I have a "Tetra Whisper Microfilter" on my five gallon tanks. The filter is almost perfectly round with a pour spout where the water comes out and slits underneath it for water intake. It IS adjustable, but even on it's lowest setting at pretty much a trickle, it caused enough current to bang my boy betta down to the gravel rather violently so obviously I need some baffling of some sort.
Also, he seems to like to hang out under the intake slits and rub up against them like he's scratching his back. It's one of his favorite games. He doesn't seem to be getting sucked in and he'll sit under there just fine, but I think the intake current feels good to him for some reason. However, I don't really like him hanging out under there as I'm paranoid that he'll get an errant fin sucked into a slit.
So. I want to use the filter, but I want to make it safe for my little guy. Now this filter is totally round and the top of it is right up against the tank cover so using the water bottle method is out. I also want to block his access to the intake, but not impede it.
Anyone have any suggestions other than just not filtering? I assume putting a silk plant under the pour spout would work for the baffling and how would you suggest blocking him from those intakes without blocking everything the filter should be picking up? Any other ideas?
I thought about a floating plant, but my wife doesn't want live plants to have to deal with.