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How To Minimize Filter Current For Broadtail?


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  • Regular Member

As you may remember, I got a new broadtail moor last week. His name is Winston.

He is in QT now and has been spending a fair amount of time hiding in his PVC pipe. He eats enthusiastically and doesn't look sick -- even when he bottom sits he holds his dorsal fin up. After a lot of observation, I think he is hiding and bottom sitting because he doesn't like the current generated by the filter (Emperor 280 in a 20 gallon tank). I think it makes it hard for him to steer with his huge horizontally-oriented tail.

I am a bit concerned about this because there really are not any current-free areas in my 75 gallon (his destination after QT). I have two large HOB filters, as well as the output from my caniter filter and UV sterilizer. This only leaves a region about 8 inches wide in the middle of the tank that isn't stirred by some kind of filter output. Do you think that this will bother him? Is there any way to break the current up and create quiet spots in the tank (aside from the PVC pipes that I provide for the fish to sleep in)?

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An Emperor 280 in a 20 gallon is just about perfect in my personal opinion. If he is an extraordiarily large fish, being in a 20 may cramp his style, anyway.

I have 2 monster fish in qt right now - only 30ish gallons with an Emperor 400 on the tub. They are not having any difficulties with the currents - in fact they seem to hang out in the waterfalls as if it is a massage. One is a Broadtail Ryukin X Veiltail and one a really DEEP bodied Ryukin.

That said, if your fish is bothered by the currents, you are very correct to be concerned with adjusting them. Fish hanging out at the bottom because of current difficulties are a common thing! When I have fish that are distrubed by currents, I usually adjust the currents by using various pieces of deco - artificial plants being the main tool.

I stick stones with aquairum sealant onto the base of multiple artificial plants. These will stay in place, even in a bare-bottomed tank, and are placed in front of the output of a filter. If you sit and watch your currents, you can see where they go and when you place certain things in the way, it will break the current. I used to use VERY large stones or larger artificial stones or even store bought constructs. I just do not like the "fake" look of tiny "Roman Ruins" and such.

The use of stones and plants works for me. By moving your inputs, too, you can affect the currents. I usually place the two HOB filters at either end of a tank, with the intake of the cannister in the middle. The output to the cannister can be anywhere - I usually feed it in under one of the HOBs. As far as the UV, that, too is usually place intake inthe center, output under a HOBoutlet. That gives two main outlets. The plants are normally stacked around the inputs of the UV and cannister spreading over, under the outputs of the HOB.

I run 400s on 30 gallon tanks with tiny fry - 1/2 inch or so. They are fine with that - not worrying about the currents. They find spots in all the plants to hang when tired.'..

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Wow, those ARE monster fish! My new fish is not that big -- he is probably five inches long, including tail.

Yes, my UV and canister filter outputs are already stacked underneath the HOB outputs. On the 75 gallon I have two HOBs -- an Emperor 400 and an Aqueon filter that is about the same width as the Emperor. They are pushed as far as possible toward each end of the tank. Because they are so wide it still only leaves over a fairly small space in the middle where there is no output.

In the past when I have tried to use plastic plants to break up filter currents I have used tall, flexible plants that seem to be pushed around too much by the current. They end up taking up too much horizontal swimming space because they are swaying in the breeze so much. Perhaps I should try something stouter? But then I worry about the fish scraping themselves and getting fin and/or scale injuries.

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I know the look might be "unsightly", but what about setting a tank divider screen in a strategic spot in the tank? It would not stop the flow, but would slow it in certain areas. It could have plants placed in front of it to disquise it a bit.....

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How about a goldfish bowl in the tank? I know it seems weird but it gives my smaller fish a place to rest when the flow of water is to much for them. Some rest in it or behind it. But not often.

My goldfish have a lot of tail on all of them cause I like long flowing tail and even with the 1050 gph on my 75 no one has problem swimming. Even Moon who is almost 50% tail at four inches has not problems.

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