Betta fish also known as Siamese fighting fish are popular fish kept by most people in the aquarium in their homes or offices. It is popular among both veterans and beginners in fish keeping.
Betta fish are small fish, an adult betta is approximately 2.5 inches (6.5 cm), and are vibrantly colored. They also have large flowing fins that make them eye catching when kept in the aquarium.
Betta fish are known to survive in small environments, stagnant water and require little upkeep. Therefore, they are common among beginners in fish keeping with most people keep them in a bowl rather an aquarium.
However, keeping a betta fish in a bowl without a filter is not only hard work, but can also be life risky for your fish. Without a filter, you need to check the fish regularly to ensure there are no food particles left in the bowl.
Leftover food can pollute the water making it unsafe for your betta. With poor leaving conditions, your betta will develop infections, cause fin deterioration which may ultimately lead to premature death.
Without a filter you will be needed to frequently change the water for the fish to ensure it has clean water all the time, just like we need fresh air.
Most people assume, that a betta is best suited for keep in a small bowl with stagnant water. However, although a betta can survive in such an environment, it is betta to place it in a clean warm water aquarium.
In addition, an aquarium fitted with the best betta fish filter is the best environment to keep your betta happy and healthy.
Can Betta Fish Live Without a Filter?
Most people prefer keeping their betta fish in a bowl. However, even though the fish will survive, the ideal environment is in an aquarium with a water filter.
While in the bowl, you have to constantly change the water, ensure there are no leftover food particles in the bowl, and the temperature levels are kept constant.
When living conditions become poor especially in a bowl, the effects, fin deterioration, infections and premature death, spread too fast.
Betta fish thrive best in a clean water environment. A water filter helps to ensure the water is clean through-out. The filter removes food particles, debris, and any other water contaminants.
Some filters also offer surfaces for beneficial bacteria to colonize. These bacteria help to break down toxic substances such as ammonia and nitrite into less harmful substances.
Having a water tank for your betta with a filter will simplify your work. You will not be needed to completely change the water, but with a filter, you will only need to change about 30% of the water weekly.
A water filter also helps to oxygenate and maintain a low water flow rate for your betta to thrive.
How to Choose a Filter for Betta Fish?
There are a number of factors that you will need to consider when buying a water filter for you betta fish.
Size of the aquarium
Although betta fish thrive in small water tanks, you might be keeping your fish with other tank mates, therefore, while buying a water filter check the filter to know how many gallons of water it can support.
Mode of operation
Some filters operate with a wheezing and vibrating sounds. Get a filter that produces the most minimal noise so that you can leave it working even in the night.
Make sure to ask if the filter will also affect the temperature level of the water in the aquarium.
Compatibility with other devices
Water filter is not the only device you will need for your betta. You may also need an air pump and water heater. Get a water filter that will allow you to install other devices without any setbacks and affecting functionality.
Rate of water flow
Betta fish enjoy calm water. While buying a filter for your betta, check if the water flow rate is too high to affect the filter.
You will also need to reduce the water flow rate during feeding times, so make sure your filter has a flow adjustment knob to allow you to control water flow in the tank.
Best Small Aquarium Filters for Betta Fish
There are various types of filters available in the market. While purchasing one for your betta, it is important to identify if it is best suited for a betta fish in a small aquarium.
Buy your filter from a popular brand and store to ensure you are getting what is best for your fish. Faulty filters can cause electrocution or improper living conditions for the fish.
So, to help you make an informed decision, here are ten best filters for small aquariums with betta fish.
They are powerful filters that will ensure the water in your aquarium is clean and safe for your betta all the time.
Tetra filter are designed to be fully submerged in the aquarium and are easy to conceal while within the aquarium. They are best positioned at the side of the tank to ensure they do not obstruct you with filter boxes and power cords from viewing your colorful fish.
With a tetra filter, you do not have to worry of the wheezing sound because they function quietly and do not interrupt the daily living of the fish. A tetra filter has a 2 year warranty.
Tetra whisper in-tank filter are easy to install. It is hanged inside the aquarium using suction cups, but can also be hanged in the aquarium by supporting it on the aquarium’s rim.
For Aqueon filter suitable for small aquariums, up to 3 gallons, the filter weighs approximately 7.2 ounces. It is economical, efficiently cleans water and is easy to use.
An Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filters, are equipped with a replaceable carbon cartridge for chemical filtration. Chemical filtration ensures the water has no odour and it is clear, without any discoloration.
Aqueon Quietflow E Internal Power Filter are designed to automatically start up with no priming in case of power interruptions. Its installation process is easy and quick.
For framed aquariums, they are hanged on the side of the tank using hanging clips, while for frameless aquariums, you can use suction cups to attach the filter on the side of the tank.
The Cascade Hang on filter is designed to provide quality water filtration of up to 100 gallons of water per hour. Each cascade hang filter is fitted with features such flexible intake tube length, adjustable flow rate and self-levelling system.
The Cascade Hang on filter from Penn Plax are easy and quick to install and they function quietly.
Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter has a revolutionary Bio-Falls Quad Filtration System to ensure your aquarium is always clean and has a healthy environment for your betta.
The activated carbon cartridge removes toxic particles in the water, discoloration, odours and other contaminants in the tank, and a poly-fibre floss cartridge that traps floating particles in the aquarium.
There is also an internal sponge that not only boosts multiplication of beneficial anaerobic bacteria while removing ammonia and nitrite but also enhances oxygen exchange in the water.
AZOO Aquarium Mignon Filter 60 is a water filter for up to 30 gallons of water. It flows water at the rate of 150 litres per hour. The AZOO Aquarium Mignon Filter 60 operates quietly while in the aquarium, and it has an adjustable knob to help you reduce the flow of water in the tank while feeding the fish, and to turn it back to normal afterwards.
AZOO Aquarium Mignon Filter 60 is a compact filter that is not very complicated to assemble and install in the aquarium. The filter comes with all the components required for its functionality, the extensions for intake, the intake sponge covering, filter sponges and cartridges.
The tubes of this filter are made of a clear material to ensure the filter does not attract more attention than the betta in the tank. The black carbon filter works efficiently to offer the best water filtration for your fish.
Marineland Penguin Power Filter has a three stage filter, mechanical, chemical and biological. Each stage is fitted with cartridges that are equipped with activated carbon ready for use. The cartridges remove water particles, discoloration and odours in the water both mechanically and chemically.
For the biological water filtration, the Marineland Penguin Power Filter has a BIO-Wheel that removes toxins such as ammonia and nitrite in the water.
To limit the amount of noise produced by the BIO-Wheel filters, the filter is equipped with a noise reducing two piece vented cover and an adjustable mid-level intake strainers.
Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter is a fully submersible water filter ideal for aquarium or terrarium use. The filter is capable of offering water filtration in a water tank of up to 10 gallons of water with a flow rate of 57 GPH. The filter offers water flow controllability with its three features; an adjustable flow rate, adjustable flow direction and adjustable flow height.
Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter has an easy and quick installation process. The filter is self-priming on the wall of the aquarium, and it has a directional return pipe to allow you mount the filter either vertically or horizontally in the water tank.
Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter has three stage filtration process, with each stage pre-loaded with replaceable Aqueon cartridge. The different stage filters are; a dense foam to remove particles and debris in the water, activated carbon to remove contaminants, discoloration and odours, and BioGrid that removes ammonia and nitrite in the water.
This filter has a submerged motor and flow control abilities to ensure you are able to reduce the flow rate for your betta, feeding, aquatic plants and other low flow needs.
Tetra 78000 Whisper IQ Power uses Bio Bag cartridges with Stay Clean Technology and medium cartridge. Between the motor of the Tetra 78000 Whisper IQ Power and the filter, it is decoupled with a sound barrier to minimize noise, and a vibration dampening technology to ensure the filter operates quietly.
The filter also has a smart path spillway that allows oxygen to flow into the aquarium.
The two stage filtration process filters out impurities, fish waste and debris. It comes with 2 section spray bars and it is ideal for both fresh and salty water aquariums.
Aquapapa Corner Filter Aquarium has a two layer filtration process, mechanical and biochemical filtration. Mechanical filtration is provided by the top layer of a white filter pad, while the biochemical filtration is achieved through the use of black bio-sponge and ceramic rings that are aligned on the second layer.
These supports the establishment of beneficial bacteria that help to break down toxic substances such as ammonia and nitrite.
To achieve proper airflow in the water, you can use Tetra Whisper Air Pump with the Aquapapa Corner Filter. The two systems work together in harmony to ensure your betta has the best air and water quality.
The Tetra Whisper Air Pump have capabilities to handle airing needs of aquariums from 10 to 100 gallons of water. This air pump, just like the filter functions quietly as it helps to usher in streams of air in the tank.
It has an easy process of installation with the 2 suction cups, and can be installed anywhere in the aquarium. If you do not want to obstruct the view of your betta, you can install it at the back of the aquarium.
Huijukon Double Sponge Filter has a 10 layer sponges designed in a rib-like structure that provide mechanical and biological filtration.
The sponges trap particles and debris in the aquarium without sucking up the fish. The filter has two sponges that provide a larger surface area for the beneficial bacteria to colonize and offer faster water cycling.
The Huijukon Double Sponge Filter works well with a Tetra Whisper Air Pump. The Tetra Whisper Air Pump has a dome shape with a suspended motor and sound reducing chambers to enhance a quiet operation. The air pump has two air holes to ensure the aquarium has enough air circulation.
Air Driven Versus Power Filter for Betta Fish
Air driven filters depend on air pump to drive the filter. An air driven filter functions by allowing air bubbles to rise in a lift tube, causing water to be drawn through the base of the filter into the filter media.
Air driven pumps can be a sponge that traps particles and debris. Air filters are installed below water level with the use of suction cups. An air filter is a good back up in case the power filter breakdowns. It is also efficient for very small tanks that cannot handle the flow rate created by power filters.
Power filters on the other hand, are designed to be hang at the back of the aquarium. It depends on power to create water flow through the filter and back into the tank. Power filters are designed to fit small tanks from 5 gallons of water to large tanks.
They are designed with different filtration materials, offering multiple filtration. This makes them best for betta tanks because they are able to clean every water contaminant in the tank and create a low water flow rate, compared to air driven water filters.
Can You Turn off Betta Filter at Night?
Some people want to off water the water filter at night for various reasons. One of the major complaint is, water filters are too noisy. The wheezing and vibrations can be irritating especially at night when everything in the surrounding environment is quiet.
If that is the case, then get a filter that functions quietly since there are plenty of then in the market. Turning off the filter for one night will not lead to severe effects, however, turning it off every night is the main concern.
Turning off the water filter every night may lead to a number of effects. Some people do not recommend turning off the filter, not because water impurities, ammonia and algae will build up to toxic levels overnight, but turning off the filter may cause the bacterial to be inactive.
Now this is the main danger. These bacteria help to break down harmful substances. Absence of these bacteria, in the aquarium means, ammonia and nitrite will not be broken down. High levels of this toxic substances will lead to increased stress levels or cause death of your betta.
Filters also help to ensure your aquarium is oxygenated throughout. Turning off your filter for 8 hours or so, means there is no water flow in the tank.
With time, this may cause major effects to the betta and the bacteria living in the filter because it means they are deprived of oxygen at least 8 hours every day.
Finally, you should not turn off the filter at night because some filters regurgitate a mess of particles and dirty water back into the aquarium during the starting process. Therefore, turning off your filter for the night means all the dirt collected the previous day will be dumped into the tank again during priming process.
How to Reduce Water Flow on a Betta Fish Tank Filter?
Betta fish thrive best in a low water flow rate. During feeding time, the flow rate should even be lower to ensure the fish is not thrown up and down as they are feeding.
Some filters have flow rate adjustment knobs that allow you to control the flow of water in the aquarium. However, if your filter has no capabilities of reducing the flow rate, there are a few things you can modify to reduce water flow on a betta tank.
- Make the input tube large or to create more holes. This will reduce the rate at which water is being pulled into the filter, therefore reducing the overall turbulence in the whole system.
- Add spray bar to the water return. Creating a spray bar spreads the water out over many small holes creating a gentler current compared to having one steady stream.
- Change the filter material into a media with more density. A denser filter will hold back water and reduce the force as the water returns to the aquarium.
Water filter serves multiple functions for a betta tank. They not only clean the water and remove contaminants, but they also create a low water flow rate suitable for a betta fish.
A betta fish will live healthily and happy in an aquarium that has a water filter.