So we picked up a 5gal tank for our Betta (Tiepolo), which came with a hanging style filter. Unfortunately, we somewhat overlooked exactly what type of filter we needed, and now realize that we should have purchased one which is adjustable.
Being young artist types, we dont have much cash to just go out and purchase another one...We tried the plastic bottle solution, and it did reduce the amount of current in the tank drastically, but there are still pockets of current where he seems to be tossed around in the water. Also, I dont think there is any area of the tank that is NOT affected by at least some current, as the silk plants we added all seem to be moving.
So Im wondering, are there any hard rules about current, and at what point does it become dangerous? Obviously if he couldn't surface that would be fatal, but there are many areas he can do this in.
Are there any other simple modifications we can do to the filter to reduce the intensity of the water flow?
Do some bettas like current? Weve seen him 'playing' a bit in the areas where the water hits the surface of the water and the current is most intense.
To my knowledge, there are no adjustable filters. They simply come with one power level, and that power level is usually efficient for the recommended tank size (Often time sa filter will range with its power, saying that Filter A is suitable for tanks size 5g to 10g).
Other then the plastic bottle baffler, there are others that have used the aquasponge (???) method. It pritty much looks like a kitchen sponge used to clean dishes, but that have rubber-banded it to the out-take of the filter, so the water first has to go throughout the sponge before hitting the water. Place this same sponge near the INTAKE part of the filter will also reduce the outtake flow. You can find out more about this in the "Habitat and Accesories" part of the form. (Sorry I'm a horrible speller -.- Ugh!)
The current rules aren't very strict, or atleast I should say they have a fine line of being -to- powerful. Generally, to my knowledge, in most tanks there will be areas of high flow. This is sometimes unavoidable, but as long as the filter is equavilent to your 5g tank, it shouldn't be dangerous and your fish should adjust perfectly fine (usually by avoidance of said area).
However, if your fish looks like a never ending pinball in a pinball machine, then this can be incredibly dangerous. More then likely in this case you've bought a filter with parameters far over your tank size (Its to powerful, way to powerful). If this is the case, remove the filter.
This is about the best I can help you with this! I hope it helps until you get a more experienced response!
The filter is intended for a 5 gallon, so I dont think it will seriously injure him. He just seems to get a lot more distance off his swimming, and has to fight a little bit against the current if moving in certain directions.
We considered turning off the filter until we could get an aquasponge tomorrow, but we heard this can be dangerous as the chemicals used in the 'replaceable filter' part can hurt the fish if they remain static in the tank. True?
I'm unsure as to what 'part' you're talking about. If its the cartridge inside the filter that contains the carbon (The black rock like substance) then no, this chemical wont hurt the fish. You may have misunderstood something though and came to the conclusion. In a 5g tank and large, it is plausible to 'cycle' your tank, you can search more ont eh forums about that. Essentially cycling adds good bacteria to the tank that dispose, or transfer, harmful natural chemicals (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) However, the good bacteria creates colonies to grow further. These colonies often develope ont he cartridge (the highest flow of water) So if you were to replace the cartridge itself, you'd essentially be removing this good bacteria, leaving an imbalance in the tank. Those harmfull chemicals would no longer be in check and can spike out of control.
If I'm right so far that this was the misunderstanding, you can, in most cartridges, open them up and simply eplace the carbon inside, so as to not rid yourself o the good bacteria. If you do this use only aquarium safe carbon, with no additives.
Note: Carbon has little to no effect on the water or stabilitie of the tank itself. In my research so far (Which I'm still an amature at this), the only use for carbon was int he darkages of fish keeping when they thought that keeping 'old water' was better for the fish. However this would cause the water to become dingy and foggy. Carbon attacthes itself naturally to this dingy, foggy pigment in the water. In todays use, and constant water changes, this pigment doesn't occur generally, and there for, imo, is nothing but a sales prop to spend your money on.
Ooooh... The spong, you might have confused that too... It doesn't go inside the filter, but ont he outside as the water exits. Hope I got this right and helped a little -.- I'm quit tired lol almost bed time
I too, had an issue with my new filter (an Aqueon? I believe) the easiet solution I have found, is to add the baffle, and then I have a piece of breeding grass from my 20gal that is cut up (so it looked more natural and not a square) but instead of putting it at the bottom of the tank, I just put it upside down, my betta LOVES the cover, but along with that, it pretty much kills an current that is left.
~~I know the tank is barren....Im getting live plants on wed/thurs so just getting ready. Betta was in container getting acclimated to water.
Aquaclear filters are also adjustable. At least my 30 is. :D
Some bettas DO like the filter. Tango loved it when he was younger but he's slowed down with age. Now he likes calm.
I found that rubberbanding a filter sponge in front of the outflow worked the best for my smaller filters. I'll post a pic! (Note: I used plastic twisty ties in this one but it works the same). You can adjust the height of the sponge to change the flow. You could try a combo of both the bottle and the sponge. I also use ping pong balls underneath. They break up the current for my Aquaclear 30 in my 16 gallon.