You’ll agree with us when we say that owing to the fragile nature of Betta fish, buying a filter for them can be quite challenging.
This is why we decided to scour the market to test and look for filters that would be most suitable for a Betta.
Today, we’ll discuss what features a filter built for a Betta should and shouldn’t have and how you can inspect a filter you’re about to buy to ensure it will take good care of your Betta.
We’ve concluded these three filters to be the safest and most effective for your Bettas out of all the ones we tested.
Now, let’s get into the reviews for the top 5 best filters for Bettas.
Best Filter for Bettas - Top 5 Reviews
1. All-Around Best Filter for Bettas - Marina Power Filter Review
We’re huge fans of the aquariums that Marina has come out with so we were excited to test out this filter to see if it would be as good as their aquariums and indeed, we were not disappointed.
The adjustable flow control it comes with is very intuitive and simple to use. The results are instant and you can easily observe how much flow rate would be most appropriate for your tank.
The filter is designed in such a way that it takes up minimal space inside your aquarium and the motor of the filter is fully submerged inside your aquarium water. This enables the filter to work very silently and you’ll find that your Bettas will be completely relaxed while this filter works its magic.
Features of Marina Power Filter – Best Filter for Betta
- Comes in three sizes: 10 gallons, 15 gallons and 20 gallons
- Self-priming system
- Adjustable flow rate
- Slim, unobtrusive design
- Comes with filter cartridges
- Quiet operation
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Internal section seems slightly flimsy
If you want a filter that has incredible performance but are worried about it disturbing your Betta, this is the product for you. You can easily adjust it according to your tank and it’s very silent.
2. Best Inexpensive Filter for Bettas - Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter Review
As the name suggests, this product is incredibly quiet and works to its fullest potential without your Betta fish even noticing it’s there.
It’s designed to have an easy-to-remove bottom so you can easily access the impeller for maintenance and cleaning. You’ll find that it’s very convenient to put back together and mount after cleaning.
It comes in many sizes and the smallest size of this filter is appropriate for aquariums as small as 1 gallon.
Features of Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter
- Comes in five different sizes
- Appropriate for aquariums between 1 gallon to 40 gallons
- Suction-cup mounting
- Placed inside the aquarium
- Comes with pre-assembled filter cartridge
- Extremely quiet operation
- Appropriate for a wide range of sizes
- Small in size
- Attractive appearance
- Suction-cups can become loose over time
If you’re looking for a reliable filter that is user-friendly and also not too harsh on your pocket, this product is definitely for you. It looks great on most aquariums and is incredibly small which makes it easy to mount.
3. Best Adjustable Filter for Bettas - Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter Review
The adjustable flow knob that this filter comes with is a great feature because not only does this mean that the filter comes with an adjustable flow rate, it also means that this adjustability is easily accessible. This enables you to easily slow down the flow rate during feeding times or during times when you’re cleaning your aquarium.
There’s an internal sponge inside it that works perfectly as a breeding ground for bacteria that can help in biological filtration.
Features of Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter
- Comes in six different sizes
- Appropriate for aquariums between 5 gallons and 100 gallons
- Provides a breeding spot for nitrifying bacteria
- Sleek, modern appearance
- Removes foul odors
- Very lightweight and easy to handle
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Low energy consumption
- Does not take up too much space inside the tank
- Easy to install
- Can become noisy over time
If you want a reliable filter that is inconspicuous and doesn’t use too much power, this product is ideal for you. It has a user-friendly design and comes with a 1-year warranty as well as a 100% money-back guarantee.
4. Best Filter for Bettas with Silent Operation - Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter Review
This incredible filter had us highly impressed before we had it even turned it on. This was because of the fact that it offers a lot of versatility in terms of the positions in which it can be mounted. Owing to its small size and clever design, you can mount this product either vertically or horizontally when it’s fully submerged inside your aquarium. This enables you to save a lot of space inside your aquarium for your Betta to swim in.
As for its performance, we tested this product for months and it was able to filter our Betta aquarium effectively without a single hiccup.
Features of Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter
- Comes in four sizes
- Appropriate for aquariums between 10 gallons and 40 gallons
- Fully submersible
- Three-stage filtration
- Adjustable return flow control
- Incredibly compact
- Easy installation
- Works very quietly
- Can be mounted in a variety of positions
- Currents it creates may be too strong for some Bettas
If you’re sick of loud filters disturbing your Bettas as well as yourself then this is the product you’re looking for. It’s very versatile, highly effective and operates very quietly.
5. Best Lightweight Filter for Bettas - Deep Blue Professional ADB88700 Biomaxx Nano Filter Review
Aquariums made for Bettas are usually quite small and you often don’t require chemical filtration inside them; That’s why this filter is made to perform only two types of filtration: mechanical and biological. As you’ll find out, it performs these two processes very well. Nitrifying bacteria are formed very quickly with this filter and you’ll see that it makes your water crystal clear through mechanical filtration within minutes.
Due to its very light weight, it’s very easy to handle and mount onto your aquarium. Not only that, its light body makes it very easy to perform maintenance as well.
Features of Deep Blue Professional ADB88700 Biomaxx Nano Filter
- Weight: 10.6 ounces
- Adjustable flow rate
- Hang-on style filter
- Appropriate for aquariums up to 5.5 gallons
- Default flow rate: 16 gallons per hour
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to clean
- Quiet operation
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Lightweight for its size
- Does not perform chemical filtration
- Flimsy body made of plastic
- Not appropriate for larger aquariums
If you’re looking for a small, lightweight and unobtrusive filter for your Betta then you’ve just found it. This product is built specifically for small aquariums and is able to work effectively without calling attention to itself.
Do Betta fish need a filter?
This is a misconception; Bettas absolutely do need a filter. This misconception was born because a lot of aquarists falsely believe that smaller aquariums don’t require filters and since Bettas are normally kept in their own separate tanks, these tanks are usually quite small. The truth of the matter is that no matter how small your aquarium is, if you have a living being inside it, it’s going to create waste that is going to have to be cleaned.
Bettas are incredibly fragile fish that require a lot of maintenance and attention so if anything, Bettas actually require a filter much more than most fish. You need to have a filter present so that all the ammonia is neutralized and the water remains well-oxygenated for them to breathe properly.
What do Betta fish require from a filter?
A high-quality and effective filter for a Betta should have all or at least a majority of the following features:
- It should have a slow and relaxed flow rate so that it doesn’t disturb or stress out your Betta.
- The cartridges/filtration media inside the filter should be conveniently and easily replaceable so you don’t have to displace the aquarium too much while doing these changes. Large movements in the aquarium can be stressful for your Betta so your filter should be built around this in order to prevent that.
- The filter should be reliable and it would be a bonus if the filter has some sort of built-in warning system in case it malfunctions. Bettas usually live in relatively small aquariums so if the filter malfunctions, the environment can become toxic very quickly. In that case, you have to get your filter fixed or find a replacement as soon as possible.
- It should preferably have all three types of filtration media (mechanical, biological and chemical). Some aquarists tend to skip out on chemical filtration media since it’s not entirely necessary but you should make sure your filter is able to perform both mechanical and biological filtration at least.
What are some factors to consider when buying a filter for Bettas?
There are a number of factors that you should think about before going out to buy a filter for your Betta or Bettas. These aspects can help you ensure you’re not buying a filter that could end up causing harm to your Betta fish. Some factors to consider when buying a filter for Betta fish are:
Quietness During Operation
While this is also a relatively important aspect when it comes to all filters but when you’re shopping for a filter for a Betta, this aspect is especially important. Bettas are fragile fish that can get stressed very easily. If your filter makes too loud of a noise when it’s operating, you’re going to end up with a stressed Betta that will refuse to eat the food you give to it until it starves itself.
As we mentioned earlier, you’re going to want a filter that creates currents that aren’t too unsettling or stressful for your Betta. If you’re unsure about what flow rate would be most appropriate for your Betta aquarium, we suggest you get a filter that comes with the option of an adjustable flow rate. That way you can keep adjusting it and observe for yourself what flow rate is most suitable for your Betta.
How can I ensure my Betta is not disturbed by the currents that my filter creates?
The first step would be to check whether your filter comes with the option to adjust the flow rate; If it does, you can keep lowering this until you reach the appropriate rate. If your filter’s flow rate is not adjustable, we recommend that you get ornaments, rocks and/or aquarium plants for your Betta aquarium. Having other solid objects securely placed inside your Betta aquarium can help regulate the currents and redirect strong water flow patterns. If you already have ornaments and decoration pieces inside your Betta aquarium, you can try rearranging and experimenting with their positions and orientations.
What type of filter should I get for my Betta tank?
We recommend that you avoid canister filters as those filters are normally built for larger aquariums. You should also avoid under-gravel filters since they are old-fashioned and have been conclusively proven to be a lot less effective compared to other types of filters. Your best bet would be to get a HOB or an in-tank filter since they are easy to set up and maintain and they offer flow rates that are most suitable for the usual sizes of Betta aquariums.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I slow down my Betta tank filter?
As we mentioned earlier, first you should check to see if your filter has a built-in option to adjust and lower its flow rate.
If it does not then you can invest in a flow-restricting valve for your filter’s intake tube. You can easily find these valves online or from your local pet store. They are attached to your filter’s inlet pipe and you can tighten them up to whatever point you feel is appropriate in order to lower the flow rate.
What should I do if my Betta gets swept into my filter?
The first thing to do is immediately turn your filter off and pull it out of its power socket. The next thing you should do is slowly disassemble it, being careful you don’t hurt your Betta in the process. Keep in mind that you need to disassemble the filter completely underwater. Do not take the filter out of your aquarium to disassemble it as the Betta could become fatally stressed out or even die by the time you’ve got it completely disassembled. Once the filter is disassembled, let your Betta swim out into the aquarium. Observe it for any signs of injuries and contact your nearest pet store or veterinarian if you see anything troubling.
How often does a Betta tank with a filter need cleaning?
Many people believe that small tanks such as Betta aquariums with filters do not need a lot of cleaning but in fact, the opposite is true; Smaller aquariums actually require a lot more regular cleaning compared to larger aquariums. Your filter is able to clean up most of it but you still need to perform 30 – 50% weekly water changes along with regular cleanings after every 2 – 3 days in order to keep your Betta aquarium completely clean.
How often does my Betta tank filter need cleaning?
A good rule of thumb is to check your Betta tank filter after every week in order to see whether it needs cleaning or not. You’re going to want to disassemble it and clean its insides about every two weeks or so.
How long can a Betta survive without a filter?
Bettas can survive indefinitely without a filter as long as you pay proper attention to the water and keep it crystal clear. Although this is true, we strongly advise you not to do this as while most Bettas can survive without a filter, that does not mean they are thriving or are living a healthy life. Not having a filter would take a lot of dedication and close monitoring of the water from you and if the conditions do go bad, they will go bad really fast and can lead to many undesirable consequences such as stress-related diseases, fin deterioration, and even death.
Do I need to run my Betta tank filter in an empty aquarium before I can introduce my Betta to it?
Yes. This process is known as cycling. Running a Betta tank filter in an empty aquarium will cause it to nurture and give birth to beneficial nitrifying bacteria inside the aquarium. These bacteria play a huge role in biological filtration. They combat ammonia inside your aquarium and eliminate it effectively.
Is baffling a Betta tank filter a good idea? How can I do it?
Baffling refers to placing something in front of your filter in order to reduce its flow rate. There are many ways to baffle a filter and the method of placing and rearranging objects, rocks and plants inside your aquarium that we described above is also a way to baffle your filter.
Other than that, you can also make use of a sponge or a neatly cut plastic bottle piece and attach it to the outlet of your filter in order to slow down the flow rate. It can be a good idea to do this if you can’t find a flow-restricting valve.
Why does my Betta fish always stay close to the filter?
This may be a sign that the flow rate of your filter is too strong for your Betta. We recommend taking steps to slow down the flow rate.
Can my filter cause temperatures in my Betta tank to rise?
No. Filters are specifically designed to not meddle with the temperature of your aquarium water in any way. If you find that the operation of your filter is indeed causing your aquarium temperature to rise then this may be due to faulty wiring in your filter or some other sort of malfunction.
What are some steps to ensure my filter doesn’t harm my Betta?
As described above, baffling your filter is a great idea to ensure not only that the flow rate is appropriate but also to ensure that your Betta doesn’t get swept into the filter.
If you have a cartridge filter, you can try buying a small sponge and shoving it behind your filter cartridge. It’s a great way to enhance the effectiveness of your filter in a cheap way so it’s able to clean your Betta’s environment even more quickly.
Bettas are very sensitive so it’s important you do your research and get a filter for them that is able to properly cater to their special needs.
After much thought and testing, we’ve concluded the Marina Power Filter to be the best of the best. It’s highly effective and does not disturb your Betta at all during operation.
This brings us to the end of our post for the best filters for Bettas.
Give us feedback and let us know what filter you’re using for your Betta fish.