Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   How much water flow should I have? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/how-much-water-flow-should-i-50899/)

Sir Chauncy 09-04-2010 05:52 PM

How much water flow should I have?
 
The old filter conked out and died. It was 10 years old so I wasn't that upset though. The thing is, that new filter (Fluval U3) seems a lot stronger even on it's lowest setting. The fish have to twtch about twice as much as they used to to keep their place in the water. There are quiet zones, the neons tend to hang out there but the rummy noses and the green velvet bards tend to stay in the current. I thought they might just like it better, at least I did until I turned the filter pump off as a test.

Almost instantly, all the fish started to swim about far more actively. Do they prefer still water? How could I damped (no pun intended) the flow of water if they do? More rocks, bogwood and plants? I'd rather not have to buy another filter, these things can work out to be very expensive that way! :)

Thanks in advance :)

dfbiggs 09-04-2010 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sir Chauncy (Post 464314)
The old filter conked out and died. It was 10 years old so I wasn't that upset though. The thing is, that new filter (Fluval U3) seems a lot stronger even on it's lowest setting. The fish have to twtch about twice as much as they used to to keep their place in the water. There are quiet zones, the neons tend to hang out there but the rummy noses and the green velvet bards tend to stay in the current. I thought they might just like it better, at least I did until I turned the filter pump off as a test.

Almost instantly, all the fish started to swim about far more actively. Do they prefer still water? How could I damped (no pun intended) the flow of water if they do? More rocks, bogwood and plants? I'd rather not have to buy another filter, these things can work out to be very expensive that way! :)

Thanks in advance :)

I replied to a question somewhat similar to this...all I can come up with , if you don't want to buy a different filter is building up areas to block some of the current. Like building a rock cave as a current shelter. I have this problem with my 55g (I would turn them down but my husband doesn't agree) so the fish seem to fight the current.

Byron 09-05-2010 12:05 PM

Your experience proves what I frequently write, that most forest fish do not like strong water movement. This is why in our profiles on each species under their habitat it mentions the type of water they are found in.

Filtration in the aquarium must be suited to the fish's needs, with respect to water flow. Fish that prefer still water (such as those you mention) will be stressed having to constantly battle a current. It's like you walking up a steep hill instead of on flat ground; and having to do it constantly. It will wear you out, as it wears out the fish.

Fish will naturally swim against a current because (a) they have no choice, if they swim opposite the current carries them away, and (b) their instinct says food is more likely to come at them in a current. But they need to be able to get out of it.

I have a 5-foot 115g aquarium set up as an Amazonian riverscape; the filter outflow is at one end, creating some movement, which quickly dissipates down the tank. There are fish that prefer some water flow, and they have taken up residence in wood or under wood at the end below the filter outflow. Those fish that do not prefer movement scarcely ever venture to that end of the tank; these include shoals of rummynose, cardinal tetra, hatchetfish, pencilfish, and some other characins and certain Corydoras.

One of the most important aspects of a successful community aquarium is having the proper water flow for the fish, and in a smaller tank the fish have to have the same requirement or someone will not be happy.

badxgillen 09-05-2010 04:40 PM

flow
 
i am not sure on what fluval that is but if it is a canister filter you can dyi a spray bar..or simply put a T valve with a ball valve to dissipate flow without stressing you pump...i have seen a few nice trickle wet dry systems that were made unintentionaly trying to break filter flow.......good luck..ADIOS...

Sir Chauncy 09-06-2010 02:07 AM

When I woke up this morning I nearly cried. I have made such a terrible, terrible mess of things.

I didn't cycle the new filter. I didn't cycle it. I didn't think and now fish are dead :(

It was ok for a few days but then last night I noticed that the water was a little cloudy, nothing special just a light white tinge in what had been perfectly clear water up to that point. I put some water out to stand so I could change it the next day.

I have come downstairs this morning though to find utter disaster. The water was so cloudy it was almost opaque. Four neon tetras had died along with a rummynose and both of the green velvet barbs. What was left was gasping at the surface, even the snails had all migrated to the top. The only ones that don't seem to have been affected in the slightest are the ottocinclus and the corydoras.

I've changed 25% of the water, it was all I had available. I've put some more in a bucket ready to be changed later, the plan is to keep doing this for the forseeable future.

Now, I need to know if I should take the "new" filter out and cycle it in a bucket of tank water or something. For several weeks if needs be. Should I get some of that live bacteria in a bottle and put it in? Is it worth turning the filter flow off for a week or two or will that not help?

The old filter media, (the stuff I thought I would not need again) was outside in a bucket in the sun. It stayed wet but it's been there a few days now. The filter pump still works, it was just clogged with a plant stem so I could put this one back in if it would be worth it.

I am so gutted. The tank was really coming together and everyone in it was having a lovely time and then I go and ruin it by making a mistake like this.

Byron 09-06-2010 11:38 AM

Is this the 30g planted aquarium shown under your "Aquariums"?

Sir Chauncy 09-06-2010 01:54 PM

yes it is. Although it looks a lot more cloudy now.

Byron 09-06-2010 03:26 PM

Changing the filter should not have caused a cycling issue, if that is all you did; there are live plants, plus bacteria would colonize the surfaces. If water was changed, did you use a conditioner (which one)? Is there ammonia or nitrite in your tap water (alone)?

WisFish 09-07-2010 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 464812)
Fish will naturally swim against a current because (a) they have no choice, if they swim opposite the current carries them away, and (b) their instinct says food is more likely to come at them in a current.

My dad the fisherman used to say it was easier for them to breath. They just open their mouths and gills and the water just naturally flows through. Not sure if that's true or not but it makes sense.

Byron 09-07-2010 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WisFish (Post 466288)
My dad the fisherman used to say it was easier for them to breath. They just open their mouths and gills and the water just naturally flows through. Not sure if that's true or not but it makes sense.

That's true although it is an integral part of what I mentioned. Most fish cannot swim backwards, so turning in the direction of the flow means they will be carried downstream no matter what, and respiration will be difficult as well. Facing into the current means they can either remain stationary (with effort fighting the current) or swim upstream (with more effort), and respirate doing both. As this is their natural instinct, in the aquarium they tend to do the same.


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