Do Betta Fish Need a Bubbler?

While it’s not prohibited to put a bubbler in your betta’s aquarium, it is not a necessity hence it should not stress you when you are not in a position to acquire one. The main reason your betta doesn’t need a bubbler is the labyrinth organ in their body that functions similarly.

Betta fish don’t need air pumps or a bubbler. Betta fish have a unique organ called a labyrinth, enabling them to draw air from the tank’s surface; hence they don’t require it to be pumped for them. Additionally, placing a functional water filter instead ensures there’s always enough oxygen in your aquarium.

Reasons why Bettas Can Survive Without Bibblers

Unlike other fish, your betta fish can survive in water with lesser oxygen concentration, and you won’t need to get a bubbler to carry out a similar function. Let’s discuss some more reasons why a Betta can survive without a bibbler:

1. Presence of the Labyrinth Organ

Labyrinth fish is a term used to describe fish that possess the labyrinth organ. Betta fish are part of these aquatic species which can breathe directly from the surface. Their labyrinth organs have a lung-like structure that facilitates this direct exchange of air.

From time to time, you’ll see your betta fish moving upward to the tank surface and opening their mouths to grasp some air. They do this when seeking fresh air, especially if the oxygen concentration in the tank is too low. In such situations, a bubbler comes in handy for fish that cannot breathe directly from the surface but not so with betta fish.

This explains why betta fish don’t require an air pump or bubbler in their tank, but if you still want to get one, there are no restrictions on that.

2. Favorable Oxygen Concentration

If your tank has a suitable concentration of oxygen, your betta fish won’t need a bubbler or air pump. The main reason for putting such equipment in the fish tank is to generate enough oxygen for the comfort and survival of your fish.

Getting the right oxygen concentration is easy when there are plants in the tank and a functional water filter. With this, you’ll notice that your betta fish don’t come to the tank surface very often, a confirmation that there’s no need to get them a bubbler.

Cases Where Your Betta Fish May Need a Bubbler

Your betta fish don’t need a bubbler, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy one anyway. Improving water quality, aeration, beautifying the tank, and making your betta happy are among the cases where you should consider getting a bubbler for your aquarium. Here are some advantages of having a bubbler:

1. Improving the Water Quality

A bubbler improves the quality of your aquarium water. This happens in a chain of related events where the water becomes oxygenated enough to support the existence of bacteria, which then break down harmful chemicals such as nitrates and ammonia.

This process eliminates waste materials from the fish tank and breaks down harmful chemicals into harmless substances for the fish’s safety. A dirty tank may need a bubbler to generate more oxygen and prevent a deficit for a smoother process.

2. Aeration

Aeration is an important process in your aquarium that facilitates the distribution of oxygen in the water. Contrary to what most people think, oxygenation and aeration are two different processes.

Your fish tank is considered poorly aerated if the oxygen is only concentrated in some parts, such as the surface, and not in other sections. Having a bubbler aerates the tank uniformly, spreading oxygen in all sections. Your betta fish will have an easier time breathing while in any part of the tank instead of moving to the surface all the time.

3. Beautification Purposes

Bubblers form tiny bubbles on the wall of your aquarium, creating a beautiful and appealing effect. It adds a cool look to the tank and makes it stand out, acting as part of the decorations.

4. Your Betta Will Be Happier

Despite their ability to breathe oxygen from the surface, your betta fish are happier breathing directly from the water like other fish. This also helps it swim in other parts of the aquarium instead of spending too much time swimming to the top in search of air.

Properly oxygenated fish tanks result in more comfort for your fish, and so is good quality water, achieved when bacteria break down toxins into harmless substances. Bubblers are essential for these reasons.

Effects of Having Bubblers for Betta Fish

A bubbler in your aquarium ensures that your betta fish has enough oxygen to prevent them from sourcing for it on their own. Adverse effects may occur if the bubbler emits too many bubbles causing accidents in the tank, damaging eggs, causing distress and disturbance to the sleeping bettas, and killing the smaller fish.

1. Causing Accidents in the Fish Tank

If the bubbler is larger or more powerful compared to the size of your tank, the bubbling force may be too much for your betta fish, making them bump into each other. The bubbles can throw your betta off balance and cause accidents.

2. Damaging the Eggs

If you are rearing bettas, their eggs may be endangered as the bubbles create a force around them. However, this is rare and might not be witnessed unless the bubbler has a power that is too strong for the tank.

3. Causing Distress and Disturbance to Sleeping Betta Fish

Bubbles released at a high force by the bubbler cause a rapid movement of water in the tank, causing distress or disturbing your sleeping betta fish. The force should be kept proportional to the amount of water in your aquarium to avoid such occurrences.

4. Killing Small, Sick, or Weak Betta Fish

Some of the bettas are small, weak, or sick and can’t withstand the forces from the bubbler. This can lead to death as they become too distressed and unable to keep up with the conditions.


Your betta fish don’t need a bubbler! But, does it mean you can’t buy one anyway? It’s okay to have a bubbler in your fish tank and maximize the comfort and happiness of your betta fish.

Sometimes they can be too exhausted or weak to move up the tank’s surface for oxygen, making the bubbler a necessary piece of equipment.

However, you must adhere to the set instructions and ensure the bubbling force is well proportioned to avoid cases of distress, death, or activity disruption inside your aquarium.

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