How strong is too strong for a filter?

BlueBetta

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I've heard different opinions on current in a tank with a betta. Some say no current, others a slight ripple is fine. Fiction's in a 10 gal with some other friends. I bought the tank with a set and it came with a 10 gal filter. But the current in there seems kind of strong. There's no calm area on the surface of the water. I have the filter in the back and all the way to the left next to the heater. But it very slightly moves the surface to the back and front right. Also I've seen the fish get pushed around by the current. The poor neon tetras get pushed down almost to the gravel. Fiction gets pushed around too.

I've read that you know a betta is happy when it creates a bubble nest. Is this true? If it is Fiction hasn't done that since I stuck him in the 10 gal. He did it a lot when he was in his private 1 gal tank over the summer, but he doesn't any more.

What should I do? Is the filter current too strong for him?

BlueBetta
 

poefox

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You might need to turn it down, or if you can't turn it down more make a blocking device that will not cut it off altogether. There should be a very slight flow for bettas but not a visible current...more or less a little trembling on the surface is perfect.
 

Gunnie

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You can also put a sponge pre-filter on the intake which will help reduce the flow a bit, and will add biological filtration to your tank.
 

Phloxface

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I use the Aqua Clear Filter which has a knob to move from left to right to control the flow. On the lowest setting it barely disturbs the water and still does a great job cleaning the tank. Also, I keep the water level in the tank as high as possible so the water doesn't have far to fall from the filter and this reduces the amount of splashing.
I think all Bettas are different. Some don't like their water moving at all and some love it.  My first Betta Phlox loves moving water! He likes his filter turned up high and he often plays underneath it, letting himself swirl around in the current and then racing off, turning around and diving right back in. He'll do this for hours.  He also loves the airstone. I turn it on for about 20 minutes a day and he plays in it. He loves the feeling of bubbles all over him. He has great fun chasing the temporary bubbles at the surface made by the airstone. He looks upset with me when I come to turn it off, like I'm taking a favorite toy away!  ;D I'm installing a gang valve on the air stone today so I can leave it on all the time and control the air flow.
I wouldn't worry about your fish not building a bubble nest anymore. Phlox has never made one and he's perfectly happy. Maybe now that Fiction is in a bigger tank he's too busy exploring to make a bubble nest. As long as he's swimming and exploring he's happy.
 

sasha

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hI i recently witnessed a betta fish catching and killing neon tetras in a friends tank , i dont know if this known fact about bettas hunting smaller fish or not but thought i would mention it so can keep a watch on your neons to make sure they are safe,dont get paranoid about it though it may be a one off, probably butterfly would know the compatibles for bettas so if she looks at this post she can advise better, it could be that the one i saw was overly aggressive or may be not
Thanks Sasha
 

poefox

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It's hard to say with bettas...some tetras nibble at betta fins, other bettas will attack them. Bettas are sort of socially dysfunctional since they were not raised in community tanks and don't seem to know how to respond to other fish. I've heard of more than one betta that got along great in a community tank, and others like Rusty that whittled down the population to suit them and then keep a narrow eye focused on the remaining fish even though they don't even occupy the same niche. It's like with all such situations, you just need to keep an eye on them and keep your options open.
 
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BlueBetta

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My neon tetras are fine. When I first got them Fiction attacked and flared at them a little while, but they're smaller than him and leave him alone. So he stopped bothering them. Also I made sure to get 5 so they out number him by a lot. I think they learned quickly to leave him along.

Fiction actually attacks the cory cats more often, but I think that's because they're newer and bigger, closer to his size. He's getting used to them though. I tap on the glass when he starts to attack them and now he's learned enough that he stops when I lean over my desk to tap the glass.

As for the filter what's a sponge pre-filter? I have a TopFin 10 gal. bio filter, at least I think it's bio. I have a rock under the current right now that cuts it down a little.

I'm thinking that I'll buy a bunch of the long flat plastic plants that are less likely to damage betta fins and make a kind of corner that's a jungle of them. That way the current can't get into them and Fiction can hang out there if he doesn't like the current. Though he doesn't seem to mind it so much. I was just worried because he doesn't build nests anymore, when he used to almost always have one in his summer smaller tank.

BlueBetta
 

poefox

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Rusty never builds nests either, but he seems fine. Now and then he mopes a bit but actually does that less than when he was blowing bubbles.
 
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BlueBetta

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Phloxface said:
Also, I keep the water level in the tank as high as possible so the water doesn't have far to fall from the filter and this reduces the amount of splashing.
I noticed that the water should be high but not actually touching the filter or what ever plastic thing the water is coming from. If it is touching a lot of the current is on the surface of the water, while if you let it fall into a very shallow water fall the curent goes into the water and the surface is much calmer.

As for nests, I think I'm definitely going to get a bunch of the plastic plants. Fiction seems to really enjoy the little corner I made that has the single tall flat plastic plant and a bunch of real ones. Maybe with enough plants and secluded enough he'll start making nests again. I'm probably stressing over this too much. Though one possibility that just occurred to me is that he doesn't think it's safe enough for a nest due to the other fish, which he would think are threats.

BlueBetta
 

chickadee

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I am using sponge filters in all my tanks and my bettas love them but I also use the AquaClear filter like you have to remove medications and they are wonderful as they do not "ruffle" the water so much and cause a problem with top feeders like bettas. Some of the surface movers cause them to have to chase their food and they get very cranky after a couple of meals.

Plants are always a good idea for a betta and they love the tall ones to use to sleep in at night as it helps keep the sleepy little pumpkins from having to swim all the way to the surface to breathe through the Labyrinth organ on their head. If they have leaves of a plant to sleep on they only have to drift up a little ways and "butt" the surface with the top of their head and drift back down to sleep.
So much nicer for them.

Rose
 
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