What Are Betta Beads? Your Betta’s Life Depends On Them

Betta fish are one of the most popular aquarium fish and many people keep them in tiny bowls or tanks. We don’t recommend this. We like a bigger tank with a filtration system even for betta fish, but if you don’t have a filter, you should get some betta beads.

Betta beads by Aqueon are biodegradable balls that contain beneficial bacteria for your betta tank. Betta beads are for unfiltered tanks. Filtered tanks get beneficial bacteria by other means so betta beads aren’t necessary and are ineffective for filtered tanks. However, beneficial bacteria are necessary for bettas, so make sure you have a filter or betta beads.

Betta beads are cool to have in your tank because your betta fish will enjoy playing with them since they are shaped like balls. Plus it will also enhance their natural foraging behavior.

About Betta Beads

  • Provides live beneficial bacteria and enzymes to maintain clear water.
  • Great environmental enrichment activity for Bettas! Watch as they play in and out of the soft gravel like a fun ball pit.
  • Soft biodegradable gravel encourages the natural foraging behavior of bettas for mental stimulation.
  • Aids in maintaining a healthy aquarium by breaking down organic sludge for a healthy balanced environment.
  • For use in unfiltered betta habitats. Add 1 pouch of betta beads per 1 gallon of water.
  • For best results replace betta beads once a month (add 1 pouch per 1 gallon of water) and perform a 25% water change every 2 weeks.
  • If betta beads shrink prematurely, this is a quick indicator that the water hardness is not optimal for your betta – we recommend changing the water with soft (deionized or specially filtered) betta waters.

Betta Beads Colors

Aqueon PURE Betta Beads come in five choices of colors:

Aqueon PURE Betta Beads
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Green
  • Black and White

How Do You Use Betta Beads?

Put one pouch of betta beads per gallon of water in your tank. You want to put betta beads in your tank at least once a month. Change at least 25% of your betta’s water every two weeks. Make sure to put the betta beads in your aquarium after you change the water and not before.

How Do You Dispose of Betta Beads?

Just throw them in the trash.

Are Water Beads Safe for Bettas?

No water beads are not the same as betta beads. They may be toxic to your betta or your betta may swallow them.

Do Betta Beads Replace Gravel?

Betta beads can replace gravel but you are not supposed to have betta beads and gravel together in the same tank. Only use betta beads in an unfiltered tank.

Are Pure Betta Beads Good?

Pure betta beads are good for providing a filterless tank with beneficial bacteria. Don’t use them if you have a filter in your tank.

Why Do Betta Fish Need Beneficial Bacteria?

All aquarium creatures produce waste from poop which is the main bad guy in your aquarium because it produces ammonia that can eventually kill your betta fish if the ammonia levels are left to wreak havoc.

You can also get bad stuff in your aquarium from uneaten fish food, dead plants, or from not cleaning your filter.

There are three types of beneficial bacteria that will grow in your tank.

One type of beneficial bacteria converts waste into ammonia which can kill your fish even at low levels. But, other beneficial bacteria convert ammonia into nitrite which is also bad but there is yet another beneficial bacteria then converts nitrite into nitrate.

Nitrate is not harmful to your fish unless there is too much of it. This is why you need to do weekly or bi-weekly water changes.

If you replace some of your water, then you bring down the level of nitrates while leaving some of your beneficial bacteria in the tank. If you changed all of your water then you would risk losing all of your beneficial bacteria.


Betta beads are a beneficial addition to your betta tank especially if you don’t have a filter. Not only will your betta fish enjoy playing with them they can enhance your betta’s natural foraging behavior as well as provide beneficial bacteria and enzymes to keep your water clear. If you don’t have a filter you can use betta beads in place of gravel. Betta beads are a wonderful addition to your tank and will enhance your aquarium experience by providing entertainment for both you and your betta fish.

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