Last updated: 25 Jun 2020

The Best Filter for Betta Fish Aquariums (Review) in 2020

Key features

Comes with a quiet motor

Comes with a pre-assembled Whisper Bio-Bag filter cartridge

Two suction cups included

Encased using sturdy, yet flexible plastic

Key features

Has numerous filtration baskets

Comes with a nifty 3-year warranty

Fast set up is guaranteed

Accompanied by a handy quick-start guide

Key features

It is made of sponge

Easy to clean

Great for smaller fish

Increased oxygen circulation

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Olivia Williams
Published 15:35 pm

Just like any other domesticated fish, Bettas need a tank in their aquarium. If you are planning to keep your fish alive, you need to mimic as much of their natural habitat as possible. Since water filtration is a process that occurs naturally in nature, this is an important one to set up. Clean and freshwater is, after all, a necessity for the survival of fish. Not only will your Betta fish remain hale and hearty because of this, but the tank will equally not look like a spectacle altogether. Now, that the importance of these filters has been highlighted, the next step is to find the right one for you and your aquatic friend. Below are some of the best filters for Betta fish aquariums out there.

The Best Filter for Betta Fish Aquarium


The fact that it has the word ‘whisper’ included in its title is already an indicator of great things to come. Altogether, anyone on the lookout for convenience and a whole lot of peace and quiet is in the right place. At the end here, there won’t be an atom of doubt that the Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber is one of the very best filters for bettas. The all-around design of this betta filter dictates that it should be mounted on the inside rather than being hung on the outside of the aquarium. Not only does this allow you to conveniently place the tank against a wall, it equally ensures that it is quiet.

Have no doubts though, the fact that it is an in-tank filter does not tell badly on its quality or its ability to deliver. Making its operation even easier for you is the fact that you can use this filter in both high and low levels of water. Simply make use of the accompanying suction cups.

Combination of air pump and water filter

Fitted with a clip for mounting

Comes in an air-driven design

The filter itself is made using dual-sided mesh

  • Brand: Tetra
  • Model: 25816
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds


A four-stage filtration system is no joke, that’s for sure. So, it is already evident that this betta tank is one to look out for. Among the many selling points of the Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter, the fact that it provides both chemical and mechanical filtration really sets it apart. This easy to assemble Betta fish filter can filter up to 20 gallons of water per hour and even better is the fact that it does this quietly. Even better is the fact that there are minimal limitations here as you can use this in both salty and freshwater.

 Included in the design is an activated carbon cartridge which is handy when it comes to extracting harmful toxins, chemicals, odors among other detrimental substances. Furthermore, the internal sponge here practically mobilizes healthy bacteria and as an extension of that, your fish is sure to be healthy. This, combined with a floss cartridge that traps floating particles, makes for a clean and serene tank.

Can be used in both fresh and saltwater aquariums

Makes use of an activated carbon cartridge

Has a poly-fiber floss cartridge for floating particles

Has an adjustable flow knob

  • Brand: Penn Plax
  • Model: CPF6
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces


This next baby may have to be mounted on the outside, but best believe that it is still as quiet and efficient as any other option out there, even more so. The whole design of the Fluval External Filter is tailored to accommodate its multi-stage filtration system which altogether makes for a conducive and healthy fresh and salty water. As an extension of this, the multiple filtration baskets are key to the operation of mechanical, biological and chemical filtration processes.

What’s more, if you own an aquarium that can contain up to 25 gallons and less, then this is one product you need to keep a keen eye on. It has the ability to filter all of that water and give your betta fish one of the safest environments to thrive in. Making its design even more efficient is the incorporation of a sound dampening design which contributes greatly to the silence you’ll experience while using this betta fish filter. There’s also a clog-proof intake strainer included here as well as a dual-layer foam screen which you will undoubtedly find quite handy.

Can be used in aquariums up to 25 gallons

Comes in a sound dampening impeller design

Fitted with a clog-proof intake strainer

Equipped with a two-layer foam screen

  • Brand: Fluval
  • Model: A202
  • Weight: 6 pounds


If what you are after is convenience on a platter, then the Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter is a stellar choice. For one, the Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter is completely submersible whether placed in a vertical or horizontal position. So, there is really nothing that’s etched in stone when it comes to this option. What’s more, the return flow rate here is adjustable as well as the direction and height of the water return.

You’ll also appreciate the incorporation of a three-stage filtration system here. First, there’s some dense foam included for the capturing of particles and all sorts of debris. There’s also activated carbon added here to filter out toxins as well as any discolorations and odors. Last but certainly not least is the patented BioGrid which handles the filtering of ammonia and nitrates.

Comes in a fully submersible design

It has an adjustable flow rate

Makes use of a three-stage filtration system

Height and direction is adjustable

  • Brand: Aqueon
  • Model: 100106970
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces


Just looking at this next option will reveal that this is a unique product. It’s not all about being unique though, this is equally a functional requirement that every betta fish tank should have. Altogether, the all-around design of the upettools Aquarium Biochemical Sponge Filter features single pieces of scientific 7-layer ribbing shaped sponge. It’s not just a bunch of fancy contraptions fitted together, this design ensures that the purifying water quality is enhanced. It further goes on to make sure that the attached oxygen port can rotate 360 degrees without encountering any dead ends.

Here’s even more useful information; the filter itself is compatible with at most one container further equipped with a ceramic biofilter media within it. What this does is to limit and completely extract andy harmful substances while also increasing oxygen levels. And just because it is a sponge filter, it does not mean it cannot get the job done.

Comes in a 7-layer ribbing shape sponge design

It offers both mechanical and biological filtration

It is compatible with two suction cups

Easy to install

  • Brand: upettools
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces


Being bulky or heavy-duty is in no way a prerequisite for effectiveness and efficiency. The Marina Slim Power Filter is hard proof of the above notion. Not only does it function above average, but it is also quite pleasing to the eyes. It’s compact and slim design ensures that it takes up a fraction of the space that most options out there do. Not only does this give your aquatic friend a lot more space, but it also adds that touch of class to the mix.

More on the practical front, the filter comes with an adjustable flow control which ensures that the water flow level in your tank is just where you want it to be. Furthermore, the motor of this device is submerged underwater and as such, it is as quiet as they come. If that does not sound simply delightful, then this next one should tip the scales completely. Altogether, installation, as well as starting up, is a breeze here. And since there is no priming required for it to work, all you have to do is plug it in and you’re good to go.

Can be used in aquariums up to 10 gallons

Happens to be self-priming

It has adjustable flow control

Comes in a compact and slim design

  • Brand: Marina
  • Model: A285
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds


Anyone who knows their betta fish tank filters will tell you that this option is undoubtedly one of the very best. Undergravel filter may have been pushed into the background, but Lee’s 40/55 Premium Undergravel Filter is here to give them a comeback. Most especially if you own saltwater fish then this is more than a viable choice altogether. The wide surface area of the plate here ensures that there is better water circulation within the tank. Even better is the fact that these same plates are semi-flexible and as such, they are practically break-resistant. All in all, this will give you great value or your money as durability is guaranteed.

Furthermore, the large size of the plates here also saves you some money. You’ll find that there is no need to buy as many since the large size here is proportionate to the capacity. And speaking of saving you money, this happens to be the most economical of all Lee’s under gravel filter options. Yet, it is still equipped with a fish-saver elbow, an authentic carbon cartridge as well as slim Discard-A-Stone.

Large plate sizes

Heavy-duty UGF plates

Quality construction

Can be used in tanks up to 15 gallons

  • Brand: Lee’s
  • Model: 13160
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds


Here’s a device that will change all your notions about what actually constitutes an aquarium filter. Say goodbye to the times that you had to change filters and filter media periodically, the SunGrow 6-Layer Betta Corner Sponge Filter is as easy to use as it gets. Now, this is classified as one of the best filters for betta fish thanks to the fact that it is actually suited to the needs of small fish. One common downside of traditional filters is the fact that they tend to suck fish in from time to time. That will not be a problem with this option on the table. All in all, the filter is designed in such a way that it offers up slow and steady currents for your pet’s comfort. Best believe that it will feel just like home.

Additionally, the little bubbles the sponge creates here further from little bubbles that go on to create a current of the same magnitude. This results in increased oxygen levels which your fish will absolutely enjoy and thrive with. What’s more, the sponge also serves as a home for fish food and this goes a long way when it comes to supplementing their daily intake and diet as a whole.

Offers slow and steady flow

Can be used in tanks up to 10.5 gallons

Fitted with a noiseless motor

The base is not weighted

  • Brand: SunGrow
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces

Best Filter for Betta Fish Aquarium Buying Guide & FAQ

Betta fish are popular household pets because of how easy they are to keep. Since maintaining an optimum living condition is both in the aquarist’s and their fish’s interest, so are filters. However, because of how sensitive Betta fish are to pressure, you need to be cautious about their choice of filter. The following is a guide to help you make the right choice.

Does a Betta Fish Need a Filter?

While it does not need a filter to survive per se, it does prefer filtered tanks because filter stabilizes the water condition and all fish like stable water.

What To Consider When Choosing a Filter for Betta Fish Aquariums 

  • Filter Media

Many filters come with the three types of media, mechanical, chemical, and biological. Sometimes, having two of three is OK, other times having all three is better. Before choosing a filter, make sure it does not come with just one medium. Also, consider the ease of replacement of these media, as this gives you more control over your fish tank’s water quality.

  • Size of the Tank

How small or large your Betta tank with filter is should determine the precise filter you go for, both in terms of mediums of filtration and output strength. While a filter that generates strong currents may not be much of an issue in a big Aquarium, the same filter will cause nothing but stress to your fish in a smaller aquarium.

  • Filter Output

Betta fish prefer calm waters as they are creatures that do not like stress. Go for a filter with a minimal current output so your fish can still swim around the tank with ease and feel relaxed in it. Nonetheless, for the best experience for both the fish and the aquarist, go for a filter for Betta fish whose output can be modified according to tank size.

  • Tank Care

Look out for the ease of maintenance, especially if you do not have a lot of time to spare on cleaning your fish tank regularly. To this end, you may want to target the easy all-in-one filters. They neither take any extra time nor money for maintenance, all you have to do is replace the old with a new one.

Popular Types of Filters For Betta Fish 

  • Canister Filter

These are external filters that usually contain various filtration media. With a combination of rotor and gravity, these filters push the tank water through themselves, filter the water in the medium(s) and return it to the tank through an outlet.

  • Sponge Filters

These are often powered by an air pump situated externally but the filter itself is a sponge – placed inside the aquarium – through which the water runs. They work by providing biological and mechanical filtration. Since most of them produce minimal current, they are suitable for small volume aquariums.

  • Undergravel Filters

As the name implies, these are filter plates placed under the aquarium water gravel. They are the most popular type of biological filters and are highly effective. While their appearance may differ based on the brand, they are generally plastic plates with sieves and a lift tube through which the aquarium water is drawn.

Benefits of a Betta Fish Filter 

  • It saves maintenance time: A Betta fish tank with filter requires much less cleaning than one without.
  • Keeps your Betta fish happy and healthy: Though a Betta fish’s survival is not dependent on a filter if the tank is well maintained they are a lot happier. In fact, the right filter and this can improve their overall health.
  • Aesthetics: A good looking filter combined with the beauty of your Betta fish being displayed through clear water makes for a better view.

Best Filter for Betta Fish Aquarium FAQ:

Q: Can a filter be too strong for a Betta fish?

A: Yes, if the filter is too strong for the tank size.

Q: How do I slow down a filter for a Betta?

A: If the filter is adjustable, you could try adjusting its current output or try adding some rocks and plants into the tank, as those act as buffers.

Q: How often does a Betta fish tank with a filter need cleaning?

A: This depends on the volume of water in the aquarium, large tanks can go a few weeks without full cleaning while smaller ones need to be cleaned out more frequently.

Q: Why does my Betta fish stay by the filter? 

A: Most likely because it is stressed out by the strength of the filter. A Betta fish usually finds an area of the water where it can be least stressed.

Beautiful planted tropical freshwater aquarium with fishes

Our Top Pick

Available in five different sizes with the biggest size capable of holding as much as 40 gallons of water, the Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber will offer little to no stress. It is an internal filter that can be conveniently mounted inside your aquarium with a clip inclusive in the package. Its tetra whisper design ensures ultimate silence while it keeps water clean using a dense mesh that catches both fish waste and debris.

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