The Best Filter for Betta Fish Tank of 2021


Rich with history from the rice paddies of the east, the Betta fish (A.K.A. Siamese fighting fish) have become quite famous as pets. Their renown is unquestionably well-deserved as their beautiful fins and tails add some color into any household. Surprisingly shy for its territorial behavior, the Betta is not too difficult to care for, albeit rather specific. They can grow up to 3 inches long, thus requiring space for swimming around. Depending on the size of the tank, – which must be a 3-gallon minimum – the water must still be regularly replaced. However, with the best filter for Betta tanks, only portions of the original water will need changing.

What is the Best Filter for Betta

See also:

Top 7 Best Filter For Betta Reviews

1. Aqua Clear Betta Fish Tank Filter for 5 – 20 Gallons

Aqua Clear Betta Fish Tank Filter

The Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter is a power filter that comes in different sizes. The smallest model is the Powerhead 10, supporting tanks up to 10 gallons with a flow rate of 80 gph. The 110 Power Filter, the largest model, can support tanks up to 110 gallons with a flow rate of 500 gph. The large filter volume allows the water to have more contact time with the varying filter media, essentially keeping the water cleaner.

The noise caused by the drop of the water can be a nuisance to some, but it can be solved by simply adding more water into the tank, or it can simply be ignored as a soothing background noise. A key feature to the Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter is its adjustable flow rate, perfect for raising Betta that need a certain kind of water.


  • Different models support tanks of all sizes
  • 3-stage filtration system
  • Will not suck in Betta
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Easy installation & maintenance


  • Quite noisy

2. AqueonQuietflow E Internal Power Filter for Betta Fish Tank up to 3, 10 Gallons

Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter

The AqueonQuietflow E Internal Power Filter is a switchable filter. The owner has an option to attach it as an internal filter through the suction cups or as a power filter through the clips, both of which are provided in the package. It comes in four sizes, each being able to filter different-sized tanks, the smallest being to filter tanks as small as 3 gallons and the largest being able to filter up to 40 gallons.

An issue with this filter is its installation, as it can get the Betta stuck when not installed as an internal filter properly. This can be avoided by simply placing it as a power filter or looking for installation videos online. It also manages to fit a 3-stage filtration system inside its small body, which is quite a surprise.


  • Interchangeable between internal or power filter
  • Quiet operation
  • 3-stage filtration
  • Small and compact
  • Comes in many sizes to fit different tanks


  • Improper installation harms Betta

3. Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter for 10 – 20 Gallons

Tetra Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter

Tetra’s Whisper EX Silent Multi-Stage Power Filter is a series of power filters that come in four sizes, each with the same design and quality performance. The smallest model (EX 20) is filters tanks up to 20 gallons at 110 gph flow rate, while the largest model (EX 70) filters tanks as large as 70 gallons with a flow rate of 340 gph. The unique design supports its well-performing 3-stage filtration system, as a strainer with a filter cartridge carrier instantly filters the water mechanically, with the other two stages happening inside its mainframe.

With improper installation, the machine can be quite noisy and may break instantly. Tetra provides instructions for proper installation to prevent such situations. When up and running after careful installation, it will live up to its Whisper brand and even has additional features for ease of use and maintenance.


  • Whisper-quiet operation
  • 3-stage filtration system
  • Time strip technology indicates need for maintenance
  • Oxygenates water by creating currents
  • Comes in different sizes to suit different tanks


  • Difficult installation

4. Marina Power Filter for Betta Tank up to 10, 15, 20 Gallons

Marina Power Filter for Betta Tank

The Marina Power Filter is particularly distinct to other power filters due to its amazingly simplistic design. The Marina Slim line is a series of power filters with great performances all fit into a space-conserving construction. The smallest design, the S10, can filter a tank the size of 10 gallons, while the largest, the S20, can filter a tank the size of 20 gallons. It also comes with an adjustable flow rate, allowing the owner to give their Betta fish a wonderful, well-maintained home.

Although some defective sets can harm the fish by exposing the filter motor, the Marina Slim line makes up for it with its longevity of life and customizability. The filter can be tweaked and added parts to, so its performance may be optimized for the tank and its residents.


  • Quiet operation
  • Unique design
  • Adds aesthetic to the tank
  • Great for small tanks with single Betta
  • Operates for years with proper maintenance


  • Defective sets can harm fish

5. Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for Betta Tank up to 3, 10 Gallons

Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber

Tetra’s Whisper Internal Filter with BioScrubber is great for owners who prefer silent filters for their small tanks. Its universal design conveniently allows it to act as a filter and air pump at the same time. As this filter is completely submerged underwater, it is ensured to operate at virtually no noise at all. It is also quite small, allowing it to fit in the smaller tanks.

However, the issue with this filter is that it has a tendency to suck in both the Betta and its food, as it can be quite powerful. Rest assured, the Betta will not be harmed as long as there is a mesh guard blocking the intake valve, preventing the fish from getting sucked in completely. Though, its pride and glory stand on its BioScrubber feature, having the water ridded of chemical pollutants.


  • Comes with pre-installed BioScrubber
  • Great for small tanks
  • Virtually noiseless operation
  • Larger models support tanks up to 40 gallons
  • Oxygenates water


  • Powerful suction harms Betta

6. hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter for 10 – 40 Gallons Fish Tank

hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter

The hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter for Fish Tanks is an internal filter that works wonderfully in cleaning the water. The 2-stage filtration happens directly on the body, as it only consists of a sponge for mechanical filtration and a case for bio-filtration. The design allows it to filter the contents of the tank properly without damaging the Betta or its aquarium accessories. The owner will need to attach the filter to a separate pump via hose, both of which are not provided.

Though lacking in the chemical filtration stage, the filter still does a considerable amount of work for its extremely simplistic design. Furthermore, this unique design allows the owner to place the filter in any orientation inside the tank, conserving as much space and adding aesthetic as the owner wisher.


  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Comes with spare parts
  • Does not suck in Betta or accessories
  • Adjustable flow rate (depending on attached pump)
  • Unique design supports different preferences


  • Does not support chemical filtration

7. Lefunpets Biochemical Sponge Filter for 5 – 25 Gallon Tank

Lefunpets Biochemical Sponge Filter

The Lefunpets Biochemical Sponge Filter is simply what its name says it is, a single sponge filter. To some, this may seem like a poor choice, but they are about to be disappointed for assuming so. Although lacking in air pump and hose, the filter can be attached with one that’s enough to handle the size of the tank. The design of the filter also prevents Betta from getting harmed by or sucked in the filter.

What about its filtration capacity? Fret not, as with the proper size and a strong enough air pump, the Lefunpets Biochemical Sponge Filter is assured to keep the water clean with enough maintenance. Betta don’t also need really need crystal clear water, as they prefer to swim in sullied ones, making this filter a great choice for raising them.


  • Small and non-intrusive
  • Operates quietly
  • Great filtering capacity for its size
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to setup


  • Might not remove all solid wastes

Betta Tank Filter Buying Guide

Betta fish require a very specific kind of care. Thus, it would only be fitting to be knowledgeable in the basics of taking care of Betta. They sully their tanks with their wastes and leftover food, but they can only thrive in waters that allow them to. So, choosing the right filter is also a necessity for raising them. “But how do we choose?” To start:

Keeping Them from Harm

One problem Betta owners share is the Betta being prone to harm by the filter in the tank. There are two ways this could happen: getting sucked in, or getting stuck behind the filter. Because they have large and flowy fins and tails, they can get easily sucked in the filter especially when they are sleeping. Even though they may not be completely sucked in, their fins or tails could be injured, and that may cause stress.

Betta fish can be very shy, and they tend to shelter themselves behind aquarium accessories. If they find the spot behind internal filters or under power filters comfortable, they can easily get stuck there and become immobile. They can run out of oxygen while stuck or starve, thus killing them.

So, when purchasing filters for Betta tanks, it would be best to consider the fragile life of the Betta.

Adjusting to Perfection

Because of their impressive history, Betta can survive for a limited time in unfiltered water unlike most fish. Yet, this does not mean that their water does not need filtering every now and then. Powerful filters will hurt the Betta by getting it stressed because they are weak swimmers, as they are used to swimming in still waters (like the ones in rice paddies). So, it would be best to look for filters with an adjustable flow rate so that it can swim freely in almost-stagnant water.

Size Matters

The size of the filter should match that of the tank. The most basic question here is, “Will the filter work on a tank this size?” Typically, the filter should be able to process all the tank water at least thrice in a single hour. This keeps the water free from sediments, but also keep in mind the wellness of the Betta. Thus, aside from filters, bigger tanks would also be great for Betta.

What is a Betta Tank Filter?


Simply put, Betta Tank Filters are machines that provide the Betta with a habitat where it can thrive. Just like humans, Betta prefer to live in a home free from messes and nasty odors. They tend to live longer and healthier in stable water parameters, despite being able to survive tough conditions.

How does a Filter for Betta Tank Work?

Betta Tank Filters work by removing harmful wastes from the fish’s environment through various stages of filtration. The filtered water, i.e. the water free from dangerous wastes, goes back into the tank and essentially becomes a healthy habitat for the Betta.

The first type of filtration is mechanical filtration. Here, the wastes that are visible to the naked eye are removed from the water. They are filtered by certain filter media, like sponges, filter paper, and other mechanical filtration media.

The next type of filtration is called as bio-filtration. Here, “friendly” microorganisms are cultured in designated media to remove chemical wastes and detrimental bacteria. Some of these chemicals are ammonia and nitrites. Water with high levels of these chemicals stress out the Betta and may get it sick. Thus, friendly bacteria are raised to somehow digest these chemicals into something safer.

The last type of filtration is called chemical filtration, where chemicals such as carbon are embedded on a filter media to eliminate the foul-smelling chemicals from the water. This keeps the tank water from smelling bad.

Types of Betta Tank Filters

For Betta tank filters, most owners know of three types of filters, namely sponge filters, internal filters, power filters. There are other types of filters, but they are either too much or too little for Betta, as they require very specific (although easy) care.

Sponge Filters

Sponge filters are the oldest type of filters in the market. They are the most common filters known to have adjustable flow rates, as they usually require external pumps. The pumps are free to be chosen by the owners, so they can give their pets the care they think is best. However, not too many enthusiasts support sponge filters because they can be quite unsightly, but an advantage to them is that they have lesser tendencies of sucking in the fish.

Internal Filters

Internal filters are the ones that stay submerged in the tank water. They can carry 3-stage filtration systems if they were built to do so. But, the issue with these filters is that they can be obstructive to the stillness of the water and may suck in the Betta if it had a strong enough intake. They are advantageous in the sense that they operate very quietly, which most owners prefer.

Power Filters

Power filters are filters that sit at the rim of the tank and make contact with the water through intake tubes. These intake tubes suck in the water, but with such power can also cause currents that Betta will swim away from. They also have quite the return flow which also moves the water, causing the Betta to stress. However, they often have 3-stage filtering systems to ensure the water passes through the three types of filtration.

Why Do You Need Filter for Betta Fish Tank?

Truth be told, Betta fish tanks with filters can be a bit of a hassle as they pose another risk for the fish. However, keeping adding a filter to the tank is much more beneficial than one would think. There are many reasons to purchase a filter for the Betta, but here are some of the main ones:

They Clean the Water

The main purpose of filters is that they remove the wastes from the fish’s home. Like any other animal, as Betta fish consume food, they also excrete wastes. The buildup of this waste in their home could get them stressed and sick, and taking care of sick fish cost a lot more than buying a filter.

Good Bacteria

Most filters can filter the water biologically, as, in contrast to chemical filtration, it has been deemed necessary. The growth of good bacteria in the filters remove the toxic chemical from the waste in the water. This media can last months, which reduces the cost for its maintenance.

Supports Tank Mates

Although Betta are very aggressive towards bigger fish and other Betta, they tend to do quite well with smaller fish and animals (like prawns). These tank mates add diversity and color to the tank. However, more animals lead to having more waste, so to support these animals with a healthy environment, filters would be great.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the most popular filter brands for Betta?

There are many manufacturers that produce top-performing aquarium filters. However, only some of these filters are fit for raising Betta. Some of these brands are Tetra, hygger, Marina, Aqueon, Aqua Clear, Marina, and Lefunpets. These brands are recommended for those interested in buying filters specifically made for Betta.

How often to clean betta fish tank with filter?

Aside from filter capacity, it also depends on tank size. Having larger tanks with low-flow rate filters would require changing at least once a month. However, not all of the water should be replaced, about 1/3 of it would do. On the other hand, smaller tanks may need cleaning more often, as the water can get soiled faster at smaller volumes.

How to clean a filter for betta fish tank?

Generally, filters have cartridges that hold the different filter media. Removing these cartridges allow access to the filter media. Once removed, it is recommended to rinse them with the tank water to prevent washing off any of the good bacteria.

However, note that each filter comes with an accompanying manual, provided by the manufacturers themselves. On it should be proper installation and maintenance instructions. When followed carefully and thoroughly, the filter should be back to being as good as new.

How to slow down filter for betta?

Only very specific models can adjust the filter flow, like the Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter. Some pet owners recommend using filters built for smaller tanks (e.g. 5-gallon filter for 10-gallon tank) as that may reduce filter flow. Another method they recommend is using sponges to block the intake valve, essentially reducing filter flow rate. However, these “hacks” may damage the filter and its components.

Where to buy filter for betta tank?

There are many places where Betta fish tank filters can be bought. The most recommendable places to purchase the filter is from pet stores and aquariums, as their staff are bound to be knowledgeable about raising fish. They can also be bought online through various platforms, such as Amazon.


Such small creatures can be very tough. The Betta is rich in both history and evolution. Because of their residence in muddy waters in rice paddies, they were able to evolve into labyrinth fish, allowing them to take in oxygen from the air. This allows them to survive in the waters for a short time, as they can swim up to the surface to breathe.

However, such a rough history also allows them to ask for specific care. The only way they can live long is by having the environment they were meant to thrive in. Caring for this fish entails giving them the best treatment they can get, and they will certainly get this only from the best filter for Betta fish tanks.

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