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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at how best to protect fry and shrimp from the filter intake (canister). The popular sponge intake pre-filters take up too much space unless you go thin, then they clog up quickly. I've looked at the metal ones and the inner diameters are generally too small for my intake tubes, and while not as a bulky as sponges, they add diameter to the intakes. I'm still hunting on those though...

One solution I have in place now, I used the included intake strainer and slipped a tall thin "bag" over it that I created from some black plastic screen door mesh. I cinched the DIY mesh bag to the intake strainer with a plastic zip tie. This has worked pretty well and seems to go longer than a sponge before clogging. But it wasn't easy to make and I prefer to dispose/recycle this component on a semi-frequent basis (yes forgoing the bio factor for this part of filtration, shrimp/fry protection only).

I came across this PETE/PET "Expandable Braid Sleeving Flexible Wire Mesh Sleeve" for normally running wires through. It can be ordered in various diameters, I think the 1.25" is perfect for mine. It looks like it could be easy, just cut off a tube to length, slide over the intake and cinch top and bottom with zip ties. Just like I did with the mesh bag but without having to stitch or glue the mesh. A 10' section would last a year or more. Any thoughts on the plastic in the aquarium?

Any other low profile ideas for protection from the intake?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Something like this perhaps?
https://www.lazada.sg/products/aqua...for-fish-shrimp-i1128510408-s4378182125.html?

What diameter are your intake tubes?

The other option is to buy stainless steel fine mesh and form your own in whatever shape and size fits.
Yes I have been looking at those but the inner diameters are generally too small. My intake it at least 26mm, I think more (was trying to measure it while in the water). Also a "sleeve" of some sort is lower profile than these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Found an easy DIY shrimp/fry intake mesh guard

This worked beautifully, sharing in case anyone is interested in a very cheap, easy, and low profile DIY method to protect fry and shrimp from the filter intake. Sponges and metal cages are too big for my application, I wanted something very slim and black.

This is the product. It's normally for wrapping wires and is a pretty fine mesh. My intake is at least 26mm and I think my strainer is around 34mm at the fattest point so I bought the 1.25 inch product. It's about $1/ft, so maybe $.33 for each filter you use it on. It's PET plastic which is supposedly aquarium safe. I plan to change them monthly so it does not decay and to keep it unclogged.
Finger Aluminium foil Foil Nail Material property


I left the strainer on to act as the support for the mesh.
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This is where this product really shines for DIY. You just cut a piece to fit with some scissors and slip it on. The 1.25" product slipped on super easy, it might have worked with the 1 inch diameter product for a tighter fit. The one thing I'd do differently is hotknife or burn/melt the ends somehow to make extra sure the mesh doesn't unravel.
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Tie it up with some zip ties
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If the bottom of my strainer was not solid and did not go all the way to the substrate, I'd see if I could somehow double this over and melt it into a "bag bottom". As it stands, I am pushing this to the substrate so I don't have to worry about it being open.
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And that's it. Just 5 minutes for a DIY intake guard.
 
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