta fish.

If your betta is struggling to make it to the surface to breathe or to hide, and swim frantically in the water the filter may be too powerful.

This could cause a lot of stress to your fish’s betta and can cause injuries to its fins, fin damage, or even death. When they are exhausted physically, they may be tossed around, or taken up by the filter’s intake tube. The water in your tank to be lower than the recommended depth from the output of the filter will create more turbulence that is present in your water.

The first thing you should try is to limit the flow of the filter if the filter is adjustable (try the most minimal setting). If it’s not, think about replacing it, buying another one, or trying these ideas. You can add more plants and other decorations around the filter in order to reduce the flow once it is in the tank.

There are various other ways for separating a compartment to filter the water by splitting the tank.

Another simple fix that will protect your fish from harm is to put a pre-filtering sponge inside the intake tube in order to limit water intake and, ultimately, output.

Pre-filter sponges can easily be placed over the output tubes to the aquarium. They’re similar to that of Fluval Spec V too. This will help reduce the flow and the turbulence within the tank for fish that is betta.

Pro Tips

The size of the habitat or tank will determine the type of filter that is suitable for your Betta. One of the most effective and cheapest alternatives for smaller tanks is the sponge filter (to the right). Sponge filters make use of air bubbles from the air compressor to pull water into the sponge.

An adsorbent filter can be simple to install and permits both biological and mechanical filters. They are ideal for the delicate betta and provide the benefits of oxygenation. They are best suited to tanks that are up to 10 gallons and pose practically no risk to your betta’s health due to flows or suction.

Another option is hanging from one of the sides (HOB) nano filter (middle). They are great for 5-10 gallon tanks or larger tanks.

If you can, choose one with flow rates that can be adjusted, and look into a pre-filter sponge to inlet tube. HOB filters are simple to maintain and do not hinder the view or take up space.

The last alternative is to use an internal filtration system which is installed within your tank (on the right). In the event that you have already a smaller tank (3 3 gallons), it can decrease the space for swimming and also the total quantity of water that is available to your Betta fish.

The majority of submersible filters connect to the tank’s wall using suction cups and work effectively if they aren’t too heavy.


Can My Betta Fish Live Without a Filter?

Betta fish are able to live without filtering, however, the use of a filter for your betta, such as a sponge filter, can aid in maintaining healthier water conditions and prevent disaster. The best environment for a betta fish to be in the wild is a tank planted of at least 3 gallons, with an intake filter and heater.

How Long Can a Betta Fish Survive Without a Filter?

Betta fish can live at least 168hrs (7 jours) without the use of a filter. But, their tank needs to be properly aerated and they must have access to pure water.

Can Betta Live Without an Air Pump and Filter?

Air pumps aren’t necessary for tanks with bettas, and, in general, aren’t required for any tank. If your filter is stirring its surface in a sufficient way it will provide enough to allow a higher level of gas exchange.

Can Betta Fish Live in Tap Water?

The tap water supply is reliable because it’s a consistent and affordable water source. The average tap water seems to have a pH that is adequate ranges and levels of minerals to be an ideal betta.

How Often Should You Change Betta Fish Water?

However, the simple answer is that a change in water levels of 10-20% every 7-10 days is ideal for your betta’s overall health. This is also true if you’re running a filtration system. You could also perform water adjustments of 20-30% every 2 weeks, but small water adjustments are more beneficial to ensure stable water conditions!


Do Betta Fish Need A Filtered Tank? It depends on the situation you’ve decided after considering both the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario listed above, as well as your own personal circumstances and preferences. Avoid fish bowls and any tank less than 2.5 Gallons. The bigger the tank, the simpler it will be to keep. Filtrated tanks can aid in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. If you decide to bring in tank mates, form a sorority, or even place your Betta fish in a group tank, filtration is needed to improve oxygenation and better water quality.

If you are still unsure if you’d like to ask, do so in the comments section below.

Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.