While it’s possible to keep a betta without using a
When keeping a betta fish, try as much as possible to imitate its natural environment. This means the water that the fish calls home must undergo adequate testing and maintenance.
This maintenance could be done manually or by using filters. We recommend using a
Shop our recommended filters below and read on to learn more about choosing the right
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What Are The Different Types of Filters?
It wouldn’t be entirely inaccurate to say the betta fish breathes air. This is because bettas have an evolutionary trait that allows them to gulp air from the surface of the water when they find themselves in shallow waters with low oxygen levels. This ability comes from their labyrinth organ, classifying them as Anabantoidei or labyrinth fish.
Like most living organisms, bettas depend on oxygen to survive, which they either get from the surface of the water or the conventional way, which is when oxygen is diffused into the water through oxygenation and taken into the fish through its gills.
In the case of tanks or bowls without filters, the water becomes stale and no longer oxygenated. This situation reduces the fish’s lifespan while simultaneously creating a foul odor in your house.
Filters bacteria and harmful substances
Besides suffocating the betta and creating a foul odor, the lack of filtration means harmful bacteria can harm the betta. This, coupled with the stress and weakened immune system due to living in dirty and contaminated water, can hamper the betta’s and shorten its life.
This dirty water results from the accumulation of debris from various sources like decaying matter, harmful bacteria, rotten food, chemicals, and feces, which are detrimental to the fish’s health.
The accumulated debris also causes a build-up of nitrate, nitrites, and ammonia, which in concentrated amounts can stress your fish out, weakening its immune system and making it more vulnerable to diseases such as fin and tail rot, which is the most common ailments in small unfiltered tanks.
It’s important to note that the smaller the volume of your tank, the faster the water quality will decline and the more difficult it will be to maintain. So without filters, a regular change of water is mandatory; however, changing the water, again and again can stress out your betta as well, and inhibit the growth of good bacteria in the tank. This is why a
There are three types of filters based on their mode of operation:
As the name suggests, these filters are living organisms that actively process and convert the fish’s waste into less dangerous or toxic substances. They’re considered the most important type of filtration in an aquarium.
Ammonia, commonly found in aquariums, is a very toxic and dangerous chemical to bettas. Even small amounts can cause significant problems for the fish, such as damaged fins, inflamed gills, swollen eyes, appetite loss, lethargy, algae blooms, and eventually death.
Biological filters (mainly bacteria and microorganisms) can perform tasks such as converting the harmful ammonia into less harmful nitrates and further into even less toxic nitrites. The bacteria species primarily responsible for this type of filtration are the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter species, both of which are critical parts of the nitrogen cycle.
These bacteria and microorganisms hence live in a symbiotic relationship with the fish.
The biological filtration kicks in once a
The bacteria find the physical spaces within the tank to be an excellent place to settle and colonize. As such, some aquarists would add “filter media” inside the tank to encourage bacterial growth. More on this below.
Mechanical filters function by pushing the water from the tank into a “filter media,” which essentially sieves out large, free-floating particles. These solid particles include uneaten food, fish waste, and decaying plant material. After the particles are trapped, the filtered water continues through the process and goes back into the tank.
A mechanical pump’s efficacy is heavily dependent on the
Be sure to occasionally clear out the filter media to avoid clogging. If this occurs, the particles will no longer be filtered from the water and will float around or dissolve, contaminating the water more. In addition to clearing the
Mechanical filtration, most times, is coupled with biological filtration to get a much more effective filtration system.
This type of filtration focuses on removing specific chemicals from the tank by passing the water through a medium, such as activated carbon, zeolite, or other chemical resins.
The filtration works by extracting the dissolved waste products from the water itself. For example, activated carbon removes chlorine and chloramine, dissolved proteins, tannins from bogwood, and foul odor from water, while zeolite effectively removes ammonia from the water.
Although effective, this filtration can not replace biological filtration as it doesn’t remove ammonia from the water nor break it down.
Chemical filtration requires consistent maintenance as the chemicals can grow ineffective over some time. For example, activated carbon becomes saturated in about 60 days (3 months), so it must be changed periodically to remain effective. Zeolite, too, loses its effectiveness around that time. If your fish is sick,refrain from using chemical filtration when there’s medicine in the water, as it will
Among all the filtration, chemical filtration is the least recommended method, as some plants can already perform the task effectively; however, it’s useful when there’s an outrageous amount of chemicals within the water.
Regarding bettas, we recommend a mixture of biological and mechanical filtration. This is to ensure the fish are kept in an optimum environment where they can grow and live. If you wish, you may also throw in a chemical
What is the Right
Filter Strength for My Betta?
To know if your
If your betta is struggling to get to the surface for air, hiding and scared, and frantically swimming in the current, your
An overly strong
To rectify this, first check the water level of your tank, as tanks with a low water level will create strong currents. If this isn’t the case, consider reducing the
For small tanks and aquariums, we recommend using a sponge filter. This
They support biological filtration by acting as a large surface area called air stones, for bacteria and microorganisms can colonize in order to make the tank cycled.
They work by drawing in water from the tank into a
The water also goes through mild oxygenation during the move into the
Power filters are not only easy to install, but they are easy to maintain. When the
Best Filters For Betta Fish
The best betta
Here are some of the best betta filters you can find on the market:
Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filters: this power
Penguin Power Filters: A bio-wheel power
- Mechanical filtration through the use of its Penguin Rite-Size
FilterCartridge that essentially sweeps away all the debris
- Chemical filtration: through the use of its Black Diamond Premium Activated Carbon, which removes not only chemicals by also foul odors from the water
- Biological filtration: through its state-of-the-art bio-wheel that is guaranteed to increase the growth rate of beneficial bacteria. The BIO-Wheel now features 50% more surface area.
The Tetra Whisper IQ Power Filter with Stay Clean technology: is a silent power
AQQA Aquarium Internal Filter, Submersible Power Filter: This power
It comes with cartridges to ensure the water is well and a 3-in-1 multi-function aquarium
Bettas are a resilient and elegant species of fish. Their tenacity and adaptability allow them to survive in harsh environments and, as such, can live in a tank without a
Our goal should not just be to let them live but to allow them to thrive in our homes. This means, adding an appropriate
Are you new to betta fish keeping? If so, check out the only betta fish care guide you’ll ever need.