After reading much of what byron has been saying about the problems of too much flow from the filter with fish/plant life, also after seeing some effects on the plants in my tank, I decided I needed to do something about mine. Only problem is I didn't have the money to spend on an air pump and sponge filters for my tanks, I saw a thread not to long ago ( wish I could find it to link) about cutting plastic bottles so you redirect the filter flow back at the back glass. While that would dissipate the flow some, I felt it wouldn't be enough for my liking.
Then a stroke of genius!!! I could use a piece of my filter material in the out flow to slow down the flow coming out of the filter. And now I leave you to a few quick steps with pictures for those of us that get tired of reading.
You can see here in to my Aqaueon HOB filter, nothing to special.... the blue things of course are the filter and the aerator thingamajig (omg I just realized thingamajig is in the firefox spell check library)
Here is the thingamajig now we want to cut the filter material so it will fit snugly in those two bars on the bottom of the thingamajig (I love that word)
Filter cut? Check! I cut my filter material so it would come out of the filter and touch the water (2.5")
Put filter material in with the thingamajig over it so it stays in place, observe your tanks new flow and gloat how you didn't have to spend any money or drink any sodas (to do the project not to drink during assembly), you might also want to tie the filter material to that thingamajig so it doesn't get lose. I used fishing line (ironic I know) it being so thin I didn't have to cut any holes.
Less filter out flow
Possibly less sound coming from filter
More area for beneficial bacteria to grow
Some possible loss of aeration
It probably doesn't have as good water circulation now, but still acceptable
Some possible loss of aeration ( I know I listed it twice but its a pro for the plants, more co2 in the water, but if you don't have enough plants in your tank it could be a con for the fish)
It pretty much cut the flow through out my tank, except right below the filter, the flow here increased some but not to much. Even if you don't have an Aquaeon filter you can probably pretty easily adapt this for your filter.
I am just a little worried that the filter material might break up over time in the flow and I will have pieces of filter in my tank, do you think the fish might eat this?
Will let everyone know how well mine holds up.