The 7 Best Betta Filters of 2023 (Reviews & Buying Guide)

We may receive commissions when you buy through links on our site.

Taking care of a betta requires lots of things. One of the important things you need to look out for is to make use of the right filters. It’s easier said and done, right? Not to worry! In this piece, we will be sharing with you the 7 best filters for betta fish.

Finding the right filter for your betta tank will help keep your tank water clean, meanwhile, the wrong filter may turn your tank to an inhospitable home for your betta.

In this long and detailed piece, we won’t only share with you some 7 best filters for betta fish, we will also talk about some of the frequently asked questions pertaining to the use of the right filters, and what to look out for when purchasing a filter.

Best Betta Filters In A Flash.

Even though we will be discussing all the filters in a while. These are the 7 best filters for betta fish we will be reviewing.

1. Marina S10 Power Filter.

2. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter With Quad Filtration System.

3. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter.

4. AquaClear 20 Fish Tank Filter – 110V

5. Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter With BioSCrubber.

6. Penn Plax Cfu55Ug Fltr for 5.5 Gallon Aquariums.

7. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter.


Types of Filters for Betta Fish

Filters are of different forms and shapes, and more importantly, they are usually placed in different categories. While we have the Under-gravel filters, there is the internal filters, HOB filters, and the canister filter. These guys do the same thing, which is to make sure your bettas’ water is kept clean all the time. The only difference is, they do this differently.

  • The Under-gravel filters.

These filters aren’t usually seen when working. As the name implies, they are placed underneath the gravel as a filter. What the gravel does is to act as the mechanical and biological filtration.

With this, betta owners will only be required to vacuum once in a while. However, the downside to this kind of filter is that to use them, you will need to set your tank up. This simply means that chemical filtration will be absent.

  • HOB Filters.

HOB filters, on the other hand, use a kind of pump to wick out the water through what is known as media filters. Once the water is pushed out, the media filters then pull the water back into the tank.

These kinds of filters are great if you own small tanks and they aren’t so big to take up unnecessary space. However, these filters do have their downside; these filters don’t have adjustable flows, but you can always fix this.

  • Internal Filters.

This is the most common filter. The internal filters make use of tubes which are located outside the tank to help wick out the water through a sponge. This sponge helps to house good bacteria and trap debris too.

However, you will have to make sure they are cleaned regularly, and of course, being an internal filter means it will take up space in your betta fish tank. This type of filter should not be used in a small tank.

  • Canister Filters.

With canister filters, you can add more filter media to them due to the space they have in them. When you own small tanks, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia tend to build up very fast.

Being able to add more filter media makes it possible to keep your tank cleaner for a long time. The only downside to this kind of filter is the fact that they are very expensive.

The best filters for betta fish.

Here are the 7 best filters for betta fish. Remember, we’ve gone through customer reviews and general qualitative research.

1. Marina S10 Power Filter.

First on the list of the 7 best filters for betta fish is the Marina S10 Power filter. One of the interesting things about this filter is that it works with 10 – gallon tanks. You are probably using the 5 – gallon tank if you have one betta, but not to worry as this filter also works perfectly with 5-gallon tanks.

Even though you get the impression that this is probably the best filter for your tank, but, one of its flaws is with its motor. It has an adjustable flow. Having an adjustable filter makes it good for a 5-gallon tank.

If you are concerned about the intake damaging your betta’s fins, you need not worry as the intake strainer will stop this from happening. Speaking about the filter’s motor, it is located on the intake tube, rather than being in the filters casing like you have with most filters. It doesn’t require manual priming as it does this on its own.

As a newbie in the fishkeeping world, this is one filter you should invest in as it is very beginner-friendly. Setting it up as not as complicated as one might think.

The Pros.

  • The Marina S10 Power Filter is self – priming.
  • It has an adjustable flow.
  • It comes with a strainer sponge.

The Cons.

  • One of the major downsides, as we’ve rightly pointed out, is the filter’s motor. It tends to take up unnecessary space in the betta’s tank.
  • The media designed to work with this filter is relatively expensive. This doesn’t take anything away from the reason why it’s on our list of 7 best filters for betta fish.

Buy now from Amazon!

2. Penn Plax Cascade Hang-on Aquarium Filter

Never mind the long name, this is one filter that house different features which are beneficial for your betta. So, why is it on the list of the 7 best filters for betta fish?

The filter works perfectly with tanks up to seven gallons. It comes equipped with its chemical and mechanical filter cartridge as well as a biological filter media. The filter cartridge will need to be replaced every 6 to 12 weeks.

Meanwhile, the biological media is both wet and dry. What this simply means is that it is constantly exposed to air, which increases the rate at which the good bacteria will grow in it.

The flow rate of this filter is adjustable. You need not worry about your betta been pushed around all the time. interestingly, you can the water in the betta fish tank into something your betta will enjoy.

The only downside to this filter is that the flow rate is not that impressive. Being slow means it will be difficult to have your tank filtered properly. The flow rate of a filter determines how well the tank will be cleaned.

The Pros.

  • The Penn Plax Cascade filter comes with Wet/Dry biological filtration.
  • The filter has enough space for you to use your filter media.
  • The flow rate is adjustable.


The Cons.

  • One of the downsides to the Penn Plax is the fact that the flow rate is quite slow,
  • Aesthetically, the filter is not that visually appealing and can be a distraction when viewing your tank.
  • The filter cartridges designed to be used with this filter arent top-notch. We recommend getting your cartridges.

Buy now from Amazon!

3. Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter.

At a reasonable price, this is one filter you need if you want to save up some cash. However, just because it is relatively affordable doesn’t mean that the features are ‘basic’. On the contrary, it has some of the best features required of a quality filter.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the best filters for 5-gallon tanks you will get right now. From the standard black color which lets it blend perfectly into the background of the tanks.

However, this filter is not designed for 10 – gallon tanks. It has an adjustable flow. With the adjustable flow, you can increase or reduce the current so that your betta won’t get tossed around when the filter is on.

Just as the name suggests, the Aqueon Quietflow is indeed a quiet filter. In case you want something silent, then this is one filter you should own. For more effective use, you should by a filter media separately.

This will not only make it work more effectively, but it will also save you a whole lot of maintenance money. It has a standard mechanical, chemical, and biological media.

The Pros

  • Setting up the Aqueon Quietflow Internal Power Filter is quite easy.
  • The filter is very adjustable. You can control the rate and the source all from the filter.
  • It is indeed a quiet filter.


The Cons.

  • Asides setting up the filter, maintaining the filter can be quite frustrating.
  • When it comes to changing the filter media, it can be tough and would require removing the filter to make the needed changes.
  • It has filter cartridges that are not top-notch. The best thing to do is to add your filter cartridges.

Buy now from Amazon!

4. AquaClear 20 Fish Tank Filter.

When you talk about affordable filters, the AquaClear 20 Fish Tank Filter is without a doubt very expensive. However, being expensive doesn’t take anything away from its quality, in fact, if anything, it is a testament to how good the filter is.

The AquaClea filter comes with chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration. Not just the 3 – way filtration, but it also has each part working to ensure the overall cleanliness of the tank. That way you don’t have to worry about your betta’s health.

The filter also has a refiltration system which lets the filter media wick in a great amount of water, that will even make your tank look cleaner than ever.

Additionally, asides its cleaning capabilities, it has enough space to fit in more than five times the filtration media you’d have in the other regular filters.

Aesthetically, the design is indeed top-notch as the filter is designed in such a way that lets you adjust the flow. The flow can be reduced by 50%. Now, this sort of setting is what your betta needs to grow healthily.

Remember, slow flows mean that the water will become more conducive to your betta. Even though it takes more than 5 minutes to set up, the filter is very easy to use.

The Pros.

  • It has a refiltration system.
  • The flows are adjustable.
  • The filter comes with a 2-year warranty.


The Cons.

  • The filter is quite expensive and costs more than most 5-gallon tank filter.

Buy now from Amazon!

5. Tetra Whisper In-Tank Filter with BioScrubber

One other filter you should consider is the Tetra Whisper in-tank filter. Even though the filter is designed for 10 – gallons tanks, it still works fine with 5-gallon tanks as well. however, it is important to note that this tetra filter is large, and undoubtedly the largest filter on our list. Being large means, it’s going to take up a whole lot of space when you set it up in your tank.

If the size is not something to worry about, but one thing is for sure, the filter is silent. The silence is as a result of the water muting the sound of the moving impeller. This is because the filter is placed in the tank.

Meanwhile, the Tetra Whisper filter has 3-stage filtration. The first of such stages is the mechanical filtration system. With the dense mesh, large pieces of debris are easily caught before the tank water is filtered away via the activated carbon filter.

Finally, once the water is clean, then it moves via the biological filtration. It is through this biological filtration that the nitrates and ammonia are completely removed.

The downside to the filter is that it doesn’t have enough room for you to add your media. However, the filter still does what it is designed to do. What this means is that you need not worry about the health of your betta’s health.

But, one of the things you should understand is that even though there are lots of cons, this is one affordable filter that’s worth every penny. If saving money is not the reason why you want a filter, then you can buy another filter that we’ve got on this list. So, why is it on the list of the 7 best filters for betta fish?

The Pros.

  • One of the upsides this filter has is that it is easy to set up.
  • The filter is indeed silent.
  • Aesthetically, the styling is quite impressive.
  • It does its job effectively.


The Cons.

  • As we’ve mentioned earlier, the filter is quite large.
  • When it comes to changing the media, the filter is not that versatile.

Buy now from Amazon!

6. Penn Plax Cfu55Ug Fltr for 5.5 Gallon Aquariums.

Another name on the list of 7 best filters for betta fish is the Penn Plax. Let’s ignore the name and focus on the device itself. This is without a doubt one of the best filters out there.

There is something you need to understand when it comes to under gravel filters. The filter is not the ‘most’ important part. Rather, the most important parts are the gravel and the pump you are using.

The Penn Plax Cfu55Ug Fltr is a very sturdy filter. The filter is a great fit for your tank.

One of the things you will enjoy with this filter is the fact that it is practically silent. Also, this filter is one of the most silent filters out there. in fact, it is without a doubt one of the few silent filters we have on this list.

One of the keys to the silent features is due to the fact that the filter uses a smaller pump to pull out water, and because it is going via the gravel, it will end up being more silent than most other methods.

This Penn Plax is very easy to maintain. Once you’ve vacuumed the gravel regularly. This process acts as a mechanical filter.

Even though the filter itself is inexpensive, you’ll still have to buy the gravel. You will also need to get an air pump to help pump the water. Gravel filters aren’t great for newbies, setting them up is not easy.

Asides being hard to set up, maintenance is not expensive. But, adding gravel to the established tank is quite difficult for every newbie and professionals too.

The Pros.

  • This is an inexpensive filter – you’ll be able to save up if you invest in this tank.
  • The filter is really a quiet one.
  • Once you vacuum the gravel, maintaining the overall tank is not as difficult as one might think.
  • Unlike the Tetra Whisper filter, the Penn Plax doesn’t take enough space when it is placed in the tank.

The Cons.

  • On the downside though, users will need to have an air pump and a gravel floor.
  • Unlike most filters, it has biological and mechanical filtration. For sure, this doesn’t take anything away from the reason why it’s on our list of 7 best filters for betta fish.

Buy now from Amazon!

7. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter.

The last on our list of 7 best filters for betta fish is the Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter. If you own a bigger tank, or you are looking to do that soon, then opting for the Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter will be a good choice.

This is one filter that every big tank owner should own. This filter comes with lots of filters that will make breeding your betta fish an easy thing.

However, just like many other things, the filter sure has its drawbacks, but that takes nothing away from the quality of the filter.

Reiteratively, this tank is designed for tanks that are at least 10 gallons in size or less. What you get with the Zoo Med filter is the chance for you to add more media within the filter.

For a clean and spotless tank, this is one of the filters you should give a try. The interesting part is that you get to adjust the settings as you choose.

What people tend to feel concerned about is the fact that the filter may take up unnecessary space in the tank, but the truth is, the filter won’t. As a canister filter, you don’t place it in the tank, instead, you place the filter by the side of the tank.

Also, asides placing it beside the tank, you will also need to put two non-intrusive tubes in the betta’s tank. Now, the role the tubes play vary.

For instance, one of these tubes acts as the intake while the other acts as the output. Meaning, unlike other filters that require staying in the tank, the two tubes do the job of sucking out the water, and the other brings back the water while the filter just stays outside with its motor.

One interesting thing about this filter is that it has two unique output methods. You can either opt for the spray bar or the nozzle.

If you are concerned about the current affecting your betta because it may be too strong, you can opt for the spray bar. The spray bar which reduces the current and also improves the tank’s surface agitation – interesting, right?

If the spay bar is not your ideal choice, then feel free to place the output nozzle at an angle which is against one of the tank’s side to reduce the flow. Being a canister filter means its really an efficient filter.

Also, you don’t have to clean the tank as you would often do with the other types of filters. Interestingly, using this filter in a 5 – gallon tank is pretty easy and comfortable. Also, in a 5-gallon tank, you may leave the tank for more than a week without cleaning it

Speaking of the filter itself, maintaining it is pretty simple. You just have to take the top off, and pull out the media, a little bit of rinsing in water will do the trick.

Once in a while, you should also clean the impeller. Most filters that are quiet do so simply because they are in the water and any sound being made by the motor is muted by the water in the tank, canisters don’t have that luxury. But this filter comes with a suction cup at the bottom which ultimately reduces the noise coming from the filter.

The Pros.

  • The Zoo Med Nano filter requires little space.
  • There is plenty of room to add your filter media.
  • The filter is really quiet.
  • It is easy to set up and maintain.
  • The filter comes with a spray bar.
  • Meanwhile, the spray bar aerates the betta’s tank too.


The Cons.

  • The canister filter has a poor flow adjustment. It needs more improvement.
  • It is quite expensive. No doubt, its features are great. But the filter is not affordable.

Buy now from Amazon!

Some Betta Filters FAQ.

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter?

You want to provide the best possible environment for your Betta fish. Of course, you won’t compromise the necessities that a Betta fish need.

One should take care of the tank, its food, its companions, and water temperature. So why would you think to drop the idea of installing a fish tank filter for Betta?

Without a filter, your fish might survive for a particular time but it won’t be healthy and fit as much as you wish to see it. You will witness the cloudy water after a few days without a working filter.

But the danger doesn’t lie in what you can see from your naked eyes. It lies in what you can’t. The most dangerous thing that can happen to any fish aquarium is the growth of bacteria due to excessive reproduction, which can make your fish catch diseases easily. Read our other article on do bettas need a filter.

How do I baffle filter for a betta?

When we talk about the baffling filter, it simply means getting something to obstruct the flow of water from the filter before it touches the water in the tank. So, how do you create this interference?

You’ll need to get a plastic bottle (make sure it’s cleaned), remove the filter and scrub properly to clean out the dirt with hot water and your fingers. You should avoid using soaps too. Place the plastic bottle beneath the outflow of the filter horizontally. Get the width of the outflow by marking the bottle. Now, cut the bottle along the marked lines.

Now, form a ling cut in the tube from top to bottom. The cut should not completely be in half, make sure you are able to open it in one large piece of plastic. At this point, you’ll need to attach the filter. Finally, place one long side of the tube behind the filter media. Hopefully, this guide should be enough, if not, you can watch more tutorials on Youtube about baffling water filters.

I want to slow down the filter for my betta fish – how do I go about it?

Some filters current are some powerful that they tend to toss around bettas in the tank. How do you stop that? by simply making the input tube larger or adding more holes (whichever pleases you). This will perfectly slow down the current and ultimately reducing the turbulence in your betta’s tank.

How often does my tank with filter need maintenance?

Cleaning a tank that has a filter is not as tough as one that has no filter. If you own a small tank (with filter), you should clean it more frequently due to the waste accumulation. Change about 25 – 50% of the tank water weekly and do a thorough cleaning monthly. Meanwhile, if you own a large tank, you should reduce 15% of the water every 2 weeks. Also, the tank can go several months without thorough cleaning – that’s one of the benefits of using a big tank.


Picking the 7 best filters for betta fish is quite tough. But we’ve carefully selected some of the best in the market right now based on their features, reviews, and affordability. But, saving money when buying anything including a filter should not be your ultimate goal. The best of them may be the most expensive. Quality should always come first before anything.

This is why we advise you to go through our selection once again to know the one that perfectly suits you and of course your budget. Let us know what you think in the comment section below. We’ll be happy to hear from you. If you think there are more than 7 best filters for betta fish, then let us know in the comment section below.

Leave a Comment