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Filter for Betta Tank or Aquarium Needed?

Question: I bought my Betta fish a week ago and now I need a way to clean the water in the tank. I’m totally new to this so I need a hold my hand as walk me through approach. Please help me because I have no idea what I’m doing. My tank is a 5 gallon tank and I have one male Betta fish. Thanks in advance.

*Awarded Answer
Answer from Chris:
Your aquarium is considered very small in the grand realm of “fishkeeping” so it is going to be difficult to keep clean. The problem with small tanks is the amount of oxygen in the tank is limited because the amount of water is limited. Compare it to a human being inside the trunk of a car.. the amount of air will run clean out unless more new air is added.

betta filterNot trying to scare you, but instead of just inform you of the importance of keeping up with cleaning the tank and the water. Alright.. enough preaching on that.. lets get to the point here.

Having a clean tank and water inside the tank is a necessity to your Betta living a long healthy life. The natural habitat of the Betta fish is somewhat of a “” setup. THIS MEANING, water current really isn’t their thing. They are not used to it and don’t like it. Powerful filters aren’t the most ideal setup for Betta tanks.

betta fish maleI would highly advise a small sponge filter setup. Sponge filters use air from an aerator to push up bubbles through a pipe and water vacuums through the sponge on its way up with the bubbles. It’s somewhat hard to envision unless you see it in action.

These sponge filters work incredibly well too. As a beginner fish keeper years ago, I underestimated the power of filtering water through a stupid sponge. Boy was I wrong! I’ve been on board ever since and hopefully you can see the light.

Point blank, changing the water in your Betta tank is going to be the most influential factor to having clean water. The trick is to do them properly so your fish doesn’t stress out when you do them (Fish die from stress very easily). In a small tank like yours, I would change a maximum of 30% of the water at once. All you have to do is pour the water out carefully or just use a large cup.

Don’t forget to use water conditioner added to the new water before you put back into the tank. Chlorine and other harmful chemicals can kill your fish very fast. Conditioner is mandatory if you live in locations of city water use. When pouring your new water into the tank, try to be delicate and not to let the new incoming water toss your fish around in back current like a rag doll. Treat your fish as you would want to be treated.

Keep up with water changes every couple of days and keep to routine. If you have gravel, make sure to stir it up and let all the debris and decay loosen into the water so it comes out with your water change. So much decay will build up in your gravel so beware. Hopefully that help. Good question.

Also, check out this podcast audio version of this question too.. kinda cool!

2 thoughts on “Filter for Betta Tank or Aquarium Needed?

  1. skipper

    I also have a 5 gallon tank. We got a betta for my son (he begged), and had him in less than a gallon tank. Clearly it was too small. So I upgraded to 5 gallon. The tank is really nice…the filter it came with is horrible! So..I threw it away. At the moment, I have no filter.

    I have gravel. So…I need to get a sponge filter? Is there a particular one that you can recommend? I would really like to just walk into the store and know exactly what I’m getting. So you are saying with a five gallon a gravel vac/siphon is not necessary? Just stir the gravel up and scoop some water out? 20 percent every couple of days? I just want to make sure I got this straight. I need a schedule here…( I have not bought a siphon yet..so just curious..if I don’t need it, I’m not going to waste money on it.
    Also, currently my tank is cloudy. I’ve been told that this is normal and should clear up with small water changes. The petsmart girl told me I do not need a filter…after I told her how horrible the other one was.

    So to wrap up I have a five gallon tank/gravel/some smooth rocks here and there/two silk plants ( I plan on getting some live ones and the incandesent light that you spoke of in your video)/and a three barrel decoration/hiding place. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. My plants are medium and small. I actually need more and will be getting the moss one.

    Trying not to spend a TON of money on this as I have already spent a lot, and have a ton of other responsibility (stay at home mom).

  2. Moderator Post author

    Walmart sells a $10 gravel vaccuum. Once you learn how to use it.. you have figured out %40 of fishkeeping. It is somewhat annoying to figure out this vaccuum but it is super important to clean the bottom of the tank because that is where everything sinks.

    As you siphon out the water and “gunk” on the bottom that will also work as your water change. Basically, you just use the gravel vacuum to clean your gravel and do the water change all at once.


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