Filter flow too strong, how can I reduce/disperse it better?

fyrefish

Hi,
I have been using an internal filter on my 33gal tank, currently inhabited by one apistogramma. It's doing well, and it seems to like the tank but I think the flow could be a little strong? I have already tried to reduce it as much as I can, it is slightly adjustable and I have it at the lowest setting, I also have the intake aimed at the glass to try and spread it out. To be honest, it doesn't even look like much flow to me, the swords only slightly sway. However, the fish seems to mainly stick to one corner of the tank, which is the front right (the filter is at the back right, aiming left). It does sometimes go to the front left, and even the back left, but it sticks close to the bottom and its dorsal fin seems close to it's body, it looks like it is not swimming 100%. However, in it's 'preferred' corner it behaves normally, swims up and has its dorsal fin erect. I don't really want to reduce the flow too much, it provides aeration and I will need better flow when I add more fish. I just wonder is there is a way to disperse it more, instead of all coming from one spot. It's a bit of an obscure brand, and I don't think it will work with a spray bar. Any tips?
 

ruud

It actually will work with a spray bar. To complement, even the spraybar can be directed towards the glass, to further disperse the water. Alternatively, you can use a T-splitter and have 2 spray bars. Or one and the other something else. You can even use a tube; jab holes in it, and channel the tube with the help of suction cups.

Alternatively or complementary, you can add an inlet, like a sponge or filter guard, and use this on the outlet. Very effective.

Perhaps the best solution is lots of hardscape, accompanied by plants. You can really crank up the flow in the tank, for effective water movement throughout the tank, whilst the fish have plenty of spots to rest. My tanks are completely filled with hardscape and plants and flow is max.

That said, a lot of people prefer easy to clean, almost bare tanks. If that's your flavour, see the first and second suggestions.
 

fyrefish

i actually already have a spray bar and suction cups, the spray bar is custom built for this tank. I had it when I was using a canister filter, but I stopped using it because the canister was leaking and just being difficult. I made it out of pvc, so it isn't going to attach the the output (which is shaped kind of weirdly), but I could try directing most of the flow into it? I will give it a go, thanks for the suggestion.
 

MrMuggles

but I stopped using it
did you replace your filter system? if so, are you sure you have a cycled system still? water parameters are ok?

dorsal fin seems close to it's body,

My fish hang out at the bottom and seem to struggle in the flow when my water parameters are off. The flow is not gentle, IMO, but I know all the fish can handle it when they're healthy.
 

fyrefish

Oh, it's been ages since I changed the filter. My parameters are all 0, I've even used seeded media from another tank to ensure that. I tried the spray bar, it didn't really do anything, the output is just to weirdly shaped to direct a substantial amount of flow. Given that it was for a canister, there is also not much room and I had to move my heater. I'm just gonna leave it how it is, I may have misjudged from the first few days the fish was in the tank. It actually has been swimming around the whole tank and even in the upper parts to beg for food, and it's fins seem normal again. Maybe it just needed to adjust to the new tank, it is a bit more flow than the old one but I think it will be alright.
 

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