It is not uncommon to see your betta hanging around near the filter. I have seen many bettas obsessed with the filter. Either they try to swim against the current or just hang around near the outlet of the filter. Why bettas are obsessed with filter?
Bettas like to hang around near the outlet of the filter because that spot has a good flow rate. A good flow rate means that spot has more oxygen than the rest of the tank. This makes breathing easier for the betta.
Bettas also like to swim against moderate current. This is one kind of entertainment for them. However, if the betta struggles to swim straight, that means the current is too strong for him and you need to do something immediately.
Why Is My Betta Fish Obsessed With Filter?
It’s not uncommon for betta fish to show interest in or even become fixated on their aquarium filter. There could be a few reasons for this behavior:
Water flow stimulation:
Betta fish are naturally curious and active. The movement of water created by the filter can simulate their natural environment, where they encounter currents and flowing water in the wild. This stimulation might intrigue them and keep them engaged.
Exploration and hunting instincts:
Betta fish are known to be territorial and have a natural instinct to explore their surroundings. The filter’s movement and the vibrations it creates can mimic prey or potential hiding places, triggering their hunting instincts.
Bubble nest preparation:
Male bettas build bubble nests, which are structures made of bubbles on the water’s surface, as a part of their reproductive behavior. The filter’s movement might make them perceive it as a potential threat to their bubble nest, leading them to investigate and defend their territory.
If your betta fish seems excessively fixated on the filter to the point of stress or exhaustion, it’s important to ensure that the filter’s flow isn’t too strong for your fish.
Strong currents can stress bettas and make it difficult for them to swim comfortably. Consider adjusting the flow or adding filter baffles to reduce the water movement.
Providing plenty of hiding places and enrichment in the tank, such as plants, caves, or decorations, can also help divert their attention from the filter.
Is The Betta Struggling To Swim Near The Filter?
Look closely when the betta is swimming against the current of the filter outlet. Is it swimming straight? Is there any sign of struggle?
If you see the betta is struggling, then it is an indication that the filter flow rate is too strong. You need to reduce it immediately. That is not a problem with most modern filters as they come with an adjustment knob.
Just adjust the knob to your desired flow rate. However, if your filter doesn’t have an adjustment knob then what to do? Well, the best option will be to buy a better filter with adjustment knob.
But, if you don’t have the budget, there are some things you can do to tone down the flow rate significantly.
In the next section, I’ll talk about some of the DIY ways to reduce the filter flow rate.
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Reducing The Filter Flow Rate
Before discussing some of the DIY ways to reduce the filter flow rate, let me start by saying that the best way to reduce the flow rate is by using the adjustment knob. Most filters these days come with an adjustment knob.
If your filter doesn’t, chances are it is not a very good quality product and you might need to upgrade your filtration system.
With that being said, let’s look at some of the DIY ways to reduce the filter flow rate:
Use Pre-filter sponge
The first thing you can do is use a sponge on the inlet of the filter. Inlet is the opening of the filter inside the aquarium through which water enters the filter. If you can reduce the rate of water entering the filter, then it will automatically reduce the filter flow rate.
If you don’t have any sponge lying around, just take a piece of filter floss, cut it into a small rectangle and wrap it around the inlet. It will also act as a fantastic mechanical filtration.
Stuff Filter Floss Inside
If the filter flow rate is still too much, stuff some filter floss inside the filter chamber. Most HOBs have a divider inside their chamber. The divider divides the chamber into two compartments.
Water gets collected into the first chamber and then enters the second chamber through some kind of hole or notch at the top. At the second chamber, there are all types of filter media.
You can put some filter floss over the hole or notch through which water enters the second chamber from the first chamber. This second piece of filter floss will also create some kind of barrier in the water’s path and reduce the filter flow rate.
Create A Baffle
This is the best DIY method to reduce filter flow rate. However, it needs some working. You’ll need to have a plastic bottle first.
Cut the top and bottom of the bottle with a sharp scissor, also make sure the bottle length matches the length of the filter outlet.
Now, cut the bottle lengthwise so that it is no longer a tube. After that, you’ll need to attach the bottle to the filter outlet so that water first hits the side of the bottle and then falls down. The process is much easier to show than explain. If you are confused, just watch the above video.
This method will significantly reduce the filter flow rate. However, it doesn’t look good and may need frequent maintenance.
If you ask me, I’ll always recommend to buy a good filter that comes with adjustable flow rate options.
Why Does My Betta Fish Stay By The Filter?
You might hear of the playful temperament of betta fish. So, you must be surprised to discover your betta staying by the filter.
Many betta owners ask- why does my betta stay by the tank? Let’s check out the probable answers to this curiosity.
1. Presence Of More Oxygen
The prime purpose of a filtration system is to purify the water. While purifying the water, a filter increases its flow rate, which causes more oxygenation in the surrounding filter area.
If the oxygen level is low in the betta tank, your betta will seek adequate oxygen. Since there is more oxygen in the filter area, your betta will want to stay by the filter.
2. High Water Flow
If the current of your filter is too strong, your betta will try to avoid it. Due to the high water flow, your betta fish may find swimming against the water current difficult.
For this reason, your betta wants a comfortable place where the water current may seem non-existent. That’s why, your betta fish may stay beside the filter to avoid high water currents.
3. Feeling Secured
If you do not add sufficient hideouts in the tank, your betta may not find a suitable space to hide. Sometimes, betta requires some secure place to take a rest.
That’s why the experts suggest adding adequate plants, décor items, caves, etc. Your betta may want to feel secure by staying beside the filter since it works as a place to hide.
4. The Water Near The Bottom Isn’t Clean
Your betta fish will choose to stay by the filter if the tank bottom isn’t clean. There might be an assembly of decaying matters, leftovers, and so on. It causes poor water conditions in your betta tank.
Although betta roams all over the aquarium, poor water condition makes them choose the cleanest water area. No wonder that filter area is preferable for betta due to drawing water by the filter.
5. Catching Preys Easily
You might know that betta fish are opportunistic feeders. The current of the filter makes small fish inclined to the filtration system. So, the filter area becomes a good source of food for your betta. When betta hides beside the filter, it’ll help them catch prey readily.
6. Escaping From Aggressive Tank Mates
If you keep your betta with territorial tank mates, your betta may not swim freely. It’ll try to escape from the bullies. The bully and aggression of tank mates may make your betta stressed.
That’s why your betta looks for a secure place to hide from their aggressive tank mates. If your betta tank lacks adequate hideouts, your betta will stay by the filter.
7. Breeding Period
If your betta fish are breeding, you should provide them with proper privacy. To assure safety, you should add lots of hiding spaces. In case, your betta does not feel safe in their breeding period,
8. Overcrowded Tank
If your betta fish stay by the filter, you should check the condition of the tank. Overcrowding may cause your betta fish to look for a comfortable corner.
Lastly, there might not be any specific reasons for your betta fish to stay by the filter. Sometimes, betta tends to stay beside the filter due to boredom or laziness. Since the water flow is low in the filter area, your betta.
Why Is My Betta Fish Hiding Behind The Filter?
Hiding behind the filter can be a serious sign of something wrong in your betta tank. If your betta fish hides behind the filter, you should check for the potential reason.
Although betta fish are hardy, these fish get stressed over fluctuations in environmental parameters. Sometimes, there can be changes in temperature, pH, and other water parameters. If the water current is too strong, it can make your betta stressed.
These environmental malfunctions make your betta look for a secure place. If your betta tank does not have sufficient hideouts, your betta may hide behind the filter.
The further reason can be feeling threatened or insecure. Your betta may get bullied by its aggressive tank mates.
Sometimes, the bright light of the room can make your betta puzzled. To get rid of uneasiness, these bettas may find a good corner to hide behind the filter.
In addition, you should check the health of your betta if your pet betta is hiding behind the filter. Your betta may be hurt by any sharp edge or tank mates. Besides, illness can cause your betta stressed which makes them hide behind the filter.
However, there might be nothing wrong in the tank environment when your betta acts weirdly. It can happen when you introduce your betta new. Before getting accustomed to the tank environment, your betta may hide behind the filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Bettas Like Water Current?
The answer is no! Bettas can not thrive well when there is a strong water current.
Since betta isn’t a good swimmer, these tropical fish can’t withstand strong currents. Your betta will become stressed soon due to swimming against a strong current. Because of fatigue, your betta may face injuries also.
If your betta swims at an angle, the current may push it away. In addition, you may notice your betta swimming uncomfortably. It may cause your betta to hide and avoid the current.