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Old 09-24-2013, 10:16 PM   #1
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How to remove my UGF without hurting my plants and fish ?

Hey guys question..

I have had a UGF in my 27 hex for like umm since day 1 so like 14 years now.. I never have any issues with it... never gets dirty underneath because I always vacuumed the rocks.... but now that I have live plants... I don't vacuum the gravel anymore but im worried this will cause issues with the UGF... Plus I noticed using it if I use root tabs it always disintegrates them instantly because well the sucktion from the filter is right there when I put the root tabs in the gravel so my water gets cloudy instantly... So I cant really feed some of my color plants...

I haven't had a single issue with any of my plants so far though... my amazon sword is 18-19 inches tall no yellow leaves or anything like that and neither do any of my other plants... The red tiger lotus I have though is growing green leaves with red spots on them... I was under the assumption it grows .. red leaves and I think It might be to lack of iron or... the plant might just be a green tiger lotus and was false advertised...

So anyway... should I remove my UGF ? Obviously I have to remove my dťcor and pull all my plants out and stuff and gently slide the filter out not to hurt my fish... I'll probly pull all my snails out though so I don't bury them... I will probably have to get more bags of rocks though... But yea... would this be ok to do ?? And do you think it is the best thing to do for my plants ?

I have a HOB filter as well.. so im good there.. Honestly I want to remove my rocks and put in black ones.. Im tired of the dark blue I have had for 14 years.. but since I have like 25 fish that would probly crush my bio filter
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:27 PM   #2
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Hey guys question..

I have had a UGF in my 27 hex for like umm since day 1 so like 14 years now.. I never have any issues with it... never gets dirty underneath because I always vacuumed the rocks.... but now that I have live plants... I don't vacuum the gravel anymore but im worried this will cause issues with the UGF... Plus I noticed using it if I use root tabs it always disintegrates them instantly because well the sucktion from the filter is right there when I put the root tabs in the gravel so my water gets cloudy instantly... So I cant really feed some of my color plants...

I haven't had a single issue with any of my plants so far though... my amazon sword is 18-19 inches tall no yellow leaves or anything like that and neither do any of my other plants... The red tiger lotus I have though is growing green leaves with red spots on them... I was under the assumption it grows .. red leaves and I think It might be to lack of iron or... the plant might just be a green tiger lotus and was false advertised...

So anyway... should I remove my UGF ? Obviously I have to remove my dťcor and pull all my plants out and stuff and gently slide the filter out not to hurt my fish... I'll probly pull all my snails out though so I don't bury them... I will probably have to get more bags of rocks though... But yea... would this be ok to do ?? And do you think it is the best thing to do for my plants ?

I have a HOB filter as well.. so im good there.. Honestly I want to remove my rocks and put in black ones.. Im tired of the dark blue I have had for 14 years.. but since I have like 25 fish that would probly crush my bio filter
I don't think it'd be a big deal to even change out your substrate. You might as well. Have you considered ecocomplete? It's on sale at petco for 17$...

Biologically, I think you will be fine.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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No I haven't even heard of eco complete .. what is it ?
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:33 PM   #4
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No I haven't even heard of eco complete .. what is it ?
A substrate for planted tank. It has a high CEC so it can take nutrients out of the water and give it to your plants.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:45 PM   #5
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Ah ok so it isn't a substrate that will run out of nutrients in say like 2-5 years or something... right ?
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
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I had plants and an UGF for years and never had any issues until I went to move the plants to my new 55g. I ended up losing all of my swords. Their roots had completely grown around the slats in the filter. I had no choice but to basically cut them off and they probably would have made it if I had totally removed the UGF and teased the roots out and I hadn't tried to put them in a tank with my oscar that liked to rearrange the tank on a daily basis.
I'm not saying it can't be done but it might be a mess for a couple of days. i would move your fish to a bucket and then take the UGF out by the lift tube gently at an angle so that your gravel sort of pours to the center. Once you get it out you will be able to see the best way to remove the roots and cut as few of them as possible. Once you get the filter and plants out then drain the tank. Unless you are going to change out your substrate.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:14 PM   #7
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Well I don't think I want to drain out all my water, I was thinking of doing this tomorrow.. I just got done medicating my tank for a bacteria infection my gold barb has... and I use aquarium salt too.. so im gonna drain 50% of the water, and then take my UGF out... Still not sure if I want to remove my rocks or not I dunno... I probably should.. Im looking at that eco comlete.. its black and good for plants.. But for my tank I'll probly need 2-3 bags maybe... although it is a hexagon so I probly wont need that many bags I dunno.. $20 per is expensive and I don't have the money atm.

Then I gatta figure out a way to keep my power head in the tank I guess I'll just let it hang by its cord or something... The tank without the power head on has like 0 water movement.. It isn't a very strong one barely pushes water out but its enough to keep the water flowing... The HOB isn't very strong either I tried turning off my bubbles and power head once and the tank was like super still... food wouldn't even move in the tank lol
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:46 PM   #8
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Well I don't think I want to drain out all my water, I was thinking of doing this tomorrow.. I just got done medicating my tank for a bacteria infection my gold barb has... and I use aquarium salt too.. so im gonna drain 50% of the water, and then take my UGF out... Still not sure if I want to remove my rocks or not I dunno... I probably should.. Im looking at that eco comlete.. its black and good for plants.. But for my tank I'll probly need 2-3 bags maybe... although it is a hexagon so I probly wont need that many bags I dunno.. $20 per is expensive and I don't have the money atm.

Then I gatta figure out a way to keep my power head in the tank I guess I'll just let it hang by its cord or something... The tank without the power head on has like 0 water movement.. It isn't a very strong one barely pushes water out but its enough to keep the water flowing... The HOB isn't very strong either I tried turning off my bubbles and power head once and the tank was like super still... food wouldn't even move in the tank lol
EcoComplete should not break down. I think 2 bags would be more than plenty. I have a decent depth in a 20g long with two bags and I am figuring that the footprint for your 27 hex may actually be less than a 20g long.

Contact Petco in Fairfax (route 50 Greenbriar shopping center) and check on the price for EcoComplete. They were selling it for $9 a bag.

You might consider (depending on the cord length) placing the powerhead on or near the bottom behind a rock or driftwood with the jet flowing upward. It may help with circulation in a tall tank.

I would place the fish in a clean bucket while you are removing the UG filter. That way you don't have to worry about them because it may get messy in there after you remove the UG.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:53 PM   #9
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I would HIGHLY reccomend taking your fish out while you do it. I'm talking from experience. I regret it so much. All my fish got nasty ammonia burn. It's just not worth it.

Once you get fish out of the tank, you might as well change the substrate too
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #10
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EcoComplete should not break down. I think 2 bags would be more than plenty. I have a decent depth in a 20g long with two bags and I am figuring that the footprint for your 27 hex may actually be less than a 20g long.

Contact Petco in Fairfax (route 50 Greenbriar shopping center) and check on the price for EcoComplete. They were selling it for $9 a bag.

You might consider (depending on the cord length) placing the powerhead on or near the bottom behind a rock or driftwood with the jet flowing upward. It may help with circulation in a tall tank.

I would place the fish in a clean bucket while you are removing the UG filter. That way you don't have to worry about them because it may get messy in there after you remove the UG.

Ok ill check with them tomorrow I live in woodbridge-lakeridge so ill check the one in dale city first. My tank is only 20 inches side to side. but that's 20 inches in a complete circle vs im sure your tank only being 12 inches in depth.


Yea I'll take my fish out I know if my water gets really nasty the neon tetra's will probly die
Well see...
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:30 PM   #11
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Ok ill check with them tomorrow I live in woodbridge-lakeridge so ill check the one in dale city first. My tank is only 20 inches side to side. but that's 20 inches in a complete circle vs im sure your tank only being 12 inches in depth.

Yea I'll take my fish out I know if my water gets really nasty the neon tetra's will probly die
Well see...
I'm 99% sure you won't use all of 2 bags
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:54 PM   #12
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Sorry, i hope I don't hijack this thread.

How is Eco Complete with bottom-feeding fish like Cory Cats or Plecos? Photos online look a bit too jagged...
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Sorry, i hope I don't hijack this thread.

How is Eco Complete with bottom-feeding fish like Cory Cats or Plecos? Photos online look a bit too jagged...
I know loads of people who use them with corys and plecos. Maybe try the small grained kind?
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:59 PM   #14
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I called petco.. the lady said they only sell eco complete online ? You sure you saw some in that Fairfax store for $9 ?? If its really online then its $20 per bag, i'll just hold off until I can afford that. I've spent probly close to $500 on fish tank stuff latetly lol. buying my new 55g and rocks and plants and fish for that, then fish and plants and rock for my 27 and 30g... stuff costs a lot ...

If anything removing my UGF and just keeping my old blue rocks should be better then leaving the UGF in right ?
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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I called petco.. the lady said they only sell eco complete online ? You sure you saw some in that Fairfax store for $9 ?? If its really online then its $20 per bag, i'll just hold off until I can afford that. I've spent probly close to $500 on fish tank stuff latetly lol. buying my new 55g and rocks and plants and fish for that, then fish and plants and rock for my 27 and 30g... stuff costs a lot ...

If anything removing my UGF and just keeping my old blue rocks should be better then leaving the UGF in right ?
Yes. But it's going to suck if you take it out getting poop everywhere, and then taking out the gravel and getting poop everywhere.

Id just wait until your ready to take out the gravel to take out the UGF
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:55 PM   #16
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I called petco.. the lady said they only sell eco complete online ? You sure you saw some in that Fairfax store for $9 ?? If its really online then its $20 per bag, i'll just hold off until I can afford that. I've spent probly close to $500 on fish tank stuff latetly lol. buying my new 55g and rocks and plants and fish for that, then fish and plants and rock for my 27 and 30g... stuff costs a lot ...

If anything removing my UGF and just keeping my old blue rocks should be better then leaving the UGF in right ?
I've purchased (and returned) several bags at that price. In-store; not online.

As the other poster mentioned, wait until you get the new substrate and then remove the UGF and blue gravel (remove the fish first).
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:05 PM   #17
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I've purchased (and returned) several bags at that price. In-store; not online.

As the other poster mentioned, wait until you get the new substrate and then remove the UGF and blue gravel (remove the fish first).
I wish I could find it that cheap! I'm dropping 20$ on 1 bag
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:06 PM   #18
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FYI - I just went to Petco (Fairfax) and they do not have ANY EcoComplete
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:51 PM   #19
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If you guys go to the planted section you can see my new thread I made.. I bought Flora Max which is the same stuff as eco complete just without the bacteria for only $10 per 15lbs bag.. Took 2 bags for my 27g hex.. I have about 3-4 inches substrate now... The floramax though is SUPER dusty.... turned my water and my bathtub when I was washing it out black lol... So make sure you put your fish ina container with the heater and some bubbles.. I had to keep my 25 fish in a 2g container for 24 hours before the water settled enough... I bought the Flora Max at petsmart in woodbridge VA.. They have 3 bags left.. 1 is a red lava rock color, the last 2 are midnight black

So far tank is crystal clear now though.. I had 0 deaths, my ammonia is at 0.50ppm though but im just using prime to keep it so it wont hurt my fish... No point in doing water changes because my water reads 2ppm of ammonia most likely from the Chloramines so itd be pointless to change my water.. One thing I am noticing without the UGF is fish food or my algae wafers I toss in every now and then for my snails (because I have no more diatoms or any algae in the tank) seem to settle on the bottom and ROT.. like the algae wafers left over turn into a clear fuzzy mess... Without the UGF to suck the stuff inside the gravel it just sits on the top of the rocks... Or maybe its because my rocks don't have any bacteria on them yet I dunno... I gatta watch this

Funny looking at your receipt says the state tax is 5.00%.. LAWL either that petco didn't change their tax on the computers or Virginia just recently raised taxes by 1% because I keep seeing 6% on all my receipts.
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