Some new fish today, and a question about nylon.

AnnaEA

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My beloved Indian Leopard Loach (Lepidocephalicthys thermalis) died recently, of what I can only presume was old age, since neither he nor the other fish in the tank showed any signs of disease.

After waiting a respectable month to make sure that there was no disease in my tank, he has been replaced by two more white cloud minnows, bringing my school to six, and a multicoloured betta. I'd have gotten another loach, but there were none in stock - it is apparently a wild caught fish, and irregularly available.

Here's the question about nylon. Will nylon, like the nylon in pair of panty hose, degrade or do anything unpleasant to my tank/fish?

Here's why I'm asking. I acclimated and put my new fish in the tank, and then sat back to observe them for 20 minutes or so to make sure there were no problems. The new minnows, fine. The betta took off to explore, and started hanging around the water filter, where he promptly got a pectoral fin caught in the intake tubing. *YIKES* I turned the filter off, and he was able to swim away and doesn't look too badly injured - a little red streaking on that fin, but he's swimming fine and not clamping the fin or anything. I pulled the filter out, and have slipped a cut off piece of nylon stocking over the intake, so he can't get caught in it again.

If the nylon isn't harmful to the tank, I'd like to keep doing this, since it is a thrifty and resourceful solution to my problem. But, if it's dangerous, I need to get a new filter, so Byron (the betta, George Gordon, Lord Byron), doesn't keep getting caught in it.

Because this betta *loves* hanging out by the filter. He swims up right under the little waterfall flow, and pops up to do that air gulp thing, which sends him surfing across the tank. Then he does it again. And again. I guess 10 gallon life after that little cup he was in is agreeing with him.

Anna
 

Luniyn

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Just my opinion, but as long as you washed it a bit before using it I don't see why it couldn't be used. Though with it's fine pours it might tend to get clogged a bit fast. Another option would be to buy a cheap fish net from the pet store and just cut the net off the rod. Then you have an easily cleanable plastic net that should last you indefinitely.
 

Terry

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I see no problem using the nylon either. Not sure if it will degrade after a while, but if it did it would just start to tear when you clean it. I can't see it polluting the tank at all.
 
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AnnaEA

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Thanks for the feedback - my quick fix has held up overnight, so I think it will work for the time being. It's serving as a sort of pre-filter for the filter, and probably reducing the filters effectiveness a bit -- lotsa little bits sticking to the nylon, which will probably drift off back into the tank when I turn the filter off to clean it. I think I need to come up with a better solution to 1) keep Byron away from the filter intake while 2) not cutting the filters ability to filter stuff.

Maybe a plastic pill bottle with slots cut into it -- silicone it to the back of the aquarium where the intake is, so the intake tube goes inside. Byron wouldn't be able to get close enough to the intake to get caught in it, but the water and particles would still flow freely. I'll have to experiment and see what kind of edges there are on the pill bottle though.
 

Terry

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The pill bottle is a good idea, or even a 35MM plastic film cannister (does anyone much use film anymore?). The tricky part might be cutting an openin in the cap big enough to put the intake tube in, but small enough for it to be tight enough to stay on. If you have a drill maybe drill the holes in for the water to get through?
 

griffin

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something similar that I do is to put a sponge over the filter intake. similar to the nylon, but it increases biofilter. however, it would decrease filter efficacy slightly. when filter efficacy decreases too much, I take the sponge out and clean it.

another idea simliar to the pill bottle that I used was to take a small drink bottle (like the half liter or less ones) and poke holes/cut slots into the bottle. then I put the bottle over the filter intake. wasn't a problem with tight enough to stay on since I had it resting on the bottom of the tank, but i'm thinking soft tubing of some sort could be used to get a tighter fit if needed.
 

Luniyn

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Oh I just took it for granted that all filters had a slotted strainer at the end of their intake tubes. My whisper filter has one, and any pet store that sells the parts to them will have them for just a few bucks (I got an extension for mine that included an extra strainer and the kit cost less then $4 US). You could retrofit it to fit your intake tube no problem without having to try to cut up a pill bottle or anything.
 
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AnnaEA

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I've got a whisper jr, and it does have the slotted strainer on it. Byron's fin got sucked *into* one of the slots, because he swam right up to the filter. The nylon fixes this by covering the slots so his fins can't get sucked into them, but it keeps fine particles from getting in too. The idea behind a pill bottle or something is that it will keep the fish far enough way from the slots to not get caught in them, while still letting the fine particles get filtered out.
 

susitna-flower

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I think lots of folks use a net or sponge over their intake, especially if they are raising fry. Just yesterday I got a Bio-Wheel 100 for my 10 gal tank I'm setting up to house 2 platys and hopefully raise fry. The fellow at the LFS where I got it looked really puzzled when I explained what I wanted, but after he walked away, I picked up a oblong sponge filter designed for a different use. When I put it together I used a knife to cut a slit down through, and the intake from the Bio-Wheel slipped right in. It works great, and will add to the surface for bacteria to grow, as well as a prestrainer for debris, and keep my little fry from being sucked up.

If you are happy with the nylon it should be just fine, the only thing that would degrade it is sunlight, or chlorine, and you won't have either in your tank, so.......Good Luck. Hope Byron has no long term effects!

Fish in the Frozen North 8)
 

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