Filter for Betta

jameson_uk

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I have finally flooded my 30cm cube that will one day house a Betta.
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I had always thought I would just stick a big standard sponge filter in there and hope the plants would do ok. I then picked up a JBL Cristalprofi M Greenline that was reduced at LFS which is sort of a matter filter (I run one of these in my 30cm shrimp cube). I then saw one of George Farmer's recent videos where he had a 30cm cube setup with a canister and a spin pipe (which also gets the heater out the tank and adds some nice glassware)

All got my thinking about what will be the best compromise for plants and a long finned Betta.

I don't plan on adding anything particularly demanding but started to think that the sponge filter isn't really going to generate enough flow to keep the plants happy? Current plan is to use a bit of Sumatra of redwood root in the centre of the tank with some anbubias or buce attached and some crypts and either Murdannia keisak or Hygrophila 'Siamensis 53B' and plenty of floaters.

Thoughts on what I should go with?
 

paul_j

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I just set up a betta 30cm cube. Used the dennerle nano corner filter. You can adjust the flow plus it has a little spraybar so it's very flexible.
 

alto

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Murdannia keisak
can be prone to “melt” if flow is inadequate - especially when transitioning from emerse to submerse (so make sure it’s got enough space at start up), once established it’s much more tolerant

A slowed down canister filter will likely provide more even flow through the tank than any sponge filter set up

Depending on degree of finnage on your Betta, also breeding quality (and other genetics), they can thrive in slightly higher flow - always provide “rest” areas with minimal flow (your wood and Anubias should provide that), I like to have “rest” zones throughout the tank

Look for strong finnage, with well defined rays, avoid the cellophanes, rosetails, dumbos “ear”, excessive dragonscale (as fish matures these scales can overlay gill openings and eyes)
If you like the veil tales, look for this type rather than the long, thin (poorly structured) trailing fins


George’s choice of a HMPK is great for planted tanks with more flow
 

jameson_uk

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A slowed down canister filter will likely provide more even flow through the tank than any sponge filter set up
My concern is slowing down a canister enough without damaging it. The smallest one I can find is the Oase Filtosmart 60 which is still rated at 300lph. I put 20l of water in so out the box that is 15x turnover which seems like it would be far too much flow for a Betta. Slowing this down (I am guessing by taps on the pipework or reducing pipework size?) would surely put more pressure on the pump and wear it out quicker? The spin pipe George used looks very interesting but I am struggling as to whether this would be enough of a reduction (particularly on the 600lph model George used) and it quite an expensive experiment...

George’s choice of a HMPK is great for planted tanks with more flow
I am looking at getting a classic half moon from Chen's.
 

alto

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Eheim Classic 150 with quick release taps :)

Though I mostly just use the Eheim Mini-up or Eheim Skim 350 (depending which is available) and adjust flow as needed
Bettas often benefit from slow introduction to exercise - and they live longer when exercised (some encouragement may be required ;) ... University of Utah ran a longterm experiment with Bettas, best longevity was 10 gal tanks with moderate flow + daily exercise, at the time of project end, some Betta’s were 10!)
 

jameson_uk

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Gorgeous Bettas!
Tell me about it. I keep thinking about where I could squeeze another tank in.... I mean the bathroom needs a tank right

Eheim Classic 150 with quick release taps :)
The Eheim appeals as I have a classic 600 on my main tank. This and the Oase Filtosmart 60 seem the only real canister options (there is a generic Chinese one available as a hang on canister but these seen to have mixed reviews).

These are rated at 300 lph which seems high. I guess closing the taps would reduce flow but I guess they aren't designed to run like that and it would eventually wear out the pump.

A spin pipe would slow this down but I still can't quite get my head around it (there must still be the same amount of water leaving and returning to the tank and assuming the inlet and outlet are close together you are mainly just cycling water from a small portion of the tank which kind of negates the point of having the canister to start with

I would cater to the fish first ( slower flow) and the plants second ( more flow)
(easier to adapt to plants that can handle the lower flow and lower light)
Which is why I was originally going with the sponge. The flow however is barely noticeable (the air pump it is currently connected to isn't that powerful). This is one of the filters with two sponges and an uplift pipe which I am guessing should produce more flow than one of the breeder type sponges which only really cause a little bit of surface agitation.

I am not sure how well the plants will cope with this little flow.
 

mort

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You can have high turnover without creating high flow. The problem simply needs a bit of fiddling with. In the past I have kept zostera seahorses in a tank that size and they don't like strong flow but I simply directed most of the flow towards an objected that deflected a lot of the strength and created a weaker gyre (mass circulating water movement of low velocity) and see no reason why this wouldn't work well with a betta. All you need is a well placed rock or piece of wood and it shouldn't limit your choice much. The biggest worry with a stronger filter is the suction from the inlet so make sure you deal with that.
 

sparkyweasel

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I don't think closing the taps would would increase wear on the pump, as it's a sealed coil, with no moving parts. That drives the impeller by magnetism with no mechanical coupling.
What might be a concern is if the reduced flow caused overheating, as the water flow cools the coil.
I had some Fluval canisters that ran for years with the flow constricted by taps.

You could put a thermometer on the housing, see how warm it gets at full flow, and see how much hotter (if any) it gets with the taps closed. I couldn't put a figure on it, but I would think it could cope with a few degrees higher. If the temp just keeps increasing and doesn't level off, you'd better open the taps a bit, lol.
 

mort

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Just to add to my post above, a spray bar along one side pointed at the glass but at a 45 degree angle towards the bottom, if that makes sense, might be all you need. You get good but weak water flow which can be displaced by any hardscape creating your shelter zones for the betta. With betta it's the upper areas that need to be lower flow from what I've seen.
 

Millns84

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Yeah that is the generic Chinese one available in several different guises. Seen quite a few bad reviews of it leaking, being hard to clean, failing...
I've owned two - Neither leaked, failed or were hard to clean but one of them did have a slight rattle to the pump and needed silicone to quieten it down.
 

jameson_uk

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You can have high turnover without creating high flow. The problem simply needs a bit of fiddling with. In the past I have kept zostera seahorses in a tank that size and they don't like strong flow but I simply directed most of the flow towards an objected that deflected a lot of the strength and created a weaker gyre (mass circulating water movement of low velocity) and see no reason why this wouldn't work well with a betta. All you need is a well placed rock or piece of wood and it shouldn't limit your choice much. The biggest worry with a stronger filter is the suction from the inlet so make sure you deal with that.
Slight tangent into physics...

That is what I can't quite get my head around. Take out real world issues of efficiency and over enthusiastic manufacturer claims etc. and if you have a 300 lph filter then your flow is 300 lph at both the inlet and outlet. The advice for a planted tank is a spray bar along the back which forces the water to the front glass, down and back again and so (again in a over simplistic world) you have 300 lph flow everywhere bar the middle of the tank.
If you add a spin pipe I am seeing that effectively this stops the water in it's tracks but allows a little to flow forward. So the way you I can see you are getting high turnover is by having mostly the same water going round the filter, outlet, inlet loop (which means only a small % of the tank water is actually being turned over which makes me think there isn't much point in having that turnover in the first place??) My simple brain is currently seeing this as a bit like buying a massive air compressor to pump up bicycle tyres, it is far too powerful so you put a hole in the pipe to reduce the pressure, so it works but buying a compressor designed for bikes (or a manual pump) would be orders of magnitude cheaper and be better spec'd for the job?

Back on track, I plan on putting some wood roots in the middle of the tank and also probably a rock or two. I also have a coconut cave which has a sucker to attach to the side and I plan on putting the opposite way round to the flow to provide somewhere to get out of the flow. Seems there isn't much in between a sponge a 300 lph canister other than lots of ugly internals that often have horrible cartridge systems. Made me lean towards the JBL filter I have lying around which is rated at 200 lph (I run one in my shrimp tank and picked it up on sale for £15 at LFS) and I don't think it generates enough flow for my linking but looking at the videos online perhaps it generates more flow than I think

 

jameson_uk

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Going round in circles now unsure which option to go for. Hardscape and plants are being despatched from Aquarium Gardens on Tuesday so probably need to decide

I initially put a double sponge filter in but when attached to the nano air pump I had there was next to no flow. It is rated at 50lph but it seems massively less powerful than the Eheim 100 on it's lowest setting. The new Eheim air pumps appear to have ruined their design. The one I have in my main tank has big rubberised feet and vibration noise is pretty much non existent. The new style ones have nothing to prevent vibration.

With this air pump I am getting the frogbit gently moving around and I can see there is flow but my god it is too noisy for the front room.

Now tempted to try the JBL thing but at 200 lph and with no simple way of adjusting the flow I think this is going to be too high for a half moon Betta.

I did consider the small 150 lph canister but I am assuming a 100 lph air pump into a sponge is going to produce less flow than the equivalent from a canister? A spray bar would distribute the flow but this might just mean the fish has few areas to escape. At least with the JBL flow is higher on one side of the tank (a problem I have trying to grow things in the back corner of my shrimp tank).

Dilema anyone got any advice?
 

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