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Old 11-16-2008, 03:01 PM   #1
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I need some encouragement from ya'll - Undergravel story

Hi Gang,
First off I listened to you all when I set up this tank and found AA, but it was too late. I quickly realized I made a big mistake with going with UG filter from the start. Also, if you are reading this while gathering info on UG filters and are considering using one in a salt water aquarium, please read on, you will see what you will have to eventually do, as I have done.

Here is what I have do so far, please pray for my fish and inverts, as they are going through a lot of stress because of my bone head decision 3 months ago. I set up a 37gal in early August . After getting advice on AA I decided to start preparing a change over to Live Rock /no UG -sand bottom in mid Aug. In the beginning I put in 10 pounds of base rock, then weeks later added 17 pounds more of Live Rock , making 27 pounds so far. I let my tank adjust to that preparing for the removal of the under gravel filter. I then bought more LR and it is curing as I type for the final chapter later. Last week I removed 1/3 of the crushed coral off the UG filter, and allowed for everything to acclimate. I still have a small bio-wheel running and no media in my HOT magnum, just water movement and surface agitation.

Today I took the plunge and pulled 1/2 the water out into a 30 gal tub, put one of the power heads ,with a heater in there and set up a temp tank for my LR and and crabs . I decided it would be more stress on my fish to chase and remove them than to just let them hide in a corner and remain in the tank, so they did..

I then took all UG hardware out and slid all the CC off the UG filter and piled it into the left half of the tank. I then rinsed some dry sand and added about 25 pounds to the right half of the tank.

I put a pleated cartridge into my HOT magnum and began running it to clear the water. After an hour or so I could see well enough to put the LR back in w/o squishing someone and reinstalled a powerhead and a Koralia for water movement.

I have all 6 fish alive at the moment, only one crab is missing, didn't even see him before the start.

My plans are to monitor ammonia every day, do PWC as needed to control ammonia and nitrite levels and hope for the best. This is where you all come in, please shoot me some encouragement and tell me I have done it the right way, or ...that all my fish are going to die and I'm gonna have to start all over,not to mention tell my 6 year old all of her pets died today- either way... the choice is yours

Next week if all goes well and no spike I will scoop out the CC and spread out the sand, and add the last 10# piece of LR in the curing vat, or do you thing that is too soon?


Thanks.


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Old 11-16-2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like your doing ok. Just keep up on water paramaters and you should be fine. I am assuming the tank and rocks were already cycled. If it were me I would have put the rocks and some water into the rubbermaid tub. with a few cups of sand. Cleaned the tank out completely, add some new sand, fill up with saltwater, put everything back and watched for a cycle.
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyfromlawrenceville View Post
Next week if all goes well and no spike I will scoop out the CC and spread out the sand, and add the last 10# piece of LR in the curing vat, or do you thing that is too soon?
Hi Joey,

I'm not sure how long you've cured that LR. In any case, smell it. It should smell fresh and clean, like a shell you pick out of the water at a beach. If it smells bad, put it back in the curing tank.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:33 PM   #4
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I think it looks like a pretty good course of action. Keep monitoring the water and hopefully it will be OK. Things are looking encouraging.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:43 PM   #5
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Check the ammonia now I'm thinking. I'm thinking if there's to be a problem,you'd start to see it already. How many hours has it been now?
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by elwaine View Post
Hi Joey,

I'm not sure how long you've cured that LR. In any case, smell it. It should smell fresh and clean, like a shell you pick out of the water at a beach. If it smells bad, put it back in the curing tank.
I got it from an online source about 3 weeks ago . Premium Aquatics- prem fiji, and it smelled good when I got it, only 40 hours in transit at ideal temps. Been changing 100% water every 4 days or so for first 2 weeks, no real ammonia levels have shown yet in any test. Only a trace in one test but not even to the first color above 0ppm.

I bought 40 lbs, 25 for my wifes Aquapod build and 15 for this UG filter conversion.

I will assume 3 1/2 weeks in curing vat w/ 80 degree VERY well circulating water is enough time? Should I put in a pinch of flake food?
thanks,
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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Check the ammonia now I'm thinking. I'm thinking if there's to be a problem,you'd start to see it already. How many hours has it been now?
8 hours now. Ammonia 0, PH 8.1 , just buffered, 1.023 , will check for nitrites in about 2 days. So far all is good, only fish acting different is my flame, just a bit shy, after all the rock is arranged different


All live stock is accounted for at this time as well
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37 gal FOLR for my daughter ( she is 6 yr old)
3 gal Pico mini reef.( for me)
24 gal Aquapod (wife's) reef, now cycled and currently emptying my wallet.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:27 AM   #8
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Sounds like things are OK after all.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:01 AM   #9
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:16 PM   #10
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It definitely sounds like you are diong it the right way. I would just keep some pre mixed water ready.
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