How To

How to Make a Fish Tank Filter Less Powerful?

If your aquarium’s filter is too strong that it is disturbing the tank setup and its inhabitants, try these corrective techniques to make a fish tank filter less powerful.

How to Make a Fish Tank Filter Less Powerful? You can make your fish tank filter less powerful by creating a baffle, adjusting through inlet and outlet, use of spray bars and pre-filter sponge, and some other additions and adjustments help you lower the current and water flow of the filter. High strength and water flow can damage and harm the fish inside the tank, maintain it at an optimum level.

How to Make a Fish Tank Filter Less Powerful?

Filtration is essential for an aquarium, and its absence can severely damage aquatic life inside it. Water-flow and current from a filter are necessary for maintaining the health and well-being of your fish. You should add a high-quality fish tank filter that produces accurate water flow and water-current in your aquarium.

The different aquarium has different species inside it, therefore require a variable level of water-flow and current. Not all fish can live in a slow or fast water flow tank, and you have to provide them the right filter power and flow. Both the high and low flow rate of the filter is disruptive for the tank.

You have to make sure that your tank filter matches your tank’s requirement. It can provide the tank with good circulation and water turnover. With a too strong filter, you can not get clean water as the filter gets less time to purify water.

Advantages of optimal water-flow and current of fish tank filter

A good filter flow-rate is essential for the survival and health of fish. If you neglect or show carelessness towards this issue, it may result in killing fish. Good water-flow is necessary because of many reasons, such as:

  • An optimal water-flow ensures the cleaning and purifying of tank water.
  • Water passing through the filter helps bring ammonia and nitrite to the beneficial bacteria from the tank.
  • Distribute and allow more oxygen to dissolve in the tank by surface agitation
  • Efficiently remove and eliminate wastes and residues from the water.
  • Provide natural movements to the fish that mimics their natural habitat
  • Improved circulation helps avoid dead water zones.
  • Prevent the growth and production of algae in the tank
  • Circulating water ensures even distribution of heat and helps maintain the temperature.
  • Some fish loves to swim through and against the current.
  • Help brings food to all the species that are hiding or staying in the holes or caves.
  • Bring carbon dioxide and trace elements to the aquatic plants.
  • Improve the overall water quality

How do you know that your tank filter is too strong?

Some typical behavior of tank inhabitant during fast-moving water is:

Fish struggle while swimming and moving

You will notice that your aquarium fish face difficulty in moving and swimming in water in fast-moving water.

They continuously struggle to swim and look like they are blowing around in the wind. They can not move at their own pace, and this struggle stresses and frighten them.

Fish swim at irregular angles

Fast-moving water makes the fish lose their balance and results in moving them at irregular angles. The large-finned fish show more irregular and unbalanced swims.

Their movements are dangling and retarded due to this reason. While small fish move at different and abnormal angles and can not move straight in the water.

Fish avoid current

The fish start avoiding the high current area and restrict themselves to the places where water-flow and water-current are not too high.

They never try to go in those areas, even if you add a feed in those areas. They can not maintain balance there and start flopping horizontally or vertically.

Hiding constantly

When you observe your confident and active fish hiding behind an object, the reason can be high water-flow and current.

They can not swim and move in the water, so they start hiding at different places in the tank. They hide behind plants and decorations that prevent the high current and movement reach them.

How strong water current and movement affect your aquarium?

Effect on plants of the aquarium

Usually, water-current and flow do not affect the plants and other added objects in the aquarium. They peacefully stay at their places all the time if there is no disturbance.

When the fish tank filter speed is too high, it starts disrupting and damaging the aquatic plants. It can result in breaking, tilting, leaning, or displacing them, particularly the fragile and delicate plants. It is necessary to remove such plants from the tank or to adjust the water-movement. It also helps to catch fish in a planted aquarium.

Effect on fish

The water-flow and current have an impact on the fish of your tank. It may result in many damages and deterioration in the aquarium and badly affect fish health and behavior.

The first thing your fish will experience is stress and fear. Some fish start fighting and battling with the current that further increase the stress level and tire them.

The fish can not feed properly in the fast-moving water as they do not have enough energy and grip to follow the food. They weaken and loses health with time and may result in malnutrition and eventually death. Also, the strong-flow can damage the fish fins and muscles.

Effect on water circulation and water conditions

The fast-flow and current disturb the constant and optimal water circulations resulting in fast turnover and movement and disrupt the whole aquatic setup.

It also stirs up the debris and other wastes in the water and brings them to the filter media. It prevents the buildup of beneficial bacteria in the filter and maintains water clarity.

12 Methods to make a fish tank filter less powerful

Here are 12 easy and proven DIY methods to make your fish tank filter less powerful.

1. Adjust flow rate through outlet and inlet

Usually, there is a knob or lever in filter intake to adjust the current and flow-rate, so your first attempt should be this. If you have an external filter with a flow-restricting valve on the intake tube, so adjust it from there. 

2. Add a lot of live and artificial plants

Plants are the best addition to a home tank as they look stunning and provide many benefits to the tank. Add several beautiful plants in the tank to reduce the effect of the current.

Slow-moving fish like to find a quiet zone to prevent the turbulence in their body due to the fast-current. The live, plastic, and silk plants provide these quiet-zones to the fish.

3. Rocks, cave, and driftwood

The driftwood and decoration increase the beauty of the tank and also provide safe places for the fish. When the fish require hiding places in the aquarium, these additions are the best option. They redirect water-flow patterns and current speed.

4. Block the filter intake

When there is no other option to make the aquarium filter less powerful, go for blocking filter intake. Get a new pair of women’s hoses or any porous cloth and cut out the desired size. Wrap it around the filter intake and secure it using rubber bands. It will help reduce the flowing rate.

5. Spray bars

Spray bar reduces the water flow and distributes the water using small holes along a tube. It is an efficient technique to make filters less powerful, but it can be expensive and, you can make it on your own.

Take a safe silicone airline tubing of the diameter same as aquarium filter output and length 10 to 15 cm. Block one end on the tube and drill holes throughout the silicone tube and attach it to the outlet tube. You will notice a considerable decrease in water-flow and current.

6. Create a flow baffle

You can make a baffle by yourself to blocks and redirect the flowing-water. Take a mesh cut a strip of one to two inches, and place it around the filter outlet. Fasten it to the back wall using wire or zip-ties. It will help resolve the issue.

You can use a plastic soap dish with suction cups and adhere it below the outlet. You can also accomplish baffling using a random plastic bottle. Cutting the top and bottom parts, cut it lengthwise and place it around the filter outlet.

7. Pre-filter sponge

Buy a pre-filter sponge or something similar and wrap it around the nozzle of the tank filter. It will reduce water-flow and speed and help you maintain a slow-moving environment in the tank.

8. Recirculation

Recirculation lowers the flow by diverting some of the water, leaving the pump and send it back to the sump. It does not put and pressure on the pump or the filter and help you achieve the goal. 

9. Manifold system

When there is a restriction in proper water distribution in the tank, you should add outlet nozzles to split it in all directions. Add more tubing or pipes to the outlet of the filter.

10. Lift the filter

When you lift the fish tank filter outlet above the waterline, it will reduce turbulence and decrease water-flow and current. Place it just above the surface to avoid water from splashing all over.

11. Dense filter media

Most filters have a sponge-media nowadays that allows water to pass quickly through it. When you add a dense sponge to the filter, it will lessen the flow, and the water will move slowly through it.

12. More holes

Drilling holes on the filter inlet tube help divide the water-flow and distribute it more evenly in the tank. It reduces the pressure on the filter, making it less turbulent. 

What is adequate water speed in a fish tank?

Different fish species like to live in different water-flow and current depending upon their natural habitat. Also, all plants can not survive and thrive in too fast aquarium speed. It is necessary to determine the correct water speed and movement of an aquarium. 

Experts claim that the average turnover of your aquarium should be at least four times per hour. The ideal turnover range is 6 to 10 times per hour. Also, the speed depends on the plant and fish you choose to keep in the tank. Try to mimic the water movement of their natural habitat as much as possible.

Aquariums that require high flow rates

The aquariums with larger fish require strong filtration as the fish can easily compete and resist high flow-rate. These fish are competent and strong enough to overcome the strong current.

Also, reef tanks require a powerful filter so the water can move all around the tank. Strong filtration is necessary for filter feeders. 

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