Best Filter For Betta Fish Tanks Reviewed 2024

All filters can work with a betta tank, however, based on my experiences and tests, sponge filters and hang-on-back filters (HOB) work best. Betta’s aren’t the best swimmers and so providing a filter with a low-flow or adjustable will be the most suitable.

If your betta tank is below 20 gallons, I recommend a sponge filter as the best option for you. However, once you get in the 20 gallons and up, a hang-on-back filter becomes more suitable in my opinion.

In this article, I go over different sponge and HOB filters I’ve used, tested, researched, and reviewed to help you choose which is the best for your tank.

Overview of Best Filters For Betta Fish

UPETTOOLS Sponge Filter: Best for 5 gallon Betta Tank


What I think about UPETTOOLS sponge filter

The UPETTOOLS sponge filter, ideal for 5-gallon betta tanks, includes a ceramic biomedia chamber and a visually appealing clear, blue-tinged body.

Its tall spout suits taller tanks, though it’s slightly noisy (67 decibels underwater, 54 above). A cost-effective, suitable choice for a betta tank.


Pros & Cons

Pros

Extra chamber for ceramic media

Cool looking design

Spout has a long extension tube

Includes extra sponge

Adjustable low flow

Cons

Can be loud

Upttools sponge filter unboxed

UPETTOOLS Sponge Filter


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Hygger Double Sponge Filter: Best for 10 gallon Betta Tank


What I think about Hygger’s double sponge filter

Perfect for a 10-20 gallon betta tank, Hygger’s double-sponge filter features two sponges with ceramic media chambers, enhancing aesthetics and functionality.

While slightly noisy (67 decibels underwater, 54 above), adjusting the spout reduces sound. This is one of my favorite sponge filters I’ve tested.


Pros & Cons

Pros

Ceramic media in addition to sponge

Comes with 2 extra sponges

Adjustable height spout

Looks nice

Low flow

Cons

Kind of loud if spout is below the water

Hygger double sponge filter

Hygger Double Sponge Filter


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Aquaneat Corner Sponge Filter: Best for 2.5-5 gallon Betta Tanks


What I think about Aquaneat’s corner sponge filter

The Aquaneat Corner Sponge filter, while not the most stylish, is perfect for space-limited betta tanks, easily fitting into corners and concealable with plants.


Pros & Cons

Pros

Shape makes it fit tightly into the corner

Super easy to hide with decor

Ideal for limited space

Low flow

Cons

Can’t add a diffuser

Easy to knock out of place

Aquaneat corner sponge filter put together

Aquaneat Corner Sponge


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Aquaclear 20: Best HOB Filter For 20 gallon Betta fish tank


What I think about Aquaclear 20

Aquaclear 20 offers lots of space for high-quality biomedia, including a large sponge, ceramic media, and activated carbon. It’s reliable for long-term use, though it may require a pre-filter sponge to reduce flow for bettas.


Pros & Cons

Pros

Lots of room for biomedia

Easy to make betta safe with pre-filter sponge

Easy maintenance

Reliable, solid performer

Excellent filter media

Cons

Requires priming

Can develop a rattle over time

Sometimes tricky to get it started after a water change

AquaClear hang-on-back-filter unboxed

Aquaclear 20 HOB filter


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Best Filters For Betta Fish Tanks Reviewed

Red betta fish swiming in planted fish tank

1. UPETTOOLS Sponge Filter: Best For 5 gallon Betta Tanks

UPETTOOLS sponge filter is best rated for tanks up to 5 gallons, so it sits perfectly in range for providing the right amount of filtration in your betta’s tank.

The filter itself comes with one sponge (two sponge versions available) and has a nice chamber at the base containing ceramic biomedia.

UpeTools sponge filter unboxed

I really like how the filter looks, the body of the filter is made of a clear plastic with a bluish tinge to it, and I find the shape very appealing. 

I’m also a big fan of the spout. I like how it extends higher than others I’ve tested, which makes this sponge filter a good choice for taller betta fish tanks.

Noise-wise, it can be a tad loud. I did a decibel test and got a reading of 67 when below the surface and 54 when above the surface.

Overall, this is an inexpensive and suitable choice for a 5 gallon betta fish tank.

Pros: 

  • Extra chamber for ceramic media
  • Cool looking design
  • Spout has a long extension tube
  • Includes extra sponge
  • Adjustable low flow

Cons: 

  • Can be loud

2. Hygger Double Sponge Filter: Best for 10-20 gallon Betta Tank

Betta fish deserve a good looking tank to go with their flamboyant fins and colors, and the Hygger double sponge filter is certainly a looker.

It has two sponges, and at the base of each sponge is a chamber that holds ceramic filter media.I think the ceramic media chambers are a great addition.

This filter attaches to the back of the tank wall with two suction cups, so placement options are limited. If the filter isn’t attached to the glass, it will try to float a bit once the air is turned on.

I also thought it was awesome that you get the two replacement sponges. You can only hook this filter up to an air pump, there’s no option for hooking it to a powerhead. But, this isn’t a concern with betta fish as you want to keep the flow as minimal as you can.

Also, you can’t add a diffuser to this filter. The bubbles coming out of the spout are a little loud. But, if you adjust the spout so that the bubbles come out above the water’s surface, the noise is greatly reduced.

With the spout below the water, the noise was at about 67 decibels. But once we moved the spout above the water, the sound went down to 54 decibels.

I liked this one so much I recently started a new 10 gallon (39 liter) tank and decided to use this as the filter. And I like the look of it so much I have no plans to cover it up.

Pros: 

  • Ceramic media in addition to sponge
  • Comes with 2 extra sponges
  • Adjustable height spout
  • Looks nice
  • Low flow

Cons: 

  • Kind of loud if spout is below the water
Hygger Double Sponge Filter
Hygger Double Sponge Filter

    Last update on 2024-04-11 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    3. Aquaneat Corner Sponge Filter: Best Corner Sponge Filter for 2.5-5 gallon Betta Tanks

    Aquaneat corner sponge filter put together

    Although not as fancy as some of the other filters I’ve tested, the Aquaneat Corner Sponge is ideal for a betta tank with limited space. It really does slot nicely into the corner of tanks.

    It’s not the best looking, but it’s so easy to tuck it away and hide with some plants.

    Unfortunately, you can’t add a diffuser to this filter. It is slightly quieter than the others. We measured 61 decibels when we tested it out.

    Aquaneat corner sponge filter unboxed contents

    This is a great little filter, and I highly recommend it for Betta tanks.

    Pros: 

    • Shape makes it fit tightly into the corner
    • Super easy to hide with decor
    • Ideal for limited space
    • Low flow

    Cons: 

    • Can’t add a diffuser
    • Easy to knock out of place
    Aquaneat Corner Sponge Filter
    Aquaneat Corner Sponge Filter

      Last update on 2024-04-11 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      4. Aquaclear 20: Best Hang-on-Back Filter For 20 Gallon+ Betta Fish Tank

      AquaClear hang-on-back-filter unboxed

      I’ve used Aquaclear filters for years, and at one point, I only used this filter.

      There is so much room for biomedia in the back of this filter. It comes with high quality media, a large reusable sponge for mechanical filtration, a mesh bag with ceramic biomedia and a large bag of activated carbon.

      AquaClear filter media

      I’ve run several successful tanks for years on just the sponge and ceramic media that comes with the filter.

      Although HOB filters tend to have a stronger flow than the sponges, you can make this filter betta safe by adding an aftermarket pre-filter sponge to baffle the flow.

      The priming can be a bit tricky on this filter. And can be annoying to get it going after a water change. But, if it won’t start up, I usually twist off the motor and clean out the impeller well, even if it seems like there really isn’t any gunk in there. But, this is fairly easy to do and will get this filter chugging along again.

      After long-term use, this filter can develop a bit of a rattle because the lid vibrates. My fix has always been to put a can of fish food or a paperweight on top of the lid. Just a little bit of weight keeps the lid from vibrating noisily.

      aquaclear power filter on tank

      A hang-on-back filter is going to require a bit more maintenance than your sponge filters, but with the it’s not difficult. 

      All of the filter media sits on top of a two-sided basket. It’s easy to get the media out, but since the basket only has two sides, it can be a bit messy when you pull it out. I recommend having a bucket ready so you can pull the media out and immediately get it into the bucket. 

      This isn’t the fanciest HOB filter available. I’ve tested a number of different types, but I find this one to be the best HOB filter for betta fish.

      Just one note, the manufacturer recommends that you change out the sponge and ceramic media once a year, but I wholeheartedly disagree. These should only be changed out if they are falling apart. In my experience, they are good for the lifetime of the filter, if not longer.

      Pros: 

      • Lots of room for biomedia
      • Easy to make betta safe
      • Easy maintenance
      • Reliable, solid performer
      • Excellent filter media

      Cons: 

      • Requires priming
      • Can develop a rattle over time
      • Sometimes tricky to get it started after a water change
      AquaClear 20 Hang-on-Back Filter
      AquaClear 20 Hang-on-Back Filter

        Last update on 2024-04-11 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        What Filter to Pick For Your  Betta Fish Tank

        I would always recommend a sponge filter for betta fish tanks. I just think they’re the perfect fit and provide the right amount of flow and filtration.

        If you have a 5 gallon tank, go for UPETTOOLs, 10-20 gallon go with Hygger’s sponge filter. But, if you’re really limited for space, the aquanet corner filter will be your best option.

        However, if you’ve gone on the larger side, 20 gallons and up, the Aquaclear 20 really is a reliable workhorse that’ll fit perfectly on your betta tank. The flow is stronger than a sponge filter, but you can baffle this with a pre-filter sponge.

        Preview Product
        UPETTOOLS Aquarium Sponge Filter Ultra Quiet Aquarium Air Pump Bio Sponge Fish Tank Foam Filter Comes with 2 Sponges 2of Bio Ceramic Media Balls (Black Filter +2 Sponge + 2 Bio Balls) UPETTOOLS Aquarium Sponge Filter Ultra Quiet Aquarium Air Pump Bio Sponge Fish Tank Foam Filter...
        Hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter, Comes with 2 Spare Sponges (S) Hygger Aquarium Double Sponge Filter, Comes with 2 Spare Sponges (S)
        AQUANEAT Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter up to 10Gal 3pcs Bundle with 4pcs Sponge Filter Replacement AQUANEAT Aquarium Bio Sponge Filter up to 10Gal 3pcs Bundle with 4pcs Sponge Filter Replacement
        AquaClear 20 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 5- to 20-Gallon Aquariums AquaClear 20 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 5- to 20-Gallon Aquariums

        Last update on 2024-04-11 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        FAQs

        Do Betta Fish Need a Special Filter?

        Betta fish do best with a filter with low-flow as they aren’t strong swimmers.

        When living in a confined environment, you must establish the nitrogen cycle in order to ensure it’s safe for a betta fish to live. A filter will help establish this and keep the tank water clean.

        Is a Sponge Filter Best for a Betta?

        I recommend sponge filters for betta fish. They do a great job at filters the water, don’t take up much space, and provide the right amount of flow.

        What Makes a Good Filter For Betta Fish?

        In theory, any filter providing biological and mechanical filtration will work as a filter for betta fish tanks. However, betta fish are poor swimmers, so your chosen filter must provide a gentle amount of water flow in the tank.

        Christopher Adams
        Christopher Adams

        Hey there, my name is Christopher, and I've successfully ran freshwater aquariums for the past few decades. The mission of this site is to make it simple for anyone to run their own freshwater aquarium.

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