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So, the bf got me a tank for my birthday. It is a 3.5 gallon aquaponic tank. I understand it is technically too small for my betta, but it's what I have so going to have to make due. Anyway, I got a cute little betta guy named Smaug who is just as fierce and feisty as his namesake. I never actually put a plant in my aquaponic to filter (because I have a cat who will chew any plant he can reach) so I recently bought a filter, last night to be exact. Smaug has been just fine without the filter (believe it or not) and he has several live plants in his home that seem to be doing just fine as well. What I am getting at is, yesterday I was changing his water as I have been doing for the past month and a half when I decided I needed an actual filter. So I bought one. Well, the smart person I am got to thinking that I may have just killed my fish by completely changing his water and added a filter that had not yet been established. But surely not, right? His color is much paler than normal but he's just as feisty as ever and still eating. I am worried though about the tank cycling and harming him. I truly feel like he's a one in a million kind of little guy and I want him to be happy. Because if he made it this whole time without a filter then adding one can only benefit him even more? (I do plan on buying another tank sometime over the next few months).
 

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Maybe if he seems unhappy it's the current from the filter's return?

There is a thread somewhere on here about how to baffle the current so that it's not as strong. Depending on the type of filter you can rig up a plastic bottle or piece of sponge.

My fish is very unhappy if the current is too strong. Every once in a while the sponge will pop off and I can tell from 10 feet away because he will be pouting in one of the corners of the tank.
 

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Can you post a photo of the tank and Smaug? What type of filter?

Sometimes complete water changes will stress fish and cause them to temporarily pale a bit. As long as Smaug is active and eating I wouldn't worry about him.

Do you know what size tank you might be wanting? I would suggest building one from scratch instead of getting a kit. Depending on size, the filter you bought might well work in another tank.
 
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