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Fish trapped in Biocube filter chambers

7695 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cord
I just bought an Oceanic BioCube 8g. I put 5 young, 4-month-old microctenopoma in last night and this morning only 3 greeted me. One was trapped in the 1st filter chamber. I thought he may have gotten sucked in through the intake slats, but he's too big. Then I found the last fish in the third filter chamber. He is much, much too big to have gotten sucked in through the slats. So I'm guessing they both jumped over the barrier into their respective chambers. My smallest net isn't small enough to fit into either chamber, so I've shut off the filter and filled the tank as full as I could to allow the fish to hopefully jump back over the barrier into the main tank. (Hopefully they won't convince their siblings to move into the filter with them.)

1. If this plan doesn't work, any other ideas about how I could get them out?

2. How do I prevent this from happening in the future? I'm thinking of maybe just modifying a fluval sponge to sit above the filter chambers so that everyone will just bounce off of it if they try to go over.
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I'm not sure that I'll be able to see anything down in the chambers with a hose of the correct size in there. So I may just have to blind work away and hope the fish don't get hurt in the process. Any further suggestions? Thank you!
makeshift a net with cheesecloth or netting and some chopsticks. slide the net in one side then slowly usher them toward the surface til you can pick them up quick and toss them into the main tank. should work.
Same thing happened to me with the tetra. I took out the filter and tried to net them. That's when I discovered they simply swam through the slats. The suction isn't very strong.

I also found one in the third chamber. Turned the pump off and netted him out using a flashlight. It really wasn't very hard. Have no idea how he got there!
My fish are much too big to fit through the slats, so they must've swam over the top. Moogoo's idea sounds really great, as even my smallest net is too large to fit into the filter chamber. However, I ended up flooding the aquarium (with the filter off) up to the very top of the upper rim of the entire tank, then turning the lights out so they only had their lunar lights. I saw the babies in the main tank "talking" to the ones on the other side and after about 20 minutes, Splash! over the top of the barrier they came! I quickly took out the appropriate amount of water and put a fluval 204 sponge on top of the filter compartment so this hopefully won't happen again.

Thank you all for your help!
How big are these fish? I just ordered an 8 gallon and I wanted to put micro rasboras in it.
Mike are red phantom tetra.
Mine are Microctenopoma fasciolatum. They're about 5 months old and vary greatly in size. They're all too fat to fit in the slats, however. I read some posts on a nano reef site about putting filter media in between the slats to prevent shrimp from going into the filter.

If a fish were to go through the slats into the first filter chamber, it seems quite safe for it, as long as they're the upper slats. The lower slats might go into a separate part of the first chamber. Still, no fun having a fish living in a dark cubicle.
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