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Do Betta Fish Need A Filter?


Whether or not betta fish want a filter or not is determined by a number of elements together with tank measurement, the extent of care, tank mates, and extra. It’s not a easy sure or no reply as a result of they will survive and even thrive in each situations with the proper care.

Issues come up from misinformation and from newbie caretakers who consider a bowl or different small tank goes to be much less work and cheaper. That’s merely not true and may result in a sick betta or worse. Earlier than you make your choice on filtration, be sure you totally learn and perceive the professionals and cons of every.

Let’s begin by understanding a betta’s pure habitat, dwelling in rice paddies and shallow our bodies of water. Throughout droughts, a wild betta might even find yourself in a murky puddle for a time period with little or no oxygen. Betta fish are in a position to survive in these situations by means of evolution, with the distinctive potential to gulp oxygen from the air (on the water’s floor) as an alternative of relying solely on their gills. This potential comes from their labyrinth organ, classifying them as Anabantoidei or labyrinth fish.

Due to their degree of tolerance in low oxygenated water, bettas are regularly wanted and beneficial for rookies. They are often simpler to take care of than different tropical fish with much less gear, however myths are plentiful. Claims how they like small habitats and may stay off the roots of a plant in a vase. These claims are false and may result in your betta merely surviving. As an alternative, you need your betta to stay a protracted and wholesome life with none struggling proper?

Betta Fish Habitats With out Filters

Tanks which might be 2.5 gallons or smaller, shouldn’t have a filter as a result of they will do extra hurt than good. Filters in small tanks trigger robust currents, which might toss a betta fish round and stress them out. Bettas are usually not very robust swimmers and their lengthy fins can additional complicate mobility in robust currents. Betta’s desire sluggish transferring or nonetheless water. This is the reason some caretakers swear by unfiltered tanks for his or her betta, replicating their pure ecosystem.

Water high quality, nonetheless, shortly declines in low quantity unfiltered tanks. The bigger the quantity, the slower the water high quality will decline and the simpler it’s to take care of. Uneaten meals and feces result in ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites increase. In excessive portions, these can start to emphasize and make your betta sick. One of the vital widespread illnesses in small unfiltered tanks is fin and tail rot. There are additionally helpful micro organism that naturally exist within the water. Fixed water adjustments can restrict these helpful microorganisms and create stress as effectively.

Absolutely the minimal measurement for a betta fish is 2.5 gallons, with the beneficial measurement being 5 gallons or extra. Caring for a betta fish and not using a filter is definitely much more work. Non-filtered tanks require 1-2 water cycles at round 25% and a full 100% water change every week (relying on water high quality). Alternatively, a 5-gallon unfiltered tank will solely want 1 water cycle per week at round 25%-35% of complete quantity and a 100% water change as soon as monthly.

You also needs to use take a look at strips to investigate your water parameters in real-time. To assist with unfiltered tanks, take away uneaten meals and poop earlier than it settles and decays (professional tip: use an aquarium designated turkey baster to simply suck particles out of the tank). After studying the part under, you’ll shortly notice why filtered tanks could be extra helpful for betta fish and simpler to take care of.

Betta Fish With Filtered Tank

Betta Fish Habitats With Filtered Tanks

There are lots of filters you should purchase in case your tank didn’t include one. Some examples of various sorts embrace: underneath gravel filters, hanging on the again energy filters, sponge filters, and inside filters. Crucial consideration for betta fish is their energy, with having an adjustable move being essential. Your betta ought to be capable to swim freely with out struggling.

We advocate buying a tank that’s beneficial for betta fish and comes with a filtration unit out of the field. Combine-matching gadgets could be tough, however if you’re shopping for a filter, a weaker than the beneficial measurement is advisable. For instance, in case your tank is 5 gallons, contemplate a filter rated for 1-3 gallons.

Advantages of Betta Tanks with Filters

  • Waste Discount – removing of extra meals, feces, ammonia, and unhealthy micro organism
  • Oxygenation – filters assist to oxygenate the water
  • Good Micro organism – helpful microorganisms accumulate in filter media and tanks
  • Tank Mates – filters are required with tank mates due to elevated bio masses
  • Upkeep – lowered upkeep and water biking


Betta fish like filtered tanks as a result of they do finest in secure water parameters. A filter helps to take care of helpful micro organism whereas cleansing and neutralizing ammonia and nitrates. Establishing a pure ecosystem is essential to long-term well being and limiting the possibilities of stress and illness.

Filtered betta tanks would require much less upkeep, which makes your life simpler. In case you overlook to carry out water adjustments in an unfiltered tank, issues can get unhealthy shortly. In a filtered tank you don’t have to do 100% water adjustments except you have got an algae or rampant illness downside. The truth is, a 25-30% water cycle as soon as every week and vacuuming the gravel is all that’s essential other than filter media substitute per your filter’s directions. Be certain to all the time clear your filter in tank water and never faucet water to protect helpful micro organism.

Is Your Bettas Filter Too Sturdy?

In case your betta’s filter is just too robust you will have to take away it or cut back the energy of the present. Filters are usually not excellent for tanks underneath 3 gallons and it’s best to improve the scale of your betta’s habitat. Hanging on the again and inside filters are available in various strengths and could also be too robust for a betta fish. In case your betta is struggling to get to the floor for air, hiding and scared, and frantically swimming within the present, your filter might be too robust.

This may severely stress your betta fish and result in fin harm, accidents, and even dying. After changing into bodily exhausted they are often tossed round and even sucked up by the filters consumption tube. Permitting your tank’s water to get and keep under the beneficial depth from the filter’s output may also improve turbulence within the water.

The very first thing to strive is limiting the move of your filter if it’s adjustable (strive the bottom setting). If not, contemplate returning it, buying a brand new one, or attempting the following pointers. You possibly can improve crops and decorations close to the filter to interrupt the move because it enters the tank. There are additionally different strategies like making a separate compartment for filtration by dividing the tank.

One other fast repair which may also shield your betta fish is putting a pre-filter sponge on the consumption tube to limit water uptake and finally output. Pre-filter sponges will simply match over sure filters’ output tubes into the aquarium just like the Fluval Spec V too. This can assist to scale back the move and turbulence within the tank for betta fish.

Filters For Betta Fish

Really helpful Betta Filters

The scale of your tank or habitat will have an effect on which filter is true on your betta. The most effective and most cheap choices for smaller tanks are sponge filters (on the left). Sponge filters use bubbles of air from an air pump to attract water by means of a sponge. A sponge filter may be very straightforward to arrange and permits for each mechanical and organic filtration. They’re good for the fragile betta, and still have the additional advantage of oxygenation. They work finest in tanks as much as 10 gallons and current just about no threat to your betta from suction or move.

A second possibility is the hanging on the again (HOB) nano filter (center). These are perfect for 5-10 gallon and even bigger tanks. In case you can, get one which has an adjustable move fee and contemplate a pre-filter sponge for the consumption tube. HOB filters are straightforward to take care of and so they don’t take up viewing or ecosystem house.

A closing possibility is an inside filtration unit that goes contained in the tank (on the proper). If you have already got a small tank (3 gallons), this may cut back swimming house and the general water quantity out there on your betta fish. Most submersible filters connect to the tank’s wall through suction cups and carry out comparatively effectively in the event that they’re not too highly effective.


Do betta fish want a filter? That is determined by what you’ve determined given the professionals and cons for every situation above and your private scenario and choice. Please keep away from fish bowls and any tank underneath 2.5 gallons. The bigger your tank, the simpler will probably be to take care of. A filtered tank can additional help a wholesome ecosystem too. In case you resolve to introduce tank mates, create a sorority, or place your betta fish in a group tank, filtration will probably be required for elevated oxygenation and water high quality.

In case you nonetheless have questions, please ask them within the feedback under.


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