View Full Version : Problem with betta and tank filter

05-20-2009, 05:07 AM
Hi everyone!

I just purchased a male betta from Petco and put him in my 6 gallon tank. He kind of drifted down to the bottom left hand corner of the tank and just sat there at the bottom for a long time. It looked like he was trying to swim because he was moving his little fins but he wasn't going anywhere. At one point it looked like a slight current might be pushing him against the aquarium glass. So I decided to try an experiment. I unplugged the cord to the tank filter and shortly after it stopped, he began swimming slowly around the tank and exploring.

I think the filter current was a bit too much for him! :scry: He was having problems swimming around with it on. So now I don't know what to do!! Should I just leave the filter off for most of the day? Or just leave it on and hope that eventually he'll get used to the current? The filter and bio wheel came with the tank so I don't want to replace them. Should I just move him to one of those small betta tanks that Petco has?? I thought he would be happy in a big 6 gallon tank but this whole filter/current thing just isn't working out!!

05-20-2009, 05:26 AM
Congrats on your betta!

First off - keep him in a 6 gallon! Don't transfer to a betta keeper - you are being responsible now! Don't change! =)

The filter could be too strong for him. Try leaving it unplugged for an hour or so and see if that changes things a lot for him.

If it does - I would recommend getting a lighter powered filter. I have an eclipse filter in my 5 gallon hex and it doesn't bother my betta. I did halso have a bubble stone plugged in and the poor thing could barely swim when I had that going - so it's gone now. =)

I think it's great you got a betta (my favorite - they're so beautiful). Most of the people on here will be able to help you out more than me but kudos to you on already being responsible by buying an acceptable home for your betta and also caring enough to ask about the filter. thumbs2:

05-20-2009, 05:33 AM
When I got a betta, it took him a few hours to get used to being in a big tank. I think it may just be him just getting used to his new surroundings and getting comfortable. If it turns out to be the filter, there are several ways you can slow down the current. Some people will make a baffle for their filter, basically a curved piece of plastic (like from a plastic bottle), and attach it in front of the filter, to help diffuse the current. Can over stuff the media box as well to help slow it down.

I have a filter rated for 10g in the 20g the betta is in, oddly enough seems to enjoy the current. I put the filter at one end of the tank, that way there is a quick current on one side and slow at the other end.

Little Embers
05-20-2009, 08:17 AM
Investing in a filter that has a flow control knob is also another option when you have a Betta.

05-20-2009, 11:20 AM
A sponge over the intake can slow a filter down too. He may just be adjusting, I have an AC 20 on my ten gallon betta tanks and the little guys do fine with it.

05-20-2009, 08:12 PM
I'm running a 100GPH filter on a 1.5 gallon tank and my Betta loves it. But I'm using a home mode diffuser that allows full flow filtration but minimizes the current. Here's a video of it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2xx74Sh4-U


P.S. This video is of the first version I made. I'm currently on revision 3 that's made from a Life Water/Gatorade type bottle that's made of heavier plastic. I think this revision's the best yet. The bumpier or convoluted the surface of the bottle is, the better. Those ripples and waves use up a great deal of the current's power and slows it down drastically. The moss also helps a good bit.

05-23-2009, 01:23 AM
What's really ammusing is that virtually every Betta I've seen loves to play in current every now and then. Mine will get into the diffuser and do loops in the current and come out the other side with a fishy smile on his face. :)