Aquariums, Filters & media, Reviews

7 Best Filters for Betta Fish: All Aquarium sizes

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by Jason Matthews

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Last updated:

Our Top Picks

Best Internal Power Filter – Aqueon QuietFlow

It fits seamlessly in framed and frameless aquariums using hanging clips and suction cups.

Best Canister Filter – Penn-Plax Cascade 700

This canister filter offers powerful mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration for 50 to 65-gallon community tanks.  

Best Hang-on Back Filter – AquaClear 50  

The AquaClear hang-on back design allows fast and easy installation in most aquariums.


Forget the misconception that bettas do not need a filter. Betta fish require a clean tank set up to thrive. And since you do not want to find your fish upside down, you must get a filtration system.

Filters eliminate toxic wastes and chemicals to ensure the aquarium water stays clean. Like most fish, bettas are susceptible to developing infections when exposed to dirty living conditions. Besides, filters reduce your workload since they reduce the frequency of your weekly water changes.

The Top 7 Best Filters for Betta Fish

But which is the best filter for betta fish? This comprehensive review compiles the seven best filters to help you choose your perfect fit.

1.     Aqueon QuietFlow – Best Submersible Filter

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Whether you own a frameless or framed betta tank, this Aqueon QuietFlow will fit seamlessly with hanging clips and suction cups. Moreover, the filter is ready to start working as soon as the installation is complete. Unlike other filters, its auto-start pump does not require manual priming.

The filter provides mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration for 10-gallon aquariums. The included coarse media sponge traps particles and debris, the bioholster prevents ammonia and nitrites spikes, while the carbon cartridge removes impurities.

As its name implies, this filter provides super-quiet flow filtration.

Features

  • Provides 3-stage filtration
  • Easy to install
  • Its patented QuietFlow tech operates silently
  • Preloaded with a replaceable carbon cartridge
  • It produces a moderate flow rate that’s perfect for bettas

2.     Penn-Plax Cascade 700 – Best Filter for Populated Betta Tanks

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a powerful canister filter, get the Penn-Plax Cascade 700. With an adjustable filter rate of 185 gallons per hour, you can use this product in a 65-gallon tank. Besides, it includes a spray bar for better aeration and water circulation.

The push-button on the Cascade 700 allows fast priming. Water flows through two 360-degree independent valve taps during filtration. Your bettas enjoy a clean tank since the filter provides chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration.

The product boasts robust construction with high-end PVC material. The base is mounted with solid, tip-proof rubber. Although canisters are known for being noisy, this model is quieter even when operating at a steady pace.

Features

  • Cut-off valves allow the adjustable flow rate
  • Two large, stackable baskets customize filtration
  • Quick prime with the primer button
  • 360-degrees flow valves
  • It includes a spray bar, directional spout, and filter media

3.     AquaClear 50 Power Filter – Best Power Filter

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AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)
21,496 Reviews
AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The AquaClear is the most powerful filter on our list, and for good reasons. Its filtration volume is seven times higher than other standard filters in its range, allowing more contact time with the filter media. Its filtration rate is 200 gallons an hour, perfect for 20 to 50-gallon tanks.

Adding this filter to your betta tank will provide biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration. And you can control the filter’s flow rate to avoid stressing the fish. Lowering the flow rate does not compromise the filter’s efficiency, as it filters the water multiple times.

In addition to cleaning the betta tank, this filter aerates the water. As the filter pushes back the clean water, it creates a waterfall that breaks the water’s surface. In so doing, your bettas will need not gulp for air at the surface.

Features

  • Multi-stage filtration with Biomax, carbon, and foam media
  • One can control the flow rate with the patented re-filtration system
  • Maximum output of 200 gallons per hour
  • Waterfall design aerates the water
  • It works seven times better than regular filters

4.     XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge – Best Sponge Filter

XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-Gallon (1-Pack)
932 Reviews
XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter for Aquarium, Tank Size 10-Gallon (1-Pack)
  • Sponge filters provide both mechanical and biological filtration

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The XY-2831 filter features a low-flowing current ideal for a betta’s delicate fins and tail. You can set it up as a pre-filter alongside another external filter or as a breeding filter since it does not suck in fish fry.

Regardless of how you set this air pump sponge, it provides mechanical and biological filtration to 10-gallon size aquariums. The sponge surface harbors colonies of beneficial bacteria to prevent ammonia spikes and captures debris.

Since this filter produces low currents, it does not provide sufficient water agitation. You may need to add an air stone to promote oxygen levels for your betta. Moreover, its black design is not appealing, and you may have to conceal it with other tank decorations.

Features

  • Offers biological and mechanical filtration
  • Provides home to beneficial bacterial
  • Ideal for spawning and breeding since it does not trap fry
  • Compatible with 10-gallon fish tanks
  • Easy to clean

5.     Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter – Best Quiet Filter

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Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter 5 To 10 Gallons, For aquariums, In-Tank Filtration With Air Pump, Black
17,172 Reviews
Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter 5 To 10 Gallons, For aquariums, In-Tank Filtration With Air Pump, Black
  • UNIVERSAL DESIGN Tetra Whisper 10i Internal Filter is an all-in-one air pump and water filter system

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just like its name implies, the Tetra Whisper filter works silently yet is effective at filtering out waste. Since it is an internal filter, the motor runs quietly inside the betta tank. So, have no worries about this power filter startling your bettas.

Tetra integrates a filtration system and an air pump in this product. The mesh filters capture betta fish waste and particles. Meanwhile, the air pump oxygenates the water. With an 80 GPH, this filter produces a gentle flow ideal for 10-gallon betta tanks.

Features

  • Motor performs silently
  • Air pump aerates the water
  • Filters 80 gallons of water per hour
  • Provides mechanical filtration
  • Suction cups securely hold the filter

6.     Marineland Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter – Best for Large Aquariums

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MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter 50 - 75 Gallon Aquarium, 350 GPH
36,955 Reviews
MarineLand Penguin 350 Power Filter 50 - 75 Gallon Aquarium, 350 GPH
  • WITH ROTATING BIO-WHEEL: Patented Bio-Wheel technology provides excellent wet/dry biological filtration.

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This power filter filters 350 gallons per hour, making it an excellent choice for 50 to 75-gallon aquariums. It comes with a rotating bio-wheel tech for wet and dry biological filtration. The wheel eliminates the need to add air stones, pumps, and tubes to your betta tank.

The filter provides 3-stage filtration. The ready-to-use Rite-size filter cartridge offers mechanical filtration by screening all dirt and debris. Its efficient Black Diamond Activated carbon removes impurities and odor, while the patented Bio-Wheel provides biological filtration.

Start-up and set-up are relatively easy with the provided instructions. However, you need to prime it before plugging it. It hangs on the back of your aquarium, making it easy to maintain. Besides, its cartridges are compatible with other brands, so you have less trouble replacing them.

Features

  • Filters up to 350 gallons per hour
  • It comes with a rotating bio-wheel to get rid of toxic nitrites and ammonia
  • Provides mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration
  • Easy to set up and clean
  • Operates quietly

7.     Fluval C4 Power Filter – Best for Multi-Stage Filtration

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Fluval C4 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for Aquariums up to 70 Gal.
4,055 Reviews
Fluval C4 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for Aquariums up to 70 Gal.
  • 5-stage clip-on power filter designed for freshwater and saltwater aquariums between 40 and 70 gallons

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Fluval C4 filter offers 5-stage filtration for tanks up to 70-gallon tank sizes. This power filter provides two mechanical filtration stages with porous foam and dense polyester to eliminate debris, particles, and fine debris.

The third filtration stage features an activated carbon insert to remove harmful toxins and chemicals and absorb odors. Activated carbon helps the betta tank water remain crystal clear.

The last two stages provide biological filtration. The Bio-Screen pad traps debris before moving the water into the C-Nodes chamber. The C-Nodes promote healthy bacterial growth and remove ammonia and nitrites from the water.

The filter’s versatile design allows you to adjust the flow rate on its patented re-filtration system. Thanks to its telescopic intake tub, the filter remains effective in different aquarium depths and water conditions.

An indicator pops when the filter needs cleaning. The parts are easily removable during cleaning or replacement.

Features

  • Offers 5-stage powerful filtration
  • An indicator pops when it is time to clean or replace the polyfoam pad
  • Adjustable flow rate
  • Features a patented re-filtration system for pristine water conditions
  • Perfect for 40 to 70-gallon tanks

Filter for Betta Fish Buying Guide

Filter for Betta Fish
[Photo by Chevanon Photography, Pexels] 

Not all filters are suitable for a betta. Only a good betta filter can prevent waste and toxin build-up to keep your fish happy. Plus, it keeps the tank oxygenated. To get the best filter, keep the following factors into consideration.

Filter Design

The best filters for betta come in different designs. You can choose between a canister, HOB, sponge, or under gravel filters.

  • Canister Filters: They are also known as external filters since they draw dirty water from the fish tank into a filter media before pumping the cleaned water back into the aquarium. Canister filters can produce powerful currents for your betta, so opt for one with an adjustable output rate.  
  • Hang-On Back Filters: Also referred to as power filters, these are installed at the back of the fish tank. They use a pump to draw water from the fish tank and run it through filter mediums. The filters then pump the filtered water back into the betta tank.
  • Sponge Filters: These basic, internal filters use a filter sponge to remove debris and particles from the aquarium water. Their slow flow output makes them the ideal filters for fry and hospital aquariums.
  • Under Gravel Filters: These filter systems are internal, too, since they are placed in the substrate. They use a powerhead water pump or an air pump to draw water through the substrate before pushing it back to the tank through the uplift tubes.

Before you settle on any of the above filter designs, ensure you also understand each of the drawbacks.

The under gravel filter, for instance, is hidden from view, making it a better choice for a betta owner looking for an aesthetic appeal. However, their inaccessibility also makes it challenging to clean and maintain. With time, these filters may accumulate high amounts of waste.

On the other hand, hang-on back filters are easy to clean since they are easily accessible. Nevertheless, their placement requires a large opening that can allow fish to jump when the water level is high.

Filter Media

Betta fish in clean tank
[Image by Luciano Sorrentino, Pixabay]

Good betta fish filters feature mechanical, biological, and chemical filter mediums for optimum performance. The mechanical medium uses a filter pad to collect plant material, excess food, and fish waste from the aquarium water.

The chemical medium often uses activated carbon to remove impurities, discoloration, and odors. Meanwhile, the biological filter media promotes the growth of beneficial bacterial colonies to convert harmful ammonia and nitrites into safe compounds.

Flow Rate

Bettas have delicate fins and tails that are easily damaged when exposed to strong currents. Additionally, these beautiful fish have trouble swimming in strong currents and are easily stressed in these conditions.

You can tell a filter is too strong for your bettas if they are swimming in a curve rather than straight. Or, if your bettas do not swim close to the filter, they are likely bothered by the current.

With this in mind, look for a filter with a slow output. Alternatively, get a filter with an adjustable output.

Cycling Performance

The best filter for your betta fish tank should remove all unwanted waste and toxins. It should cycle four to five times the water capacity of the betta tank.

Here is a simple breakdown.

Fish Tank SizeFilter Flow Rate
5 gallons10 to 30 GPH
10 gallons40 to 50 GPH
20 gallons80 to 100 GPH
30 gallons120 to 150 GPH
40 gallons150 to 200 GPH
50 gallons200 to 240 GPH
75 gallons300 to 375 GPH
100 gallons400 to 500 GPH

Noise Level

If your betta fish tank sits in your living room or bedroom, you need a quiet filter that will not disrupt your routine. Besides, a noisy filter can stress bettas since they live in stagnant water in the wild.

Hang-on back filters are the quietest models because they use an integrated pump to draw and push water around. However, sponge filters with a separate air pump produce a lot of noise.

Beautiful white betta fish
[Image by Josh Clifford from Pixabay]

Related article: Best power filters for aquariums

Can a filter be strong for a betta?

Yes. Some filters have strong currents that can stress out a betta. Luckily, you can remedy this by using a flow baffle. A baffle is anything that dissipates the output to reduce or deflect water flow. Aquarium plants are one way to dissipate the strong current and act as hiding spots for bettas.

Can I turn my betta filter at night?

It would be best if you do not turn off the filter at night. Shutting the filter for six to eight hours every night is enough time to expose your bettas to building toxins, which can eventually develop infections.

Do filters bother betta fish?

It depends. A filter that produces slow water flow will not bother your fish. The same cannot be said about filters with strong currents.

Conclusion

As we’ve established, getting the right filter for a betta fish tank will ensure the aquarium water stays clean. The flow rate should be minimal to avoid sucking the bettas into the current and stressing them out.

All the above filters are perfect for a betta tank. Installing one in the aquarium will aerate the water, reduce the frequency of water changes, and promote the overall health of your fish.

So, only get the best filter for your betta.

Related article: How to keep betta fish without a filter

About

Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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