Best Filter for Betta Fish

Want to take the best care of your Betta? Consider buying a small fish tank filter. And, yes, its true Bettas can survive without a filter system. But, just because they can doesn’t mean they have to! A filter for Betta fish tank can make all the difference in the world. 

Besides, there are certain flipsides of petting your Betta without a proper filter. For one, you will need frequent maintenance. It may also affect your Betta’s health and mood as well.

In this write-up, we will take a good look at the importance of a fish tank filter for Betta. In the end, we will reveal some of the best Betta filters you can buy right now.

What you have to know about Betta filtration systems

New to Betta fish tank filters? Here are some of the key things you should know about them and what they bring to the table (for your Betta fish).

What are the benefits of a Betta fish filter?

The best Betta filter will come with a vast multitude of health and hygiene benefits for your aquatic companion. Here are some of the most compelling advantages of using a filter for Betta.

Why do you need a filter for your Betta fish?

A filter for a Betta fish tank is crucial for a vast number of reasons. In fact, the filter is arguably one of the most crucial components of your aquarium. Just like any other fish, Bettas too, require specific environmental conditions for survival.

Anything other than their ideal water parameter can deteriorate the health of your Betta and cause agitation. That is concerning since a Betta is inherently aggressive and territorial. Due to this, Bettas are not exactly the best tank mates for other fish. A dirty and cluttered aquarium will just make things worse for your Betta and make it even more aggressive.

One more reason why you need a Betta fish tank filter is that it reduces your work by a good degree. Usually, when you clean an aquarium, you have to start from scratch. That means draining out the water, transporting your Betta, removing all the debris, cleaning it, and finally, refilling the tank. Such a process can take a good chunk of your time.

A filter for Betta, on the other hand, helps you keep your aquarium clean so you won’t have to go through such strenuous tasks.

Besides, there is one massive pitfall to such maintenance procedure. When you clean out the entire Betta tank at once, it disrupts the water’s ecological and pH balance. Such abrupt changes in the water balance can cause shock to your Betta and deteriorate its health gradually. Thus, a Betta fish tank filter is not only important for keeping your tank clean, but also to ensure the best health for your Betta.

How is a Betta fish filter used?

The main purpose of a Betta tank filter is to keep the water inside your aquarium clean. It does that by removing the contaminants and purifying water. More importantly, it should also preserve the nitrogen cycle inside your aquarium. The result? It makes the tank ideally breathable for your Betta fish.

The filter takes up water from the tank, runs it through multiple filtration stages, and returns the clean water to the tank. That, in turn, ensures a clean and uncontaminated water column for your Betta fish.

Aside from that, a Betta tank filter also reduces the need to constantly change the water in your aquarium.There are three main types of filter media that helps purify the water debris.

Mechanical filtration: This is the most common type of filter media that you find in the majority of Betta tank filters. It helps in filtering solid wastes like uneaten food or feces.

Biological filtration: The Biological filtration media is mainly responsible for breaking down solid dissolves from Betta tanks. This filter media breaks down microorganisms like ammonia and nitrite and makes them less toxic for your Betta fish.

Chemical filtration: The chemical filtration media makes use of resins and activated carbons to remove dissolved wastes. In simple terms, it helps keep your aquarium water chemistry balance in check.

Types of Betta Fish Filter System

You will find tons of different Betta fish filter systems in the market. So, which one should you buy? Take a look at some of the most common types of Betta fish filters and decide which one works best for you.

Canister filter systems

These are external filter systems that pump water out of the tank via a pressurized canister. The water is then sucked back through a spillway. One good thing about canister filters is that they do not take up space inside the tank. On the contrary, the filter sits outside your aquarium and also does not make much noise.

One thing to remember is to look for a canister filter that can allow you to control the water flow rate. That is mainly because standard canister filters are usually too strong for smaller tanks.

HOB filter systems

The HOB here stands for: Hang on Back filters, and they are exactly what they sound like! HOB filters attach to the back of your aquarium and suck the water out via a pump. This type of Betta fish filter is very easy to install and detach, making it an effortless job to clean them.

Like canister filters, HOB filters also have a strong output flow. As a result, it can stress out your Betta fish, especially if the tank size is too small. Thus, it is advisable to buy HOB filters with custom flow control options.

Sponge filter systems

This type of filter system is the oldest and also the most common one. Unlike a canister or a HOB filter, sponge filters sit inside the tank. The way these filters work is really simple. They suck water via a porous sponge material that acts as both a mechanical and biological filtration.

The problem with sponge filters is that their output flow is quite low. As a result, they do not offer the best filter performance. Thus, sponge filters are only used mostly in small Betta fish tanks that do not require much maintenance.

Undergravel filter systems

The undergravel filter system is unlike any other filter. As their name suggests, these types of Betta  filters sit underneath the sand substrate. They consist of a set of thin plates and sit below the substrate with some uptake tubes attached to it.

One good thing about this Betta fish filter system is that it provides effective biological and mechanical filtration. Besides, it also uses the substrate as a filtration media. The one downside is that it can cause debris to build up as they blow the water close to the sand substrate.

What to look for when purchasing a Betta fish filter?

The number of Betta fish tank filters in the market can be quite overwhelming. As a result, it can be a tricky task trying to pick the best filter for Betta. If you fancy making a quick decision, look for these crucial things before purchasing a Betta fish aquarium filter.

Flow rate

There is nothing stressful to your Betta than a high flow rate. Thus, it is vital to make sure your aquarium filter has a moderate to medium output power. The best filter for Betta should have an adjustable flow rate.

Filter media

As mentioned before, there are three types of filter media – biological, mechanical, and chemical. Ideally, you would want a filter that offers all three. However, that is usually not the case. Make sure your Betta filter has at least two media types.

Ease of use

When you buy a Betta filter, make sure it is amateur-friendly. Usually, with some filters, you may find it difficult to install them. Not to mention how inconvenient it gets when you try to clean them. Steer clear of such units. A good small filter for a fish tank should be easy to install, detach, and clean.

Type of filter system

This is yet another area that we’ve covered earlier. Every Betta fish filter system has its unique way of purifying the water. They are also ideal for different tank sizes. So, make sure you choose the one that is ideal for your aquarium size.

Top Filtration Choices For your Betta Tank

Now that you know what things to look for, it should be relatively easier for you to pick out the best filters for Betta tanks. However, if you want to skip the research process and jump straight to buy the best filter, here are some of our top picks of the best Betta filters. 

Penn Plax Cascade hang-on Aquarium Filter

The Penn Plax Cascade is one of the best-selling aquarium filters on Amazon. That itself says a lot about this unit. Right off the bat, this water fish filter ticks all the boxes you would usually expect from a high-end aquarium power filter.

It comes with a unique combination of Activated Carbon and Poly Fiber Floss. That means you get the best filtration performance, unlike any other filters in the market. The three-stage filtration process helps keep your tank pristine, which, in turn, ensures good health for your Betta.

The Penn Plax  Betta filter is one of the smallest fish tank filter you can find in the market. So, if you are looking for a small fish tank with a filter, this might just be the one! This model’s output water current power clocks at 20 GPH.

However, if you require more power output for your large aquariums, you can select the higher output models as well. These models can support fish tanks size anywhere from 5 Gallons to 100 Gallons.   

Another good thing about this Betta filter is that it comes with a unique built-in leveling device to keep it in place. In brief, you won’t have to worry about it sliding off your fish tanks.

  • Good value for money
  • Available in various size and flow rate options
  • The built-in leveling device helps keep the filter stable 
  • Easy to install
  • Whisper quiet operation
  • All three filtration stages
  • Cannot use other filter medias other than their right-size cartridges
  • Non-adjustable flow rate

Pro tip: make sure to change the cartridges every month for the best filter performance.

AquaClear Power Filter

The AquaClear Power Filter is another great Betta fish filter you should consider. It is one of the most reliable choices amongst the aquarium enthusiasts. It offers a unique patented re-filtration system that claims to provide a smooth output current control. That, in turn, offers a gentle water flow ideal for your Betta.

It also comes with an eccentric multistage filtration system. The top layer contains a BioMaX ceramic ring filter that promotes beneficial bacteria growth. The middle layer contains an activated carbon filter that absorbs all kinds of impurities and odors. Lastly, the bottom foam layer helps remove large debris.

Another thing that stands out about this filter is that it offers up to six times longer water to media contacts. That, in turn, allows it to pump water more easily using less energy. The filtration volume is also up to 7 times larger than other similar Betta fish filters, which means it should not have any problems keeping your aquarium water pristine.

The filter fits well with a number of different tank sizes ranging from 5 gallon to up to 20 gallons. However, it does come in other bigger options for tank sizes of up to 110 gallons.

On the other hand, this Betta tank filter also features a maximum flow output of 100 GPH. The good thing about it is that you can adjust the flow rate to match it with your tank size.

  • Reasonable pricing
  • A unique multistage filtration system
  • The flow rate is easy to control
  • The filter is quick and easy to install
  • Large tank size capacity (up to 20 gallons)
  • Offers up to 7 times larger filtration volume
  • Makes quite a fair noise during the operation
  • Requires frequent maintenance

Pro tip: Fill the tank manually before starting/restarting the filter.

Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter

Next up on the list is the Aqueon quietflow internal power filter. This is another effective and reliable power filter that can get the job done without any hassle. Unlike the other two mentioned before, this Betta aquarium filter is fully submersible. Thus, it is an ideal option for people looking for a tiny and compact filter that will not come in the way of their Betta fish.

Other than that, the Aqueon quietflow internal power filter comes with all three mechanical, chemical and biological filtration layers. So, you do not have to worry about keeping your tank water clean. The patented Bio Grid filter offers excellent protection against toxic particles like ammonia and nitrate.

This internal power filter also comes with versatile tank size compatibility. The smallest unit can fit well with a 10 Gallon tank, while the largest one with a 40 Gallon tank. The flow rate for the 10 Gallon filter model is 57 GPH, which is just about the ideal power value for small Betta aquariums.  

Another good thing about this quietflow filter is that the flow rate is controllable. So, you can adjust the output rate to ensure it does not stress out your Betta. Apart from that, you can also adjust the flow direction and flow height as well.

It is also important to note that this quietflow  filter only comes with one (replaceable) filter cartridge. You may think a one cartridge setup may be insufficient, but that is not the case here. It is a very versatile cartridge that can offer exceptional filtration.

  • Takes up low space due to its compact design
  • Controllable return flow rate
  • Low noise output
  • Offers all three filtration stages
  • Proprietary BioGrid filter for superior performance
  • Not the easiest filter to clean
  • Your Betta might have to swim against the water current that the filter produces.

Pro tip: Placing a sponge over the nozzle may help reduce the output flow rate.

Fluval 307 Performance Canister Filter

Fluval is a well-known name in the aquarium accessory market. And their line of aquarium filters is no different. This 307 canister Betta filter is one of the best-selling models from their line of 07 filter series. Fluval claims this new series of Betta water filters use cutting-edge engineering to make them twice as efficient and up to 25% quieter than before.

Depending on which model you select, the Fluval external canister filter can handle tank sizes of up to 45 gallons. Other than that, it can also generate a consistent pumping power between 145-343 GPH.

The low noise is primarily due to the use of a sound-dampening impeller. The algae magnet piece that was present in the previous series is absent on this model. And judging by many customer reviews, this is a rather welcoming omission.

The dual foam screen layer and the intake strainer play a crucial role in minimizing clogs within the canister filter tube. One of the most exciting features of the Fluval 307 performance filter is its vertical pre-filter cartridge, which can be accessed separately.

On top of that, the biological and the chemical filtration use different Betta filter media. So, you can change them independently without any hassle.

Lastly, this Betta tank filter is low on energy consumption. So much that it only draws as little energy as one household LED lighting.

  • Instant start-up option
  • Minimal noise output
  • Energy efficient
  • Larger grip handles make it easy to lift and operate
  • The dual-lift lock clamps provide quick release and attachment
  • The independent filtration media makes for a simple and easy replacement/cleaning process.
  • It is costlier than most standard Betta water filters
  • It does not have the most robust construction

Pro tip: The unit isn’t very durable, so make sure you keep it close to the ground.

Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber for Aquariums

If you need something cheap, handy, and practical, the Tetra whisper internal tank filter with Bioscrubber may just be the thing for you. This compact and petite filter may look unimpressive, but it will get the job done with ease.

The first thing that stands out for this internal tank filter is its minimal noise output (hence, the name – whisper). That is mainly because of the small size motor that the filter uses. Simply put, neither you or your Betta will have to deal with obnoxious filter noises.

The second thing you will instantly notice about this aquarium filter is its low-profile design. It seamlessly flushes against your tank wall and hardly takes up any space. That is particularly advantageous as the filter’s construction is targeted for small aquariums.

Depending on which model you choose, you can use it for tank sizes of 4, 10, 30, and 40 Gallons. The 4 Gallon model offers a flow rate of up to 27 GPH and goes up higher as 80 GPH, 125 GPH, and 170 GPH for subsequent larger models.

Lastly, this unit comes packed with all three – mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration media. The first layer consists of a dense mesh filter that keeps out all large waste and debris. The second activated carbon layer removes odors, discoloration, and impurities. The final layer consists of a Bio-foam filter that removes toxic microorganisms like ammonia and nitrate.

Simply put, this is probably the best small filter for Betta tank you will find in the market.

  • Low-profile design
  • Exceptional low noise output
  • Easy to change filters and clean
  • Ideal for amateur aquarium owners due to its hassle-free installation and maintenance.
  • Uses all three filtration stages
  • All important accessories come included in the box.
  • Great value
  • Not suitable for large tanks
  • Non-customizable flow rate

Pro tip: Since it does not have a customizable flow rate controller, switch it off before you feed your Betta to avoid clogging.

Lee's 40/55 Premium Undergravel Tank Filter

Just in case you may be on the market looking for an Undergravel Betta filter, this is our best pick. This type of Betta filter is not something that many people prefer due to their maintenance issues. Nonetheless, they are very handy and practical. They sit under the sand gravel and help purify the water without taking up any extra spaces in your tank.

The good thing about this UGF is that it is made of premium plastic material, which means it can handle your substrate and water column weight with ease. Due to its high strength plate material, the filter is ideal for use in saltwater tanks.

This undergravel aquarium filter consists of a single plate that circulates the inflow current throughout the base of the tank. The riser tubes carry the water to the surface of the tank to ensure the output water current is not too strong for your Betta.

Being an Undergravel filter, this unit makes use of your sand gravel as an active filter medium. However, apart from that, it also consists of an activated carbon filter to eliminate toxic microorganisms.

The filter is ideal for aquarium sizes in the range of 12 to 48-inches, or 55-60 Gallons. You can use it independently with an aerator, a canister filter inlet, a powerhead, or all of them at once.

Lastly, Lee’s proprietary fish-saver elbow also ensures your Betta fish does not get sucked into the tube.

  • The filter features a tear and split resistant material
  • Great value
  • Comes with extra accessories out of the box
  • Gentle water current output
  • Requires less space
  • Activated carbon cartridge included
  • Hard to clean/change the filter
  • Ideal for use only on new aquariums (before you lay the sand substrate)

Pro tip: Use this filter in conjunction with an external canister filter for the best results.


An effective filter is imperative for any aquarium. It helps keep your tank clean and free from any type of debris and contamination that can cause stress to your Betta fish. Other than that, a dirty water column can also cause a vast multitude of problems.

One of the direst consequences of a dirty Betta tank is that it can cause infections like fin rot. This is when your Betta’s fin begins to rot due to poor water conditions. The result? It can reduce the lifespan of your Betta fish.

A good water filter is a must if you want to avoid such barrage of problems. Hopefully, our guide above will help you pick out the best filter for Betta.

We have listed out some of the best Betta fish filters for aquariums you can find in the market at present. The ideal option may vary from one person to another. But, if you ask us, we would say the Penn Plax fish tank filter small is the safest choice.

It comes packed with all the key features that you would want in any high-end Betta water filter. Best of all, it also has a very affordable price tag as well. Simply put, you get a solid Betta fish filter unit without breaking the bank.

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