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What Fish Can Live Without a Filter

what fish can live without a filter

A filter is an essential part of the aquarium responsible for cleaning the water of debris and preventing the toxic buildup of ammonia and nitrates. It also helps in the aeration to help the fish breathe easily in the fish tank. But did you know that some fish does not need a filter at all?

The increasing popularity of no-filter bowls in taking care of fish inside the home is well documented. But what fish can live without a filter? In this article, we listed some of these fish and other related information should you decide to set up an aquarium without a filter.


Best Fish for Aquarium Without Filter

Betta Fish

Betta Fish Information
Estimated Size 3 inches
Estimated Lifespan 3 to 5 Years
pH Range 6.5 to 7.5
Temperature 76 – 81 ℉
Care Rating Medium

The best thing about the betta fish is its ability to survive without a filter in the aquarium. In fact, this type of fish is able to survive in smaller bowls or fish tanks without a filter. Thanks to their labyrinth organ, which allows them to breathe atmospheric air.

But because of this organ, they need enough space in the aquarium to allow them to move freely and breathe easily. Physically, these fish are known for their lavish tail which includes pigmented colors. These colors become more intense, especially during mating season.

This type of fish is also known to be territorial in nature and can be aggressive towards other fish. Also, they are also an excellent solitary fish that has the ability to entertain themselves if you give them the proper aqua-scaping setup in your aquarium.

Sparkling Gourami

Sparkling Gourami Information
Estimated Size 1.5 inches
Estimated Lifespan 4 to 5 Years
pH Range 6.0 to 7.0
Temperature 76 – 82 ℉
Care Rating Easy

Sparkling Gourami is a type of fish that likes slow water flow. They can even survive and live in a poorly oxygenated environment. Meaning, they can thrive with an aquarium using a low-filtered system or a fishbowl without any filter at all.

The gouramis are not also particular with highly-oxygenated waters. Meaning, you do not need a powerful aeration system when taking care of these pets. Physically, the structure resembles shiny bullets flickering in the water of your aquarium.

A sparkling gourami likes planted area in your aquarium. They like this area because it feels the same as their natural habitat. The more vegetation you have in the aquarium, the more they feel confident to explore the ecosystem of your fish tank.

Guppy Fish

Guppy Fish Information
Estimated Size 0.6 – 2.4 inches
Estimated Lifespan Up to 2 Years
pH Range 5.5 to 8.5
Temperature 75 – 82 ℉
Care Rating Very Easy

Another fish that can survive in an aquarium without a filter is the guppy fish. This type of fish is one of those species of fish that do not produce a lot of waste, making them perfect for an aquarium without a filter.

According to an experienced aquarist, this fish has the ability to survive in a fish tank without a filter. But the aquarium needs to have excellent water conditions for the fish to survive. And this can be done by properly maintaining the aquarium, especially the water.
In terms of its physical structure, this type of fish is popularly known as the rainbow fish because it comes in a wide range of colors that resemble the rainbow. Then, you can add their very active behavior, and you have a perfect pet in your fish tank.

This tropical freshwater fish also likes aquariums with a lot of plants. They also prefer live rocks and several layers of substrate. They are active swimmers who like to be in groups and find solace and comfort along with other guppies.

best fish for aquarium without filter

Scarlet Badis

Scarlet Badis Information
Estimated Size 2 cm
Estimated Lifespan Up to 4 Years
pH Range 6.5 to 7.6
Temperature 75 – 79 ℉
Care Rating Medium

Due to their very small size, the Scarlet Badis or Dario Dario does not need powerful filters with large suction capacity. Since this fish is so tiny, they can have the ability to survive in a fishbowl without a filter. But you should do regular water changes to purify the water in your aquarium according to their liking.

In terms of its physical appearance, this fish is very small, with the mail can reach up to an inch while the female is even smaller. To distinguish both sexes, the male fish can be compared to a jewel due to its bright red color. The female, meanwhile, looks dull compared to their female counterpart.

The Scarlet Badis are known to be a very shy and peaceful fish species,s especially to their similar kinds. However, they can quickly feel being threatened by other large fish due to their very small size.

Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios Information
Estimated Size 2 inches
Estimated Lifespan 2 to 5 Years
pH Range 6.5 to 7.0
Temperature 64 – 74 ℉
Care Rating Easy

Another fish that can survive an aquarium without a filter is the Zebra Danios. This species is one of the easiest fish to be in your aquarium. They can live in a bowl without a filter and can still survive. All you have to do is keep them healthy, and they will be fine.

For them to survive without a filter, it is better if you keep them alone. They are not also delicate fish which means they can survive as long as they are healthy and the aquarium’s condition is in excellent form.

Physically, this fish is famous for its beautiful black and white striped body. They are also famous because they are very easy to take care of. Their ability to survive under different tank conditions and a wide range of temperatures makes them ideal for new aquarium owners.


If you want to know what fish can live without a filter? There are many and all of which can be an excellent pet to your aquarium. We have presented five different species of fish that can survive an aquarium without filter. Of course, there are still certain conditions that will enable them to survive, but they are an excellent choice if you start an aquarium in your home.

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