Can betta fish live without a filter? (Here is why)

As you know, betta fish live in small rice fields or wild water lakes with less deep areas. This is the place where they are coming from into the fish tanks. In the past, Asian catch betta fish from their rice paddy field. When the breeders started breeding and made betta fish varieties, people liked to keep betta fish in their tanks.

In the rice fields, there are no deep water areas. So they live in shallow water places. But as you know, rice fields always get water from small lakes, so that water is always fresh and less polluted. Due to that reason, betta fish is lived in rice fields.

Can betta fish live without a filter? Yes, betta fish can live without the filter. It is not mandatory for betta fish. But keep in mind betta fish need clear water and minimum ammonia level slow current fresh water to live healthily. When you visit pet shops, you will notice betta fish living in small containers, because they do not need a filtering system to live.

Can betta fish live without filter?

If you place a filter system into your betta fish tank or betta fish bowl, reduce the water current.

Betta fish cannot swim in higher water current areas due to long fins. Their fin always slowdown betta’s swimming speed.

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How to keep betta fish safe without a filter?

The important thing is betta fish cannot live with cloudy water because cloudy water has a higher value of ammonia levels. And polluted water has a minimum oxygen level. So betta fish cannot live in the dirty water area. 

Betta fish always come to the surface and get oxygen because they can live only in shallow water areas. So if you keep them in deeper tanks, it will also be a problem.

As mentioned above, you should not keep them in bad water condition, but it does not mean they need a powerful filter or water recycling system in their tanks.

Keep your betta fish in a clear shallow water area. It will help to increase their colors and life span. Normally betta fish can live three years minimum. So let’s learn how to keep betta fish safely without any filtering system.

  1. Regular water change

Keeping good water conditions is the key to your fish tank because betta fish easily infect many common diseases if you keep them in bad water conditions. If you keep your betta fish in a tiny container, you should change your water once in three days. 

If you miss a regular water change, your betta fish may be at risk. They cannot survive higher ammonia cloudy water areas. As you know, guppies and mollies can also live in algae water areas. But betta fish has no gut to live in bad water conditions.

  1. Increase oxygen level

Betta fish do not need a filter system; they do not need an extra air pump system. Betta fish can live without both of these two products.

But you should add some live plants if you have at least a 5-gallon tank. Less than five-gallon tanks are not recommended to add live plants because live plants will affect badly at night time.

Adding live plants is the easiest way to increase the oxygen level in your fish tank.

They have little different breath systems, so they come to the surface often and get the breath. Fresh water means it should have a good amount of oxygen level; otherwise, betta’s life is at risk.

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  1. Decrease ammonia level

Ammonia can affect worse to betta fish life span, and it can lead to fish death. So do not let to increase the ammonia level in your fish tank. This is important if you keep betta fish without a filter system.

Dead water plants, and fish poop, are the main things to help raise the ammonia and nitrate level in the fish tank. Regular water change can reduce this situation ideally. So do a regular water change.

Another ammonia level reduction method is adding a few Catappa leaves to your fish tank. Catappa leaf poplar as Indian almond leaf, so you can buy a few leaves from a pet fish shop.

You can add Catappa leaf directly into your fish tank. Once you place it, you will see the leaf release a yellow color tonic into the fish tank. This takes nearly 1 hour to start. 

These tonics can help to reduce bad ammonia in your fish tank. The final result is you can keep betta fish without a filter system.


How long can a betta fish in a tank without a filter?

It depends on the tank size. If you use a small container, fish cannot live more than four days in the same water. But if you use five gallons or an above fish tank, you can keep your betta fish until one week without changing the water.

How long can a betta fish in a tank without a filter?

But remember that the betta does not like to live in dirty water. You should change the water if you want to see your fish with big fins plus strong colors.

Some Asian fish keepers keep betta fish in glass jam bottles. Keeping them in glass jam bottles is not a problem, but change the water once in 3 days. 

Otherwise, your betta fish will become sick and have to start medical treatment. Especially, fin rot and dropsy are the primary diseases from bad water conditions. 

If your water increases ammonia, first betta fish will stress, and then betta will avoid foods during feeding times

If you plan to increase the number of days, keep betta fish without changing the water and without a filter, you must add some Indian Almond leaves into your fish tank. This is the only secret way to keep your fish tank decreasing ammonia levels.

Why do you need to filter the system into your betta fish tank?

A filter system can help to decrease ammonia levels and nitrate levels amazingly. The filter can absorb dead fish plant parts and fish poops. So adding a filter is not a bad idea. It will help to reduce bacterial infection also to your betta fish.

If you are busy, you have limited time to spend with your betta fish. So you do not have sufficient time to clean your betta fish tank once in 3 days. Therefore you can add filters to your aquarium to keep your tank clean.

If you have enough space in your aquarium, add a filter system to it because a filter can rapidly decrease cloudy water and keep your betta fish happy and healthy.

When you use a filter system in your fish tank, always water moving around in the fish tank is a good sign to keep your betta fish healthy. 

Because betta fish like to live in slow water current areas, water currents also help keep your fish active in your aquarium.

Most fish keepers like to add a filter system to their fish tank, which is an excellent thing to maintain the pH level in the fish tank.

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Tiny fish tank

Do betta fish need a strong filter?

No. Don’t add a strong working filter system into your betta fish tank. Bettas cannot swim fast water currents area. So if you add a high-pressure filter into your fish tank, betta will try to hide behind the filter system to avoid the water currents.

Do betta fish need a strong filter?

So please do not spend your money buying a strong filter system. It will harm your betta fish in the long run. First, your betta fish will start to hide, and then he can’t eat food due to strong water currents. 

Always use a well-control filter system in your fish tank. The power head filter system is a worse filter system for a betta. It makes a high-pressure water current with air bubbles. So use a small filter system and limit its speed.

According to our practice hang filter is the most suitable filter system for the betta fish tank. It is easy to use, and you can clean it quickly. As well as, the hanging filter is easy to operate and does not have any disturbance sound, so your betta fish can live peacefully in the fish tank.


Betta fish can live without a filter system, which is not mandatory. But if you use tiny containers to keep your fish, you need regular water changes to keep your fish healthy.

If you are busy and have enough space to keep the filter in the fish tank, then buying a filter system is worth it. It saves your time, and no need for regular water changes often.

A filter system can help to clean water and absorb fish poops and dead plant pieces. This will help to maintain your water pH quality and reduce toxins. 

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