If you do some research on the question ‘do betta fish need filters?’, you may find yourself getting more than one answer. The truth is that betta fish can survive in a tank without filtration… but this doesn’t mean that they should have to!
One of the main reasons why people assume it’s not necessary to have a filter in a tank containing a betta fish is that bettas are “labyrinth” fish. This means they have a lung like organ which enables them to take in oxygen straight from the air. They can go to the top of the tank and breathe in oxygen that can then be circulated through their bloodstream.
This means that betta fish don’t need the same oxygenation of their tank water as other fish. However, having a filter in the tank helps with far more than just oxygenation…
How can a filter be beneficial for bettas?
One important factor that you should take into account when choosing whether to have a filter in your betta tank is that filters can help to create an ecosystem that supports the growth and survival of micro-organisms. And these micro-organisms are really useful in helping to break down any waste that builds up in the tank!
If you have a filter in your tank then you should only need to do a 30% water change once a week. This should include cleaning the gravel and making sure you get rid of any algae.
You shouldn’t remove all of the water from the tank as this would also remove the micro-organisms that are helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Betta fish and filters – points to remember
There are certain things to do with the physical make-up of a betta fish that mean you have to think carefully about filtration. One of these things is the long delicate fins they have, which can be damaged by strong filtration.
Here are some points to remember about using a filter in a betta tank:
- Always use slow flow filtration that doesn’t stress or damage your fish.
- It’s very difficult to use a filter effectively in a tank that is less than 2.5 gallons in size.
- Opting for a larger tank usually makes management of the tank easier in the long run.
You can see that using a filter in the tank with your betta is a good idea. However, if you choose not to have a filter in the tank then you still have to ensure a high level of water quality is sustained. This means that you have to commit to doing a full water change twice every week.
Frequent water changes are time consuming, especially as you have to wait for the water to reach the right temperature before you re-introduce your betta. You should also remember that if there are any other fish in the tank with your betta then you have to provide a filter for their benefit.
In conclusion: the best way of maintaining the water quality for your betta is to have a slow flowing filter in the tank.