Should You Use a Filter for Your Betta Fish Tank?

Most Betta Fish pet owners typically will bring a betta fish and put it in a tank or fish bowl and not worry about a filter initially. However, as their interest grows, eventually these same people will graduate to an actual fish tank, normally the 10 gallon variety. Of course then comes the idea to put other different types of fish into the fish tank. But before they can do this, they normally will have to think in terms of what filter that they will need. After all, most fish aren't as hardy as the betta fish and need a flowing current in order to be able to survive.

So Should You Use a Filter for Your Betta Fish Tank?

and if so....

What kind of Filter is compatible with Betta Fish?

To understand what you should and should not use, you have to understand how the betta fish breathe and how betas operate in the wild. A betta fish's natural habitat is in rice paddies and puddles in Thailand. As you probably can imagine, there is virtually no current in their habitat and therefore, you are going to want to create a similar environment for them. Also, because of this, there is no need for a pump; Betta fish are unique in their ability to breathe air. They come equipped with something called a labryinth lung. This special type of lung will allow them to breathe air from the outside however, this makes it also harder to filter the air from the water, like most fish. What I am trying to get at is a filter for your tank is not necessary. For more information on this, check out my Fish Tank for Bettas post

Most people who graduate from a fish bowl to a larger tank want to opt for a filter that will yield the least amount of current as possible. Betta fish (the males in particular) have a tough time fighting water currents as their fins aren't equipped for it. Ideally, the only type of filter you should stay away from are the Power Filters.

It is also recommended that if you do use a filter, make sure that the tank is large enough so the betta can swim away from the filtration sytems and get away from the current. And ultimately, not all bettas will like the idea of water current. Some will even hide in order to avoid the current. In other words, it is a good idea to test the filter for a couple weeks and see how your fish react. If they act erratic, then it is probably a better option to remove the fish and place him in a more calm environment.

So, if your Betta Fish reacts better WITHOUT a filter, why bother using one?

The benefits of using a filter are numerous. Like I said earlier, if you intend to incorporate other freshwater fish into the tank, then it is likely that a filter will be a must. Most fish rely on the current a filter produces to be able to actually breathe.

Also, if you use a filter, you won't have to be constantly changing the water, as the filter will help remove some of the toxins and debris that a filterless tank would not (obviously). In other words, if you are not too keen on changing out the water every week or so, a filter will be the way to go.

I have two 10 gallon fish tanks and both use an underground filtration system. I have never had a betta fish not like it but I have heard from other pet owners that their fish didn't adapt so well. As strange as it may seem, deciding on whether a filtration system will work for you will largely depend on how your siamese fighting fish react to it.


This is probably more of a question.

I added a filter to my bettas tank, and he seems fine with the current. He has no issue swimming against it, and there is virtually none at the other end of the tank where he hangs out.

But, lately he has been swimming up to the filter and lying against the intake grill, which 'sucks' his fins flat against the grill. He doesn't seem to mind, and after a while just swims back to the other end.

What's he doing?
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