Question: Help? Weird Set Up? Filter? "Baby" Axies.

littleA

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Hello all.
This is my first post, but I have been reading up on lots through this site.
The Axies were born in April, it is now October. They are about 5-6 inches long. They have a tall / weird 30 gallon tank but definitely plenty of room.
They have Rosy Red feeder fish and a few ghost shrimp that they "share" the tank with.

I just bought a new filter yesterday because the water has seemed kind of gross lately so I thought the sponge filter that I have used from day one (with new sponges) isn't working as great anymore.
This is a Hang Over Tank filter but seemed like it was too strong of a current so I shut it off. They seem to hate it. They seem to not be eating much today but I guess a few of the fish are gone so maybe they are full.
Also the PH and Alkalinity seems a little high but the EasyBalance Plus is not doing anything to help.

My question is what can you all tell me that I can do better? What should I do with the filter? Keep it? Toss it? Only plug it in for a while each day? Is this tank too weird? Are they healthy? Just want to know if I am on the right track?
Also if you could help me figure out gender at this age? I think they are the same sex based on head size and bump by butt, but I am not sure.
 

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onyx2011

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When I kept a Betta community tank(sounds contradictory, but is possible if your Betta has the right temperament), my filter was also strong. What i did (and now do for my axie) is cut a two liter bottle in half. Remove the top and bottom, leaving a cylinder. Cut in half, so you get half the cylinder, and then cut the width to fit your filter! This method doesn't completely fix the current, but it redirects it towards the wall the filter is on. Then put some fake plants in the corner(assuming you have the filter in the corner like i do) and bam! A mostly fixed current. If your axolotls still seem unhappy, another trick is to cut the leg off of a new set of panty hose and slip that up over the bottom half of the filter. I have all three techniques in play(plants, pop bottle redirection, and panty hose) and Tabitha seems to be satisfied.

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