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Old 03-24-2005, 02:36 PM   #1
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moving from undergravel to Aquatech: I NEED HELP!!!

I have been working aquariums off and on for more than 22 years and I have only used a filter other than an undergravel once and it was a continual disaster. It has been recommended by many that I get rid of the undergavel for a better planted tank.

How do you set it up and how well do they work? How do you set up a sponge filter and keep it from exchanging too much O2 and CO2 for good plant growth? Does a CO2 injector have the possibility of poisoning the fish? How do you suction the gravel and not uproot the plants or do you have to suction that close to the plants? Do the plants use up nitrates so that they don't build up?

Will a well lighted, CO2 injected tank work as a good breeder tank for my C. trilineatus. It will have caves and hiding places but will the fry and fish get enough air with a CO2 injector running?

SO many questions but I really want to have a planted tank as I feel my fish will be healthier and livelier as well as I should have much better success rearing small fish and breeding with a well planted tank.

Any help would be appreciated as I may have done this for years but when it comes to anything but undergravel I am a rookie to the core.

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Old 03-24-2005, 11:36 PM   #2
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Only a small amount of co2 actually disolves into the water and the plants use it up. I use a HOB filter and keep the tank full to minimize splash and loss of co2. Sponge filters run by a air pump will cause some loss of co2. As for vacing, once the plants are established you can get close with out damage. You can fan the water neat the base of the plants with your hand and vac what floats up. You can put foam around the strainer of a hob to protect fry. Welcome to AA.

Doran Hayes
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:43 AM   #3
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Well, this is all dependent on what size tank you have and what you want out of the tank. If this is a 40gal breeder tank, let's say, and you are just trying to breed fish and not using the tank as a display, then 2-3 large sponge filters will be all you need, with a bare bottom and floating plants or anchored plants like java fern and java moss.

If you have a 40gal display tank then you might want to consider a canister filter or a quality HOB filter like Aquaclear. You need consider CO2 only if you have about 2.5 wpg and over, and it is NOT a requirement to have high light and CO2 injection to have a lovely planted tank. I keep both and have had great success with lower light tolerant plants. Here is an article about setting up a new planted tank that might be of help to you, and then you can reply with some of your ideas and specs on your particular tank(s) and we can assist you in making some of the decisions:

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Old 03-26-2005, 11:05 AM   #4
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If you are going through all the effort to switch out your ugf, I would definitely agree with Tankgirl that you should use a higher quality filter than the Aquatech. I use Aquaclears, Emperors and Penguins and have had great success with all of them. Canisters, as TG pointed out, are also an excellent option, although I have no experience with them myself.
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moving, undergravel

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