Do Betta Fish Need a Bubbler? Bettas are labyrinth fish, so they have an organ that has carefully modify to enable them to breathe air directly from the surface. They may therefore obtain all the oxygen they require from the water’s surface, negating the need for a bubbler or air pump in their tank.

How Does Betta Fish Breathe? Do Betta Fish Need a Bubbler?

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

Betta fish are unique among fish. They can swallow air from the surface thanks to a special organ called a labyrinth.

This organ is present in betta fish, gouramis, and other fish of the Anabantoidei suborder.

The labyrinth and our lungs share certain similarities. It is an extension of the gills with a thin membrane covering a few tiny spaces where oxygen absorbs before entering the bloodstream. One of the reasons Betta fish are so hardy and straightforward to maintain is because of this organ.

Low oxygen levels won’t stop them from thriving because they can get oxygen from the tank’s surface. If you’ve never owned a betta, you might wonder if one needs a bubbler. Fortunately, it is not essential because this breed of pet is a labyrinth breather. Betta fish and other fish with labyrinth organs have the edge over other species in their ability to absorb and use oxygen.

Bettas will regularly surface to breathe and use the oxygen in the tank. Some pet owners have little animals. Devices with air pumps and bubblers help raise the oxygen levels and give their Betta a more stable habitat.

Although you can add an air stone or bubbler to the aquarium, betta fish don’t need them.

What Is A Bubbler?

To respond to the query Do betta fish need a bubbler? To begin with, let’s define a bubbler.

Aquatic Bubbles

As the name implies, bubblers produce air bubbles that disturb the water’s surface and encourage gas exchange. They are frequently considered interchangeable with the more valve-based air pumps.

In actuality, they create water movement from the top of the aquarium to the bottom while circulating air through airline tubing, which in turn oxygenates your Siamese fighting fish.

Do Betta Fish Need a Bubbler?

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

Siamese fighting fish, popularly known as bettas, are magnificent and relatively simple to care for.

Even though all fish need oxygen to survive in their tanks, bettas may manage with a lot less than other fish species. They have an edge over other animals because of the way they breathe.

Betta fish can breathe through a labyrinth, absorbing oxygen from the water and the tank’s surface. Its labyrinth organ is perfect for surviving in tanks without an air stone or bubbler and in modest volumes of water.

Bettas naturally inhabit vegetation-filled shallow water areas like rice fields and wetlands. Usually, there won’t be much oxygen in this habitat, but bettas don’t have an issue with it.

Benefits of Using a Bubbler in Your Fish Tank

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

It would help if you considered several advantages when utilizing a bubbler in your fish tank, and we’re not only talking about betta fish here.

01.Water Oxygenation, Bacteria & Waste

Water quality is one factor that makes a bubbler in an aquarium a good choice. Aquariums need to be filtered, and microorganisms are primarily responsible for the breakdown of pollutants like ammonia. Ammonia and nitrates are harmless to fish since bacteria break them down. But these microbes use up oxygen.

Therefore, more bacteria are required to break down these chemicals and use more oxygen in a dirty tank. A bubbler can aid in avoiding this oxygen shortage. 

02. Aeration

Aeration—which is not the same as oxygenation—is another reason why having a bubbler in an aquarium is a good idea. Aeration describes how effectively oxygen distributes throughout the water. A tank does not properly aerate if oxygen is near the top.

A bubbler can aid in spreading the oxygen around the tank, making breathing in all areas of the tank much simpler.

03.A Cool Look

Another reason why placing bubblers in aquariums is so popular is because it looks fantastic. Some people think it’s an excellent addition to any aquarium for these items to produce walls of tiny bubbles.

04. Betta Happiness

Betta fish can breathe fresh air from the source thanks to their labyrinth organ. They do, however, like extracting the oxygen from the water. It is comparable to having a life jacket. You can swim just fine without it and like swimming without it. The labyrinth organ, the analogy’s replacement for the life preserver, is only ever activated in an emergency.

Betta fish will be considerably happier in water with adequate oxygen, especially if they don’t have to surface every few minutes to breathe.

Are Bubbles Bad for Betta Fish?

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

While bubbles by themselves are unlikely to hurt your Betta, they can cause enough disturbance to make life challenging for them. To avoid breaking the bubble nest in the tank when breeding bettas, setting the bubbler too high will usually prevent your Betta from swimming and disrupt its crucial sleep cycle.

Your Betta Tank Needs a Bubbler and Air Pump If

  • You have a large tank.
  • The water needs to be well-oxygenated.
  • Your Betta has tank mates.
  • The water gets dirty fast.
  • The tank doesn’t include any living plants.

Your Betta Tank Doesn’t Need a Bubbler and Air Pump If

  • You have a small tank.
  • You already have a filter. 
  • Your Betta lives alone.
  • There are live plants in the tank that provide oxygen.

How To Oxygenate A Betta Tank Without A Bubbler Or Air Pump

There are still ways to oxygenate your Betta tanks, even if you don’t have a bubbler or an air pump. Although we discussed this in a prior blog post, we’ll go over the essentials again now. Go to that blog post if you require more specific information.

01. Use Live Plants

Utilizing live plants is one of the finest ways to oxygenate your aquarium. Plants can aid in boosting the amount of dissolved oxygen in your water since they produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis.                                                                                            

02. Natural Aeration Techniques Without Bubblers

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

You can eliminate bubblers and aerate your water naturally by following simple procedures.

03. Addition of Live Plants

Plants produce oxygen through photosynthesis. For your betta fish, adding live aquatic plants is a win-win situation. They enhance the tank’s appearance and clean the water by removing dangerous carbon dioxide. Be aware that there are myths regarding living aquatic plants and how they might use improperly to produce oxygen.

It’s a common misperception that live aquatic plants provide enough dissolved oxygen. Although it will depend on their photosynthetic activity, they do produce oxygen. More than their ability to produce enough oxygen may need for a tank with many fish. Following the density of the fish population, add the corresponding number of plants.

The right kind of aquatic plants will also influence dissolved oxygen levels. Useless to use floating surface plants. They block and reduce the available surface area for gas exchange.

Use plants that stand vertically and remain at the bottom, such as dwarf hair grass, Java fern, Vallisneria, and Anubis.

04. Providing a Large Surface Area

with more excellent oxygen will dissolve the greater surface area exposed to the air. We do not advise surface floating plants because of this.

05. Keep Fish Swimming at Different Levels

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

Fish can aid in the circulation of water. Remember that fish manipulate the water with their fins to help them swim. The absence of stagnant water gives when fish are swimming at various depths.

A surface dweller, a medium swimmer, and a bottom feeding are sufficient.

But once more, keep only species suitable for betta fish and avoid overstocking.

What Are the Different Types of Bubblers?

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

Are betta fish have to have bubblers? They won’t typically do this because they are hardy fish that can surface for air.

A tiny tank can, however, be equipped with a bubbler to increase the oxygen content or stop waste from settling.

If you wish to include a bubbler in your fish tank, you can pick from a few different types:

  • Airstones and bubble wands are similar. However, bubble wands are horizontal and thin in design. They disperse a bubble wall that has a pleasing appearance.
  • In most cases, bubble walls are flexible tubes you may coil anywhere in your tank. They help stir up commotion across a wide area.

If you want something discrete, you can get bubblers resembling decorations. If you add a unique effect, you can discover bubblers with LEDs incorporated right into them.

What’s the Best Type of Bubbler for Betta Fish?

Betta Fish Need a Bubbler
Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

The ideal bubblers produce tiny bubbles since betta fish appreciate a smooth flow of slowly moving water. Although there are many forms of air stones, airstones are often more effective than bubble walls or bars.

Recommended Bubbler for Betta Fish

Betta fish do not necessarily require a bubbler or air pump in their aquarium. They are labyrinth fish that can breathe oxygen directly from the air at the water’s surface. If you still want to add a bubbler for aesthetic purposes or to enhance water circulation, here are a few recommended options:

01. Marina Battery-Operated Air Pump

This portable air pump runs on batteries, making it suitable for small Betta fish tanks. It provides gentle airflow and helps improve water circulation without causing excessive agitation.

02. Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit 

This kit includes an air pump, air tubing, and an air stone. The air stone creates tiny bubbles, adding visual appeal to the aquarium and increasing surface agitation for better oxygen exchange. The Hygger kit is suitable for small to medium-sized Betta fish tanks.

03. Tetra Whisper Air Pump

The Tetra Whisper Air Pump is renowned for its dependability and quiet operation. You can choose the ideal model based on your Betta fish tank size because it is available in various sizes. It provides consistent airflow and helps maintain oxygen levels in the water.

04. Pawfly Adjustable Air Pump

The Pawfly Adjustable Air Pump has a dial that you can turn to change the airflow to the desired level. It is energy-efficient, compact, and suitable for smaller Betta fish tanks. The pump comes with suction cup feet for easy placement.

05. JW Pet Fusion Air Pump

The JW Pet Fusion Air Pump is a compact, durable option that delivers quiet and reliable performance. To fit different tank sizes it comes in a range of sizes. The pump features an integrated air control valve for easy adjustment of airflow.

Remember, when using a bubbler or air pump, it’s important to consider the intensity of the airflow. Betta fish prefer calm water with minimal water movement. Ensure the airflow is gentle enough to prevent strong currents that may stress or exhaust the Betta fish.

Ultimately, choosing a bubbler or air pump in your Betta fish tank is a matter of personal preference. Assess your Betta fish’s needs and the specific requirements of your tank before choosing and installing a bubbler or air pump.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Whether Betta Fish Need a Bubbler

01. Do Betta Fish need a bubbler in their aquarium? 

Betta fish do not necessarily need a bubbler or air pump in their aquarium. They are labyrinth fish with a unique organ called the labyrinth organ, allowing them to breathe oxygen directly from the air at the water’s surface. They are adapted to low-oxygen environments and can get their required oxygen by gulping air from the surface.

02. What is the purpose of a bubbler or air pump in a Betta fish tank? 

While Betta fish do not rely on a bubbler for oxygen, some people add a bubbler or air pump for aesthetic purposes or to enhance water circulation. Bubblers create tiny air bubbles that can add visual appeal to the aquarium and improve water movement, which can help distribute heat, oxygen, and nutrients evenly throughout the tank.

03. Can a bubbler harm Betta fish? 

If not used properly, a bubbler or air pump can create strong currents and excessive agitation in the water, which may stress or exhaust Betta fish. Betta fish prefer calm water with minimal water movement. Choosing a bubbler or air pump that provides a gentle airflow and avoids creating solid currents in the tank is important.

04. Should I use a bubbler if I have live plants in my Betta fish tank? 

Through photosynthesis, live plants in a Betta fish tank can naturally oxygenate the water. The plants release oxygen into the water during the day, benefiting the Betta fish. In this case, adding a bubbler may not be necessary, as the plants already contribute to oxygen levels in the aquarium.

05. Will a bubbler or air pump disturb the Betta fish’s bubble nest? 

Betta fish are known for creating bubble nests, which they use for breeding. A bubbler or air pump may disturb the bubble nest by causing the bubbles to disperse or preventing the Betta fish from building it in the first place. If breeding is a goal, avoiding using a bubbler during this time is generally recommended.

06. Can a bubbler help improve water quality in a Betta fish tank?

A bubbler or air pump can help improve water circulation and prevent stagnant areas in the tank. This can aid in maintaining better water quality by reducing debris buildup and promoting gas exchange at the water’s surface. However, regular water changes, proper filtration, and a clean tank are still essential for maintaining optimal water quality for Betta fish.

07. Are there any situations where a bubbler is recommended for Betta fish? 

In some instances, a bubbler or air pump may be beneficial. For example, in larger tanks or tanks with poor water movement, a gentle airflow from a bubbler can help prevent areas of low oxygen and stagnant water. Additionally, a bubbler may be helpful if your Betta fish tank has tankmates that benefit from increased oxygen levels, such as certain species of snails or shrimp.

Remember, deciding to use a bubbler or air pump in a Betta fish tank is optional and depends on personal preference. Assess the specific needs of your Betta fish, the tank size, and the overall tank dynamics before deciding whether to incorporate a bubbler into your setup.


Betta fish are incredibly resilient and can survive even if oxygen levels are below the permissible limit since they can ingest air from the surface. If you thought about adding a bubbler to your aquarium, it would help to produce enough movement. By doing this, you can keep your Betta fish from relying on surface breathing and avoid waste from settling.

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