I would first suggest leaving the UGF
in there. I think the general thought is they are not bad, but merely inferior to other methods.
About moving your UGF
: I would suggest you start by adding the canister before you remove the UGF
. I could be wrong but I would guess that the UGF
is a very large portion of the biofilter. You want to disturb this as little as possible. I would start by turning off one power head, and then the other a week or two later. This should result in more bacteria growing on your biowheel and canister. Then in another week or two, put a tube down into the UGF
uptake tube and siphon up all the debris (you are right, it will be very nasty down there). I would suggest doing this at least twice. Then you should be able to just pull the UGF
out. But make sure to vac the gravel really good first also.
Someone else will have to answer your other questions.