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Old 05-13-2003, 06:49 PM   #1
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Under Gravel Filter Yes or No????

I have been trying to cycle my tank and I have run into a bad bacteria bloom. One advice website says that I should install an under gravel filter to clear the bacteria bloom and to keep the tank clear there after. I don't know if I agree with that. Other people have said just to wait it out. I went to my LFS and bought another powerfilter and filled it with lava rock and a sponge to work as an extra biological filter, not for filtration but just for housing bacteria. Does anyone think this is a good idea or think it will work? I just don't really want to tear down my tank just to install an Under gravel filter, maybe I should. Any ideas?
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Old 05-13-2003, 11:39 PM   #2
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No. The undergravel filter is yesterdays technology. Bacterial blooms are often a part of cycling. It'll go away. The UGF will end up clogging up your substrate with detritus. Eventually the plate will start to clog also. If you decide to use it anyway, I'd run it reverse using powerheads instead of an airlift.
What size tank and what kind of filters do you have? IMO, the bio wheel is the best FW bio filter available. You might look into one of those.
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:29 AM   #3
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30 gal

1 300 GPH powerfilter (replacable floss type filter inserts with carbon pouches inside)
1 125 GPH powerfilter (just sponge and lava rock for bacteria growth)

1 airstone

I am waiting for my fish to grow bigger (2 oscars and 1 pleco, both very young) to get a 75 gal.
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:48 AM   #4
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don't worry about getting an undergravel filter. What you have seems fine. Sometimes the bloom takes weeks to disperse. Be patient, it will disappear.
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Old 05-14-2003, 10:49 AM   #5
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Personally I can't believe anybody would use an UGF.. What a pain to clean (although check out some of the material on Armkes.com - they say they use them on all their tanks!) Anyway -
Quote:
I have been trying to cycle my tank and I have run into a bad bacteria bloom.
what's wrong with a bacterial bloom at this point? this is what you want when cycling a tank - that means the bacteria are eating, multiplying, thriving! this is what will establish the colony of bacteria that will end up supporitng your tank.. Enjoy it!
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Old 05-14-2003, 11:00 AM   #6
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Well since I am new at this I thought I had a problem because I can't see very far into my tank. Guess its not that bad, I just worry about the high nitrites and ammonia because I have become very attached to my fish
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Old 05-14-2003, 11:31 AM   #7
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Don't sweat it, if you do the regular water changes, you should be fine. The Bacteria will die off as they run out of food, then you will have the balance you want. As I remember that bloom was an indicator that my tank was near the end of the cycling process.
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Old 05-14-2003, 12:16 PM   #8
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One of the first things I did when I inherited my fish tank was remove the ugf. I decided I didn't want to re-cycle a well established tank, so I attempted to take the filter out without emptying the tank (no fish were in it at the time, just the water that I saved and put back in the tank after I moved it). It was probably the single most disgusting thing I have ever done in my life--any fish in the tank would have died instantly--I almost died!!! 8O Although the tank was well maintained, the ugf had not been moved in 5 years. Think fish septic tank. For this reason alone, I will never have an ugf in any tank I will own.
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Old 05-14-2003, 12:55 PM   #9
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The people have spoken.................Down with the UGF. Thanks for the advice!!! I will stick with the powerfilter
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Old 05-14-2003, 01:42 PM   #10
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Umm - you said:

Quote:
I have been trying to cycle my tank and I have run into a bad bacteria bloom
and then you said
Quote:
I just worry about the high nitrites and ammonia because I have become very attached to my fish
You're cycling the tank while the fish you are attached to are living in it? Your tank should have been cycled before you put fish into it (either a fishless cycle or with a handful or Danios as many people do..)

If you have high ammonia and nitrites in a tank with fish in it, then you may have a problem..
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