For anyone looking for the Elite sponge to slow down the output, I found them on an endcap at PetSmart, price lowered. Makes me think that the item might not be carried there much longer. In the meantime, I have it on, and it is great. Thanks for the idea.
I'm going to put my 3 questions up front. If you want to read all the background info, it comes after.
1) Does anyone know the spectrum of the Spec III stock LED light, and if it promotes algae more than the Fluval CF 13W? I can't find any info on the spectrum it emits.
2)Has anyone else had experience with their bettas being stressed out by the brightness of the CF 13W?
3) Is my betta going to be inevitably damaged by laying against the filter intake? I have mesh behind it and the flow is low. His fins get plastered against it but so far haven't shredded. It's only been a day.
I bought the Fluval CF 13W that others have talked about on here. It is SO BRIGHT that the reflection hurts my eyes and head (I'm light-sensitive). So I don't like it for that reason. And it makes my white betta glow really bright. It looks like he's about to go nuclear. I worry such a bright light isn't good for him, might stress him. A couple hours after I put the CF 13W on yesterday, he started two behaviors: fighting his reflection a lot and laying on the filter intake, which is directly under the light. I have a baffle on the intake and the flow is low, so it doesn't shred his fins. But I don't like him there. It worries me. He has plenty of other places to rest, including a cave, but the intake is clearly his favorite. I put the stock LED back on last night after only half a day with this bright CF 13W. His behavior hasn't changed. He's healthy, eats ravenously and is a strong swimmer, but every time I see him against the intake, it makes me nervous that he's going to get injured. He lays there for a few minutes, swims around a few minutes, lays there again, swims around again and so on. Sometimes he'll be exploring for a while, but he goes back. He'll lay under the Anubias, or the cave, or the big silk plant leaves, but not for as long as he stays against the intake. The current isn't strong enough to push him there when he stops swimming. He likes that corner. He swims there on purpose.
I saw in another thread that someone gave their betta a floating log and he came to like that more. I had one in there, but the exposed parts grew mold and made me sick. So that was the end of that.
I know that 6500K full spectrum lighting will influence the kinds and amounts of algae that grow compared to other kinds of lighting. That's why I got the CF 13W. Correct me if I'm wrong, but something in the dim recesses of memory says that red and yellow wavelengths promote blue-green algae and cyanobacteria growth, which I don't want. The LED certainly is more yellow than the CF 13W. My Anubias nana isn't picky about the type of lighting, so that's not a concern. I just want to do what's healthiest for the betta.
I have Anubias in both my SPEC 3/5 with the stock LED light and they are flourishing! I have no algae problems.
As for the Intake sump and fin issue.I made a pretty sweet modification listed earlier in this thread using rubbery/plastic material found a Michael's Craft Store. It's really easy to do and it looks like it belongs in the tank! My Betta is actually able to move away from the inlet much easier now with this mod. I feel much more comfortable with it on.