Best Filters for Betta Fish Tanks

Many betta fish have suffered over the years from incorrect husbandry techniques. In the past many people kept bettas in tiny fish bowls, lacking any proper filtration. Fortunately we live in more enlightened times now, and most keepers understand the importance of choosing a suitable filter for their betta tank.

In this guide we’ll look at the most important elements to consider when choosing a filter for your betta fish, and we’ll also compare a number of popular options on the market to help you choose the best filter for your betta tank.

In a Hurry? Top 3 Filters for Betta Fish Tanks

Features to Look out For in a Betta Filter

Choosing a betta tank filter is no easy task. The small sizes of tanks usually used for betta fish can create complications. Additionally the beautiful flowing fins of bettas can affect your choice of filter. So, what factors should you consider when shopping around?


Bettas predominantly live in shallow, still water in their wild habitat. So, the filtration system in the fish tank needs to be equipped with an adjustable output nozzle so that the current flow can be controlled.

You want the water inside the fish tank to be calm so that the fish can feel at home and swim around with ease. In case the filtration system doesn’t have an adjustable nozzle, you will have to buy a pre-filter sponge separately to control the current flow.


The performance of a filter, specifically in regards to bettas, needs to be judged on a few key parameters.

Firstly, you need to check if the filtration system is able to effectively eliminate particles, debris and toxins from the water.

Secondly, you need to determine if the filtration system is sufficient for the volume of water in your tank.

Thirdly, you need to ascertain if the filtration system helps maintain the pH levels of the water.

Filter Media

Most decent aquariums or fish tanks are equipped with a 3-stage filtration system these days, while some of the premium aquariums offer a few extra stages of filtration. The stages essentially denote the different types of filter media in the filtration system.

Each filter media takes care of a different aspect of cleaning the water. For example, the standard 3-stage system comprises a mechanical media, a chemical media and a bio media.

Cartridge System

The filter cartridge needs to be changed or replaced at periodic intervals to ensure continued optimal performance.

Some of the filtration systems have an indicator that notifies when it’s time to replace the cartridge, while in most filtration systems you will have to keep a track of time yourself.

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Also, you should ideally get a filter in which the cartridge can be easily removed and replaced, instead of having to go through an elaborate process. You might have to replace one or more of the filter media as well. This too should be easy to accomplish.

Detailed Reviews of the Best Filters for Betta Fish Tanks

AquaClear Power Filter: Excellent Re-Filtration System with Flow Rate Control

The AquaClear power filter features a re-filtration system, which ensures that the water is in contact with the filter media for a longer period of time than usual and is therefore cleaner. It also allows you to control the flow rate without diminishing the quality of filtration.

The company claims that the filtration volume is 7 times more than that offered by other similar filters.

It’s CycleGuard 3-stage filtration system includes an AquaClear foam insert, an activated carbon insert and a BioMax insert, which ensures that beneficial bacteria is retained in the water. This beneficial bacteria helps remove excess ammonia and nitrites from the water.

The foam insert needs to be replaced every two months, the activated carbon insert needs to be replaced every month and the BioMax insert needs to be replaced every three months.

The filter is available in five different variants, for fish tanks with 5 to 20 gallon capacity, 10 to 30 gallon capacity (perfect for most betta tanks), 20 to 50 gallon capacity, 40 to 70 gallon capacity and 60 to 110 gallon capacity.

The filter also features an energy efficient pump that keeps the operating costs low.


  • The re-filtration system is perfect for bettas, because they prefer calm water. Since the drop in flow rate doesn’t affect the efficiency of filtration, it’s even better.
  • The filter helps retain beneficial bacteria, which will ensure that plant growth is aided and helps create a great environment for the betta.
  • Irrespective of the size of the fish tank you have, there’s an AquaClear filter to match your needs.


  • There are hardly any drawbacks worth mentioning, except maybe that replacing the three inserts will cost you about $10-20 every other month.

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter: Best Internal Filter

The Aqueon QuietFlow internal filter is fully submersible, either in a vertical or horizontal position. It’s suited for aquariums up to 10 gallons. The water return flow rate can be adjusted and so can the direction and height of water return.

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It features a standard 3-stage filtration system, including a foam insert for particles and debris, an activated carbon insert for toxins and odors and a BioGrid insert for ammonia and nitrites.

The Aqueon internal filter cartridge needs to be replaced every 4 weeks or so.


  • If you’re looking for an internal filter, then this is the one for you.
  • The filter allows you to adjust water flow rate, direction and height, which makes it ideal for bettas.
  • The filtration system is robust and the replacement cartridge costs under $9.


  • The gallons per hour number mentioned can be a bit misleading, some customers have reported.
  • Difficult to add your own media to reduce the flow rate without cutting the plastic part of the cartridge.

4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Aqueon QuietFlow LED Power Filter: Filtration System with Extra Filter Pads and Cartridge Replacement Indicator

The Aqueon QuietFlow power filter features a 4-stage filtration system, which includes the standard mechanical, chemical and biological filtration plus specialty filter pads that further aid the filtration process.

First particulate debris is removed, then toxins and odors are eliminated, next ammonia and nitrites are removed and at the end any remaining toxins are removed.

It’s also equipped with an indicator to inform when the cartridge is clogged and needs to be replaced, which is usually once every 4-6 weeks.

The company claims that it has 25% more activated carbon insert in the filter cartridge than other similar filters.

The internal pump produces very little noise and also starts up automatically post cleaning or after a power cut.

This filter is suitable for fish tanks with a 20 gallon capacity.


  • The Aqueon QuietFlow filter has a very efficient filtration system.
  • The cartridge replacement indicator is useful as that eliminates chances of delays and ensures that the water in the fish tank is clean at all times.
  • The pump is silent and protects against leaks.


  • The flow rate is a bit high, which isn’t ideal for bettas. So, you might have to buy a pre-filter sponge separately.

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Marina S10 Power Filter: Good, Affordable Filter for Smaller Fish Tanks

The Marina S10 filter is suitable for fish tanks up to 10 gallons. Since, it has an adjustable flow control, it works perfectly for bettas. The motor is submerged in the tank and makes very little to no noise.

There are two filter cartridges used in this, including one Bio-Carb and one Bio-Clear. These cartridges contain what’s known as Ceramitek, which is specially geared for biological filtration and ensures the tanks is clean and safe for bettas.

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It’s a no-frills filter and requires very little maintenance.


  • It’s nothing fancy, but the filter nonetheless provides good performance and is affordable.
  • The self-priming feature is useful, especially if there are frequent power cuts.


  • There are some complaints regarding the hum of the motor and you might have to customize it a bit.

3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Tetra Whisper PF10 Power Filter: Good for Small Aquariums

This filter suited for smaller aquariums with a 5 to 10 gallon capacities. It features a 3-stage filtration, including mechanical, chemical and biological filtration.

It uses medium Bio-Bag filter cartridges. The cartridges are fairly simple to remove and replace, as and when required.


  • It’s a decent filter for small fish tanks.
  • The 3-stage filtration system does a fairly good job of removing algae and other waste.
  • It’s priced affordably.


  • The current from this filter is quite strong, which isn’t ideal for bettas. So, you will have buy a pre-filter sponge separately.

3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

AquaTech Power Filter: Three-Level Filtration System

The AquaTech filter does a good job of trapping and removing dirt and impurities from the water with its three-stage filtration system.

In the first stage, dirt and debris is screened and removed. In the second stage, all odors, impurities and discolorations in the water is tackled by the activated carbon in the filter cartridge. In the third and final stage, ammonia and nitrite are eliminated by the biological grid.

This is ideal for 5-15 gallon aquariums.


  • The filter cartridge is designed to ensure maximum water-to-carbon contact, which ensures better removal of odors and impurities.
  • Maintaining and using this filter is very easy.
  • The filter comes with a two-year warranty.
  • The filter doesn’t clog.


  • The AquaTech filter cartridge needs to be replaced monthly for best results, while the Biotech grid needs to be replaced as well, which increases expenses.
  • It doesn’t filter as much water as the older AquaTech filter models.

3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Conclusion: What’s the Best Filter for Betta Fish Tanks?

You should now have a much clearer idea about which filter matches your requirements.

As we have seen, there are many different options currently on the market, with varying degrees of suitability for betta fish. Our top three recommendations based on our research are as follows, and each of these would make a strong contender for best betta fish filter:

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