Making the filter shrimp-proofIntake protection for small animals
Dwarf shrimp have become almost indispensable in aquascaping and nano-aquaristics. Most species, such as the popular bee shrimp or red-fire shrimp, are capable of reproduction in freshwater, so that under good conditions, youngsters are soon going to be on their way. Dwarf shrimp offspring are only a few milimeters small, so there is a risk of them getting sucked into the filter. Special precautions need to be taken to prevent this.
The mesh is so fine, that even the tiniest shrimp or nano fish can not be sucked in by the filter. The filter guards are available for all common Lily Pipe diameters, 13 and 15mm. In addition, you should pay attention to the height of the intake slots of the filter tube and choose an intake protector of appropriate length.
Internal filters can be protected in a similar manner. For example: the manufacturer Dennerle offers the Nano BabyProtect for their internal corner filter - a special grid equipped with an extra fine filter sponge, which is just clamped over the intake slits of the filter.
If there is no practical off-the-peg solution available, it is always possible to craft something on your own using e.g. some replacement Nano BabyProtect foam or other filter foam which is tied to the internal filter with nylon string, covering the intake slits.
Some hang-on filters, e.g. the AZOO HangOn Filter MIGNON 150 already include a matching filter guard made of foam.
Hang-on filters can be equipped with do-it-yourself filter guards as well, by crafting a pre-filter from foam and tying it to the inflow with nylon string. Depending on model and maker, filter guards initially designed for Lily Pipes may fit the intake pipe.
Skimmers such as the Azoo Skim 250 can be easily modified to make them save for smaller creatures. For that you just need a moss planting grid from e.g. a cultivation pad. This is cut to size, so it fits the length of the intake pipe.
Now it is bent into a round shape and adapted to the diameter of the intake pipe. Finally, the mesh guard can be installed in the upper part of the skimmer. This reduces the danger of smaller creatures getting sucked into the skimmer. The grid does minimally restrict the effect of the skimmer and it will stick out of the water a little less due to the additional weight, so there might be barely noticeable losses in performance.
An Azoo Skim 250 equipped with a homemade intake protector.