Do Betta Fish Need Air Pump

I have lost my aquarium fish the last few days. At first, I couldn’t figure out the exact reasons behind the death of my favorite fish. My friend said it was because of the absence of an air pump. If I don’t use an air pump, she advised me to buy betta fish. They can survive without an air pump. 

I was a little wondering why they don’t need an air pump! Then I did research and was totally surprised at this point!! 

Here I am going to break down why betta fish don’t need an air pump when it is required. And also discuss how you can take care of the betta fish without an air pump.

Do Betta Fish Need An Air Pump?

The answer is no. Betta fish do not need an air pump to live in an aquarium. Betta fish have the ability to live in a very small amount of oxygen. Because they have a special respiratory organ to their gills and scales. That is known as labyrinth and betta fish is called labyrinth fish.

This organ is like a small lung that provides the facility to breathe gaseous air from the water’s surface. When they pull water through gills, they pull the oxygen out of the air. Most aquarium fishes absorb oxygen from water, but betta fish absorb it out of the air. Thus they don’t need to dissolve more oxygen into the water produced by the air pump. And these physical characteristics make them unique.

As bettas need a small amount of oxygen in the water. If you use a good filter and some plants, these are enough to generate essential oxygen for betta fish. As it’s little more than using an air pump, betta fish can survive in less oxygen water than any other fish.

For the unique labyrinth organ, betta fish can live without the air pump or bubblers in the aquarium. 

Can Air Pumps Cause Problems For Bettas?

The right amount of dissolved oxygen is essential for fish breathing. The air pump creates air bubbles that are responsible for raising the water surface. Also produces surface agitation and dissolved oxygen from the air into the water. 

Sometimes, there is a chance of creating too much water movement and bubbles in the water. Bettas are quiet and peaceful. Too many bubbles disturbed and bettas get stressed out. Also may have an adverse effect on bettas health.

The fishes that need an air pump swim along the bottom of the aquarium. We already mentioned that betta fishes absorb oxygen out of the air. This situation is not comfortable for betta’s breathing.

When Will The Betta Need An Air Pump?

Though betta fish don’t need an air pump, in some circumstances installing an air pump becomes crucial for betta fish. For the following conditions that may arise in your tank or for betta fish, then you have to use an air pump in your tank.

If The Betta Gets Sick

If the bettas are suffering from bladder disease or can’t move fast, you should immediately set up an air pump into your tank. If betta fish can’t swim properly that means it can’t take enough oxygen. You need to support them with the air pump’s extra dissolved oxygen.


You should use an air pump when you are treating your betta fishes with medicine. Using medicine reduces the amount of oxygen in the tank. Bettas may have faced breathing problems. In this situation, you should run the air pump 24×7 so that bettas can breathe safely.

Special Circumstances

In some cases, you need to install an air pump that will protect bettas from a power outage. Again, the air bubbles produced by the air pump, bettas have enjoyed them and play with them. The bubbles keep them playful all day long.

How to Take Care of Betta Fish?

Betta fish can breathe without an air pump, but you have to take care of them. Before owning a betta fish, you have to know about its origin, natural habitats. 

Betta fish are found mainly in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the warm waters of Vietnam, and in some parts of China. They prefer to live in clean, warm, and slow-moving water. Let’s have a look below to know how you can take care of your betta fish properly.

Establishing the Ideal Betta Tank

The first requirement is establishing an ideal betta tank. Bettas have thrived best in the warm water tank so that you should be concerned about the water temperature. If the temperature is below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, bettas may be dispirited and ill.

Water temperature should be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit which is considered safe and healthy for betta fish. In addition, water should not be too hard or too soft. The ph level should be balanced and between 6.5 to 7.0.

Sizing the Betta Tank

The size of the betta tank depends on how many fish you want to keep in it. A single betta fish can be placed in a tank and it will live happily.

But if you keep three, four, or more bettas in one tank, you have to organize the tank with the right temperature, water and other accessories. Usually, a 10-gallon tank is needed for an average of 3-5 bettas.So that they can swim, play comfortably without any chance of injury.

Betta Tank Accessories

  • Betta fish are playful, also they love to hide, especially the female bettas. Keep some hiding spots in the betta’s tank, they will be happy and love this.
  • Keep some live and artificial plants in the tank. The live plants help to generate oxygen, as well as artificial plants create a playing zone for them. At the same time, they increase the beauty of the tank. 
  • Make sure artificial plants are made especially for aquariums otherwise bettas delicate fins may injure hard plastic plants.
  • You can use gravel or sand on the bottom of the betta’s tank, though it’s totally optional.
  • Add cover on the top as they can’t jump out from the tank.
  • You can add soothing fairy lights to make them playful and curious.

Feeding Your Betta

Besides all of these, you have to focus on the feeding process as well. Bettas have a very tiny-sized stomach. You don’t need to feed too much at once.

You should give them three betta pellets or a tiny pinch of betta flakes every day, they will be happy with their meal. Also, bettas prefer live foods. You can give brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms as live foods.

Clean The Betta Tank

Regular cleaning is important as bettas like to swim in clean water. The tank cleaning process is simple and easy. You should clean the tank water after 1 week. Also, use a scouring brush to clean the tank’s surface.

Don’t use any soap or shampoo at the aquarium to clean it.

Final Words

Bettas are the perfect choice for aquarium lovers. They don’t need any air pump as they have a labyrinth organ. Also taking care of the bettas is simpler and easier than other aquarium fishes. 

Proper care keeps bettas happy and healthy without any air pump. And you will enjoy the graceful beauty and enjoyment of bettas for several years.

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