My filter keeps eating my fish

balkerlizzie

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Help!  We have a 10 gallon tank that had a dwarf gourami, 2 platys, and 3 mollies.  Our power filter (which was rated for a 10 gal tank) has suctioned the platys to it and killed them.  The bigger fish do OK, and our baby mollies seem to do well, even though they are smaller than the platys were.  Is there a modification that we can make to our filter, or a new one that would not cause this problem? What about an undergravel filter?  We are afraid to buy any small fish and have this happen again.  Thanks for any input!
 

Marc

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How strong is the current (how much stuff do you have moving it) and is there any setting to decrease the GPH on your filter?
 

Isabella

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What is the size of all fish you have (and had) ? If they're still fry or otherwise still very small fish, then any regular filter may be too powerful for them. For tiny fish it's best to use safe sponge filters. Or what you can do is put a piece of stocking over the intake tube, so that there are no holes large enough to suck the fish in.
 
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balkerlizzie

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The platys were pretty small, the largest was a bit over 1 inch. No adjustment for flow--definitely seems to be a bit vigorous for our small tank. The stocking idea is great--will give it a try, and look for bigger fish if it seems to do OK. Thanks for the input!
 

Isabella

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A one inch fish seems way too large to fit through small holes in the filter's intake tube. This really is puzzling!
 

Marc

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I think what he said was that they got stuck to it, not pulled in

It happened to one of my danios when they managed to squeeze inbetween it and the side of the tank.
 

Isabella

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Marc, lol, if that's what he meant then ... well, SILLY ME! LOL! But still, this should not be happening. And if this is what happened, then I don't know if the stocking will help, since the current will still be the same strong one.
 

Osiris

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I found one of my tetras sucked up against my filter inlet screen once, too.  I truly think (in my case at least and probably in yours as well) that the fish was either so sick that it didn't have the strength to swim away or was (more likely) already dead and just got sucked in as it floated around the tank.  Unless this happened while you were watching it, I would almost bet money that your fish were already dead.
 

Jon

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yeah one of my guppies looked bad and then next time I checked him he was sucked against the filter... I know it didnt kill him I'm sure he just died and got stuck to it
 

vin

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I have been told and have read that fish that are healthy tend not to get stuck to the filter syphon....those that are in questionable health are weaker and therefore have difficulty swimming away. I have a 15 gallon tank with a HOB filter rated for a 30 gallon. I have it set to medium and have no trouble with my fish getting stuck to it. How are the other fish in the tank? Were the ones that got stuck in good health? Are your water parameters where they should be?

That might be where to start.
 

Isabella

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Osiris and Vin, that's true. I agree. I have a filter that is very powerful (as for the tank size that I have) and my tiny neons have no problem swimming (and swimming fast!) near the intake tube. The fish must be either sick and unable to swim (not enough strength) or must be already dead if one finds them stuck to the intake tube. Makes lots of sense, doesn't it?
 

Osiris

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Funny, I just noticed over the weekend that my betta has started to "rest" by getting sucked up against his in-tank filter.  It scared me at first because I thought he had died, but he was just chillin'.  He's done it a few times since then.
 

Gunnie

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Normally, unless you have very small fish like fry or neon tetras, the filter should not be doing that to your betta. He might be weak from illness. You can get an intake sponge to put over the end of your intake tube just to make sure your betta doesn't get injured.
 

Osiris

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Gunnie, I was hoping that you were wrong about my Betta being sick, because he seemed healthy enough and just resting by the filter, but this morning I found him dead. RIP
 

beckers4oranges

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filters usualy suck dead fish into them...ive seen it happen with mine plenty of times...it depends on the locatoin of the fish when it crocks
 

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