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Old 09-08-2004, 06:34 PM   #1
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Success with UGF?

I am at a sort-of crossroads. I have a 55-gal set up for over a month in which I was advised by LFS to start with 20lb live rock and hardy fish, coral substrate. My existing set-up was with UGF and two power heads, std fluorescent lighting, once again, LFS advised that would be fine for FOWLR. Everything is going great. I'm cycled, fish are fine (2 perculas, 2 damsels). I just recently added 20 blue hermits and 3 turbo snails. They are doing fine, cleaning off the rock. It looks great.
Here's the dilemma... I want to add more live rock from liverocks.com and have been talking to the owner. His first concern was my copper level, which I had tested and can't find a trace. plus the inverts are doing fine. But, he feels that the UGF is the wrong way to go for this type of set up and I should really consider removing UGF and basically start over with LS. I'm thinking of just adding protein skimmer, upgrading lighting, get an RO unit, and maybe adding more flow via another power head. I'm set up to do weekly 5 gal water changes with vacuum, which I plan increase as needed.
Has anybody out there had success using UGF?
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:03 PM   #2
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I had on in a 30 gal for 10 years.
Since I switched to ls I no longer have a nitrate problem. Which is easier on water changes.
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:06 AM   #3
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It will be fine short term, but it will cause bigger and bigger problems as time goes on. A skimmer and the rest is a good idea, but a skimmer is not going to be able to keep up with the nitrates the ugf is going to end up producing. UGF reall don't have any place in a long term SW setup. On the plus side, you don't really have to start completely over. Since the tank is new, you don't yet have a big biological bomb sitting underneath the ugf. You should be able to just remove it and go on with life. Switching the cc out is a good idea as it will also cause problems, but it can be done gradually. So you can continue aging your tank and just make improvements as time goes on. You also don't need to waste a lot of money on "live sand". Plain sand will become live once bacteria already in your tank populates it.
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Old 09-09-2004, 07:37 PM   #4
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OK. I've made up my mind. I'm going to convert. Of course, this means I'll more advice/suggestions on equipment upgrades. Here's how I'm planning the conversion:
After I get all the equipment I need, I'm going to move everything out of the tank (2 10lb LR, 2 damsels, 2 clowns, 3 turbos, >20 hermits, and some CC) to a 20 GAL QT (which already has 10 GAL made up). Then, I'm going to remove UGF and rest of CC. Then add ~40 gal RO or distilled water and make up water in tank. Then, I'll add regular (not live) sand. I'll let this sit for ~ a week, check vitals, and add everything back into tank to start new cycle and new beginning! Sound OK?
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Old 09-11-2004, 07:58 AM   #5
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=27
This is in the articles section and should give you some help.
Basically you have the right idea, but with only 20 lbs of lr in a 55 gal there is not enough bio filtration to switch all of the substrate at once. Do 1/3 at a time for better results.
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Old 09-11-2004, 10:49 AM   #6
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Thanks Darb. I forgot to mention, after I get everyhting back together, I'm going to add 20lbs base rock & 40lbs live Keys rock.
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