Best Filter for Betta Fish – 2023 Top Picks Reviews

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Unless you are committed to a lot of hard work, such as cleaning the tank weekly and making water changes regularly, your bettas need the best filter for betta fish.

A good filter will do all the hard work for you and help keep the water parameters (ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites) optimum. Moreover, the best filter for betta also adds oxygenation to the tank, making it healthier. This is extremely important for your bettas’ welfare.

If you’re wondering what filter is best for betta fish, this guide is for you. Read on to find the best filter for betta fish for various tank sizes.

Best Filter for Betta Tank – Top 10 Picks

1. Editor’s Pick: AquaClear Fish Tank Filter, 5 to 20 Gallons

AquaClear 20 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 5- to 20-Gallon Aquariums
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation; we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every 2 weeks for maximum operation and efficiency
  • Provides optimal mechanical; chemical; and biological filtration
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam; Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax and Cycle Guard for superior water quality

If you want a filter that offers quick and efficient filtering without consuming too much energy, then the AquaClear tank filter is just what you need.

This is an excellent filter for the betta fish tank, and it comes in various sizes like 5-20 gallons, 10-30 gallons, and even 60-110 gallons.

Thousands of betta owners have given rave reviews for this filter. Its installation is quick and easy, and your tank will have superior water quality thanks to its multiple filtration layers:

  • Foam (for trapping larger debris)
  • Activated carbon (absorbs odors, impurities, and discolorations),
  • BioMax(ceramic rings to preserve beneficial bacteria),
  • and cycle guard.

Moreover, its waterfall-like sound and low operation ensure minimum stress in the bettas.

  • Preserves beneficial bacteria
  • See-through design
  • Waterfall effect
  • Has a switch on the top to change the speed of the suction
  • Can be used for salt and freshwater tanks
  • Low noise operation
  • Patented filtration system for clear aquarium water
  • Fits most aquarium tanks
  • Does not include a sponge.

2. Best Filter for 3 Gallon Betta Tank: Aqueon Betta Filters Volcano One Size

Aqueon Betta Filters Volcano One Size
  • For small betta habitats like bowls and aquariums up to 3 gallons
  • Carbon and sponge cartridge should be replaced monthly for optimal performance
  • Air bubbles provided added environmental enrichment and oxygen in betta habitat
  • Requires air pump for operation (sold separately)

If you have a small betta habitat, such as a bowl or a tank of 3 gallons, the Aqueon volcano filter is an excellent choice. It comes with a carbon and sponge cartridge, and you can also choose from options like a volcano with pump, plant and air pump, etc. (Please note that the lower-end models require you to buy the air pump separately).

The beautiful volcano shape provides natural decoration in your betta’s habitat. The air-operated volcano filter provides your betta with a healthier habitat and also produces bubbles for your betta to play with.

  • Ideal filter choice for small betta habitats
  • Acts as natural decoration and conceals the filter
  • Provides a hiding place for small fish to hide or rest
  • Moderately noisy
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Value for money
  • The suction tends to come off after a while.

3. Best Silent Operation: PULACO Ultra Quiet Aquarium Hang-on Filter

PULACO Ultra Quiet Aquarium Hang on Filter (66GPH 3W), Small Fish Tank Filter for 2 to 8 Gallons Fish Tank
  • ★【Features】:Quick and easy installation, Traps dirt, removes impurities and offers maximum water to filter sponge contact.
  • ★【QUIET & EFFICIENT】: The PULACO Aquarium Hang-On Filter quietly delivers crystal clear water throughout the aquarium. This filter pushes water at 66 Gallons per Hour (GPH) for tanks 2 to 8 Gallons in size. It’s great for Freshwater and Saltwater aquariums.
  • ★【Adjustable Flow】: The adjustable flow knob allows for increased or decreased water flow at will, which is extremely helpful during feeding times, or use it as needed.
  • ★【note】: Before you install this filter, please read this instruction carefully and keep it for future reference. we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every 2 weeks for maximum operation and efficiency.

Betta fish do not like noisy filters. The PULACO ultra-quiet hang-on filter overcomes noise by using a high-quality motor. Moreover, you can adjust the water flow as required.

PULACO filter pushes water at 66 gallons per hour without the noise so that a baby could sleep right next to it! It also ensures Maximum water filters sponge contact and shocks the water to create more oxygen in the tank. No wonder it is considered the best filter for a 2.5-gallon betta tank.

The brand also offers 24-hour after-sales service and a lifetime warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Adjustable flow
  • Quiet and noiseless
  • Easy to clean
  • Only suitable for small tanks

4. Best Small-Size Filter for Betta Fish: AQUANEAT Mini Sponge Filter

AQUANEAT Mini Sponge Filter,Aquarium Sponge Filter for Betta Fish Tank with Airline Tubing and Control Valve, up to 3Gal
  • This sponge filter is super mini size, takes up a little room, perfect for use in 0.5-3 gallon fish tank
  • Dimension: 1.5”D X3”H
  • Safe for fish: soft sponge material, traps floating debris and won't suck up your fish
  • Easy to set up & clean: simply install an airline into the unit and turn on the air pump, simply rinse and squeeze sponge in tank water

AQUANEAT is a mini-sponge filter for betta fish tanks 0.5 up to 3 gallons. It takes up minimum space and consists of a sponge that absorbs all floating debris without harming your betta.

The sponge filter is considered the best aquarium filter for betta fish because of its ease of setup and cleaning.

  • Small but super strong
  • Easy to set up and clean
  • Comes with adjustments to create fewer bubbles
  • Discrete design; can be hidden behind aquarium plants or decorations.
  • Affordable
  • Not too quiet-bubbles are noisy
  • The tubing is too small and does not stay connected to the air pump.

5. Best Submersible Filter: NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter

NO.17 Submersible Aquarium Internal Filter 8W, Adjustable Fish Tank Filter with 200 GPH Water Pump for 10-50 Gallon Fish Tank
  • 🐟[8W AQUARIUM FILTER]: This Fish Tank Internal Filter is a system that create a clean and fresh living environment for your lovely fish. 8 watt is perfect for 10-50 gallon large aquariums.
  • 🐟[ADJUSTABLE 200 GPH WATER PUMP]: Max Flow Rate: 200 GPH(800L/H), Max Lift height: up to 3.28 Feet.(Length of power cord:1.6M=5.25ft). This water pump is designed for reliability and ultra-quiet operation, and you have a key to adjust the flow rate.
  • 🐟[2NOZZLE, 2 MODEL]: In this package, there have 2 nozzle, you could choose 2 nozzle to clean and fresh your aquarium.
  • 🐟[MULTIPLE FILTER MEDIA]: The filter with multiple filter media for all filtration purposes. Your lovely fish or turtle will have a clean and fresh environment for living.

NO.17 8 Watt internal filter is considered one of the best filters for a 20-gallon betta tank. It provides a clean and healthy environment for your betta.

 It is equipped with a 200 gallons per hour air pump, so you don’t have to buy it separately. Also, its flow rate is adjustable so that you can choose one according to your pets’ comfort.

The submersible filter also comes with multiple media to filter out debris.

  • Made of high-quality ABS material safe for fish
  • Easy tool-less assembly
  • Easy to clean
  • Quiet operation
  • Compact design
  • Versatile – has a wide range of applications.
  • Filter medium need cleaned and rinsed every 2 to 3 days
  • You still need to make weekly water changes to remove ammonia

6. Best Biochemical Filter: UPETTOOLS Aquarium Biochemical Sponge Filter

UPETTOOLS Aquarium Biochemical Sponge Filter Ultra Quiet Aquarium Air Pump Bio Sponge Fish Tank Foam Filter Comes with 4/2 Spare Sponges 4/2 Bag of Bio Ceramic Media Balls (Black Single Sponge Filter)
  • 【Multi-filtration Functions】Upettools sponge filter combines single scientific 7-layer ribbing shape sponge design, which can quickly established a bio-filter, improve purifying water quality, and the oxygen port can rotate 360 degrees without dead ends, keep your fish tank crystal clear and clean.
  • 【More accessories】Package include: 1 single sponge filter with 1 containers +2 suctions + 2 bag of ceramic media balls + 2 pare sponges.This aquarium filter must be used with an air pupm and a standard size 4mm air hose.
  • 【Removable Sponges 】 You can take down the sponge from the filter easily to clean or replace it. Sponge filters provide both mechanical and biological filtration, traps floating debris and protect your baby fish from being sucked up into the filter.
  • 【Easy to Set Up】Simply install an airline into the unit and turn on the air pump, great way to clean and oxygenate your tanks. Don't use tap water to clean it, simply squeeze the sponges in tank water.

A mechanical filter strains waste and solid debris, whereas a biofilter consists of beneficial bacteria that convert ammonia into useful ingredients.

UPETTOOLS is a biomechanical filter that promotes the stable pH of your bettas’ water. It also cultivates nitrifying bacteria to keep your pets healthy. Biomechanical filtration is the best way to stabilize your betta tank’s environment. There is no strong suction, unlike other filters – it makes it safer for your bettas.

UPETTOOLS filter uses superior ceramic media balls that are effective in filtering and easy to replace. It can be used for tanks up to 40 gallons in size. It is compact enough to be discreetly placed anywhere in the tank and can be used with a standard air pump and 4mm air hose. The filter’s air-water outlet is 360-degree adjustable, so you can change the direction and height of flow.

The brand also makes similar filters in green color. The green color better displays the debris captured and also gives an indication of when to change/wash the media.

  • Good sealing and strong suction
  • Easy to install; easy to clean
  • Comes with extra chambers to add other media
  • Improves dissolved oxygen in the tank
  • Cultivates beneficial bacteria
  • Energy-saving filter
  • Low noise operation
  • Only has one suction cup.

7. Best Filter for a Betta 4-Gallon Tank: Tetra Whisper 4 Gallon Internal Power Filter

Tetra Whisper 4 Gallon Internal Power Filter, Filtration for 4 Gallon Aquariums
  • FOR 4 GALLON aquariums: This Whisper Internal Power Filter uses small filter cartridges and adjusts easily to high or low water levels.
  • 27 GPH PUMP: The internal 27 GPH pump cycles a 4 gallon aquarium more than 6 times per hour.
  • TWO FILTERS IN ONE: Cartridge floss catches debris and fish waste, while Ultra-Activated carbon removes odors and discoloration.
  • SPACE-SAVING DESIGN: Your aquarium can be flush to the wall with the internal filter designed to clip on your tank wall and be hidden by décor.

Tetra Whisper’s internal power filter has a flow rate of 27 gallons per hour that can easily cycle your 4-gallon betta fish tank more than six times per hour. Thus, your pets will always have a clean and healthy environment.

Tetra Whisper also comes with two filters-in-one: S-category cartridge floss to catch debris and ultra-activated carbon to remove odors and discoloration. The clip-on design of Tetra Whisper is also convenient to hang on to a 4-gallon tank.

  • Quiet dual-stage filtration
  • Made of sturdy and tough flexible plastic
  • Easy to mount
  • Low noise
  • Easy to change cartridges
  • Flexibility to use different media options
  • No adjustments for flow

8. Best Disposable Media: Penn-Plax Small World Aquarium Filter

Penn-Plax Small World Aquarium Filter – Comes with a Disposable Media Cartridge (Bio Sponge, Carbon, and Zeolite Crystals) – Safe for Freshwater and Saltwater Setups
  • GREAT FOR SMALLER SETUPS: The Small World Filter is specifically designed for aquariums and tanks up to 5 gallons. In addition to our Small World, New World, and Betta World habitats, this filter is compatible with other tanks in the market. It fits all shapes and sizes, and also mounts securely to glass, acrylic, and plastic surfaces.
  • CARBON & ZEOLITE MIXTURE: Supercharged with scientifically formulated Carbon and Zeolite Crystals, the media cartridge in this kit absorbs ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and phosphates in a fast and timely manner, along with removing harmful chemicals and toxins, clearing up discolorations, and reducing foul odors from your aquarium, tank, or habitat.
  • BIO SPONGE: In addition to the Carbon and Zeolite Crystals, the included media cartridge also contains a Bio Sponge for physical filtration of larger particulate matter, and biological filtration that optimizes the colonization of anaerobic bacteria.
  • CLEANING & MAINTENANCE: Before placing into your aquarium, tank, or habitat, please briefly rinse the filtration unit with warm water in order to remove Carbon or Zeolite dust. If not done before installation, the water could initially become dark or cloudy.

This is one of the best filters for betta fish 5-gallon tank. Penn-Plax, Small World filter, is compact and can fit tanks of all shapes and sizes. It easily mounts on glass, acrylic, or plastic surfaces. The best part is its disposable media, so there is no tedious cleaning or washing involved.

The multi-stage filtration includes zeolites for odor absorption, carbon for discoloration and odor, and bio sponge for debris and creating beneficial bacteria.

Please note that Small World Filter does not include a tube and pump.

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install
  • Simple operation and inexpensive
  • Adjustable flow rate so betta can swim safely
  • Discourages algae growth

  • Needs replacement every 3 weeks
  • Noisy bubbles.

9. Best Under-gravel Filter: Lee’s 40/55 Premium Under-gravel Filter

Lee's 40/55 Premium Undergravel Filter, 12-Inch by 48-Inch
341 Reviews
Lee's 40/55 Premium Undergravel Filter, 12-Inch by 48-Inch
  • The larger plate sizes reduce the number of plates required
  • The added strength of the UGF plates makes this filter most preferred by saltwater aquarists
  • Size: 12-inch by 48-inch

Under-gravel filters may seem ‘old school,’ but they are highly effective.

Lee’s under gravel filter is ideal for 40-55 gallon tanks. It comes with two plates that leave a ½-inch space on the front and back and 1″ space between sides and plates. This system is sure to keep your tank crystal clear.

  • Easy to assemble
  • Provides for the growth of billions of beneficial bacteria
  • Can be used with power filters to improve water quality further
  • Stabilizes ammonia
  • Expensive than other filters.

10. Best Space-Saving & Compact: Marina S10 Power Filter

Marina S10 Power Filter
3,112 Reviews
Marina S10 Power Filter
  • Power filter for aquariums up to 10 gallons
  • Self priming
  • Easy to maintain
  • Adjustable flow control

Marina S10 power filter is one of the best filters for a 10-gallon betta tank. The space-saving filter comes with a clip to attach to 10-gallon tanks with ease.

 It purifies water with convenient three media: chemical, mechanical, and biological. This increases your tank oxygenation, making it healthier for your pets.

  • Easy to clean
  • Great suction
  • Can be customized with foam sponges
  • Flow adjuster present
  • Motor rattles and vibrates creating a loud noise.

How to Choose the Best Filter for a Betta Fish?

Here are the factors to consider when selecting the best filter for the betta tank:

1. Size

Always match the filter size to the tank size. If needed, seek the help of a salesperson. These days, you can also find products marked according to tank size: for example, the best filter for betta 2.5 gallons, best filter for betta 5 gallons, or best filter for betta 3-gallon tanks.

Avoid using very large filters for small tanks. Their flow may suck your poor fish into it. While this may not kill your pet, it could stress them out considerably or damage their beautiful fins.

Most small-size tanks do well with hanging filters that go on the walls of the tank. They typically have a layer of activated charcoal along with a fiber layer. Water passes through them both to remove pollutants, etc. and clean water is released back.

Larger tanks with large fish populations can do well with outside-the-tank filters. These have powerful pumps to pass the water through activated charcoal and other filter layers. However, they might be too noisy and betta, who live in silent stagnant waters, may get stressed from all that noise.

2. Choose between the types of filters

Filters are of different types: mechanical, under-gravel, hanging, biological, chemical, multi-stage, etc. They all are effective and most work for 10-gallon tanks.

Under-gravel filters sit under a layer of gravel. The water is drawn through the gravel and into the filtering holes. There it passes through a system of tubes having bacterial cultures. These break down the waste and pollutants. The drawback of these filters is that you may have to remove the gravel while cleaning the filter or use a siphon to suck the debris that accumulates in it.

3. Noise level of the filter

As mentioned earlier, bettas prefer a silent tank. Noisy, powered filters can stress your pet out. A sponge filter can help in such cases. Mini sponge filters are not only the quietest, but they are also super affordable.

4. Consider if you need an air pump separately

If you change the water regularly and provide space above the tank, you do not need a separate air pump for betta fish. In case you do decide to use a betta fish tank pump, make sure it matches the tank’s capacity. If needed, ask the salesperson at a pet shop for recommendations on the best betta fish pump.

Conclusion – Best Filter for Betta Fish

If you’re wondering what type of filter is best for betta, then we hope this guide has helped you answer the question. The best fish tank filter for betta should match the tank size (10, 2.5, or 3 gallons), and not be noisy.

We recommend the AquaClear Fish Tank Filter for its energy-efficient operation, quick-and-easy installation, and its optimal mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.

AquaClear 20 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 5- to 20-Gallon Aquariums
  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation; we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every 2 weeks for maximum operation and efficiency
  • Provides optimal mechanical; chemical; and biological filtration
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam; Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax and Cycle Guard for superior water quality

Do check out our other recommendations as well.

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