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Covering Intake Tube


Kissy

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I think I'm going to cover the intake tube of my new penguin. I haven't put it in a tank with fish yet, but its cycing in the 29 gall and it sucked a light, unanchored plastic plant half way across the tank! The filter is a 100 gph penguin mini, and it will go in a 10 gallon tank with cories and 1" black neon tetras...I'm just a tad worried, better safe then sorry!

What should I cover it with? I've heard of using a thin cut sponge or cheesecloth. Any other things? Which is better? T-shirt material looks exatly like cheese cloth. Could I use that too?

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If you are covering it to slow the current - then you want to impede the water - using a sponge that you cut a slit in - and jamming it over the intake end. Make sure it is secure,though.

If you are covering it to make sure no fish get sucked up the end, there are pieces that you can buy for very little money that are made with a fitting that slides onto the end of the intake tube. They are little basket like gratings that have slits in them that allow the water to go up the tube and not a fish. The larger, boxish shaped grated filter caps have an additional plus in that they are large enough that even a larger fish or larger fish's tail cannot completely wrap around the intake area and create a solid suction. This is what you want to avoid - for with no way to break away, the entire power of the pump will suck on your fish - and usually kill it.'

Covering the end with just a thin layer of shirting or very thin sponge will definately keep small fish from being ingested by the filter, but it will not prevent the "suck" factor - where the fish can cover the entire end of the filter intake and create a solid sucking blockage - one that a fish cannot escape. I do not like just a piece of cloth stretched over the intake for this reason. I prefer to have the grated ends to the intake tube.

If you are going to be having tiny babies in the tank, I have also take a bit of nylon netting - tulle - veiling, and wrapped it around the filter grates. This will make the slits even smaller so that the babies will not fit between the openings. You can certainly use t-shirt material for this purpose, but remember that it will fill up with waste more quickly than a more open pored netting.

Remember, if you have the end covered - particularly with a sponge or some other tightly porous material, that it will gunk up rather quickly and will need to be cleaned regularly to maintain the filter's full gph filtering ability.

:)

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Carol,

As usual, I am in awe of the great detail that you go into to explain things...... :D

I very much like sponge material for covering intakes. I employ them in my guppy tank and my applesnail/sailfin molly tank. The applesnails have a tendency to damage their antennae when slithering by the intakes. Sponges fix that nicely. And guppy babies never get sucked into the intakes............

PAul

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I have a 100 gph penguin mini, and the tube has slits, but I'm still worried since tetras are so small. I'm worried about sucking power mostly..so I think I'll with a sponge :)

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