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Old 06-02-2005, 11:09 AM   #1
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removing UGF

It is one thing after another around here....

I was adding a heater and a new power strip for all the plugs yesterday and had all my stuff unplugged, when I plugged it all back in one of the UGF doesn't work now. I figured I might as well remove it instead of replace it cause I wanted to get rid of them anyways. So do I just pull the whole thing out? It seems like it might freak out the fish as it covers 1/2 the tank bottom!!!! Any advice on this? I have about 2 inches of gravel on it.
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Old 06-02-2005, 11:47 AM   #2
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Have your gravel vac going while you do it and slowly raise the UGF and vac everything under at the same time. Make sure you have your new filter going for a while before you change though to prevent a cycle. For your 55, the Fluval 304 works great, $70 at BigAls.
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:05 PM   #3
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I was going to ask if you are running another filter on this tank. If you don't, I would get another filter, like the Fluval, and let it get it established with good bacteria first, before removing the UGF.

If you do have another established filter, you could go ahead and remove the plates. For the next week or so, keep testing for ammonia, in case of a mini-spike, and if there happens to be a lot of gunk floating around, you may need to do a series of small water changes -- say, 10% a day -- until things settle down.
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Old 06-02-2005, 12:19 PM   #4
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Yes I have a topfin 60 from my friends established tank, another hob filter and another UGF. I'm treating for ich, that is why I added the heater. I just started my tank about a week and 1/2 ago so it should still be pretty clean under there.
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:08 PM   #5
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and another UGF.
Are you only planning on taking of 1/2 of the UGF? I would highly suggest just getting rid of the whole thing.
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:40 PM   #6
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I do want to get rid of them both, but maybe it's best to wait awhile on the working one?? I want to give my tank a chance to build up the needed bacteria and I had gravel from an established tank that the UGF is filtering through. They are separate so I can take just the one out for now. Just not sure how to do it neatly?? I guess I just have to move all the gravel to one side. I hope the fish are tough...They are sure being put through a lot at once it seams.
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Old 06-02-2005, 02:51 PM   #7
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I think it would be less stressful to get rid of the whole thing all at once. Plus, you have two HOB filters already, so you are technically overfiltered even without the UGF. You should have plenty of bacteria.
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Old 06-02-2005, 02:58 PM   #8
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definitely remove the entire undergravel filter (they really shouldn't be allowed to sell them), your bacteria is in the gravel too, so you won't lose all of it when you remove the UGF.
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Old 06-02-2005, 03:30 PM   #9
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You could just leave them in there and not run them. The tank hasn't been running long enough for it to be a pronlem. There may even be value in leaving it there, as it may help remove nitrates.
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Old 06-02-2005, 03:35 PM   #10
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You could just leave them in there and not run them. The tank hasn't been running long enough for it to be a pronlem. There may even be value in leaving it there, as it may help remove nitrates.
Why would you want those plastic trays and uptake tubes in your tank in the first place? Also, just because they are not a problem now is a horrible reason not to remove them. They are still going to build up wastes over time even if you don't run them, causing serious problems down the road. Bad advice.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:00 PM   #11
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Ok, my project for tonight...remove the ugfs. My poor husband is an aquarium widow.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:08 PM   #12
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I disagree about the bad advice. You remove the tubes, and you no longer see them. And no you will not build up waste over time. I have one tank I did it to 3 years ago, and no problems. The plates create a low oxygen area under the gravel, which supports anoxious bacteria that consume nitrates, converting them to nitrogen gas which dissapates. That small space under the gravel is no worse than the dead spots that are sure to occur in a tank that has gravel to the bottom glass. Plenums are used in SW tanks to reduce nitrates, and will work in freshwater also.
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Old 06-02-2005, 04:49 PM   #13
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I disagree about the bad advice. You remove the tubes, and you no longer see them. And no you will not build up waste over time. I have one tank I did it to 3 years ago, and no problems. The plates create a low oxygen area under the gravel, which supports anoxious bacteria that consume nitrates, converting them to nitrogen gas which dissapates. That small space under the gravel is no worse than the dead spots that are sure to occur in a tank that has gravel to the bottom glass. Plenums are used in SW tanks to reduce nitrates, and will work in freshwater also.
I would assume that the space under the gravel will quickly fill with waste even with the UGF off, but if it works for you, then go for it. I've never tried it myself so I can't say for sure.
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:39 PM   #14
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I disagree about the bad advice. You remove the tubes, and you no longer see them. And no you will not build up waste over time. I have one tank I did it to 3 years ago, and no problems. The plates create a low oxygen area under the gravel, which supports anoxious bacteria that consume nitrates, converting them to nitrogen gas which dissapates. That small space under the gravel is no worse than the dead spots that are sure to occur in a tank that has gravel to the bottom glass. Plenums are used in SW tanks to reduce nitrates, and will work in freshwater also.
The UGF will no longer be sucking in the waste, so it seems like a good idea to me.
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:55 PM   #15
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That small space under the gravel is no worse than the dead spots that are sure to occur in a tank that has gravel to the bottom glass.
The difference is that in a normal tank you can gravel vac this waste up. With a UGF turned off, all that waste is trapped.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:02 PM   #16
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What about attaching a pump to the tubing and blowing it out through the gravel.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:07 PM   #17
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... wouldnt it be the same as just taking it out? since all the crap will be floating around either way
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:11 PM   #18
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What about attaching a pump to the tubing and blowing it out through the gravel.
Exactly, what about just removing it now?
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:17 PM   #19
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I've heard of a plenum for saltwater and it sounds like a good idea for a freshwater system
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Old 06-02-2005, 07:10 PM   #20
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What about attaching a pump to the tubing and blowing it out through the gravel.
What you would have then is a reverse flow UGF (if you left it running). The beauty of them is that you never have to clean your gravel, since the water lifts the crud away from the subtrate, and can be picked up by other filtration or a prefilter on the pump. Still, the UGF is not the ideal type of filter in many cases, and definitely not in favour if you have a planted tank. There are many ways to do things, some better than others. Uder gravel jet systems are becoming popular with cichlid keepers to move the debris around for the other filters to pick up. A reverse flow UGF might accomplish the same thing, while adding a large bio filter capability.
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