Q: I have a two gallon eclipse tank and I use the marineland filter that came with it. I believe that the filter is too strong for my betta as he gets stuck to the intake tube. How can I lessen the flow of the filter without getting a new filter?

Question submitted by Ian, Henderson - NV

A: You and I are on the same boat Ian ! I have a bunch of these 2 gal tanks and keep trying different ways to slow the filter down some. I experimented with 3 so far, but each has a draw back. 

First off let me say that I am somewhat disappointed that Marineland, who has such a strong line of products (I use their 330 power filters on all my tanks and LOVE them) did not come up with a better small tank system for betta applications. Why did they not provide a flow adjustment on these eclipse tank filters? 

I decided to call them up and ask them what we could do about this problem. The lady was very nice but oh so very stuck in her company's ways in the sense that she kept saying that these tanks were fine for bettas just as they are designed. After about 10 hours of going around in circles, I figured, what the heck she must be the betta expert and I am just an idiot LOL. Then I remembered that I am the one typing this on this worldwide renowned betta site, and not her ;). So sorry but no sorry I do not buy her answer. Goldfish maybe, but bettas, NO. All of you have emailed me about this problem and I myself have experienced it with EVERY SINGLE BETTA I have placed in such a set-up: The flow is TOO STRONG. 

I also asked if Marineland had any plans of manufacturing a more betta friendly version of their popular eclipse tanks, and of course the "no" answer I got back did not surprise me a bit. Why improve on perfection? LOL.

But you and I live in the real world (as opposed to marinelalaland LOL) (boy I'm good LOL) so we know better. The filter is too strong and belligerent and must be contained :). 

Although I have not found the perfect trick yet, here are a few ways to go about this. If anyone out there has another (better) way to solve this problem please email it to me.

bullet Get some filter floss and put a tiny bit in the following two spots: Spot #1: The hole from which the water flow onto the filter media (blue cartridge). Do not overdo it so to not burn the motor, you want water to still flow out. Spot #2: the two hole under the bio wheel where the water flows OUT of the filter and into the tank. Put some filter floss there too, but shape it to be thin and long (like a thick string). Enter from the outside of filter through one hole gong inside filter (near bio wheel) and back out the other hole (like a horse shoe). Pull on the ends to make sure the floss is as thin as possible "inside" the filter area (so the bio wheel can still turn). This first system worked ok for me.
bullet You can remove the bio wheel and replace it with a bunch of floss in that cavity. However, I found that the filter will then back up and water will start overflowing. Also you lose the benefit of the bio wheel :((.
bullet The nice Lady at Marineland (yes, she was nice, I am not being sarcastic now. She was nice, she just didn't give me the answers I was hoping for LOL) said that if your tank has a lot of plants it will diffuse water flow and help some. Me of course, I immediately thought that "lots of stuff" and water changes do not mix well, and most of us use bare tanks to begin with, so this did not seem like the best solution, but I thought I'd share it with you guys anyways. Also the tanks are small to begin with, so crowding it with decorations, as she suggested, seems like a bad idea. Bettas are also notorious for getting stuck inside rock holes etc...
bullet My new way of diffusing water movement: I have had custom made Plexiglas separations made for me to fit these tanks. The partitions are drilled with some holes. One partition goes up near the filter outtake and the water flows in the part of the tank that is inhabited (as in 'my betta is on the OTHER side of the partition' ;) ). Drawback: You lose about 25% of tank space :(. This did however successfully diffuse the water movement and did not affect the filter, which was still running full blast (best filtration). No overflowing to be reported as of yet :). My bettas immediately seemed relieved and are now swimming normally in their 80% space left. 

WARNING: Do not put anything inside the 'intake' tube as it will get sucked into the propeller and burn the motor. 

So there you go, a bit of options for you to toy with. I have a few more ideas that I am going to try, such as building a diffusing basket with holes, filled with filter floss that would hang right under the filter

It sure would be nice though if these filters simply came with a flow adjuster (duh!), like some of my other mini power corner filters do (love these guys!). Guess big corporations should test their products on real betta people as opposed to their own labs. Still once again I must say that I do swear by this company's products when it come to big power filters. I have yet to have one break down on me and some of them have been running nonstop for about 5 years now. So hats down to them in that department!

Good luck and when I have a new system perfected I will share it with you guys here.

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