How Do You Stop Fish From Getting Stuck In The Filter?

matt6765

Member
Hi.... I just had my third fish die from getting stuck in the filter..... how do I stop this.
 
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Lucy

Moderator
Member
I'm so sorry Matt
Try the panty hose over the intake suggestion.
How long have you had the guppies? Normally healthy fish can avoid getting stuck.
When's the last time you checked the water?
 
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matt6765

Member
Lucy said:
I'm so sorry Matt
Try the panty hose over the intake suggestion.
How long have you had the guppies? Normally healthy fish can avoid getting stuck.
When's the last time you checked the water?
checked water yesterday..... ammonia 0ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrate 5ppm pH 8.0ppm. All guppies very active none are sick. will try your ideas
 

cherrybarbboi

Member
hey again matt I had this exact problem and me and my dad got a peice of pvc pipe and drilled holes in the side of the pvc pipe and put a cap at the bottom of the pvc pipe then put it over the filter and it made the current not as strong so that dirt and junk would get sucked into the filtter but fish would not. ask your parents if you can try it its easy and helpful. goodluck : )
 

prairielilly

Member
What I do is buy an AquaClear 20 sponge, cut it in half, then use scissors to make a slit in it and slide it over the filter intake. Works quite well, prevents junk from getting sucked up too (leaves, food and such). I just remove it and rinse it out when I clean the tank.
 

MissMTS

Member
I do the same as Marsha. Good luck! I hope you find a solution to the problem.
 

Aquarist

Member
Same here. I just used and old round sponge that I happened to have from another system and slid it over the intake tube. Works like a charm.
 
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matt6765

Member
thank you for your advice people
 

Shawnie

Member
aww matt another one I'm so sorry!!! great advice on the sponges but as lucy said, fish that aren't sick shouldnt get stuck unless your filter is way to large for the size tank....do you know what kind exactly your filter is?
 
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matt6765

Member
Shawnie said:
aww matt another one I'm so sorry!!! great advice on the sponges but as lucy said, fish that aren't sick shouldnt get stuck unless your filter is way to large for the size tank....do you know what kind exactly your filter is?
I bought it from a package in Petsmart the filter is Aquenon
 

haedra

Member
I have an Aqueon filter too. If it is of a size rated for your tank, healthy fish shouldn't be getting stuck. Are you witnessing them getting stuck while still alive? Or are you finding them dead, stuck to the filter? If it's the latter... there is something else probably going on here, then after they die they are getting drawn into the current.
 
  • Thread Starter

matt6765

Member
haedra said:
I have an Aqueon filter too. If it is of a size rated for your tank, healthy fish shouldn't be getting stuck. Are you witnessing them getting stuck while still alive? Or are you finding them dead, stuck to the filter? If it's the latter... there is something else probably going on here, then after they die they are getting drawn into the current.
no.... when I turn the filter off the guppy swims out then I put him in the breeder trap and he dies

Ok so I put pantihoes on the filter intakes but will this stop the filter from sucking up particels of food?
 
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Lucy

Moderator
Member
It should still filter the water fine. Weekly gravel vacs will get rid of any left over food but if there's that much,perhaps you're feeding to much
 

dvc_r

Member
Matt, one other thing that hasn't been mentioned (similar to cherrybarbboi). I drilled extra hole in the intake tube. This will decrease the pressure per hole but keeps the flow rate the same. I originally did this on the outflow tube because my filter created too much water movement in my Discus tank. Then I took the idea one step further and did it on the intake tube of my guppy tank. Now the fry don't get suck into the filter.
This can also solve the problem if your filter is overrated for the tank as haedra suggested.
 

cerianthus

Member
Easiest way is to find lfs which sell s/w supplies. Should be able to find coarse foam (either in cylidrical or rectangular shape, used as replaceable filter materials for Wed/Dry filter System). Aqua Clear foam and nylon netting/stocking works but requires constant cleaning compared to Coarse Foam. Such fine materials are bound trap more finer particles which will clogged up fater, especially with nylon nets in well planted tank.
Coarse Foam will let most particles to pass which will be filtered out by cartridges, thus less cleaning required.
If your intake tube is big/thick enough, may be able to use prefilter foam of any Mag-Drive Pump by Supreme. replaceable foam should be avail for few bucks which will last.
 
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Lucy

Moderator
Member
cerianthus said:
Coarse Foam will let most particles to pass which will be filtered out by cartridges, thus less cleaning required.
Makes sense, and it's easier to rinse a cartidge than reaching in the tank removing the nylon to rinse.
 

Regal

Member
Excellent ideas. I prefer the aquaclear sponge to the panty hose. I have used netting from the fabric department, which is essentially the same as using pantyhose, but still had tiny angel fry get stuck. Here is a pick of a cut up aquaclear filter sponge on a penguin filter in a 10 gallon with molly fry. The panty hose does make it so fish can’t fit through buy the sponge seems to spread the suction out over a larger area or something. You just push scissors into the end of the sponge and then force the scissors open to make a hole. Not a single one has gotten stuck. That’s a great idea about drilling holes in the intake tube. I never thought of that.
 

dvc_r

Member
Sue, is that a DIY CO2 in the back of the tank? That's what I've been doing (besides water changes) today!
Could you stay off this post and PM me, I have a few questions for you.
 
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matt6765

Member
pantyhose not working..... junk does not go up filter.... where do I get that sponge that you all liked?
 
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Lucy

Moderator
Member
Any fish store would sell them. I like cerianthus's suggestion.
But really, there shouldn't be that much debris since you added the pany hose. Are you feeding to much?
 
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matt6765

Member
Lucy said:
Any fish store would sell them. I like cerianthus's suggestion.
But really, there shouldn't be that much debris since you added the pany hose. Are you feeding to much?
I think I under feed.... 2-4 pinches of fine crused food once a day.... the junk is mostly fish waste
 
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Lucy

Moderator
Member
Maybe you need to vacuum more often?
 
  • Thread Starter

matt6765

Member
Lucy said:
Maybe you need to vacuum more often?
I don't think so.... if the fish waste does not reach filter intake in goes to bottom and stays there intill I vacum....
 

el_nino

Member
Get smarter fish. J/K. for sure try foam over the intake. it will also cut down on particles clogging filter.
 

xathine

Member
Okay, at first I just thought my fish would die then the filter intake would suck them up.

But I saw today one of my checkered barbs swim by it and get sucked onto the intake tube.

I quickly got my net and moved him away from it.

I was going to shut the light off a few mintues ago and noticed another cherry barb was stuck to it! I grabbed the net and moved him off but it was too late for the poor fellow

Anyone else have this problem? The filter is an aquaclear 110 / 500, its set as low as it can go. The fish can't fit inside the holes on the tube but for some reason it sucks them so they get stuck on it...

What should I do???
 

CHoffman

Member
The fish should be strong enough to be able to swim away from the suction. Usually if they are unable it means they are weak. What are your water perimeters? Do they have any signs of illness??
 

xathine

Member
Perimeters are perfect, no signs of illness.

They are quite small fish, maybe an inch at max.

So I'm going to assume they just arn't strong enough to get away from it?
 

CHoffman

Member
hmm..Poor babies. I'm not to familiar with filters but what is your rated for??. Is is to big for your tank maybe.
 

xathine

Member
Its rated for 55-75g.

I've got a 55g.
 

CHoffman

Member
hmm. I wish I could tell ya what's going on then. They must be a bit weak. I wonder if they are suffering from something that your not able to see.
 

xathine

Member
I've been trying to create a nice school of barbs.

Been adding 2-3 a week now, and every week it seems like one or more always gets eatin by the filter
 

Aldric

Member
you might need to change ur filter to one that doesn't have a intake tube I use a fluval3 and have small guppies and ive not had any problems so far ( crosses fingers and toes)
 

peacemaker92

Member
HI xathine. I had a problem with that in my previous tank. I suggest you might have to change the filter to a more softer one. Maybe a rated one for 25 to 55g? Just a suggestion. I would follow what CHoffman said about them being weak, or maybe the current is too strong for the poor dudes so you have to change the filter. Sorry. Good luck and keep us updated!
 

saqib

Member
try using a DIY setup and use some PVC pipes to extend the intake tube and divert it towards a corner maybe where fish generally do not hang around, you can always extend the intake tube way down just above the gravel...that's waht I did with mine since the platys were having to struggle every time they came close to the intake.
 

MissMTS

Member
You might want to put a sponge over the intake tube to keep the fishies from getting sucked in. You can buy the aquaclear sponges by themselves. Just cut a slit in the sponge and slip it over the intake of the filter. I hope this helps
 

peacemaker92

Member
MissMTS said:
You might want to put a sponge over the intake tube to keep the fishies from getting sucked in. You can buy the aquaclear sponges by themselves. Just cut a slit in the sponge and slip it over the intake of the filter. I hope this helps
Just a question, don't take it the wrong way, Miss. If you put a sponge over the intake tube, how would dirty water go into the filter? The dirt would get caught on the sponge then the filter would just act as a pump. I've tried it before and the sponge got really dirty after several weeks and I felt my filter was just used as a pump and the filter media and sponges inside my filter were no use because of the external sponge covering the intake tube.
 

Aquarist

Member
Hello PeaceMaker. Covering the intake tube does not restrict the water flow. Rinse the sponge on the intake tube just like you would filter media, in siphoned tank water when you do your water changes. Not only will it keep fish from getting stuck to it, it will also add to your biological filtration. I have the Aqua Clears and the extra sponge on the intake works "great".
Ken
 

peacemaker92

Member
aquarist48 said:
Hello PeaceMaker. Covering the intake tube does not restrict the water flow. Rinse the sponge on the intake tube just like you would filter media, in siphoned tank water when you do your water changes. Not only will it keep fish from getting stuck to it, it will also add to your biological filtration. I have the Aqua Clears and the extra sponge on the intake works "great".
Ken
Hmm... That's cool! Never thought of that! Thanks!
 

xathine

Member
Woke up to another poor guy on the filter
 

CHoffman

Member
I think the sponge is the best idea. I use sponge filters in all my baby tanks. When you notice the water flow starting to slow down or the sponge gettting to dirty just clean it like you would your filter media.
 

peacemaker92

Member
aquarist48 said:
You're welcome Have a good day today!
Ken
Thanks! You too!

xathine said:
Woke up to another poor guy on the filter
Oh no... So sorry. I agree with CHoffman, it's a good idea right now to prevent more lil dudes being sucked up by your filter.
 

Fishies-for-me

Member
I have an aqua clear rated for a 70 gallon tank on my 29 gal guppy tank... I have a sponge on the intake tube to keep the babies out of the filter and have it on full blast. It does not affect the suction of the filter and helps your filter go longer between cleanings as the sponge prefilters the water and all you have to do is rinse the sponge once in a while. It does a great job and I have never had a fish on the intake . It also is a great place for shrimp and or baby fish to feed as instad of food getting sucked up the intake tube into the filter it gets stuck on the sponge and the smaller slower fish and inverts can graze there .....good luck.
 

ccb04

Member
peacemaker92 said:
Just a question, don't take it the wrong way, Miss. If you put a sponge over the intake tube, how would dirty water go into the filter? The dirt would get caught on the sponge then the filter would just act as a pump. I've tried it before and the sponge got really dirty after several weeks and I felt my filter was just used as a pump and the filter media and sponges inside my filter were no use because of the external sponge covering the intake tube.
I would recommend the sponge also. As mentioned, the sponge won't restrict water flow ... it will primarily trap larger debris. Additionally, with the sponge over the intake ... the filter media inside the basket is still doing it's job of housing beneficial bacteria (biomax insert), chemically filtering the water (if you use carbon), etc.
 

scatty

Member
For a quick-fix, stocking or some other mesh will work too. I had to do this to stop my bettas fins getting sucked in and chewed up. The nice folk on here suggested it to me originally, and it works a treat.
 

TFA101

Member
i've done that too ^

rubber banding a mesh filter media bag to the filter intake kept my halfmoon's fins in good shape, and it didn't restrict water flow either. I would imagine it would work out okay withyour small fish
 

kloseo

Member
aquarist48 I have learned a lot reading your responses to many questions posed on this site including one on the use of garlic. thanks for sharing your knowledge
 

gmen4life

Member
man the ac110 must be a beast id try the sponge also I have lil almost fry size guys they are strong enough to swim away do you use liquid test strips or paper?
 

scatty

Member
kloseo said:
aquarist48 I have learned a lot reading your responses to many questions posed on this site including one on the use of garlic. thanks for sharing your knowledge
I agree. (havn't seen the garlic one though)
 

xathine

Member
I went and got a sponge at the LFS.

Currrently zip tied onto the end of my filter intake.

Looks janky though
 
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jdhef

Moderator
Member
You could always put a plant in front of the intake to block the view.
 

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