So recently I bought a 5 gallon tank for my fish, Ziggy. Previously, he was living happily in a heated 1.5 gallon tank with no filter, which I did water changes on every 3 days. For the new tank, I bought a Whisper 10i, and tested it in the tank with his plants and ornaments. The current seemed strong so I put part of a pair of tights over the intake (also because I was worried about his fins getting caught).
After acclimating Ziggy to the tank, I put him in the water, to notice in about half the tank he was getting blown around quite forcefully. I used a rubberband and some t-shirt strips around the top of the filter to baffle it ( I don't have any sponge), and thought he was doing better, but when I came back to my dorm after being out, he had wedged himself between a plant and the glass to avoid the current. I was kind of scared because of how stuck he looked and I couldn't see him moving, but when I took off the lid to move the plant (and basically make sure he hadn't drowned), I saw him swim under the filter to sit. Basically he sits either under the filter or in part of a plant, which I'm assuming is because the current is still too strong. I turned the filter off and he swims out to other parts of the tank, but goes back to the space under the filter.
Long story short, what should I do? Should I turn the filter on again tomorrow and see if he's just stressed from the move? Is there a better way to baffle it? It's so sad to see him so upset and hiding in places when he's usually so active and curious. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Something else I'd like to mention, is that the fish will get used to current. Like any other animal, muscles atrophy when not used, and keeping a fish in an unfiltered bowl will make it lazy, for lack of a better word.
My ex had a huge goldfish (6+ inches) living in a 10 gallon tank when we met. I was shocked that it grew so big in there. Anyways, I quickly upgraded the fish to a 29 gallon tank with a good filtration system. Well, that goldfish was fat and lazy because it never really had a chance to swim in the 10 gallon. The goldfish would quickly wear itself out in the bigger tank and would rest against the filter intake. Soon enough though, the fish stopped resting on the filter intake and swam about the tank like fish are supposed to do.
My point is that fish can become physically weak from a lack of "exercise", and they can become strong from exercising.
I'm sure ill catch a lot of heat for this, but those that fight bettas know this well. Recently someone posted a link to a betta fighting forum. Not knowing anything about it, I decided to look around and see what these "monsters" do. I was quite surprised. They dote on their fish just as much as you all do and seem to take excellent care of their fish. Like a boxer, they train their fish to be in peak physical condition and one of the ways they make them strong is the use of current. The main reason I'm saying all this is to support the point that fish can become physically stronger, just like any other animal with muscles. I am not supporting fighting bettas, though I will say again how surprised I was at the level of care and devotion those people provide their fish. I was really shocked, because like most of you I thought that they didn't really care about the fish.
I really like the Whisper, just because it is so quiet, but I worry that with so much baffle it won't actually be doing any good? I've got it so the only current that blows him around at all is just right beneath the filter, and even that seems much more weak. He does seem a little more okay with it today, because I had it off all night and noticed him exploring the tank more.
I still could return the filter, but can someone send me links to really good sponge filters I could buy? I'm at college so even if I wanted to make one, it would take a while to get the supplies and then I don't know when I'd have the chance to put it together.
Jaysee, that's really interesting! I agree, it's sad that they fight them, but very surprising that they also take good care of them. It's good to know he'll strengthen up. Maybe for the next few days I'll just keep the filter on part of the day if he seems too stressed.
Just thought I'd put my say in here. I had the Whisper 10i in my 10g, and it was absolutely awful, even in there. The intake shredded my fish's tail, and he was miserable. I'm not trying to contradict Jaysee here, as I agree that Bettas need exercise, but with that filter my Betta wasn't getting exercise, just blown around the tank. I would suggest a sponge filter as well, and I don't have sites to buy them, but this Youtube link is what's helping me build my own:
my sponge filters put out as much current as the internals i've had have. Long fins and short fins alike do just fine :) actually now jaysee has me paranoid...i'm worried about my new fish in quarantine having muscle atrohpy before he goes into his new tank :P
I've had several bettas over the years and have never had an issue with current...even in the community tank with 10x turnover rate. But then again, I've never had most of the problems that seem to plague people here. I have a more hands off approach to fish keeping than most. I think a lot of people create their own problems.
'tis true guys! We are babying our fishes we own (oh gawd...yes I'm saying it) as we do or children these days. Kids these days don't play outside like we did(well I did ) these days just as we don't allow our fish to to take time to get in shape to swim in a current. I keep bettas , mbuna cichlids, ornate bichirs and many in between and still I have my betta's except for one in 4-6 gallon nightlight tanks and after trying to baffle I found over time the bettas adjusted to the current in their tanks without a baffle. In fact the the tanks in general were al better off without the baffle