5 Best Filters for Betta Fish (All Tank Sizes): 2024 Review

red betta fish with plants
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Last Updated: May 26, 2022 by Dave Gibbins

Yes, that’s right bettas need a filter in their tank. Keeping optimum water conditions is arguably THE most important aspect of fish care. Something you don’t want to get wrong.


A great filter will keep your betta fish happy and healthy, plus the tank will look cleaner and your water column will stay clear. However, with the betta’s soft flowing fins there are a few things that should influence your choice. For me, I put the AquaClear CycleGuard Power Filter on top of my list for reasons you’ll soon find out below. 😉 

What follows is a closer look at filtration systems and a look at some of the best filters for betta fish:

Product Details
1. AquaClear CycleGuard Power Filter

Multi-Stage Filtration

  • Clip-On Style
  • Waterfall Design
  • Preserves Good Bacteria
  • W/ Accessories
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2. Tetra Whisper Internal Filter

Quick Filter Change

  • 3-Stage Filtration
  • 2-Sided Bio-Bag
  • Anti-Clog Design
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3. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO

Adjustable Placement

  • 5-Stage Filtration
  • Clog Indicator Light
  • Self-Priming
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4. Penn-Plax Cascade Canister Filter


  • 3-Stage Filtration
  • Push-Button Primer
  • Tip-Proof Base
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5. Eheim Classic 250 External Canister Filter

All-In-1 Kit

  • Mech'l Purification
  • Bio Purification
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Five Great Filtration Choices For Your Betta Tank

1. Tetra Whisper Internal Filter For Aquariums

Using the Tetra Whisper Filter will not disturb your Betta as much as other designs will as you do not have to put your hand into the aquarium. Its cleaning cartridges are easy to access from the top of the device. You can also unclip it from the tank if you need to clean the impeller blade.

The quick-change cartridges make this system one of the easiest that you can use for your Betta fish tank. It uses a cartridge system, allowing you to change media without a mess. You should also find this product producing a limited amount of noise during operation.


  • You can select from reasonably priced systems for various sized Betta tanks
  • This may be one of the easiest systems to use for beginners
  • Tetra products are easy to find online as well as at pet shops


  • As it is an internal filter it does take up space that the fish could have been using for swimming in

2. Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter

This Aqueon QuietFlow compact model will work well inside of Betta tanks that are 10-gallons or more in size. It is designed to be placed in different directions so you will have more options to work around your tank’s shape as well as the decorations.

This filtration system may be too large for the walls on some Betta fish tanks.

Not only is the direction adjustable, but you can also move the return to adjust its height. Proprietary cartridges can be purchased to offer you all three types of filter media in one package. The manufacturer also offers a limited lifetime warranty on this product.


    • It is a very quiet filter
    • It can be mounted horizontally or vertically in your betta tank
    • A patented BioGrid media works great against ammonia and nitrates


  • It can cause water current that your Betta may have to swim against

3. AquaClear CycleGuard Power Filter

This AquaClear CycleGuard filter will create plenty of oxygen in the water column, preventing your Betta from having to gain oxygen at the water surface. Your water should stay very clear due to the volume of water it will clean each hour.

You will find this product cost-effective as it offers the longest contact time between the water and filtration mediums.

A two-year warranty will provide you with the confidence to depend upon its filtration abilities. You should also come to appreciate the room in the media chamber that will allow you to mix and match the mediums that you can use.


  • This product will produce more aeration in the water column
  • It is capable of cleaning a large volume of water for the system’s size


  • There will be more water evaporation as this design exposes the water outside of your tank’s lid


4. Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Canister Filter


Penn-Plax Cascade should prove a good fit for Betta keepers who want a canister filter for their smaller aquariums. The motor is separated from the filtration media so you will not have to worry about them clogging your motor intakes.

The smaller canister will require cleaning more often as the chamber and its contents will clog faster than larger canister systems will.

The controls are limited by design as this system is made to operate with a minimal amount of fuss. The media chamber can be packed with any type of material you wish to use for filtration purposes.


  • It can provide three-stage canister filtration without being overkill on smaller Betta tanks
  • Priming the filter at startup is easy to do
  • Water feed hoses are located along the top of the unit


  • This product design is a bit too heavy as it has a base that tapers
  • The media chamber is smaller due to its more compact design which may be a disadvantage to some aquarists


5. Eheim Classic 250 External Aquarium Canister Filter

The Eheim Classic 250 provides mechanical and biological purification and a lot more. A strong seal allows the pressure to build evenly and creates a smooth water flow through the media used.

Eheim is one of the most popular filtration systems due to its durable design and cleaning reputation on the market.

This filter is made from strong materials that will provide years of service. Its impeller blade is damped which allows it to run silently in any room.


  • Enhances your tank’s oxygen exchange
  • Comes with accessories
  • Tested for optimal efficiency


  • This system comes at a higher price point than most other products on this list
  • Its strong seal will make it harder to break open and clean during maintenance


Betta Filtration Needs

Reasons Why You Need A Betta Fish Filter

Before taking home your first beta fish, a filter is probably the most important component of your betta tank outside of the water itself. There is a multitude of reasons that a filter will keep your Betta fish healthy and happy. The best filter for Betta will help with:

  • A filter will help to clean your Betta tank. Betta fish, even if the Betta is kept by itself, will generate debris in the water column. A fish tank with a filter will be easier to keep clean and help save you time without having to remove your Betta.
  • The filter can remove toxins that build up from Betta waste. Betta tank filter medium can eliminate high levels of ammonia and nitrates. The best designs will use more than one type of filter medium.
  • Your filter will help a Betta breath as they aerate the water. The filter will expose more water to the surface, oxygenating the water for your Betta fish.

The Benefits Of Having A Betta Fish Filter Installed

Betta filter products keep the water clean, allowing both the Betta and you to enjoy the best views. This allows you to see throughout the entire Betta aquarium and presents Betta fish colors clearly. A filter will make your Betta aquarium look more presentable.

A filter allows you to go longer between (water changes) in your Betta tank. Betta fish will experience less stress with a filter and the overall health of your Betta will be improved. Your filter system will make maintenance less time-consuming, allowing you to spend more time viewing your Betta fish.

This video below will discuss that in detail: 

How Is A Betta Fish Filter Used?

A filter on your Betta aquarium takes the water from your Betta tank and runs it through filter mediums. The best filter for Betta will also help to oxygenate your Betta fish’s water column. These filter processes are done before returning the water into your Betta tank.

The filter accomplishes this by using a motor to pull or push water through the filter system. Your best option for a Betta tank will return the water without creating a strong current that the Betta fish will struggle against. Water returns from a filter system either above or below the surface in your Betta aquarium.

Depending upon the design of the filter, the housing will be placed in the Betta tank, on the aquarium housing, or outside of your Betta fish tank on a shelf.

Betta Fish Filter Designs

While there is a variety of filter systems, these designs are considered by many as the best filter for Betta:

Canister Filter Systems 

This is a popular type of filter used throughout the hobby. The canister filter uses a pump to draw water out of your Betta tank, through the filter media, and back into the Betta aquarium. They are also referred to as an external filter for a Betta fish tank.

HOB Filter Systems

These filter products hang on the outside of the Betta fish tank glass. A filter pump draws water across the filter mediums before returning it into the aquarium. It is also called a power filter by many Betta fish enthusiasts.

Sponge Filter Systems

 It is an internal filter that sits inside the Betta fish tank. It draws water through a filter sponge that returns the water into your Betta tank. Some Betta keepers refer to these as airlift filters, as a sponge filter for Betta uses an air hose to push water through the Betta filter.

Under Gravel Filter Systems 

Another type of internal filter, these products are placed under the sand substrate in your Beta aquarium. They use the substrate as a filter media, drawing water below the sand and through tubes that return the water into your Betta fish tank. This filter system also uses air for water circulation.

Best Betta Fish Filters To Look For

Here are some factors to look for before buying the best Betta fish filter for your finned friends:

Flow Rate

By far the most important feature of a Betta tank filter will be the amount of water it cleans. This will be measured by Gallons per Hour, and the best designs will cycle the entire betta tank at least three times each hour.

Filter Media 

These come in biological, chemical, and mechanical forms. The best filter for Betta will use two, preferably all three, media types.

Noise Level

You and your Betta will benefit from lower noise output from the product. The best filter for Betta will generate lower decibel levels.

Ease Of Use

Less complicated systems are easier for beginning Betta keepers to use. Your best filter for Betta should be easy to clean and require little input to operate.


All of the products listed above will offer clean water for your Betta to enjoy. With that being said, we feel that the greatest overall filter for AquaClear CycleGuard Power Filter.

It is a quiet filter that is suitable for tanks up to 10 gallons – which is a great size for a betta fish. The shape and ability to set up the filter vertically or horizontally means it is suitable for most displays and arrangements.

You fish will enjoy fantastic water conditions due to the filter’s three different types of filtration.

Plus a limited lifetime warranty!