Q: I have a 5 gallon tank with a filter.  The tank is clean, but my bettas fins are so long that he gets sucked against the filter.  He gets away after a few fin wiggles, but I'm afraid the filter will seriously injure him. What should I do to help my betta friend?

Question submitted by Christina, Klamath Falls - Oregon

A: Agh, it would have been helpful to mention what type of filter we are talking about here... Hold on a moment, let me take off my betta advisor hat and put on my betta psychic scarf on instead ;).

I see....   I seeeee.... wait. It is coming into focus. No, it is not an undergravel filter... Is looks like a power filter of some sort.. Or is it a corner filter?... Yikes, I am loosing the frequency again...

(taking my scarf off)

OK, looks like we are dealing with either a power filter or a corner filter here.

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power filter: See if you can reduce the water flow. If not then you have two options: You can either rig something up to slow down the flow or change the filter and replace it with one that has a flow regulator. Your fishstore should be able to help you select one. Trying to rig something up yourself may be a bit fishie (hehe pun untended) because if you do it wrong you can affect the efficiency of the filter in such a way that your water quality will degrade too much. Water can never be stopped. It should always flow, but sometimes by adding a piece of brand new sheer fabric (mesh like), adding some floss, and then tying the whole thing around the mouth of the intake tube, you can create a sort of 'diffuser' which will prevent the water from flowing in very freely, thus reducing the volume of water moved and reducing the suction effect. Do not use anything metal to tie the contraption. Only a plastic tie or a rubber band (get it from fishstore). You will need to remove it and rinse it once every two weeks or so, or anytime it starts looking dirty (it will fill with small particles over time). If you can spend the dough, getting another filter would be safer and better.

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corner filter. This is a lot easier to fix: Just a get a valve, put it on your airline to restrict the amount of air flow coming from your airpump. And VOILA the trick is done.

Unhappy with my psychic predictions? Well then try to be more specific next time (hehehe). And no, you are not getting your money back! (Wait, you DIDN"T pay anything for all this advice? Agh X2, I need to get a life - and a better financial adviser LOL). ;)

Other options (if you want to take the less traveled road). You can get a bungee cord for your betta ;) or get a jet ski so that he can travel AWAY from the vortex ;). Last option (but a itsie bitsie of a stretch): The starship enterprise and put it in warp 3 or 4 (at least). 

OK, I gotta beam out of here, so good luck with your bettazoid...

 

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I am a member of the IBC, founder and President of LABS  (Los Angeles Betta Society) and have been helping the betta community through this website since 1998. 
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