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Old 06-10-2012, 10:01 PM   #1 
Blue Fish
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Question New member, two questions, RE:aquarium salt and filter

Hello! I'm a new member, but not new to betta fish. I started "rescuing" them when they first became popular...I couldn't stand to see them in those tiny, dirty, half-filled cups of water...so I'd pick out the ugliest and the most sickly looking and take them home. At one point there were 15 of them living in my bonus room... :)
I was betta-less for several years after that, but recently I acquired a new one...Blue Fish (after the Dr. Seuss book), and he's just moved into his big new 10 gallon aquarium. Previously, I always had my bettas in smaller aquariums (2 gallons) and didn't use filters, just air stones, plants, hiding spots, and changed the water frequently. So, this is my first experience with the big tank.
I have two questions: my betta doesn't seem to like the filter. I knew he didn't like air stones (he seems to prefer the water to be very still), and he's much more active when I turn the filter off for a time. I turn it back on so that it can filter, and then he tends to swim somewhere and "park" with his little "legs" and refuse to swim around. And I swear he looks annoyed.
Anyone have any suggestions? It's not a big filter, just a small one for 5-15 gallon tanks, so I don't think I can get one that's any more gentle?
Also, I know that with goldfish you should use aquarium salt, does this apply to bettas as well? And, if so, are the amts the same per gallon of water?
Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:04 PM   #2 
Jupiter
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Hi!

Aquarium salt should only be used for healing purposes, not on a regular basis. I always just follow the package instructions and that seems to work fine.

As for the filter, you could always make a baffle to calm the flow. There are a few guides on here about doing so, I believe.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:51 AM   #3 
brad himself
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Step-By-Step Filter Baffle

Here is a link to a guide that will help you build a simple, cost efficient baffle. Not pretty, but it get's the job done.

I also use sponges inside the filter to obstruct the flow of water, and that works really well.

As for salt, I would suggest using Indian almond leaf extract instead. It contains salt, as well as the benefit of putting Indian almond leaves in your tank. I'm sure it's up for debate, but I use the extract, and my fish is doing very well. I'm not sure how it would effect tankmates, though. Although my ghost shrimp is fine.

The extract:

Ocean Nutrition Atison's Betta Spa 100ml
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:02 AM   #4 
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Ahh, great, thanks so much! As for the sponge, are we talking about a special aquarium sponge, or just a household ocello (square yellow sponge) cut down to size and shoved up into the intake portion of the filter?
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #5 
brad himself
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An aquarium sponge, of course! I've heard of people using regular sponges, but you must be positive it has no dyes or chemicals. My local fish store has a blue foam that I've cut to size, and inserted inside my filter that works great. By "inside the filter," I mean, where your cartridge is located. You can put it "downstream" of the cartridge for the maximum effect.

I posted this in another thread and I feel it may be useful here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by brad himself View Post
The instructions above are great, save for the slight possibility of a fish swimming into the bottle. You will have to keep the water level lower than the baffle, or find something to obstruct the entrances into the baffle. I use floating plants and place them inside the baffle so my betta cannot swim into it. It also works as a secondary baffle, and my betta loves me for it.

For example:





You can also buy a small foam pad/sponge to place in front of your current filter cartridge to reduce the speed of the water flowing out of the filter. You may have to cram it in there, but it won't hurt anything. I actually just threw away my cartridge and use a large sponge filter I cut into halves as my cartridge. It's a bigger surface area for beneficial bacteria and it also reduces the flow.



So I essentially have three baffles: a "replacement" filter cartridge, a bottle wrapped around the outflow, and live plants inside the baffle to keep fishies out.
You also may want to think about the filter intake. Many people over look it, and it can be distressing for a betta to have it's fins tugged about by the current. I use a Fluval Pre-filter Sponge to slip over the intake. It is certainly safer for the fish.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Pre-Filter-Sponge-Pack-Fluval-Aquarium/dp/B004K9A15G/ref=sr_1_2?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1339432711&sr=1-2"]Amazon.com: Pre-Filter Sponge 3 Pack for Fluval Edge Aquarium: Pet Supplies[/ame]

Last edited by brad himself; 06-11-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:20 PM   #6 
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Yes, it's the intake that I've been concerned about, I just wasn't phrasing myself well. :) Thanks SO much for your help, I'll order the filter sponges now. :)
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