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Why Does My Betta Fish Stay Near Its Filter?

As the number of people owning betta fish and being exposed to their sometimes strange behaviours increases, the number of people that we see reaching out and asking various questions about why their betta fish do certain things also tends to increase.

We know that many first time fish keepers start with a betta fish so we often see questions from the community about things that others may take for granted too.

One of these behaviours that is actually very common but we often see people reaching out and asking about is betta fish staying near the filter in their tank.

Some people new to keeping betta fish are often worried about the potential health of their betta fish in this situation too and we do understand why so many people reach out about a betta fish that stays close to the filter in its tank each year.

Now, before we go any further, we want to be clear, for this article, we are going to be focusing on when your betta fish is voluntarily choosing to stay near the filter in its tank.

We are not going to be going into things like your filter being too strong for the tank and its water flow pulling the betta fish to it. If you think that this may be the problem then you should definitely look to turn the filter down to reduce its power or to get a new, low powered filter.

Why Does My Betta Fish Stays Near Its Filter?

It can be common for your betta fish to choose to stay near its filter due to it often being the location in the tank with the calmest water flow.

Less common causes of a betta fish staying near its filter is due to the filter blocking light out or being the only source of cover available for your betta fish due to having no plants or fish hideouts in the aquarium.

Thankfully, both of these are very easy to fix. If you do think that your pet betta fish is staying near the filter in its tank due to the water flow in its tank being too high, simply reduce the power on the filter.

Some filters will not have variable power sources though do in some situations, you may actually have to go out and purchase a new, low-power filter that is suitable for use in a betta fish tank.

It is very common for people new to fish keeping not to add any potential cover to their betta fish tank and in this situation, your betta fish may choose to stick to the filter in its tank as a way to feel safe.

Thankfully, you are easily able to pick up some fake aquarium plants and some fish hideouts for cheap that you can use to add other sources of cover to the tank to help keep your betta fish calm.

Do Betta Fish Like Filters?

Although a betta fish may or may not like the filter in its tank for a range of reasons, the majority of people will choose to use a filter in their betta tank as it helps to reduce the amount of tank maintenance that is required to keep the tank clean.

Some betta fish do tend to seem to like their filters and they will stay close to it but this can be due to a number of reason.

As we touched on in the section above, some people can mistake the behaviour of their betta fish staying close to the filter in their tank as their betta fish liking their tank when the opposite can be true.

If your tank filter is too powerful then it can stress your betta fish out forcing it to look for low water flow areas in the tank and depending on the specific type of filter you use, this may be right next to the filter in the tank.


That brings our article going over why a betta fish stays near its filter to an end. The majority of people should not be having these problems but if you do notice that your pet betta fish tends to hang out near its filter then it is probably one of the two reasons covered above and in some situations, it can actually be both.