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Old 11-02-2004, 10:49 AM   #1
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Do you really need a Undergravel filter?

My 29 gallon freshwater tank is less then two months old and I have already had issues with ammonia.

I wanted to know if any members can advise me on undergravel filters.

Are they good and what is the benefit?

What brands do you recommend?
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My Tank:
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4 Zebra Danio
2 Male Dwarf Flame Gourami
1 Candy Pleco
1 Candy Swordtail
1 Pineapple swordtail
1 Marigold Wag
2 Male Black Sailfin Molly
1 Female Black Sailfin Molly
1 Femaile Silver/White
1 Otocinclus
1 Spotted Catfish
2 Upside down Catfish
2 Male Mickey Mouse Platys
1 Female Dawn Platy

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Old 11-02-2004, 10:55 AM   #2
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Also do have any suggestions on how to temporarily transfer fish, if I DO decide to include a under gravel filter?
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My Tank:
29 gallon Tank

4 Zebra Danio
2 Male Dwarf Flame Gourami
1 Candy Pleco
1 Candy Swordtail
1 Pineapple swordtail
1 Marigold Wag
2 Male Black Sailfin Molly
1 Female Black Sailfin Molly
1 Femaile Silver/White
1 Otocinclus
1 Spotted Catfish
2 Upside down Catfish
2 Male Mickey Mouse Platys
1 Female Dawn Platy

Tetra Whisper submersible Heater
Aquacare Power Filter 70
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:04 AM   #3
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UGF are not advised. From what I understand, gunk gets trapped under them and they are hard to clean. A HOB filter is fine, or a canister filter will work great.
Quote:
My 29 gallon freshwater tank is less then two months old and I have already had issues with ammonia.
Did it fully cycle? How often do you vacuum the gravel while doing PWC?
What are your exact water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)?
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:19 AM   #4
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Well I am not home right now...however I do a PWC every 2 weeks.
1 Female Silver/White Molly, 1 Male Dwarf Flame Gourami and 1 Candy Swordtail has died.

I recently purchased Quick DIp Aquarium Test Strips and Mardel 5 in 1 Test Strips.

Petco gave me some horrible advice ( I put too many fish in the tank, Mollies prefer brakish water, I need to clean the tank once a month!, etc.) and thankfully since I have become a member of this site my tank has been doing MUCH better.

I will add the exact parameters later today.

Thank you
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My Tank:
29 gallon Tank

4 Zebra Danio
2 Male Dwarf Flame Gourami
1 Candy Pleco
1 Candy Swordtail
1 Pineapple swordtail
1 Marigold Wag
2 Male Black Sailfin Molly
1 Female Black Sailfin Molly
1 Femaile Silver/White
1 Otocinclus
1 Spotted Catfish
2 Upside down Catfish
2 Male Mickey Mouse Platys
1 Female Dawn Platy

Tetra Whisper submersible Heater
Aquacare Power Filter 70
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:28 AM   #5
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called my wife, this the last test:

PPM 12 120 hardness (moderate)
Nitrite 3.0 (stress)
ppm total alkalinity 40
PH 6.8
Nitrate 60

any advice?
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My Tank:
29 gallon Tank

4 Zebra Danio
2 Male Dwarf Flame Gourami
1 Candy Pleco
1 Candy Swordtail
1 Pineapple swordtail
1 Marigold Wag
2 Male Black Sailfin Molly
1 Female Black Sailfin Molly
1 Femaile Silver/White
1 Otocinclus
1 Spotted Catfish
2 Upside down Catfish
2 Male Mickey Mouse Platys
1 Female Dawn Platy

Tetra Whisper submersible Heater
Aquacare Power Filter 70
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:32 AM   #6
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I haven't used an undergravel filter since about 1985.
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:47 AM   #7
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Buy a good chemicla test kit and toss out the quick dip test strips.
They are not accurate at all.
Try doing 20% water changes every week.
Hope this helps.
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I haven't used an undergravel filter since about 1985.

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I havent used an undergravel filter since about 1978 when I had my first 10gal.
The bubbles stopped coming up from the filter so I took down the whole tank to clean it and got grossed out buy the amount of fish poo trapped under it.
Never looked back.
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:58 AM   #8
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UGF filters do more harm than good. Don't waste your money.
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:49 PM   #9
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What is the ammonia level?
Today, you should do a 50% water change to get the nitrites down. Nitrites are deadly to fish. My guess is if the nitrite level is up, so is the ammonia. In addition, the nitrate is on the high end.
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Old 11-02-2004, 02:35 PM   #10
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My wife used the Quick Dip and said it between .25 and .5 (.25=Safe/.5=Stress)

The undergravel is out (thanks for all the responses)...

I guess the only solution is more frequent PWC?

Looking at my list of fish and the fact that mollies like more brakish water is this a good combination of fish?

Petco gives horrible advice...they have been pushing the undergravel filter or 2 weeks.
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My Tank:
29 gallon Tank

4 Zebra Danio
2 Male Dwarf Flame Gourami
1 Candy Pleco
1 Candy Swordtail
1 Pineapple swordtail
1 Marigold Wag
2 Male Black Sailfin Molly
1 Female Black Sailfin Molly
1 Femaile Silver/White
1 Otocinclus
1 Spotted Catfish
2 Upside down Catfish
2 Male Mickey Mouse Platys
1 Female Dawn Platy

Tetra Whisper submersible Heater
Aquacare Power Filter 70
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